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Board Retreat 2014: Heart, Mind, and Soul!

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LiveWorkPlay Board Retreat 2014: Keenan Wellar, Ann-Louise Davidson, Cathy Velazquez, Jim Carter, Vaughn McKinney, Andrew Bearss, Stacey Diffin-Lafleur, Al Mackey, Cecelia Taylor, Clement Chan, Julie Kingstone, Mike Coxon

Board retreat 2014 was hosted at The Foolish Chicken and facilitated by Mike Coxon from Mills Community Support with a curriculum designed in collaboration with Julie Kingstone and Keenan Wellar (all three recently completed the 2014 BoardSource Certified Governance Trainer program) and a planning session with chair Cecelia Taylor. The board will be sharing some of the outcomes from this gathering at a future date, but for the time being, they are sharing their icebreaker activity which was to answer the question “What motivated you to join the LiveWorkPlay board of directors?” (Mike, Julie, and Keenan also answered the question from their own perspective).


Al Mackey: Back in 2004 I got to work quite closely with Cooper Gage, an employee at MBNA Bank of Canada (now TD Bank) and a LiveWorkPlay member. I learned so much from this experience and I have been involved in supporting the organization ever since.

Cathy Velazquez: Like Al, my connection is also through MBNA and TD, and goes all the way back to 1998 and together we planted the seeds for what would later developing into an ongoing partnership that ranges from sponsorship to employment and public advocacy.

Cecelia Taylor: I knew about LiveWorkPlay from working with YouthNet (where I met Julie) and at Frontier College. When I started at Algonquin College teaching Developmental Service Worker students, I wanted to know more about people with intellectual disabilities and the range of supports and services in our community. That initial interest turned into something more and I ended up joining the board and serving as the chair.

Stacey-Diffin Lafleur: I first heard about LiveWorkPlay through my son’s workplace and then working with Keenan as the Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at United Way Ottawa. We did several different projects with LiveWorkPlay and I decided to volunteer and also joined the board in 2014.

Vaughn McKinney: As a Rotary club President I attended a presentation about Rotary at Work with Mark Wafer, Joe Dale, and Jen Bosworth (LiveWorkPlay Manager of Employment Supports). The busy season was coming up at my business The Parliament Cleaning Group, and I decided I wanted to look into hiring an employee referred by LiveWorkPlay. From that experience I volunteered in support of the Employer Task Force and joined the board.

Clement Chan: After moving to Ottawa from Vancouver I wanted to continue my commitment to local volunteerism. I started out supporting Friday night social meet-ups and became an enthusiastic supporter of the mission and joined the board to help bring LiveWorkPlay values to life.

Andrew Bearss: I responded to a cold call from Jen Bosworth about the opportunity to hire a person with an intellectual disability. It worked out well for us at Dow Honda and I wanted to spread the word to other dealerships and businesses, so I joined the Employer Task Force and then the board of directors.

Ann-Louise Davidson: As a University of Ottawa post-graduate researcher I was craving meaningful projects and got involved with LiveWorkPlay and the On My Own Together (housing demonstration project) in 2004. I’ve maintained a connection ever since, mainly through research and publications at Concordia University, and most recently as a board member.

Julie Kingstone: Coming from a background that included many years working with Christie Lake Camp I always believed in the importance of “leveling the playing field” for all citizens. I met Keenan when he was in the process of establishing a voluntary organization to support people with intellectual disabilities and their families, and about three years later it ended up being an amazing career!

Keenan Wellar: My initial motivation came by way of an accident. I fell into a part-time job where for the first time in my life I met individuals labelled with autism, Down syndrome, and other intellectual disabilities. I was concerned about the segregated and limited life options being presented to them. I always felt a calling to do something to help my community better value individuals with intellectual disabilities. When Julie came along with a lot of ideas about how to do that, together were were able to get LiveWorkPlay off the ground.

Mike Coxon: I was first introduced to the organization through Keith Powell at Community Living Ontario and speaking to Keenan and Julie, I quickly realized that LiveWorkPlay had a community development approach focused on assets rather than the deficits of people with disability labels. I saw connections with what we were trying to accomplish at The Mills Community Support and I think over the past 5 years our partnership has been good not only for our organizations but for our communities.

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