A Farewell from Our CEO

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It is with great excitement—and also sadness—that I announce the news of my upcoming retirement. While I am looking forward to my future adventure thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, I will certainly miss my colleagues, and my friends, at the George Chambers Resource Center.
I am most appreciative of all the years I have been able to devote toward advocacy on behalf of all individuals supported by George Chambers. I am equally appreciative and grateful to the Board of Directors of George Chambers for their unwavering support throughout my tenure.
We have seen some wonderful things happen and made some significant impacts in the area of human service, and I’m proud of the work we’ve done. The organization has expanded its mission and vision to support the full integration of individuals with cognitive disabilities and operates fully on a person-centered philosophy. In the last ten years, George Chambers has expanded the organization to include significant contracts with vocational rehabilitation, transportation, developmental disabilities supports, employment, specialized medical supplies, respite, in-home supports, and employment training. Audits and Accreditation visits of the organization consistently show compliance at 100% and the organization is well-respected for maintaining excellent records and supports. The most important success, though, has been our commitment to the belief that all individuals, regardless of disability, have a right to engage in community and have access to community in the same way as those without disabilities.
I’ve made some of the most unconditional and loving friendships here. This has never been work for me; it’s just been a beautiful human experience engaging with people in the place where they’re at and having them engage with me in the same unconditional way.
Advocating for and with people with disabilities is still my life’s work, and I will forever continue to advocate on behalf of any disenfranchised person.
I wish George Chambers Resource Center, my colleagues, all individuals and their families, our Board of Directors, and all stakeholders a wonderful future and continued success in advocating and continuing the great work that has been a part of this organization for so long.
Hike on,
Mary

A Hope For 2018

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It seems like we say this every December, but we can’t believe it’s almost a new year! 2017 was full of lessons—some hard, but all important—and we are beginning 2018 with a renewed sense of optimism about the future of our agency.

Like so many others, we are hoping 2018 will initiate a wave of justice in the world. Much has changed in the past twelve months, not just for our nation and our communities, but across the globe. More than ever, we are witnessing opportunities to be bold in our faith and in our optimism; not because our lives are without struggle or because the systems we live by are working perfectly, but because with hardship and change come growth and perseverance. We are a part of that work, a very crucial part, and so are you. Each of us has a very important role to play, and while it can be easy—particularly in this part of the world—to be convinced that we live in a vacuum, our ideas and choices impact the people around us.

Our greatest hope for this next year is that we will all learn to embrace that reality and put our influence to the best use for the most amount of good.

We hope you enjoy these last two days of 2017 and we wish you a beautiful—and impactful—2018!

 

Our First Health Fair

Thank you so much to everyone who came out to our first (hopefully annual) health fair last Thursday! It was a great success and we couldn’t have done it without the hard work of everyone on our staff, especially Robin Williams, as well as the following vendors who took valuable time out of their day to participate:

Gordon Hospital

Ken Carson

After God’s Heart Ministry

Calhoun CNA School 

Tender Touch

Floyd EMS

Lunsford Agency

Calhoun Fire Department

Healing Hands

Floyd Medicine Center

Blood Assurance

Fitness First

Mother Nature’s Eden

We spent the morning giving tours of our facility and training center, connecting with students from Calhoun CNA school, enjoying conversation with all our vendors, doing giveaways, and maybe even getting a massage (or two) from Healing Hands Massage Therapy. We also received an incredibly generous donation from KVW Services, Inc. which will go towards the Bailey Building grocery store in our new training facility.

It was truly a wonderful event and we hope to see everyone (and more!) back in 2018!

A few photos:

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Grand Opening and Open House!

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Last Tuesday, we hosted the ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration for our brand new employment training center. It was a perfect day! We hosted visitors from all across the community and the state, including GA House Rep. John Meadows and Calhoun Mayor Jimmy Palmer, and celebrated with music, food, and even a fun little photo booth.

