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Reflections on my one-year anniversary

Posted: August 22, 2011

Last week marked my one-year anniversary of coming to JCHE.  It has been an amazing year for me.  I continue, every day, to be impressed and amazed at the consistent level of excellence, commitment and talent displayed by our staff.  Glancing through my blog entries for the year, I know that I have shared many of these striking elements of the organization: the remarkable Resident Services Coordinators; the top- notch maintenance team; the life-affirming educational opportunities and multi-cultural programs that happen continually in our buildings. Of course, the competence at JCHE extends much beyond the 24-hour supports, unique fitness opportunities and award-winning intergenerational programs that are recognized as the hallmark of JCHE.  Sometimes the behind-the-scenes work of folks in areas such as accounting, capital projects, dining, human resources, IT and compliance goes unheralded. JCHE has a tremendous number of dedicated employees who create a very strong foundation.

We’ve made some significant changes to further strength that core: we are now a better informed staff with a new internal intranet page so that every JCHE employee can share news, accomplishments, questions and ideas about bettering our work; staff are participating more in agency wide decision making with interactive all-staff meetings and greater transparency; cross-departmental task forces are enabling staff to collaborate across departmental borders and assume more leadership; and a more self-reliant staff with skills obtained and practiced via trainings and seminars.

Most significantly, we opened Shillman House—our first truly mixed-income development (and our first truly new development in many, many years).  One always encounters the unexpected with a new venture, but mostly it is illustrating loudly and clearly the importance of our mission and the role we play in making the lives of our residents appropriately dignified.  Our top-notch on-site team, greatly aided by the expertise and energy of staff throughout the agency, are well on the way of fostering another real JCHE community.   

I am most grateful for the depth of support from the board—both as an entity and as individual board members.  I have found our board meetings to be energizing and insight producing—the level of engagement is enviable. I feel so lucky to have a board with so many talented people who are deeply committed to JCHE’s mission and legacy.

As I begin my second year, my immediate priority is to focus on further solidifying the base we need to simultaneously maintain the high performance for which we are known and meet the challenges we foresee down the road.  I am enthused about what’s ahead!

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