April 6, 2021
Dear Westside Community of Staff, Self-Advocates, Vendors and Families:
It is with mixed emotions that I inform you of my resignation as Executive Director from Westside Regional Center, as I have decided to pursue other professional opportunities and challenges. An anonymous person once shared, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.” How reflective is this on my journey at WRC. The time we have spent together at Westside has been fueled with intense moments of incredible accomplishment and reenergized faith in collaborations that bring about real change.
The last several months have been a time of tremendous stress, uncertainty, and most recently a breadth of hope as we slowly get a handle on the most unprecedented crisis of our lifetime. It has been a time when the role of the regional center has been magnified beyond its traditional role and has pivoted to lead direct efforts of supporting the most critical functions of saving lives.
There has been nothing during these last several months that has reflected regular regional center business as usual. We have provided wartime like nursing support to residential homes, distributed millions of pieces of PPE to keep the community safe, turned Westside Regional Center into a Covid-testing site and now a Covid-19 vaccine distribution location. Staff moved from traditional case managers to crisis management facilitators overnight.
On top of this crisis, WRC has experienced a time of significant internal changes, including new leadership and regulatory challenges. There has been no instruction manual for all of this, yet my focus has been on leading the Center to prevail in all of these areas.
I am proud of the dedicated work of the staff who continue to be the guiding force that allows WRC to deliver an impeccable level of service to the families and clients supported. “Keep on, keeping on”.
And, as our world slowly transitions, I can only hope that WRC does not transition back to its pre-Covid normal, but will learn from our shared experiences and bring life to a better, more inclusive normal for the 10,000 clients and their families who depend on the Center.
Collaborations, respect, and support are key to the future of WRC navigating a climate of constant change. The stronghold of a small group can either prevent or propel its success. It has been my pleasure and honor to advance the mission of the Center.
To ensure a seamless leadership transition, the Board of Directors has appointed long-time executive staff Mary Lou Weise-Stusser, Director of Community Services, as its Interim Executive Director to guide the Center through its next phase. This transition will be effective on April 6, 2021.