An update from our Executive Director

We are pleased to announce an updated change to the structure of our day programs.

With recent staffing changes, we have taken the opportunity not only to look at our needs to fill leadership positions but also to examine our current structure, changing trends and needs in the service delivery system, and the talents of our current staff.

As we strive to implement plans to demonstrate compliance with the Home and Community Based Settings Rule, we will be building additional opportunities to ensure that those we serve have the opportunity to tailor choices based on their interests, abilities and needs to the greatest degree possible. This includes further development of the community-based programming we have been calling recreation and exploration.

To make this happen, our day services leadership team, under the direction of Keith will have roles that assign individual responsibility to the roles of developing programming, supervision of staff and production, and development of a comprehensive community habilitation program while collectively supporting the overall success of the program.

Beth Webb has accepted the position of Program Development Manager. Beth has been our Literacy and Wellness Coordinator, and her experience in curriculum development in schools systems will arm her in her role of supporting the programming needs of the individuals we serve. She will be taking the lead to develop a dynamic curriculum, train staff, monitor the implementation and lead the intake process for new individuals we serve.

Christie Kincaid Shores has accepted the position of Day Operations Manager. Christie has been in several positions in our day services over her years with us, but most recently has been the Manager of our Main Street Enterprises operation. She has not only been supervising the staff but has also been overseeing production completed by our work center contractors. Christie’s role will expand to support all day services staff and she will continue to support production activities.

Trevor Davids will be our Community Habilitation Coordinator. Trevor started with us in our Community Membership Program, has worked in Day Programs and has been serving as the Recreation and Exploration Program. This program has proven to be highly regarded by the people we serve and demand has outweighed his availability. Our goal with this program is to expand opportunities as the service is requested.

Now that we have those positions identified, we are also in the process of hiring Team Lead Positions, an Art Instructor, and a Utility Worker for our production program. We will also be filling a Literacy and Wellness role with Beth’s new responsibilities.

You will hear us start to refer to programs differently. We will be calling Main Street Enterprises Work Services. Personal and Community Services will be called Day Habilitation, and Recreation and Exploration will be called Community Habilitation. Groups within each program may add group naming as well with input from group participants and their support staff.

We could not be happier that we have been able to fill these roles internally and offer our current staff opportunities for advancement. Join us in welcoming them to their new roles!

Where do we go now?

What to expect from us in our 2019-2020 fiscal year? We are very excited to roll out some new core values and capabilities to benefit our culture and impact growth.
Our four core values include Empowerment, Integrity, Collaboration and Respect. We empower our staff to be knowledgeable committed listeners who deliver, high-quality, person-centered service throughout a person’s life and life transitions. We collaborate to provide innovative high-quality programs and services that promote choice and personal development. We respect the people we support and work to nurture a network of people and other organizations that share our commitment to provide maximum impact. We show integrity by using fiscally sound financial principles that maximize our resources.
When looking at the changing landscape of our rapidly growing organization and community, we are excited to announce that Keith Digman has joined our team. Keith has held many upper-level management and leadership positions while serving a combined number of 21 years in our field. Keith is highly experienced in developing programs that meet industry standards and provide additional opportunities to the people they support.
At the same time, Keith is joining us, we bid farewell to Tracy Autrey, who has decided to move on from The Arc of Greater Boone County after many years of service. We wish her well in future endeavors. We are currently in the process of filling Tracy’s position and we look forward to providing an update once we finalize our day service structure.
The people we serve are at the forefront of everything that we do! As a reminder to our staff, the people we serve will now be placed at the top of every organizational structure chart we produce. We would be happy to provide copies of our organization staff structure chart to anyone who would like to see it. Email Karlie, at kshaw@thearcgbc.org, to request a copy.

BCSO new K9 named after The Arc GBC

Yesterday, we received a very special visit from Deputy Taylor Nielsen and her K9 partner, Arco.

After our communities tragic loss of Deputy Pickett: our Aktion Club, staff and families wanted to help.
When we heard that Jake’s K9 Brik would be donated to the family, the people we serve came up with the idea to fundraise for a new K9 puppy to join the Boone County Indiana Sheriff’s Office.

This fundraiser resulted in $2,000 to give to the K9 unit. As a thank you for this donation, Arco was named after us. The people we serve are thrilled to have a special tie to yet another member of the Sheriff’s Department. At our Aktion Club meeting, Taylor Nielsen and Arco were presented with a plaque to commemorate them as lifetime officers of our club.

We are very appreciative of our communities law enforcement team, and very thankful for their relationships with the people we serve. We will be forever grateful for your service. #boonecountystrong #K9Arco #thearcgbc

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The Arc of Greater Boone County receives $6,500 from the Gordon Flesch Charitable Foundation

The Arc of Greater Boone County (The Arc GBC) learned of a new grant opportunity this year thanks to their involvement in the Boone County Chamber of Commerce. The Chambers Executive Director, Diane Schultz, fostered a connection between Heather Bolton from Gordon Flesch Company, Inc. (Gordon Flesch) and Karlie Rudbeck from The Arc GBC. Gordon Flesch is a family owned Business Technology Company that serves the Great Lakes region.

Bolton passed on information to Rudbeck about the Gordon Flesch Charitable Foundation and encouraged The Arc of GBC to apply for a grant. Gordon Flesch believes that businesses can only thrive if the communities that surround them are also thriving. The Gordon Flesch Charitable Foundation is managed entirely by company associates.

After submitting their application, Rudbeck received contact from Tim Ryan from the Foundations Board of Directors. Ryan came out to see operations himself and was able to share additional information about needs at The Arc GBC to the staff at Gordon Flesch.

