By David F Rooney
In what it is calling a “made-in-Revelstoke solution” Community Connections is trying on a new leadership model with what it is calling an “executive leadership team.”
This organization’s new leaders are Gorette Imm of Family Services, Patti Larson of Outreach Services, Kelly Bateman of Community Living Services for Adults and Diana Gadbois of Finance and Administration.
“We’re trying on a new leadership model,” said Treasurer Carol Palladino, adding the board has high hopes for this change.
The board of directors decided to try this collective leadership model rather than renew the contract held by Craig T. Brown who had been executive director since 2012, she said.
A statement from Community Connections explained the shift this way:
“For many years nonprofit leaders were told that they needed to learn to do more with less. We came to understand shared leadership is a more inclusive model which focuses on the leadership of many.
“In collaboration with Community Connections Board of Directors we are transitioning leadership in our organization from a single Executive Director to an Executive Leadership Team. We are adopting a shared leadership model that we have developed in order to meet our agency’s mandates, to grow and support our staff and to provide our clients and community partners with a reliable, knowledgeable and high quality agency they can rely on.”
Patti Larson, who is one of the new executive leaders, said this change reflects what has been a reality at Community Connections for several years. The four women have for years been in charge of its key sections and work well together,
“It’s not really a new concept,” she said. “We bring different strengths to the table. It’s all doable.”
The statement also included the following brief biographies of the new executive team members:
Gorette Imm – Executive Team – Family Services
Gorette has been employed with Community Connections for almost eight years in a variety of roles and programs. Gorette moved to Revelstoke in 2008 after completing her undergrad and Master of Science degree at the University of Manitoba. More recently Gorette had taken a leadership position within the agency as the Director of Family Services while still continuing to meet with clients in her role as a Registered Clinical Counsellor.
Kelly Bateman – Executive Team – Community Living Services for Adults
Kelly Bateman has been with the Society since 1987 working in the Community Living for Adults Field. For over twenty five years she has managed the Community Inclusion, Customized Employment and Residential Services for Adults with Developmental Disabilities.
Kelly has been a resident of Revelstoke since 1980 where she has raised her family and enjoyed all that Revelstoke offers.
Patti Larson – Executive Team – Community Outreach & Development
Patti Larson is a lifetime resident of Revelstoke with 25 years of experience working in the field of finance. Patti has been working with Community Connections for 15 years and manages the day-to-day operations of the Food Bank and is responsible for the organization’s Health & Safety program. She insures the efficient ongoing operation of all food security services, including the development and facilitation of successful fund raising. Patti has built a strong community profile for the food bank while supporting individuals, families and seniors in our community.
Diana Gadbois – Executive Team – Finance & Administration
Diana Gadbois moved to Revelstoke in 2009 and began working for Community Connections in January 2010 as the Director of Finance and Administration. Diana came to Community Connections with 20 years experience working in corporate Canada as a Financial Controller and a Senior Accountant. She finds working in the social sector far more rewarding because it’s about giving back. Though budget planning and reporting are essentially the same principle the objective is less about protecting the bottom line and much more about ensuring sufficient funds are available and utilized in alignment with Community Connections Mission to support individuals and families in our community.