ANCOR’s Board of Directors met in San Juan, Puerto Rico, last month, along with the ANCOR Foundation and the ANCOR International Council (IC). The occasion? The opportunity to see firsthand the impact that Hurricane Maria has had on people with intellectual disabilities, their families and an already tenuous network of disability services and supports, and to hear from members of the Puerto Rico Disability Community Relief Network about what lessons can be learned from their experiences.
Although Puerto Rico is a domestic destination, its unique culture and distinct context offered an opportunity to advance the mission of the International Council. When the IC proposed the trip, the ANCOR Board and the Foundation Board thought it made sense to locate their meetings there as well, and to contribute to the island’s economy, which is still very much in recovery.
The goal of ANCOR’s visit to Puerto Rico was to engage in meaningful site visits and conversations and to identify possible areas for partnership and ongoing collaboration. Twenty-six participants representing 20 ANCOR member organizations participated in site visits around San Juan, with several ANCOR Board and Foundation Board members, as well as CEO Barbara Merrill staying a few more days to volunteer at AMPI, a provider organization in the western part of Puerto Rico.
The Board started its February Retreat with a recap from IC Chair Charlie Hooker of the site visits, as well as a lengthy meeting that he and Barbara had with Puerto Rico’s Secretary of Housing. They then jumped right into a facilitated strategic planning session to determine the direction of the association for the next several years.
At the end of two robust days, the Board proposes to the ANCOR membership the following four strategic priorities for the 2019-2023:
- Influence responsible federal public policy to protect and promote quality services.
- Obtain resources to expand, attract and retain a quality workforce.
- Be an indispensable resource to equip providers and partners in understanding and responding to impacts, opportunities, emerging practices and trends.
- Shape the future of service delivery models and measures to ensure sustainable services.
What happens next? We are convening small work groups to flesh out subgoals under each of the priorities. Once those are drafted, we’ll be offering all members several opportunities to weigh in. What resonates with you and your organization? How do you want your membership dollars being spent? Just as we did before adopting our current set of strategic priorities, we will be hosting a virtual town hall, sending out an online survey and picking your brains throughout our Annual Conference this May.
Don’t want to wait? Share your initial reactions to the draft strategic priorities with us right now by sending me an email.
You can view the February Meeting Minutes in their entirety here.
The Board meets again on May 9 after ANCOR’s Annual Conference: Bridges to Better Outcomes in Portland, OR, where they will continue to fine-tune ANCOR’s Strategic Plan and four strategic priorities based on member feedback. As always, members are welcome. Contact me if you’d like to attend.
Gabrielle Sedor is Chief Operations Officer for ANCOR and Director of the ANCOR Foundation.