President & CEO’s Message
August 3, 2020
Dear Friends, Individuals Supported, Staff, and Colleagues:
If I were to describe CO-OP today in three words, they would be: dedication, determination, and resilience.
As we look back over CO-OP’s 48-year history, we’ve had many joyful moments, extraordinary individual accomplishments, and organizational milestones. These moments make us proud, make us smile, and add to our belief in a bright future.
We’ve seen staff members join CO-OP as new-to-the-workforce direct support staff and grow into positions of responsibility as they join our management team, including five of our senior managers whose front-line early-career experiences help us set the strategy for CO-OP’s future -- an ever changing future -- now shaped by a pandemic that forces us all to think and plan in different ways. The challenges we’ve faced because of COVID-19 are unprecedented, but meeting challenges head-on is not new to us.
As we look in the rear-view mirror, there have been many challenges we’ve faced. We remember when emergency preparedness was put to the test as massive flooding overtook our local area and we effectively moved a number of people from their homes and into hotels for a, thankfully, short-term stay. Or, the time extreme high winds blew a portion of the roof right off one of our day programs and quick action saved the day. Or, the times we’ve faced uncertain funding and marshalled our efforts to advocate to legislators. And of course, the many other challenges faced day to day when unexpected incidents occur and staff training and experience are relied upon to keep people safe.
These examples underscore CO-OP’s ability to respond to adversity and function successfully amidst uncertainty. History has taught us that we can develop plans for almost every situation, but there will always be events that we never planned for. In these situations, we have demonstrated time after time that we can develop new plans, put action steps in place, and make adjustments -- all to ensure the safety, personal growth and happiness of each and every person at CO-OP. As we move into the second half of 2020, the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic might be unique but the response will be the same. CO-OP will adjust in whatever ways are necessary to continue on with our mission.
We are grateful for the many individuals, staff and other stakeholders who have been with us for years as well as for those who are new to CO-OP. Your ongoing support and confidence in CO-OP is greatly appreciated as we steadfastly move forward with dedication, determination, and resilience. As we do, we are confident there will be more moments that make us proud, make us smile, and add to our belief in a bright future.
President & CEO