Message from the President

First, let me on behalf of myself, our Board of Directors, Jaynee Champagne our Executive Director, our Agency Management and staff, and most of all our Residents and Day Program participants thank Mr. Dean Drevniok our outgoing President and now Past-President for his superb efforts and dedication to ICSS. Dean has lead our Agency through tumultuous times that have been marked by explosive growth and inadequate funding. Under Dean’s leadership, and in close cooperation with Jaynee, ICSS has put in place a financial management model that is second to none with the end result being that we have regained control of our finances and we are able to make effective and well-reasoned business decisions ensuring that our Agency remains afloat while providing a high degree of care. As well, Dean has raised our profile with our lead Ministry that being the Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS) and has steadfastly ensured that ICSS not only gets its piece of the pie but also is a partner of choice when it comes to new Programs and Initiatives.

 

Many of us are nervous to see Dean take a step back. However, he has prepared us well and we know that he will not be far away as he takes a seat at our boardroom table as our Past-President, the first in the history of ICSS. Thank you Dean for everything that you have done and everything that you will continue to do.

 

My path to ICSS has been similar to Dean’s with some slight variations. I too came via the construction route as my firm completed the electrical work at Golightly in 2007 and Willow in 2008. I was approached by Dean and Jaynee at the ICSS 2012 Golf Tournament about becoming a Board Member. In September 2012, I was welcomed to the Board and it has been a tremendous experience.

 

Why am I suited to be your next Board President? I have some experience in the non-profit sector having launched a Canada-wide non-profit agency known as RTS Canada and leading it for a number of years. I am a parent of a physically challenged adult daughter that also has a severe intellectual disability. I too ran my own contracting business for a number of years and have well-diversified business skills. I have completed a career in the Air Force, worked as a government employee, and been employed in the private sector where I remain to this day.

 

So, where does ICSS go from here?

 

We are on the right path; there is no need for major course corrections or changes in directions. We will continue to work with our residents, Day-Program participants, and their families to ensure we meet and exceed their expectations. We will work with our Partners at MCSS to ensure that people with development disabilities have options as per the Ministry’s promised transformation plan of a three-year, $810 million investment strategy. The Ontario government’s commitment for developmental services includes:

  • providing new direct funding for individuals and families
  • getting new residential supports to as many people as possible
  • working with employers and workers in the sector on an approach to support front-line staff.

 

More importantly, there is increased conversation about person-centred services, more supports in the community, empowerment and competitive employment for people with developmental disabilities. We at ICSS have been and will continue to be focused on these priorities.

 

And so, it is with great enthusiasm that I am honoured to become the next President of ICSS. I commit to continuing to support Jaynee and her staff and to remain available to all of you who have chosen to have your loved ones be part of our day-to day. We will continue to love them and care for them. As always, the board remains committed to being the best agency providing the best care possible to our residents.

 

Et donc, c’est avec beaucoup d'enthousiasme que je suis honoré de devenir le prochain président de ICSS. Je m’engage à continuer à soutenir Jaynee et son personnel et de demeurer disponible à vous tous qui choisit d'avoir vos proches faire partie de notre quotidien. Nous allons continuer à les aimer et prendre soin d'eux. Comme toujours, le conseil demeure déterminé à être le meilleur organisme qui fournit les meilleurs soins possibles à nos résidents.

 

Thank you. Merci.

Jean Lavigne ,President