OASIS Bi-Monthly Newsletter - May 2016
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OASIS Newsletter May 2016

The OASIS newsletter is a bi-monthly newsletter keeping you up-to-date on our member agencies and the Ontarians they serve.

This month’s edition includes:

  • A welcome letter from OASIS' new President
  • OASIS AGM summary 
  • OASIS Award Winners
    • 2016 Annie Oliver Award – Honourable John Baird
    • 2016 George Braithwaite Scholarship – Janet Lorimer
    • 2016 Gerry Sutton Scholarship Award – Christina Hall
    • 2016 President’s Scholarship Award Winner – Walter Lidster
  • DSO update – Tesimonital 
  • Board Governance Webinar update

It is hard to believe that OASIS will be twenty years old in November 2016.  From our humble beginnings with six member agencies, we have grown as a collaborator and respected leader in the developmental services sector with 190 member agencies. 
Every two years OASIS transitions its leadership team. I would like to welcome and introduce our new team:

Past President                                             David Barber
President                                                      Ann Kenney
Vice President Volunteer                            Darren Connolly
Vice President Executive Director             Michelle Marshall
Treasurer                                                      Sherry Parsley
Secretary                                                      Norma Lamont
Director at Large                                         Donna Britten
Trevor McGregor                                          Jason McDonald
Heather Bruce                                              Mal Coubrough
Terri Gray                           
I have been involved with OASIS for eighteen of those twenty years, and am proud of the accomplishments that have been achieved to date. As your new President, I will be challenged to address the growing concerns of agencies regarding waitlist pressures, limited funding, pay equity obligations, increasing costs, and developing innovative service delivery models to address more individualized or direct funding that individuals and their families are demanding. This may require agencies to move away from the more traditional brick and mortar supports towards a more inclusive model that will further depend on community members and local partners. I hope to bring my skills as a retired Chief Executive Officer and parent to assist agencies to move forward in the pressure packed work environment we are currently experiencing. We must work in partnership with Ministry of Community and Social Services, Members of Provincial Parliament, families, individuals, and others in our sector to fulfill the principles of transformation.
If you have any issues or concerns you would like to discuss with OASIS, please do not hesitate to contact us through the links on the website at
Ann Kenney

Annual Conference and AGM
Congratulations to the planning committee on hosting a wonderful conference in Niagara Falls!
The 19th Annual OASIS Conference was held May 4 – 6, 2016. The theme for OASIS 2016 was “Generate the Power, Capture the Energy, and Inspire the Future”. Delegates enjoyed the Plenary Speakers: Michael Kendrick spoke on “The Leadership Challenges in Generating Life Enrichment within Community Living” and Scott Kress thrilled attendees with pictures and stories from Mount Everest during his speech on 'Learning in Thin Air'. Delegates were also treated to fifteen workshops, including a workshop on Conscious Care and Support and a presentation from Assistant Deputy Minister Karen Chan.
The Dinner and Awards Celebration was held Thursday evening and OASIS was delighted that the Honourable Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services, assisted OASIS in recognizing the winners.  Our founding member of the Patron’s Council, Christine Elliott, was also in attendance and addressed the attendees.
Award Winners 
2016 Annie Oliver Award Winner – Honourable John R. Baird

The Annie Oliver Award is presented annually to a person who demonstrates excellence, innovation and leadership in the Developmental Services Sector and through this process, represents the interests and mission of OASIS and who by a combination of perseverance, determination and positive attitude has assisted OASIS in meeting its mission statement. This year’s award winner is the Honourable John R. Baird.

John Baird is a Senior Business Advisor to various organizations and a former Cabinet Minister in the Government of Canada. A native of Ottawa with two decades of experience in politics, Mr. Baird has held a variety of government posts, including President of the Treasury Board, Minister of the Environment, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, and most recently, Minister of Foreign Affairs (2011 – 2015).

Prior to entering federal politics, Mr. Baird spent ten years in the Ontario Legislature, where he represented the constituency of Nepean-Carleton. From 1995 to 2005 he served as Minister of Community and Social Services, Minister of Energy and Government House Leader. Currently, Mr. Baird serves as a Senior Business Advisor with Bennet Jones LLP, a premier Canadian law firm. In addition, Mr. Baird currently sits on the advisory board of Barrick Gold Corp., the corporate boards of CP Rail, FWD Group and PineBridge Investments, is a Global Strategic Advisor to Hatch Ltd, and is a Senior Advisor at Eurasia Group. 
Mr. Baird is a powerful ambassador for the developmental services sector and currently volunteers his time with Community Living Ontario and has offered his support to OASIS should the need of his services arise. As part of the Annie Oliver Award, a donation is provided in the amount of $1,000 to an organization of the recipient’s choice. Mr. Baird presented this donation cheque to OASIS member agency, Ottawa Carleton Association for People with Developmental Disabilities at the conference.
2016 George Braithwaite Scholarship Award Winner: 
Janet Lorimer

The George Braithwaite Scholarship is up to $5,000 awarded annually to an Executive Director to be utilized for attendance/participation in the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities’ week long Leadership Institute at the University of Delaware. This year’s winner is Janet Lorimer, Executive Director Community Living Oakville.

