If I Had a Hammer: Reflections of a Board Retreat
It’s a bit of a pun to have a board retreat and one result is this creation, an intricately arranged set of silver and gold nails installed on–you guessed it–a board. But stay with me! Our recent exercise in bringing together the board of directors and the executive leadership team of Samaritan went far beyond tabletop games. In fact, this sculpture, and the exercise of building it, is interpreted in a very meaningful way: One vertical nail stands tall in the center, representative of our mission, to help connect mind and spirit so individuals, families, organizations, and communities thrive. There are two gold board-of-director nails that are horizontally oriented to support multiple interlocking silver nails, all of which represent our leadership and operations staff. The arrangement would collapse if any one role is abandoned.
This keynote presentation was given by Bob Johnson, the president and CEO of Solihten Institute (formerly known as The Samaritan Institute). He was invited to our retreat to help us address the significant growth in our Center since the last 5-year strategic plan was developed in 2015, including:
- In 2015, our Center had 1,000 clients and 7,419 completed counseling sessions; in 2018, that number had grown to 1,470 clients and 9,947 sessions.
- During the 2015/16 school year, 1,010 students were screened as part of Connected Community Wellness Screen and 227 were referred to services; in the 2017/18 school year, 6,460 were screened and 642 were referred.
During this same period of time, a new leadership team formed and fresh talent came to our board of directors. Together, our group began to thoughtfully consider our individual roles in the context of the Samaritan of the next 50 years.
I mention 50 years because our founders established what has become Samaritan in the Fox Cities in 1970. The year 2020 is meaningful to us and the people we serve because we will not only mark this half-century milestone, but choose and place new stones into our future path. As we’ve expanded our geographic footprint, community collaborations, youth wellness screenings, Spanish-language counseling services, and staff, we know big decisions will be studied and built into the next strategic plan. It’s a good thing we are handy with a hammer and nails.
Blog by Rosangela Berbert, MSE, NCC, LPC
Executive director Rosangela (pronounced hoe-SAN-gel-ah) Berbert is a licensed professional counselor. She has been on staff at Samaritan since 2005.