Hello to All,
During my service to Erie Homes for Children and Adults, an organization much like Verland, and as a member and Board of Directors member of Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability (PAR), I have become deeply aware of the needs of persons with intellectual disabilities and those with autism. My heart has gone out to their families as I have seen the enormous emotional and other burdens they have undergone in trying to provide the best care and support for their loved ones.
Verland stands out as an agency that answers the needs of these families and provides a safe home for each person along with varieties of programs and therapies that address their needs. Physical, aquatic and equestrian therapy, and communication therapy for those unable to express themselves are parts of daily programs for all of our individuals. Personal advocates, job coaches, and program specialists provide full support for the residents at our main campus and our community homes.
It will be my mission to maintain and enhance these essential services which have changed the lives of the hundreds of persons who have lived at Verland over the last 40 years, and all those who will come to live and to thrive in our homes and facilities in the future. In my work with PAR and the negotiations I have had with the state of Pennsylvania, I have learned how agencies that provide for persons with disabilities must press their case for the needed resources to deliver these services. This is one challenge that I will not shrink from pursuing. Unfortunately, services to persons with disabilities are not in the forefront of Pennsylvania’s legislative priorities. It is necessary for every CEO of every organization that provides services for persons with disabilities to advocate for them, demonstrating to the state that pursuing their benefit is to the benefit of all Pennsylvanians. A society is defined by the care it gives its most vulnerable citizens.
As CEO I will pursue Verland’s mission of service, compassion, and personal dignity as it provides true homes for those entrusted to our care. I look forward to serving our individuals, empowering our employees to reach their greatest potential as professionals, and ensuring that the families of every client will be well informed and pleased with the services that Verland provides today and every day into the future.
Working with our Board of Directors, I will reach out to the philanthropic community and members of the corporate community such as long-time supporter, Eaton Corporation and others, to assist us to provide not only material needs for our individuals but to help us find the additional funding to attract and retain the qualified and compassionate staff who have always marked the quality of care Verland provides.
I look back at the enormous accomplishments of my predecessor, Carol B. Mitchell, and the co-founders, the staff, friends, board members, and families who have been the essence of Verland for nearly a half century, and I pledge to do everything possible to make the next half century equally successful for those with intellectual and physical disabilities whom we serve.