The first in-person Annual General Meeting held last night for Envision Counselling and Support Centre. A new board of directors was appointed, and outgoing Board Chair Tana Cugnet has retired from the board after serving a maximum term of six years.

"I really have enjoyed the past six years," she shared. "I've gotten to know so many people in all the different areas as well. I really got to know Estevan, going to the meetings there, Carlyle, Oxbow, we have offices there as well, so it was really interesting for me to get to know community members from all those different communities as well that are all involved in Envision and see it operating in those communities, too." 

The new Board Chair is Ann Favreau, who has served on the board for four years so far, as vice-chair and as treasurer. This is something that's done intentionally, said Cugnet.

"We try to plan for succession of our board members, and we think of that during our recruitment, as well as for our executive committee moving into the next year," she explained. "It's never fun to throw someone in cold turkey, so this year we already will be thinking about the next year who will step into those positions again, just to try and mentor and plan for that throughout the next year, which helps a lot."

She said sometimes it doesn't work out as planned, and sometimes board members have to come and go, which is why they are always looking for new board members to apply. 

"Typically we bring them on in June, however, applications are welcome at any point, or if somebody would like to sit in on one of our meetings, learn about what we do, they're always welcome to, as well."

"I think it's really important that you have that time period where someone who's been on the board for a number of years takes a step back and let someone else with newer ideas come in," she added.

During the meeting the group took the time to recognize Christa Daku, who served Envision as an employee for 25 years, and as Executive Director since 2014. Due to health reasons, she resigned last year.

"Fifteen years ago, my life changed forever," Daku said in a submitted message included in the AGM booklet. "Each day employed at Envision was a humbling experience to say the least. From the clients, to the staff, to the colleagues, and the friendships I will cherish forever, know that you all have had a lasting impact on my life. It was my hope to be able to retire from Envision after 25 years of service, but the universe had a different plan for me."

The position of Executive Director was taken over by Lynda Rideout, the former Assistant Executive Director, with the new AED being Laura Melle. 

"We work very closely with Linda," shared the new Board Chair Ann Favreau. "And especially this last year with all the changes, Tana was a great support. She's a wonderful leader, and I won't even attempt to fill her shoes, but I'll try." 

It was clear during the introductions that a significant number of new staff members have joined the team at one of their four offices over the past six months. Favreau said this is mostly growth, and changeover during the pandemic, but ultimately, Envision is always trying to grow and improve. 

"We keep on looking for new opportunities to be able to help out in the community," she noted, adding how nice it was to be back to having in-person meetings. 

"This is a joyous group. The staff is just great, the morale is great, the culture is great, and at the board table the same thing. So that's what we want to continue in."

boardThis year's official photo includes Envision's staff and board members present for the AGM on Wednesday.

Roberta DeRosier is the new Vice Chair, Sean Purdue is the new Treasurer, and the new Secretary is Lana Perrault.

MNP provided a financial report with some notes regarding how numbers are mainly different this year due to things being busier, and the pandemic having limited travel, while allowing for funding that's no longer available. MNP has been retained as the auditor for the organization.

Special recognition was made to the funding representatives in attendance, Brian Fornwall with the R.M. of Browning, and Roseanne Tkachuk from the Ministry of Justice. 

A presentation on the Rural Outreach Awareness Measures (ROAM) was also given during the meeting by the Outreach Coordinators from both Weyburn and Estevan, Raven Daer and Jade Moncrief, who is also an Educator. Jade spoke about how she provides presentations to junior high and high school students throughout the region. Depending on the age of the students, the topics vary from Assertiveness, Boundaries, and types of abuse, to gender stereotypes, self esteem and body image, to sexual assault and sexting. 

Envision's various programs include the Children Exposed to Violence Program, the Family Intervention Program, the Interpersonal Violence and Abuse Program, the Bridging the Distance Program, the Family Support Program, the Rapid Access Counselling Program, the Fee for Service Counselling, and the ROAM presentations. 

The Family Support staff worked with 96 families in FSP, 88 families in the Diversion program, and 157 in the Child Aide program. They also made 2,637 phone calls to clients. A total of 535 clients were seen in the last year for the Rapid Access Counselling, and 279 seniors received sessions through the Bridging the Distance program. The IVA provided 1,597 sessions in all throughout the year. 

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