by MARION POLLACK: February 2023 brings two momentous changes to the 411 Seniors Centre. One of these changes – us moving into our new purpose-built seniors’ centre brings us great happiness and joy. It is the culmination of over a decade of hard work by 411 Board members and staff. The other change the departure of our beloved 411 Executive Director, Leslie Remund, brings us gratitude and thanks from the bottom of our hearts.
There is a great deal of information in this newsletter about our wonderful new centre and the decade of hard work, blood, sweat and tears it took us to get to where we are. So, I will focus on the great good fortune the 411 Seniors Centre has had in having Ms. Leslie Remund as our Executive Director.
However, before I begin waxing eloquent about having Leslie as our Executive Director, I need to thank everyone who was involved in the long and at times convoluted process in getting our new building up and running. This includes previous boards, especially former Board Presidents Elsie Dean and Stuart Alcock and former Executive Directors Sandra Gephardt and Leslie Remund. Leslie came to 411 in 2016.
People on that hiring committee reported that as soon as Leslie began speaking, they knew she was the perfect fit for 411. And over the years this has certainly proven to be true. Leslie has served as the Executive Director with integrity, passion, and commitment. She brought her vast experience in social services with her along with an understanding that people need to be treated with compassion, respect and dignity. She has supported and guided the Board in both big and little ways. She has helped me to become a better and more inclusive Board member and has helped the Board become more cohesive and determined. She has mentored me and many other Board and staff members.
We have all gained new skills thanks to her. She has shown immense patience with me, and her willingness to listen to everyone has been critical in strengthening 411. Leslie has also brought a clear and strong understanding of finances and financial processes to 411. This has made 411 much stronger. She has instilled the need to fundraise and so in this spirit I am encouraging any and all of you to donate to 411 to thank Leslie for her service. Leslie also understands the construction and building process. She has worked so incredibly hard to get our new building operating. She has ensured that we didn’t pay more for certain aspects of the building and has dealt with all sorts of obstacles that would defeat many of us.
While I am enormously sad to see her leave the fact that we will be in our brand spanking new building at the time of her departure is a fitting tribute to her. Leslie has written grant applications for us, liaised with all levels of governments and built strong connections with others in the non-profit seniors’ community and been an amazing and wonderful spokesperson for 411.
Leslie has encouraged both members and Board members to get involved in different aspects of 411 and this is an enormous gift to us. She has done all of her work with a sense of compassion, and a sense of humour (mostly). She has handled difficulties and obstacles (like COVID) with grace and strength.