by Bill Forbes, President, Board of Directors, Seniors’ Community Services
A passionate advocate. An empathic leader. A committed professional. These are just a few of the phrases that best describe our outgoing Executive Director, Susan Smith. On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff at Seniors’ Community Services, I want to take this opportunity to thank and recognize Susan for her more than seven years of leadership and service to our organization.
Susan joined the organization, then Kemptville and District Home Support, in August, 2013. She came to us with an academic background in geriatrics and leadership, and extensive experience in the healthcare and social services sectors. Her warmth and compassion quickly resulted in the development of strong relationships with our clients and volunteers. Over the years, she successfully increased our client base and expanded the role and size of our dedicated volunteers. She is recognized for her skilled approach to supporting clients, especially those in crisis or distress.
Susan’s staff describe her as a collaborative leader who has fostered their individual development and ensured their effectiveness as a cohesive team. I know they are proud of what they have accomplished under Susan’s stewardship. Susan has also been the “face” of Seniors’ Community Services in her role as Executive Director. She has sought out and built meaningful relationships with local businesses and service groups, and in doing so, has strengthened our supporter base and profile in the community. As a small community service organization, we rely on donations to bridge the gap our funders cannot fill. Susan’s outreach and fundraising skills have been critical in that regard.
More recently, Susan played a pivotal role in our rebranding, including the transition to our new name, and led Seniors’ Community Services in a safe and effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Included in that response has been the introduction of a free telephone-based activity program, Seniors’ Centre Without Walls, and the safe and timely reopening of our Foot Care Clinic.
Susan’s last day with the organization was Friday, November 6. She leaves us well positioned to weather the ongoing challenges arising from the pandemic, and to continue to evolve and grow as an organization. We know our many clients, volunteers, and community partners join the Board and staff in thanking Susan and wishing her continued success in her future endeavours.