KIM PRESSER TO BE PROMOTED TO CEO
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am happy to announce that after an exhaustive search, Kim Presser will be promoted to Chief Executive Officer of Between Friends. Effective September 1st, Kim will replace Suzanne Jackett, who announced her retirement in January of this year.
Suzanne’s retirement comes after more than 22 years of leading the organization, positively impacting the lives of countless individuals. Suzanne’s passion and dedication to Between Friends cannot be understated and on behalf of the Board I want to thank her for all that she has done to build a solid foundation, ensuring a successful future for the organization. We are pleased that Suzanne will remain with Between Friends in an advisory capacity through to December 11, 2020 to support Kim in the transition.
Kim joined Between Friends in 2006 after her search for a summer job led her to Camp Bonaventure and the W.E.S.O.A.R! Programs. In 2008 she joined the office team and has succeeded in various roles leading to her current position as Director of Operations.
Kim has proven herself to be a strong leader and advocate for our participants and she has a track record of getting things done and ensuring that the highest level of service is delivered. Kim’s experience, knowledge of the organization, and her motivation not only make her the right person for the job but will also ensure service continuity and that the work already done to build a more inclusive community will continue with vigor.
The Board is extremely confident that Kim is the best person to lead Between Friends through these challenging and uncertain times to ensure that Between Friends is a place where all people can connect, grow and belong.
Please join me in congratulating Kim!
Chair, Selection Committee
GET YOUR COLOURING PAGES HERE!
Stay connected through creativity! We’d love to see how creative you can get with our new colouring pages. Simply download & print, decorate in whatever way feels good, and then share with us via Facebook or Instagram (@calgary bfc). You can share with your neighbours too by posting your finished pages in your window at home.
Let’s spread the message to #EndIsolationForEveryone!
Summer Programs Cancelled
The Leadership Team and Board of Directors of Between Friends has made the difficult decision to cancel all in-person summer programming: Camp Bonaventure, Adventurers (both Day Trippers and Vacationers), Camp Fun’zAmust and Adult W.E.S.O.A.R!, as well as our I.C.A.N! Programming for 2020. Even if by summer, we are allowed to run programs, the hygiene, sanitizing and safety precautions, as well as the physical distancing necessary to offer safe environments throughout all of our programming for the summer, would be extremely difficult for us to manage. We have not made this decision lightly and we are heartbroken that the current crisis that our world, country and city face, is having this impact.
We have weighed our options carefully, following updates from the World Health Organization (WHO), all three levels of governments and public health experts. Calgary has not yet reached the peak of this pandemic and given the City of Calgary’s recent announcement to cancel all public events until the end of June, the decision is now clear. We will only operate face-to-face programs when we are certain of the safety of our members. We work with a vulnerable population, many of whom are immunocompromised and the risk to their health is just too great. Between Friends has a responsibility to be here for our members now and in the future.
We understand how disappointing this decision will be for our many stakeholders; our members and their families, our volunteers, our summer staff, our office team, our community partners as well as our donors and funders. We will get through this and when we do, Between Friends will be here, a year from now, two years from now and ten years from now to continue to support our membership. It is critical that we have this long term view.
Be assured that our team is working diligently on creative ways to continue to provide support through these very difficult times and we will communicate with you as we make progress. We invite you to communicate your ideas and any concerns you may have.
Stay healthy & safe!
Your Between Friends Leadership Team and Board of Directors
Friends in Motion – Huge Success!!!
Thank you to everyone who participated, volunteered and donated to the 6th Annual Friends in Motion Bowl-a-Thon. The event was a huge success raising over $106,000 for Between Friends. In Suzanne’s last year as CEO, she challenged one of our youngest donors, Peighton, to raise $20,000. This photo shows it all; Peighton exceeded her goal and Suzanne held onto her end of the bargain by dressing as Anna from Frozen. We could not have achieved this amazing outcome without everyone’s enthusiastic involvement – THANK YOU!
Suzanne Jackett to Retire
I am excited…and just a wee bit sad…to announce that I have decided to retire effective December 31, 2020. My 22 years at Between Friends has been the best time of my life. I have developed so many skills and so many friends and it will be hard to say goodbye. I have watched the organization grow, and watched the people within the organization grow; from our young program participants who are now young adults and adults to our volunteers and staff who have gone on to greatness in their own professions. I am very proud of the contributions that Between Friends has made for our participants, our volunteers, our staff, our donors and funders…and our community. Although as a community, we have a long way to go, trust me, we are in a much different and much better place than we were 22 years ago (albeit the economy could certainly use some help!). Calgary is becoming a more inclusive city and organizations are working more closely together for the benefit of those who use our services. I know it is only going to get better!
As I prepare for my departure in December, trust that I will do everything in my power to ensure a smooth transition with the new CEO. The Board of Directors will be starting the selection process in the coming weeks and they know that hiring the right CEO is the single most important job that they have. We are working closely to ensure a seamless transition.
The Board has asked me to invite you to let them know directly if you have any comments or concerns…or if you know of any potential candidates who would be passionate about joining the Between Friends team. You can contact the Selection Committee by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you all for your support and commitment over the past 22 years. Know that I will carry my experience with Between Friends close to my heart for years to come.
Yours in friendship,