Update! The Last 3 Weeks for ODEN

It’s almost been too busy to keep up so ‘This Week with The Network’ is going to span a few weeks.

Week of January 20th

The week kicked off with ODEN Employer Champ Mark Wafer and Joe Dale doing a ‘Rotary at Work’ presentation in St. Catharines at noon on Monday and then a quick trip to the airport and flight to Sault Ste. Marie.

Tuesday in the Sault, Mark and Joe did a one hour presentation to 160 business owners/managers followed by a 2 hour training session for local job developers.

A 5:55 a.m. flight on Wednesday landed Mark and Joe in Toronto for a meeting with Board member Gordon Ryall and Service Canada rep, Davin Kamino (is it Friday yet?) No!

On Friday, Joe managed to slip in a keynote presentation and moderate a panel at Community Living Ontario’s Commence Conference.

Week of January 27th

The week of the 27th started off somewhat easier, thanks to a couple of snow days that prevented Joe from getting to Belleville.

Thursday, however, started off with a meeting with Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, David Onley and an introduction to Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment and his new Accessibility Directorate team. Subsequently, both Joe and Champion’s League member Mark Wafer, have been invited to join Ontario’s new Partnership Council on Labour Market Opportunities for People with Disabilities. From Queen’s Park, it was a short drive to North Bay for an employer engagement presentation hosted by Northern Voice.

Friday started off with another Employer event in Sturgeon Falls. Upon arriving home at 4:15 on Friday afternoon, Joe decided to take the rest of the day off.

Week of February 3rd

This week started off in Christine Elliot’s office first thing Monday morning. Christine is an MPP for Durham Region and member of the Select Committee on Developmental Disabilities. Joe and Mark Wafer met with Christine for an hour and a half, discussing employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities and the barriers inherent within the system and DSO. This was followed up with interviews of both Joe and Mark by Moira Welsh of the Toronto Star’s editorial board.

Off to Chatham Monday evening for an employer engagement event first thing Tuesday morning. 70 business operators in attendance and good press coverage.

Wednesday, Phil McColeman, MP Brant, debated bill M-430 addressing the needs for employment for people with a disability in the House of Commons. Champion Mark Wafer and the Federal Panel on Labour Market Opportunities is mentioned.

Wednesday evening, despite the raging snow, 90 business operators showed up in Oakville to hear Joe and Mark present the business case on hiring people with disabilities. CBC television was there to film for an upcoming episode on CBC’s The National that will include interviews with friends and colleagues, Rich Donovan from 5th Quadrant Analytics and Randy Lewis from Walgreens.

Thursday morning Joe kissed his wife Teresa goodbye and said he’d see her later that evening. She laughed – “Joe who?”

The ODEN Board met on Thursday to look at where things are at with various Network issues, but focused largely on our Government Relations issues.

Later that day (Thurs), Joe was interviewed by Laura Kane, for an article that appeared in the Star on Friday morning (click here to see the article).

Thursday evening Joe and Mark Wafer gave an update on Rotary at Work at an ‘All Presidents’ meeting for Rotary District 7070. It’s been reported that Joe did see his wife later that evening as he crawled into bed.

Friday, for the first time Joe says he misses Bob Vansickle, Board Co-Chair, and says he sure hopes Bob has a speedy recovery from his surgery and gets back into action. We really need his help.

Your Network, working hard on behalf of you and the people you support!

Debbi Souci – Board Co-Chair

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