Parents for Community Living Wins Governance Excellence Award

November 15 2019

WATERLOO REGION – Parents for Community Living, created 30 years ago in Kitchener-Waterloo to help developmentally challenged adults, has reinforced its position as a vital non-profit agency by winning the Manulife Governance Excellence Award.

The annual award, adjudicated and sponsored by Capacity Canada, recognizes outstanding board governance work in Waterloo Region’s charitable non-profit sector.

The award presented Thursday evening kicked off Capacity Canada’s three-day Manulife Board Governance BootCamp at the Cambridge Hotel and Conference Centre.

This BootCamp, the largest to date since the first was held 11 years ago, is underway with about 100 participants from non-profits across the country.

“Manulife has had a solid commitment to supporting charities through strengthening their highest level of leadership – board governance. Manulife is proud to support the growth of this BootCamp”, said Joanna Lohrenz, Head of Sponsor Services Group Benefits, Manulife Canada and Board Chair, Capacity Canada.

“Proper board governance is vital to keep non-profit organizations on a solid path when it comes to efficiency and transparency,” said Capacity Canada CEO Cathy Brothers.

“And Parents for Community Living have demonstrated their strong commitment to this by attending our Manulife Board Governance BootCamps the previous three years. We’re thrilled that more of their leaders are here again this year.”

Conceived by a group of visionary parents of developmentally challenged individuals, Parents for Community Living (PCL) was incorporated in 1989 as a not-for-profit charitable organization.

Their dream was to create an atmosphere where developmentally challenged adults could grow in physical, emotional and spiritual well-being and become valued members of our community.

The non-profit plays an important role in the lives of people with developmental disabilities in the Waterloo Region and for their families. PCL currently operates 11 homes which offer various forms of support, including independent to 24-hour enhanced living support for children and adults. They also offer respite service for children and adults.

“We received nine nominations from previous boards who have attended BootCamp,” said Brothers. “Each nomination was of solid quality and demonstrated the remarkable growth taking place in good governance among non-profit organizations.”

The award, including a $5,000 unrestricted prize, is presented to an organization that implements new ideas and concepts to improve the overall board performance.

“The Capacity Canada bootcamps have really empowered us and given us the tools we need to accomplish the work we’ve done in the last several years,” said Katherine Loveys, executive director of Parents for Community Living. “Winning this award is really the culmination of the work our board has been doing over the last several years.”

Their organization identified a series of improvements to increase transparency and accountability to the many donors it serves after attending previous BootCamps. It continues to implement these changes with a revised Strategic Plan which identifies areas of service to the community.

Capacity Canada has held Board Governance BootCamps since 2009 to help board leaders and top administrators better understand their roles in the operation of charitable non-profits. Previous BootCamps also have been held in Hamilton, ON, St. John’s, NL, and Fort McMurray, AB.

“The BootCamps are a valuable way for these board members who volunteer their time and expertise to fine tune the important impact they make in their communities,” said Brothers.