Patricia Perlee was re-elected President of The Resource Center’s Board of Directors during the agency’s annual General Membership Meeting.
Also re-elected as officers for the Board’s 2020-21 term were Richard Erickson, Vice President; Marie Carrubba, Esq., Secretary; and Craig Colburn, Treasurer.
Elected to two-year Board terms were Timothy Adam, Douglas Anderson, Donna Haenggi, Dr. Todd Jacobson, Rebecca Hamlet Kapple, Richard Kimball, and Wayne Ormsby. Todd, Rebecca, Rich, and Wayne were re-elected to the Board, while Tim, Doug and Donna replaced outgoing members Alan Richards, Timothy Roche and Jennifer Yost. Donna returns to the Board after a one-year absence; Tim and Doug became Board members for the first time.
Elected to the Nominating Committee for The Resource Center’s 2021 Election were Wayne Hotelling, June Jacobson, Jennifer Liuzzo, and Julie McCarthy.
In her President’s report, Patty recapped the previous year. She noted that the summer and fall of 2019 went well, with TRC realizing operating efficiencies in its medical, dental and mental health service areas. But as 2020 began, things changed.
“January arrived with the threat of an epidemic in China. February brought a slightly louder whisper, with the word `pandemic’ being used as the coronavirus spread into Italy. In March, the whisper became a roar and landed on our shores. We were asked to stop, change or curtail our way of life overnight,” said Patty.
She added that TRC executives had begun to prepare for the virus before the United States locked down, and as a result the agency was able to respond rapidly. Protocols were put in place at TRC’s homes and clinical service areas to allow them to continue operating safely. Allied Industries, TRC’s manufacturing division, adapted its sewing operations in order to produce reusable masks and gowns. TRC administrative staff pursued grants available to help organizations get through the pandemic.
“TRC was quickly designated as an essential service,” Perlee said. “We remained flexible, we remained open, and we remained supportive of our clients, patients and employees.”
She said that during the crisis, TRC’s leaders have been thinking how the organization should be evolving for the future.
“While others are in the reopening phase of business, TRC is re-emerging stronger and more flexible as a leader in the industry,” Patty said, “a leader dedicated to their mission of supporting individuals with disabilities and other challenges in achieving maximum independence, contributing to their community, experiencing lifelong growth, and enjoying quality of life.”
In his Treasure’s report, Craig noted that 2019 was a breakeven year for the agency, which had an operating budget of $76.9 million. He said TRC performed better financially than most of the 40-plus chapters of The Arc New York. This was the third straight year in which TRC’s external audit resulted in zero adjustments, which Craig termed an incredible achievement given The Resource Center’s vast size and complexity.
In her report, Chief Executive Officer Denise Jones highlighted some accomplishments from the previous year. She said TRC supported 182 people with disabilities to have competitive jobs in the community, including 55 people who started a job in 2019. In a related statistic, Denise said 162 community-based businesses provided employment or work training opportunities to people with disabilities last year, up from 148 in 2018. Also in the area of employment, Denise noted that workers in Allied Industries worked an average of 22.9 hours per week in 2019 (up from 21.6 hours per week the previous year) and earned an average of $11.64 per hour (up from $11.01 in 2018).
Denise shared that when it came to the health of the people TRC supports, there were fewer reportable incidents, emergency-room visits and hospitalization in 2019 than in the previous year. She added that The Resource Center picked up 700 new patients at its dental clinics in 2019.
Financially, Denise said The Resource Center realized positive operating results in 2019, the fifth straight year it had done so.
She praised the efforts of staff throughout the organization for TRC’s accomplishments in 2019. She added that the past few months have been challenging because of the changes in operations caused by COVID. Agency policies and training procedures have been successful in preventing any of the people supported by TRC from contracting the virus.
“We have an excellent team,” Denise said.
The meeting was held by phone and videoconference because of the pandemic. There was a slideshow presentation portraying the various ways people with disabilities and their support staff stayed active during the four months that TRC’s day programs were closed because of the virus.
The Resource Center is a not-for-profit organization that has been supporting people with disabilities in Chautauqua County since 1958. The Resource Center also provides a variety of health services that can be utilized by anyone, regardless of whether they have a disability. In addition, TRC performs subcontracting work for local businesses and the federal government at manufacturing centers in Dunkirk and Jamestown. For more information, phone 483-2344 or visit www.resourcecenter.org.