From October, 2012 – February, 2013, SAS was involved in a Strategic Planning initiative under the tutelage of Mr. Randall Slikkers, President and CEO of Non-profit Strategic Consulting, based in the Grand Rapids area. It was an exhaustive endeavor; an effort that involved not only the board and staff of Straits Area Services, but also its clients, their guardians, North Country Community Mental Health, and select members of our community.
With Mr. Slikkers expert guidance, Straits Area Services successfully accomplished a Community Needs Assessment, established new Vision and Mission statements based on that assessment, and established new Goals that will not only ensure that SAS continues to help “people faced with challenges achieve their highest level of independence”, but will ensure that Straits Area Services remains “viable” well into the future. Throughout this Strategic Planning process, the ‘face’ of Straits Area Services might change, but its’ mission will never deviate: “provide life skills and comprehensive opportunities that foster independence.” What does the future hold for the people served by the caring staff at SAS? The answer to that question rests in the hands of funders and community. As stated by Lyndon B. Johnson, “Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”
Twenty years ago on October 12, 1992 Rita was hired by Lamplighters as a call-in. In April of the following year, she was hired as a Vocational Instructor. Today, two company name changes later, Rita remains an integral part of Straits Area Services’ history, and of Straits Area Services’ future. If you were to ask her peers what they think of Rita, some would tell you that she is “a kind person who is supportive to those who work with, and for, her”, and others would tell you that “Rita is a calm and kind person who cares so much about our consumers.” Then, if you were to ask Straits Area Services consumers what they think of Rita, you would hear them say “she’s kind”; “she’s gentle”; “she’s my friend”; “I can tell Rita anything”; “she makes me feel comfortable.” We here at Straits Area Services are proud of Rita’s accomplishment, and feel truly blessed to have her as part of our team! Rita, thank you for the dedication and hard work that you exude every day, and for your unselfish commitment to the success of Straits Area Services.
Straits Area Services Vocational Instructor Rebecca Stillwell was named “Employee of the Year” during the Sixth Annual Employee Appreciation Dinner hosted by the Board of Directors of Straits Area Services on Thursday, May 10, 2012, at the Great Lakes Grill. Rebecca was presented the award by (from left to right) Board Director Jacque Thompson, Rebecca Stillwell, and Board President Ned Workman (absent from the photo are Board Vice President Lewis Crusoe, Treasurer Cyril Drier, Secretary Beverly King, and Directors Sharlayne Grawey and Lu Munger). The “Employee of the Year” honor brings with it an Award Plaque, a $100.00 cash bonus, an extra paid day off, a parking spot dedicated for the “Employee of the Year” and bragging rights for an entire year. Congratulations Becky!
Congratulations to Debbie Bettis for her 35 years of commitment and dedicated service to the clients and staff of Straits Area Services! Debbie began her career with us as a driver in 1976 when we were then known as Lamplighters. Six U.S. Presidents and two company name-changes later, Debbie is now the Program Director for Straits Area Services, with the responsibility of ensuring the viability and integrity of the programs provided to the persons that we serve.
Debbie was formally recognized on May 12, 2011. Thank you Debbie, for your faithful service, from the clients and staff of Straits Area Services!
Straits Area Services Vocational Instructor Rita Morgan was named “Employee of the Year” during the Fifth Annual Employee Appreciation Dinner hosted by the Board of Directors of Straits Area Services on Wednesday, May 12, 2011, at the Great Lakes Grill. Rita was presented the award by (from left to right) Board Vice President Cyril Drier, Board President Ned Workman, Rita Morgan, Board Director Beverly King, and Board Secretary Fred Butler (absent from the photo are Board Directors Lewis Crusoe and Marty Andrews). The “Employee of the Year” honor brings with it an Award Plaque, a $100.00 cash bonus, an extra paid day off, a parking spot dedicated for the “Employee of the Year” and bragging rights for an entire year. Congratulations Rita!