May 9, 2019 by Derek Chu
A season of strategic visioning – a message from the Board of Directors
Thanks to you – whether you are one of Kinbrace’s visionary founders, a generous donor, a volunteer, a staff person, a person who has lived (or is living) the refugee experience, a neighbour, or elsewise connected – we have reached 21 years in our shared journey, striving to create a world of welcome, a life of opportunity, and a community of belonging for each person seeking refugee protection in Canada.
In March 2019, the Board initiated a season of strategic visioning, asking the question: Where should Kinbrace go in the next 5-10 years?
First, an update on our senior leadership. There have been a few communications to Kinbrace donors and supporters during the past year, advising of Loren Balisky’s future with the organization. Among other communications, the Board of Directors announced at Kinbrace’s 20th Anniversary (June 2018) that Loren would be stepping down from the Executive Director role.
To prepare for this change, the Kinbrace Board retained a recruiter to help the organization hire a new Executive Director. After some deep listening, the recruiter advised the Board that Kinbrace wasn’t ready for a new Executive Director. With faith and courage, the Board stopped the recruitment process and discerned a different course, which included a decision to offer Loren a 9-month sabbatical leave, April-December 2019.
The Board has directed Loren to rest, refresh, and write during the sabbatical. While Loren is away, a vibrant, dedicated staff team is in place and growing. Long-timer Emily Parsons Dickau (Director of Programs) and newly-hired Derek Chu (Director of Operations) will co-lead the organization, supported by the Board of Directors.
If you are a volunteer, donor, or former resident, you will likely hear from and get to know new people joining the Kinbrace staff team. Please welcome them if you get a chance, and let them know your heart for, and history of, welcoming people seeking refugee protection.
Meanwhile, the Board of Directors is creatively and diligently engaging staff, former Kinbrace residents and refugee claimants, donors, and others to envision Kinbrace’s future. It is a season of dreaming, anticipating, and planning.
When your imagination intersects with the resilience of each person seeking refugee protection, the results are authentic and transformational. I invite your continued support and input through this season of strategic visioning.
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On behalf of the Kinbrace Board of Directors