The BPDD’s 2013 Annual Retreat was held July 16-18 in Stevens Point. The Board reviewed its work from the last 12 months, strategized ways to improve for the coming year, and said goodbye to some longtime Board members.
The retreat kicked-off at the Central Rivers Farmshed Greenhouse in downtown Stevens Point. In 2011, BPDD awarded a SPARKS Grant to Sorenson’s Greenhouse Project, which is now part of Farmshed. The goal of the project was to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities in Stevens Point. Throughout the project, renovations were made to the greenhouse buildings so that they would be accessible locations for people with disabilities, and serve as a model in education and demonstration. The buildings provide a space for people with disabilities to create compost from local organic waste, maintain indoor and outdoor space and resources for growing plants, and create the opportunity to manage a community kitchen for demonstrating seasonal food preparation and preservation processes. During the visit to the greenhouse, the Board heard about the positive impact of the SPARKS Grant and how the accessible greenhouse made it possible for people with disabilities to participate and utilize a valuable community resource.
The second day of the retreat focused on Board development. Facilitated by Lynn Breedlove and held at Schmeeckle Reserve, the Board began the day by watching a slideshow of Board accomplishments that had occurred since the last retreat. After discussing the projects and activities the Board engaged in last year, they strategized ways to improve for the coming year.
The final day of the retreat was held at the Holiday Inn. The Board heard presentations from Community Care of Central Wisconsin (CCCW) and LinkEd. CCCW is a Managed Care Organization that, “coordinates quality, cost-effective, and individualized long-term care supports available through Wisconsin's Family Care program that support member strengths, needs and the development of meaningful community connections that lead to full citizenship in their communities.” CCCW serves people in Marathon, Portage, Wood, Lincoln, and Langlade counties. LinkEd – the group that is coordinating BPDD’s Better Together initiative – provided the Board with an update, which included videos (see the video article in this edition of News ‘N Notes) and Better Together T-shirts.
To conclude the retreat, the Board held its business meeting and elected new officers. Kevin Fech was elected as Board Chair and Cindy Zellner-Ehlers was elected as Vice Chair. Fech will replace Barbara Katz, who retired from the Board after nine years of service. Katz was sent off with a warm “goodbye” from the entire Board. Barbara Sorensen also retired from the Board after eight years of service.