It’s been a long road to get here, and we couldn’t have done it without the support of the people in our community. If you’d like to learn more about the grand opening, as well as the training facility itself, please check out our mentions in the Calhoun Times below:

Groundbreaking made on George Chambers Resource Center

George Chambers to host grand opening for facility that will train adults with disabilities

George Chambers holds grand opening for recent expansion

 

 

Gordon County Chamber Breakfast

A few weeks ago, our agency hosted the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Booster Breakfast. We were honored to be there and speak on behalf of the people we support on a daily basis. And the most amazing part of the event was that, by sharing our mission and, most importantly, our passion for helping individuals with disabilities lead independent lives, our community received an intimate glimpse into what this work is all about. And why it’s so incredibly important.

Mary introduced our speaker and GCRC’s Program Services Coordinator, Brandy. Having their leadership has made so much difference for our agency. It’s not an easy thing to stand up in front of a crowd and speak period, much less tell those people why – in so many words – our culture still has a lot of work to do when it comes to embracing individuals with developmental disabilities. But Mary and Brandy did it with grace and class. And it made people take notice.

Or, it could have been this rocking performance:

Either way, we are truly grateful for the opportunity to connect with our community and we look forward to all the ways – big and small – in which we can help improve the lives of those we support.

Thank you to the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce for allowing us to host this year’s Booster Breakfast. And thank you for all you do in this community!

A Visit from Shaw Industries

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Last Tuesday, a team from Shaw Industries stopped by our agency to donate their time and efforts into cleaning up our greenhouse. They spent the morning clearing it out, placing new mulch around the outside, and replacing weeds with wildflowers. They also planted new vegetables in each of the garden beds in the surrounding yard.

We want to extend a big thank you to Josh Berry and his team – Ann Williams, Audrey Hoff, Curtis Christianson, Dana Curtis, Genia Kirby, Jenni Small, Joe Mastin, and Marty Moss – for taking time out of their day to help keep our greenhouse and garden looking beautiful! We appreciate all of your hard work!

Scroll down for more pictures of the project:
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Meet GCRC: Melissa Bagnoche, Quality Compliance Director

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It’s Friday again and you know what that means…another installment of our “Meet GCRC” series! Today, we’re proud to introduce you to a woman of many talents, our lovely Quality Compliance Director, Melissa Bagnoche. Melissa is involved in a number of projects and teams both here at GCRC and in a variety of community service organizations. She gives so much of herself and we are grateful for her hard work!

Hello! My name is Melissa Bagnoche and I have worked at George Chambers Resource Center since January 25th, 2011. My background is actually healthcare and I worked as a Radiologic Technologist for 10 years prior to starting my career with George Chambers Resource Center. I left Radiology because of the long commute I was making to Atlanta each work day. I decided to apply for a part-time position as a Receptionist at George Chambers Resource Center while my daughter was in school. I then became full-time as the Administrative Assistant. I am now the Quality Compliance Director. I am the Chair-Person for the Quality Improvement General Committee and also the UM/Peer Review Sub-Committee. I am the Vice-Chair for the Training Sub-Committee and the Policy & Procedures Sub-Committee. I also serve on our Board of Directors. I am a member of the Kiwanis Club of Calhoun and serve with Wendi, our Social Media & Public Relations Specialist, as a representative from George Chambers Resource Center at the Kiwanis Meetings. I honestly feel I have not only found a career that certainly has changed my life, but also a second family in the staff and the wonderful individuals we have the pleasure of serving each day. The individuals we serve literally teach me something new about life each day and inspire me to be a better person.

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Outside of work, I live in Adairsville with my husband of 25 years, Shawn. We have one beautiful 10-year old daughter named Madilyne and she is the light of both of our lives. My husband transferred with his company thirteen years ago from Terre Haute, Indiana to Cartersville, Georgia. We bought our home in Adairsville three months after the move.   have an amazing family in Indiana and Arizona that I miss dearly, but we have no plans on moving anywhere else. We are home!

If you want to connect with Melissa, you can send her an email here or follow her on Twitter.