A Note from Peter GillPosted July 4, 2019 by Peter Gill
In April 2017 my term as board chair of Chalmers Community Services Centre came to an end. During that term the organization had seen some major changes – the “Serving Families” initiative which meant that we were including all family members in our food program, the purchase of our downtown location and the start of the capital campaign, the very large increase in guest visits (which continues today) especially among newcomers to Canada as well as the beginning of a three-year strategic plan
After I stepped down as chair, the board asked me if I would consider taking on the role of Volunteer Executive Director – a position we had identified in the strategic plan as critical to Chalmers’ development. I agreed to do this on the basis of a minimum one-year commitment. Two years later, on 30th June, my Volunteer Executive Director has come to an end.
When I took on this responsibility I spoke with a couple of ED’s who had become friends over the previous few years. Both described the ED role as being “the face of the organization” in the community, in addition to the internal responsibilities of staff, finances, executive and board meetings, etc.
Looking back over the past two years, I see Chalmers having taken a much more active role in the community and helping our guests feel secure and welcome. We have initiated programs with Immigrant Services, Canadian Mental Health, Community Engaged Scholarship Institute, and the Guelph-Wellington Poverty Task Force.
All this while maintaining the best possible level of ‘traditional’ services.
The Chalmers board recently held a strategy workshop at which the hiring of an Executive Director was one of our top priorities. I feel positive that our board will make that happen in order to take the organization forward in the years to come.
As ‘post ED’ I am going to continue some of those community engagement activities by helping to represent Chalmers in the wider community and by continuing to build the relationships we have with other organizations which help make Guelph the caring place that it is.
Thank you to all those who continue to support Chalmers.