Our Stories

Message to St.Amant Families – June 17, 2022

June 17, 2022

Dear St.Amant Families,

Although my last official day as President & CEO is June 30, Ben Adaman officially starts in the role on Monday. I will be around to support in any way I can until the end of the month however this is my last official weekly update.

I started my career as a Direct Support Professional when I was a student and that experience set me on a path I didn’t plan or expect. At that time I saw the barriers that affected people with disabilities – and felt that this work was so complicated. As I lived a little longer and learned how to listen, I realized that it is much simpler than I thought. Love and kindness really matters and compassion with action changes lives – all of our lives. I’ve been so fortunate to participate on a journey to build a diverse, inclusive, compassionate organization that offers both person and family-centred services. We never settle; we can always do better.

I want to extend my most sincere gratitude to the people we support for showing me the way, for being my teacher, for our purpose. Thank you to the passionate families and all of the support networks for pushing us to do better and for bravely sharing their experiences. Thank you to our very, very committed volunteers for choosing to commit your time to building meaningful relationships. Thank you to our direct care teams and all of our support staff for committing to our values and living them every day through your dedicated work. I want to thank our courageous board of directors for keeping us steady through change and I want to thank our executive management team that lead with a focus on people first.

Thank you to our leaders who set the tone and culture in over 100 different locations, who speak up and step in whenever we need them – and boy have they stepped in over the past couple of years! To our stakeholders: People First, Abilities Manitoba, the Family Advocacy Network, the Compassion Network and to our funders, both the provincial and federal government – thank you for your ongoing support.

Thank you to the Foundation, the money you have raised has changed people’s lives every day. I want to thank Laura Rogalsky, my assistant for her patience and her leadership and keeping me on track. I have to thank my family: my wife Karen and my children Cole and Grace, for supporting me, listening to my stories and for helping me to be a better person. On those tough days, thank you for your love and support.

I have spent the past few weeks working on the transition with Ben Adaman and reflecting on the past 10 years. Together, we have come a long way and there is still so much work to do. I’m happy to pass the torch of leadership to Ben and know that the mission and the values will continue in good hands. It has been an absolute honour to serve St.Amant, and I wish all of you the very best.

John Leggat
President & CEO

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