Meet Riverside's New President & CEO
I am both honored and humbled to be chosen by the Riverside Industries Board of Directors as the new President & CEO. I am very passionate about the organizations mission and believe that when limitations are embraced our truest potential shines through. This helps us to transcend what we believe is possible both at work and at home, realize our very best selves and in the process, elevate not only our clients, but our colleagues, families, and communities.
We are in a challenging and transformational period. We continue to face COVID and workforce challenges, which have hit the non-profit human service industry particularly hard. The old saying that challenges are simply opportunities has never rung so true. It is during difficult times that we are required to think more creatively. Hard times stimulate growth in a way that good times do not. We are navigating our way forward and leveraging creativity and innovation to envision the future. #RiversideStrong is a resilient organization.
The incredible leadership team has created a positive, nurturing and collaborative work environment that values and embraces diversity. The strong reputation of Riverside Industries as an employer has been helping us to recruit new team members who share in our passion. We are proud to share that we have hired over 25 new employees since the beginning of this fiscal year! And we will continue to grow our team during the remainder of the fiscal year.
Remote services have proven to be invaluable to clients and families. Leveraging technology has helped the team continue to communicate, connect and work with clients and support them to achieve their goals. The world has changed, and our industry is not immune to those changes. It’s a pivotal point for the work we do. It’s an opportunity for us to reshape public policy to better serve people with disabilities. While our goal is to bring all clients that are able and want to return back to community-based programming, there will need to be a place going forward for remote services.
Another new opportunity we are exploring is Community Based Day Supports Without Walls! Clients create and design their own program with the guidance and support of the Riverside Team. They choose the activities they want to participate in and the places they want to go within their community all while working on their goals. In addition, they learn lessons regarding collaboration and compromise so that everyone in the group’s needs and desires are met. Once we are fully staffed, we look forward to piloting this exciting program.
We will also be exploring opportunities to diversify our funding streams through the expansion of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS); activities that provide an early start at job exploration for students with disabilities ages 14-21 to assist with transitioning from school to postsecondary education or employment. With a little innovation this program may be able to be packaged and offered to any student regardless of disability. In addition, we are discussing programs designed specifically for people with autism. There are many possibilities.
Lastly, I would like to give a heartfelt thank you to all our donors. Your support truly transforms the lives of the individuals we serve. I truly appreciate your inclusion of Riverside Industries in your charitable giving and I look forward to your continued support.
Lynn Ireland, PhD
President & CEO