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Many changes reported at the Mackenzie Society’s annual general meeting

The Preeceville Mackenzie Society Ventures annual general meeting was held on June 18 during which service awards were presented and a new executive was elected. Jackie Blotski chaired the meeting .

The Preeceville Mackenzie Society Ventures annual general meeting was held on June 18 during which service awards were presented and a new executive was elected.

Jackie Blotski chaired the meeting . Awards for five years of service were presented to Bonnie Bahaud, Robert Beletic, Shannon Berehula, Irene Stadnyk, Bob Drayer, Brenda Goodsman and Girly Javelona.

Jackie Gillespie received a six-year award. Gaylene Johnson and Candi Langille received 15-year awards. Darlene Mack received a 15-year award and a retirement award.

In the general manager’s report, Gailene Pasiechnik said, “It seems hard to believe that 12 months has already passed since our last AGM. This past year we have seen many changes within
management positions.

One of our most significant changes has been the retirement of Shirley Neufeld, our 30-year employee who was the program co-ordinator. It has taken a while to get used to not seeing Shirley’s
face daily. We do miss her sense of humour and her expertise that comes with holding the same job for as many years as she did.

“In December we were very blessed to hire a new program co-ordinator, Kayla Blotski. We welcomed Kayla back with open arms. She was not a stranger to our organization as she held a summer
student position with us in the past. This made an easy transition for staff and participants as she already knew most of the participants and many of our staff. I am sure she would agree this made the start of her new position a little bit easier.

“This year we also said our goodbyes to Krystal Spray, our administrative assistant who made the difficult decision not to return to MSVI after her maternity leave. We had the challenge of being without an administrative support person for almost six months which really stretched us. In February we were blessed to find Joan Seghers for the newly-created position of administrator HR/payroll
assistant. Joan joined our team in February and has been a huge asset to us.

She is the go-to for many of us and carries out many administrative duties. Group Home Four also had its challenges for not having a steady supervisor in the home. Last August we hired Rory Pasiechnik as the residential supervisor.

We appreciate having a male’s perspective brought to the table. I am sure the three male participants feel the same way at the home. “It is a great feeling to finally have a fully staffed management team. That being said, the Canora Group Home supervisor has been off on leave since the beginning of January. I have to extend a huge heartfelt appreciation to Mary Huebert for overseeing the administration of the group home and to the staff of the home who have pulled together and do all the extras to keep the home running efficiently.

We look forward to having Amanda back, hopefully by the end of August,” she said.

“This report demonstrates how Mackenzie Society has risen to meet the goals and objectives of our participants while carrying out the mission and values associated with the growth of our agency. This could not have been accomplished without our employees and the many partnerships we rely on to ensure the success of our programs,” said Pasiechnik.

Mackenzie Society continues to offer many programs which include: five residential homes – three in Preeceville, one in Sturgis and one in Canora; a supportive living program; a day program for vocational skills; and a life enrichment program which focuses on quality of life and challenging activities for personal growth and development. The society oversees SARCAN, Mackenzie’s Hole in One (the mini golf business), and Uncle Mack’s store, which carries household items and SARC products.

Uncle Mack’s relies solely on community donations. “We are very grateful for the generosity from our community and surrounding areas for the donations we receive. Without these donations, Uncle Mack’s would not be the viable business it is today,” said Pasiechnik.

“We are proud of our achievements in 2014/2015,” she said. “Last fall, SARCAN  held its grand opening to which Ken Krawetz, our deputy premier and Minister of Finance, was in attendance.

“At the day program we have seen many changes over the past year. With SARCAN moving uptown we have changed around a few of the program areas.

This made room for our staff to enjoy a coffee room. We continue to have the challenge of creating enough jobs for all of the individuals at the day program and because
of this, we have been brainstorming and exploring more community- based programming.

“MSVI strives for community inclusion. Many of our participants currently hold jobs in our community. We have participants working for the Town of Preeceville, Formo Motors,
John Deere, Home Hardware, Shop Easy, SaskPower, and SaskTel.

A few of our participants do yard maintenance for local businesses, a church, citizens in the community, and at Club 60. Some of our participants give back to our community by volunteering at our local curling club by doing the cleaning at the rink.

As you have heard in the other reports, the participants are always active in numerous community events, both locally and out of town,” Pasiechnik said.

“This upcoming year, our focus will be on training for our employees.

Many of our employees need re-certification in some of the courses and we will be offering some new training. SARC has a new online medication training program. All of An award for five years
of service was presented to Bonnie Bahaud at the Mackenzie Society annual general meeting on June 18.

An award for 15 years of service was presented to Gaylene Johnson by Jackie Blotski. our direct support staff will be taking it in the near future. Also, Level 2 training is now being offered
on line.

“Recently, we held staff meetings and our employees committed to making MSVI the most positive workplace in Saskatchewan.

We have committed to having a positive work environment, and we will do this by posting positive quotes regularly in each facility, and when issues or problems come up, we are going to focus on the solution rather than the problem – focusing on people’s strengths rather than weaknesses. We are going to hold each other accountable. Our teams are going to check in at staff meetings to evaluate how we are doing. We feel we already do a pretty good job with this but, we want to be the best place to work in Saskatchewan.

“We look forward to continuing to work with our employees, board and partners to meet the challenges of growth and opportunity. We thank each one of you for the role you play to meet the goals
and objectives of our participants and the mission and values of our organization,” she concluded.

New executive members elected were: Myrna Yaholnitsky, Jackie Blotski, James Trofimenkoff, Judy Zaharia, Janet Strand, Vicki Multon and Joanne Jenner.