On April 5, 2014 my life changed significantly when my husband was in a serious car accident during a trip to Australia. At the time, we did not know what lay ahead – 4 to 6 weeks in hospital was what doctors suggested when he came off of the critical list. Fortunately, he has made a remarkable recovery and we were able to return to Canada much sooner than anticipated.
As you might imagine, over the past three and a half months, we have had time to reconsider our priorities, and consequently, and with some reluctance, I have decided to retire from the position of President and CEO of the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education.
It has been a pleasure to serve this organization and to see programming consolidated through the efforts of dedicated staff and over 200 volunteers. As an educator I know the importance of the social/emotional well-being of children, parents and staff. The work of the Center makes a significant impact in this area. The Heart-Mind Index is unique and sheds light on those aspects of social/emotional development that assist in the creation of programming and supports for children and their caregivers that makes sense and are easy to understand. A new web site that has been designed for educators, parent and community members will be launched in the fall and will have an international reach. We continue to see the positive impact of the Heart-Mind Inquiry as people create more caring school and community cultures. DLC events that connect the research to practice are consistently reported to be transformative for people.
When I took over as CEO last July, the further development of infrastructures to support the work of the Center was a priority. We contracted Fiona Douglas-Crampton to lead the creation of our Fund Development Strategy as plans evolved. Fiona came to the Center with a strong background and understanding of not-for-profit organizations. When I called Geoff Plant to tell him that I was not able to return from Australia when so much was evolving in regard to programming and preparation for the Dalai Lama’s October 2014 visit, it was comforting to know Fiona would assume the Acting Role of President and CEO in my absence and move all this work forward. It is good for the DLC that she will be remaining in this role.
I want to thank the Board for all its support over the past year and acknowledge the incredible generosity of our many volunteers. I wish Fiona well as she steers the course that lies ahead. It has been an honour and a privilege to work with such an important organization.