As reported here last month, on May 9, Lyn Harwell was replaced by Jennifer Bostick as executive director of Seeds Community Café (109 E. Pikes Peak Ave., seedscommunitycafe.org). Harwell told the Indy he was going on to launch a new venture in the Manitou Art Center, called CrEATe.
But the split between Harwell and the Seeds board of directors was less than cordial, as subsequent reporting by the Colorado Springs Business Journal revealed earlier this month. Managing Editor Bryan Grossman reported that the Seeds board shared internal documents, and claimed Harwell was using Seeds financial assets inappropriately. The documents show that for six months Harwell did not pay employees, vendors or taxes. Further, they show he failed to ensure that Seeds had the necessary insurance coverage. Board members also claim Harwell made personal purchases on the café's credit cards and that Seeds accrued $92,000 in debt without the board's knowledge, a total that Bostick and Board President Gene Tanski say they've paid down by a third since November 2016.
"Given the nature of controls in place at the time, it is hard to follow the various cash withdrawals and deposits from one account to another," Tanski said in an email sent to the CSBJ. "We also know that some or most of the charges were identified and accounted for as compensation. But not all of them. However, we can't tell what fell through the cracks."
Harwell called the accusations "inaccurate and unsubstantiated." For the full story, go to tinyurl.com/CSBJ-LHarwell.