The Arc GBC is extremely grateful for this donation and plans to use the funds to purchase a utility vehicle to increase efficiency between their work services departments. “We want to encourage other Boone County nonprofits to consider applying to the foundation and get in touch with Gordon Flesch for any business technology needs, said Rudbeck.”

To see what Gordon Flesch has to offer visit: https://www.gflesch.com/
To consider applying for a Gordon Flesch Charitable Foundation grant visit: https://www.gflesch.com/the-gfc-difference/giving-back
To keep up with the Boone County Chamber visit: http://www.boonechamber.org/
The Arc GBC is a nonprofit organization with offices at |900 W Main St| Lebanon, IN. The Arc GBC provides a multitude of services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Boone County area. http://www.thearcgbc.org

For additional information, contact The Arc GBC at 765-482-6815.

 

All About our Witham Health Services Sponsorship

Our sponsorship from Witham Health Services helped us to start a program called Health Matters in 2016. Health Matters is a program that helps our participants learn more about health and nutrition. With the Witham Health Services sponsorship, we have been able to increase participants stamina, strength, and flexibility. This sponsorship has provided us the funding to carry out the program and give our participants the tools for healthy success. Witham provides us with is a licensed nutritionist every week to assist with our educational sessions.

Our participants have lost a total of 297 pounds through Health Matters. With Witham and Health Matters participants are learning about the caloric amounts in foods to make better choices every day. We plan to grow the program this year through providing Fitbits for class attendees to use. Fitbits will increase our participants understanding of how heart rate and steps taken during workouts relate to calorie burn.

We are very thankful for this sponsorship and the partnership that it has fostered between our organization and Witham Health Services!

Local enterprise Mr. Canary Company debuts on Home Shopping Network

After receiving its first-ever utility patent, the Mr. Canary® Company is preparing to debut on the Home Shopping Network (HSN). Mr. Canary® is known for its social mission, supporting workers with disabilities to source, assemble, package, and ship Mr. Canary® products nationwide.
“For over 23 years, Mr. Canary bird feeders have perched quietly on the shelves of some of the country’s largest retailers. Now, in partnership with HSN, we are bringing an easy, virtually maintenance-free method of bird feeding to a national audience who prefer HSN’s ‘Third Way to Shop,’” said Jan Long, president of the Mr. Canary Company. “Whether our customer is an 80-something recovering from a joint replacement or a 30-something who doesn’t have time to devote to maintaining a traditional bird feeder, our ‘Bird Buffet System™’ makes it easier for everybody to enjoy backyard birds –without heavy seed bags or the gross clean-up chores required of traditional bird feeders.”
Long summarizes her new ‘Bird Buffet System™’ as, “’TV-dinners for birds.’ We use premium seed, sealed in single-use, eco-friendly trays that easily slide into a permanent bird feeder housing.”
The success of their new system will drive the company’s unique business partnership with The Arc of Greater Boone County, a not-for-profit organization in Lebanon, Indiana, that assists people with disabilities and special needs to achieve their maximum potential. This partnership with Mr. Canary® provides meaningful work to a population of Hoosiers who face too few opportunities in the job market.
“Mr. Canary® was a ‘social enterprise’ long before that was part of the lexicon. It was simply a good business decision that was mutually beneficial. Our business model shows one way private businesses can partner with local community organizations to lift everyone higher,” said Long.
Watch Jan Long launch the Mr. Canary® Company ‘Bird Buffet System™’ on Tuesday, May 8th on HSN. Long will be live on three separate airings, the first from midnight to 1:00 AM EST, the second from 8:009:00 AM EST, and the final airing from 9:00-10:00 PM EST.
To learn more about Mr. Canary and their products, please visit mrcanary.com.

About: Started in 1995 by two sisters who were eager to turn their dad’s little bird feeder into a trip to the shopping mall, today Mr. Canary® positively impacts more than seventy individuals with intellectual, developmental, or physical disabilities. All these years later, Jan Long finds herself as the sole owner of Mr. Canary®, and about to branch out into a whole new market.

A note from Andy

A note from Andy Kirby, Executive Director,

A few weeks ago, I announced to our board of directors, staff, and participants that I would be leaving The Arc of Greater Boone County to go to The Arc of Indiana and serve as its Associate Executive Director and Executive Director of its Foundation. Leaving an organization like The Arc GBC was an extremely difficult decision to make. The culture, tradition, and history of excellence created an environment that allowed my leadership style and professional strengths to shine. Combined with a tremendous workforce and focused participants, we were able to build on past accomplishments and create an organization that is poised and ready to move forward as the provider of choice for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the greater Boone County area and beyond.

At The Arc of Indiana, I will have new and exciting opportunities to impact the individuals we serve across the state. The Arc of Indiana is a statewide association of member organizations that work as a collective network to advocate for and provide quality supports to individuals with disabilities. I am particularly excited about my opportunity to lead The Arc of Indiana’s Foundation, which operates a fully functional Marriott hotel. Within the hotel is the Erskine Green Training Institute which provides residential training opportunities for individuals with disabilities and focuses on a wide range of vocational options for its students. Students benefit from a “college experience” as they live at the hotel during their training sessions. The employment outcomes have been extraordinary for people graduating these programs and the impact is being felt throughout the state. I am anxious to work with the staff of The Arc of Indiana and the Foundation to ensure that individuals with disabilities, who live in Indiana, have access to whatever they need to be as independent and self-sufficient as possible.

I will miss my extended Boone County family, but look forward to watching great things to come from my new perspective at The Arc of Indiana.