Thank you for reading Include, our first annual newsletter bringing you a review of the important events that occurred at Semiahmoo House Society (SHS) during the year. And what a year it has been!

As board members, we continued to provide governance in the fulfilment of the society’s vision, mission and ends policies. This is my second year as Board Chair and I am proud be a part of this organization that not only provides wonderful services to people with disabilities and their families through a genuinely caring and dedicated staff, but takes concrete steps in fostering an inclusive community through its leadership and strategic planning process.

In April, board members and senior staff entertained our major supporters at the annual Food for Thought dinner and celebrated their generous hearts. While they were here, we took the opportunity to ask them for their ideas about what SHS could do to ensure the development of an even more inclusive community. They gave us excellent feedback that our staff will be able to incorporate in the development of new plans and in the management of our operations.

For much of this year, the board has been busy with the development of our inclusive apartment building that will provide 71 affordable units, including 20 for people living with disabilities. In a ground-breaking ceremony last May, we inaugurated its construction on 153rd Street, just south of 24th Avenue in Surrey. After considering several options, we decided to name the building Chorus to illustrate that a community can come together through unity and live the value of inclusiveness. Chorus will be completed in the fall of 2016 and be the home of our new neighbours.

In October, we attended our annual board retreat where board members and the leadership team had the opportunity to participate in activities allowing us to connect and learn and guide us on a common path. This year, we intersected by learning more about Person-Centered Practices which underpin the philosophical framework for the provision of services, leadership and governance at SHS.

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to board members who volunteer their services in providing governance to the Society. Thank you Jan Holt, Muhammad Afzal MalikI, Colleen McGoff-Dean, Alex Magnussen, Matt Houghton, Baksho Ghangass, Teresita Aristizabal, Robert Downs and David Ure. I extend a special thank you to Councillor Mary Martin for completing nine years of service on the board and a warm welcome to Bea Hadikin for joining as new board member. I would also like to acknowledge Doug Tennant for his transformational leadership and unwavering commitment to person-centered practices.

Rich Gorman, Board Chair

Semiahmoo House Society, a non-profit organization located in Surrey/White Rock, exists to provide quality services and supports to people with disabilities and their families in the community. The Semiahmoo Foundation exists to fund, support and enhance the programs and services delivered by Semiahmoo House Society.

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