I got a call last week from a woman whose husband had passed away on September 10. She wanted to know if it would be okay to include our website in her husband’s obituary with a suggestion that donations be made in lieu of flowers. Her husband is Gerry Westwood. Gerry earned his Master of Social Work degree in 1958 and worked for the Department of Social Services in the early ‘60’s. In 1963 he became the Director of Family Services for the central region. In 1964 he got a group of people together to respond to President Johnson’s call to action. He formed a little organization called Central Missouri Counties Human Development Corporation and wrote the first Head Start grant. He served as the first Executive Director of the agency now known as Central Missouri Community Action for two years until 1966. After that he continued his long career serving the community and formed other organizations like ParentLink. I feel bad that I don’t know more about him but I am proud to be in line with his legacy and to carry on his work. If you knew Gerry I'd be interested in hearing any memories of him that you could share. Speaking of which, a celebration of his life will be held on Sunday, October 22 at 2:00 pm at the Columbia Country Club. Several board members and I plan to attend. It would be nice of other CMCA employees could also honor his memory this way. Here's his obituary.
CMCA's board had another quality board meeting last night. They approved the agency budget and our strategic plan. I'm excited to dig into our new plan. We're already putting plans together around a few of the outcomes. Take a look at the plan to familiarize yourself with it. The board also approved a change of title for Beth Vossler. Many of you know that as of October 1 Mernell King will be our Chief Innovation Officer. She will be working with me to continue looking for and implementing best practices in Community Action and innovations to help us serve people better. That's not all Mernell will do but that's the short story. In the meantime, Beth is our new Head Start Director! Congratulations Beth and Mernell. You both make CMCA great!
Next week Shonda or I will be sending information about incentives to join the United Way campaign. As you will recall, we have agreements with our local area United Ways so that no matter where you live, your payroll deduction will go to your local United Way. In the meantime, Heart of Missouri United Way is having a Rock, Paper, Scissors challenge and costume contest on Friday, October 13th at Logboat brewery in Columbia. I'm going to be a judge but if five of you would like to be on a CMCA team I'll match your registration fee. It's $10 per person. Let me know if you're interested. CMCA is a good team player and supporting United Way is a good way to show that we're not just awesome but we support our communities and like to win stuff too!
Have a great weekend!