Onward: Getting the Right Mix of The Old, The New, and a Dash of Surprise!
We had a full house at our 2019 Annual General Meeting that took place on June 25th at the Chateau Louise Hotel and Conference Centre. Vice Chair of the Board, Amy Abbott led the business portion of the evening. Following the business portion we had the opportunity to hear a number of interesting speeches from folks throughout the organization. The people we support shared stories of engaged citizenship, proud moments, and key accomplishments from the past year. Staff from all levels of the organization shared some of the great work they are doing.
Guest Speaker, MLA Marie Renaud
We were honored to have MLA and official critic, Marie Renaud attend and speak at the meeting. In her speech she reminded us of the importance of being engaged citizens, and encouraged everyone to speak up and share their thoughts, insights, and experiences with elected officials.
Executive Director Report, Ben Weinlick
Our new Executive Director Ben Weinlick, shared his reflections on the theme for the annual report, “Onward: Getting the Right Mix of the Old, The New, and a Dash of Surprise”. Drawing on the quote from Al Etmanski, the theme means that in moving forward into the next chapter we can’t be focused all on the new but we also can’t get stuck in the past. We need to focus on getting the right mix at the middle. Ben talked about how we will strive to carry our learning and history forward, while at the same time being open to fresh possibilities and new learning.
“Social innovation is a mix of the old and the new, with a dash of surprise” – Al Etmanski
Throughout the evening attendees had the opportunity to peruse and add to the interactive timeline. The timeline showed key milestones that have happened over the years related to the work of Skills and highlighted key things we’ve learned along the way. Attendees could add additional key milestones, a proud moment, a hope for the future, or a wild idea to support belonging. The timeline will be kept as an artefact and hung in the boardroom for others to admire into the future. All the additions to the timeline were captured and will be added to the timeline permanently in the coming weeks.
Jason and John Share a Story of Engaged Citizenship
Jason, an individual that we support, is an engaged citizen who enjoys sharing his time and energy with his community as a volunteer with meals on wheels. Jason and his support John shared a bit about their experience and long established relationship with Meals on Wheels.
“I take food to people that can’t leave the house. They need me to deliver food so they will be okay… they like me there, they want me to keep working there” – Jason
Reflecting on Belonging, Paige Reeves
Paige Reeves, Senior Leader of Research and Social Innovation, guided attendees in a reflection on belonging – what it means and what it looks like in our communities. Attendees had the opportunity to consider what they do to support belonging in the lives of those around them through discussion in table groups and filling out of interactive placemats (see pictured below). Insights from the table groups were shared aloud with everyone.
Todd Shares a Citizenship Story
Todd, an individual we support, is a rad guy who now has his own landscaping business and a passion for vehicles. During the AGM Todd shared his story of citizenship – acquiring a truck which enables him to grow his small business. One of Todd’s long time goals has been to get a truck of his very own. After much hard work and the support of his team and family, Todd was able to purchase a truck this spring. This truck not only gives Todd pride of ownership, but it also enables him to expand his landscaping business.
Tyler’s Ride, A Story of Community and Inclusion
Tyler, an individual we support, is a young guy who’s into bikes and death metal. A dream of Tyler’s has been to ride a motorbike. With the help of Dawn, one of his supports, Tyler recently got to participate in an epic bike ride and become a member of the biking community. Tyler and Dawn shared a little bit about this experience.
Sharing Our Work, MyCompass Planning Labs
Chris and Jan, two Managers, leaders, and MyCompass Planning Lab Stewards shared a bit about MyCompass Planning Labs, a stellar example of how we are working to support the deep belonging of the people we serve. In their presentation they gave attendees a taste of this 1.5 hour disciplined brainstorming process that helps support workers think creatively and generate fresh and meaningful ideas for community roles and employment opportunities.