Dear CARD Community:
I hope everyone is keeping well. During this most challenging of years, we have realized more than ever before the importance of having such an incredible group of supporters. I wanted to take a moment to thank you on behalf of my fellow Board members and the CARD staff.
- To our volunteers: you demonstrated such dedication returning to the arena during our fall session in support of our riders. Our classes went off without a hitch as everyone adapted seamlessly to our new health and safety protocols. We know we will continue to be in great shape when we are once again able to resume classes, so thank you!
- To our donors: we are humbled by the outpouring of support that we’ve received during the past year. Your commitment to helping us fulfill our mission is truly something special. We look forward to welcoming you back to the barn once it is safe for us to gather. Thank you!
- To our riders: your passion for CARD and love of our horses inspire all of us and leave us optimistic about the future. We can’t wait to see you again!
As we eagerly await the resumption of our programming, we wanted to share a brief update on what’s been going on behind the scenes.
It goes without saying that the past 12 months have been unlike any stretch of time CARD has seen in its 50+ years. While we are excited to resume operations and get everyone back onto the horse as soon as it is safe to do so, we acknowledge that it will be a while until we are truly back to normal. We are in regular contact with the health authorities and with other therapy riding facilities to make sure that we are developing and maintaining best practices to ensure a safe reopening for all riders, volunteers and staff.
We will continue to provide regular updates regarding the status of your programs and any further modifications that will be required to adhere to our safety guidelines. We thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate the ever-changing environment in which we’re currently operating.
In the meantime, you can rest assured that our herd is very well taken care of. Thanks to Seana, Scot, our amazing barn staff and our dedicated horse trainers, our horses are healthy, well-fed and well-exercised. At the same time, we know they’re missing their other human companions and are excited to get back to work!
The Board has been working closely with Elaine and the staff over the past few months on a number of exciting initiatives. We’re taking advantage of some of the downtime that has been forced upon us to improve our internal processes and to set strategic objectives that will help us continue to be successful long into the future. We look forward to sharing updates with you about new opportunities that we see to benefit the community while continuing to provide all our clients with best-in-class programming.
Leadership Team Changes:
Lynsey, Alex and I are very excited to welcome three talented new members to CARD’s Board, all of whom joined us last October:
· Arianna Shour is CARD’s newly appointed Treasurer. She is a Chartered Professional Accountant who brings a strong finance background and experience in the healthcare sector to the Board.
· Patricia Agostini worked for many years as head of Human Resources for a large Canadian nonprofit organization. This experience, along with her passion for horses, are real assets to the organization.
· Natasha Mwenda‘s work in strategic and human capital consulting, in addition to her prior experience serving on the boards of educational institutions in Australia, will be of great value to CARD.
We also wanted to take a moment to thank two members of the CARD Board whose terms recently expired and whose contributions to our organization are immeasurable:
- Joe Ferrari, our outgoing Chair, served on CARD’s Board for more than ten years, many of those in an executive position. Joe was instrumental in keeping the ship steady at the onset of the COVID-induced shutdown and positioning CARD for long-term success. His contributions are a major reason why the organization is in such strong shape today.
- Don Buckley has been one of CARD’s most loyal supporters for years. He served as a member of the Board for over ten years, including as the Chair and more recently on the 50th Anniversary Committee and the Finance Committee. Don will be missed on the Board, but we look forward to continuing to see him around CARD.
We’re also very excited to welcome Janet Cann as our new Fundraising Manager. Janet will be starting her employment at CARD later this month and we’re looking forward to introducing her to you. Please also join us in thanking Bonnie Hartley for her many years of service. Bonnie has recently taken on a new position, and we wish her all the best in that new opportunity.
Finally, I wanted to express how grateful I am for the opportunity to serve CARD as Chair. Many of you will know my wife Julia, a volunteer instructor at CARD since she was in high school. As a result of her many years at CARD, I’ve had opportunities to witness firsthand the amazing impact that CARD has on all who are connected to the organization, and this will no doubt help inform my approach to this role. I’m excited about all that we have planned for CARD and am looking forward to seeing what the future holds.
We look forward to welcoming you back to CARD soon. In the meantime, please stay safe and healthy. Do not hesitate to reach out if you have any comments, questions, or feedback.
Chair of the Board