Advocates Advocating Christine Thelker © 2020 Dementia Event For This I Am Grateful Good Grief Living well with Dementia Silver Linings Stress

Congratulations and A Look at Advocacy and Being On a Board

Today I want to Congratulate the newest members to DAI’s Board, Terry Montgomery, Phyllis Fehr, Julie Hayden and TanTan Ong. I have had the pleasure of working with and getting to know and forming friendships with this incredible group of women, and I believe they will bring much to the board and the direction of DAI. I look forward to working with them as they move forward in their new roles, as a former Board Member to offer support, encouragement, to them all.
I would also like to say far well to the outgoing DAI board members and thank them for their support and friendships and for all the tremendous work done.
Being on the Board of Directors for DAI was a great honour and privilege for me. It is not the first board I have been on, it was just the first board in the Dementia realm. Sitting on any board in my opinion is an honour. For me personally, I took my responsibility as a board member seriously, I worked hard and gave of myself to DAI, to the best of my ability.
But I also believe that part of the role of being on a board, of any type, requires that we work and encourage new people to step into roles on the board, which I also actively did. Because being on the board was never about me, it was always about contributing in a way that would ensure every chance for the organization to move forward . Every Organization needs new outlooks, fresh ideas, a new set of ears and eyes, it’s what keep an organization healthy. Boards that have the same people on the board for long standing lengths of time often end up being more like a club, or clique, a too narrowed focus, because they become narrow in their thinking and often lose the ability to listen to their members at large.

So I am very proud of myself that although I could have sat for one more year, I had to take stock, being honest about what was happening in my own life, looking at the four I had been along with Kate talking to about taking roles, I new it was time for me to step aside and allow them to all take their seats at the table. This was about doing what was best for the organization as a whole not about me. The easy way would have been to sit and try to manage through another year, but easy is not always the right way. I have never been one to take the easy way, I have always made the hard decisions when needed. DAI, has and is a wonderful organization, life saving and changing for many, they will always have my help and support, just from a members role now. I would like all boards to have discussions with their board members around around things like mentoring and watching for those who may make great additions, it’s my belief that people should not sit on a board because of the title it provides them, they should always be willing to step aside if it’s for the betterment of the organization.

I am not sure what’s next for me, this last month as been focused on rebalancing and grounding and taking some much needed rest, still active in things just in a different way. Will the day come when I will actively be part of a board again, I’m not sure, but I am grateful for a wonderful experience.
Advocacy and advocacy work is hard work, but step by step we are seeing things improve, never fast enough for those of us advocating, but slowly the difference is being made. Each and every advocate out there whether on a board or not deserves a huge shout out for all the tremendous work they are doing, so o day I say congratulations to you all for all that you do at whatever level you are choosing to do it, one is no more important than the other. I will continue to use my voice from this new place I know sit, and watch and work with DAI, DAC, and others to continue to make in roads, but for the moment, I’m catching my breath.

By WWW.Chrissy's

I am an advocate for people with dementia in Canada and globally, having been diagnosed with younger onset dementia myself a few years ago.

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