Hello All,

I would like to take this moment to thank you for allowing me to serve as Executive Director of Lussier Community Education Center.

January 4, 2023 will be my last day at The Center.  It has been a privilege and an honor to hold this position for a year and three months. I have learned so much about you as well as myself during this period.  I have worked hard to be the leader that this community deserves throughout this time of transition.

As I reflect on my time here, I realize the greatest gift I could provide was just being present. Present to hear the community’s needs; present to hear the donors’ desires regarding who the funds would be used for in this community; and most importantly: present to see LCEC’s potential from this moment onwards. I see the hope in the eyes of the youth as they walk into the doors daily. I see the hope in the eyes of the families as they have their needs met, and I see a center bursting at the seams from our seniors as we have made it possible to diminish poor socialization by being here daily moving and grooving. I see possibilities. Lussier–a center that has been built on relationships–will continue to be the foundation on which the future will stand strong.

Having the honor to serve has also taught me the true meaning of community. As John H. Jack Lussier described, “As a place with the wisdom of age combines the enthusiasm of youth.”  For this, I’m grateful.  As my journey ends, I do have a strong belief that  Lussier will continue to be that beacon of light for the folks that are being served. It will evolve into a center where children and young adults will have programs that invite transferable job skills, not just for the youth but for the adults as well.  Where seniors will continue to find it as a gathering place for socialization. A place that all who enter in, may call it home.

As I announced my resignation to the board of directors, our former president shared her thoughts with me. I think this is where you can get a glimpse of the work I did while here at Lussier:

“As the person who asked if you’d apply for the Interim ED position, I have been proud to watch your leadership through some pretty challenging times.  You have always led with your vast knowledge, experience and wisdom.  But more importantly you have led with grace and love.  I can’t count the numerous conversations we had where you said “we need to take the high road” or “I’m just going to do good work and let it speak for itself.” And you did. You not only kept all programs open but have done it in such a way that we are now fully staffed and have more kids/youth than before covid. You’ve done so well, we may need to limit future enrollment.

In addition, you got things done that should have been done many years ago:
– A new antenna for the radio station finally got installed after years of staff just talking about it.  This increases the reach and impact of that program.
–  You got much needed maintenance done on the building and grounds that had not been done in the 15 years the building has been open
–  You set up a data collection system and process so that accurate and timely reporting can be completed for our major funders without the quarterly and year-end chaos that had
    been happening
–  You’ve made progress getting staff to understand that our programs need to offer more than just a place for children and youth to come & hangout.  While that is vital, you have
    shown that true racial and social equity means providing our youth with the skills and education necessary for them to break cycles of poverty and flourish as adults.

Even knowing you were temporary, you were always forward looking and worked to better the organization, staff and the community.
–  You have created deep employment and training content behind the work of the radio station.  It will now be so much more than just a communication tool.
–  You listened to senior staff on the need for changes/improvements to their administrative office space and got it done.
–  You’ve seen the need for major renovation of our kitchen and have been working to find the funding to make that happen.
–  You are looking at our long-term lease with MMSD to see if Lussier can be in a better position with them.”  Lorri Corigen Wnedorf, Former Board President

I only hope at my departure, all will know that I did my very best while I was here at Lussier Community Education Center .

It has been my honor to serve.

 

Sincerely yours,
Diana Shinall