Message from the Board Chair
Looking back on the 2013-2014 year, there are many successes to celebrate and certainly some interesting challenges we faced as members of the Board of Directors.
This was a tremendous year of successes. It sets the stage very well for the next 100 years.
One of the first successes was the Board and Committee volunteer orientation. About 50 folks – Board and committee members – hopped on a bus and spent the next several hours touring five of the organization’s operating facilities, learning about the history and structure of the agency, and understanding how Wood’s Homes offers the many services it offers. This was a great idea!
With an approximate $29-million annual operating budget, the organization currently employs about 400 people in its 35 programs and 17 locations. To have all those folks going in the same direction is bound to be a challenge, but it is one the organization handled in the finest fashion by the development of the 2013-2017 Strategic Plan, bringing together front-line employees, team leaders, managers, directors, neighbours, other agency leaders, and Board members. The document will guide the organization and all its business plans forward.
One of the biggest items on the agenda was the development of plans to celebrate our 100th anniversary. Many months in the making and each event went off, or will go off, with a bang - from fireworks at the start of the year, the release of the book ‘One Hundred Stories for One Hundred Years’, compiled by Clem Martini, the monthly Speaker Series presentations to the Reunion and Grand Celebration, which is about to get under way.
The Board succession planning initiative was also an innovative work that the Board took on with success. This began in 2013 and carried into the current year with the finalization and approval of revised bylaws, the development of skill and sector matrices to plan for the ongoing replacement of retiring Board members, and the addition of solid new members to the Board.
I mentioned challenges earlier and one that comes to mind was some neighbourhood relationships - folks who struggled to understand Wood’s work. The Neighbourhood Advisory Committee of the Board is doing an excellent job of mediating this issue and turning it into a much less significant matter.
This was a tremendous year of successes. It sets the stage very well for the next 100 years. As I leave my post in my second year as Board Chair of Wood’s Homes, I look back with a tremendous sense of pride in having had the opportunity to work with so many committed people in all roles that make up this great organization!