Janet began her career in social services as a Service Coordinator, and shortly afterward became a Residential Manager overseeing 24-hour supervised homes for children.This led to the creation of the Associate Family Home Program, where children and young adults enjoy a quality life in a loving and caring environment. She was also instrumental in creating expansions to ensure people could return to their community during the facility closures. In 2009, Janet was offered a Deputy Executive Director’s position at Community Living Newmarket/Aurora, and a few months later became the Executive Director. In 2012 she accepted an Executive Director position at Community Living Oakville, which she proudly holds to this day.

Janet works tirelessly to further contribute towards the mission and vision of the organization, while establishing a path with clear and measurable results. Under her leadership, the organization has gained financial strength and a culture that is conducive to collaboration and a strong work ethic where the people who have a developmental disability are on a journey to reaching their full potential. 
2016 Gerry Sutton Scholarship Award Winner
Christina Hall

The Gerry Sutton Scholarship covers the registration fee to participate in the OASIS – Queen’s Leadership Program and is awarded annually to an Executive Director or Senior Manager. This year’s winner is Christina Hall from Choices. Christina has worked in the developmental services field for 25 years. She started her career working with children and families, and has progressed through many different roles at her organization, to her current role of Program Manager and Education Coordinator.

Christina is relatively new to a formal leadership role and continually seeks opportunities to enhance her leadership skills.Throughout her life she has continued to seek opportunities to grow and develop, and is currently enrolled in an undergraduate program through Wilfred Laurier University. She is also progressing through a leadership certificate course sponsored by the University of Waterloo. Christina has a son with Down Syndrome, and through her personal experiences, is able to see past many of the barriers that families and staff face on a daily basis. She is an active volunteer in her community with Special Olympics, the United Way, a local soup kitchen and numerous other events and activities.
2016 President’s Scholarship Award Winner
Walter Lidster

The President’s Scholarship is up to $5,000 awarded annually to an Executive Director to be utilized for attendance/participation in a conference or educational program of their selection. This year’s winner is Walter Lidster, Chief Executive Officer, E3 Community Services. He is a respected leader with skills in community collaboration, family and peer advocacy, policy development, and communication strategies. He excels at challenging assignments, and is a leader in the area of community-government partnerships. Walter has spent over 20 years in Management positions, and has conducted outcome based research with municipal, federal and provincial agencies. He is a former Director of the Child and Youth Secretariat, and a former Assistant Director of Crime Prevention with the Ministry of the Attorney General. Actively involved in his community, he has contributed more than 30 years of volunteering and was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal for Volunteerism in 2013. After relocating from western Canada to Ontario, he worked in the healthcare field for a time, before accepting the position of Chief Executive Officer at E3 Community Services this past January. 
Testimonial of a Mother’s Experience with the DSO assessment in Ottawa
Ruth is the mother of a 25 year old adult with a developmental disability who was assessed by Developmental Services Ontario Eastern Region.This is Ruth’s feedback when asked to summarize her experience during the ADSS and SIS interviews:
The assessor was very helpful and certainly knew what she was about. She was very skilled in her interview techniques. She was punctual at all times and ensured that we were comfortable throughout the entire interview. She used practical examples and approaches to clarify issues and solicit information from us.
This is a very useful needs assessment process, and the sharing of the feedback and questionnaire makes it even more transparent. Thus this document and summary report becomes a useful tool to parents / caregivers as they try to match the needs of their child to the services available.”

Christine Gougeon
Regional Supervisor /Superviseur Régionale

Board Governance Webinar

Over the past four months, OASIS, in partnership with the Provincial Network, and the Ministry of Community and Social Services, led a series of professional development webinar series. The webinar series,The Board: A Winning Team™, was a four-part workshop webinar series that focused on developing a high-performance board of directors, how to have productive and enjoyable meetings and the unique, challenging and rewarding role of the Board Chairperson. The series was facilitated by Gay Douglas, a Niagara-based board governance consultant with more than 25 years experience as a volunteer serving on boards and as an executive director reporting to boards. The webinar’s had  great participation rates with over 200 people registered from 85 agencies.
After reviewing the feedback following the series, OASIS is thrilled that the majority of survey respondents were “very satisfied” with the series, and expressed an increased understanding of discussed topics. Feedback included:
“I loved the format and it was well organized! The presenter did a great job making it interactive. I hope OASIS continues to offer more training opportunities such as this.”
“I'm very grateful for the webinars. It is very helpful to hear from other agencies and know that others are having some of the same challenges/ opportunities as we are.”

“Wish I had this years ago. Good work.
If you missed the training webinar, you can catch up online. Developmental Service Agencies who have not registered for this training series but who would like to view the videos and associated materials can still do so but will need to register with OASIS. Registration to watch online is limited. If you wish to register, please contact Amanda at   


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