I hope you all had a chance to celebrate Independence Day with family, friends, and loved ones. In Montana, the 4th of July is a wonderful opportunity to gather around a grill, have a picnic, and enjoy our beautiful summer weather.
This holiday is important to AWARE in many ways. It celebrates our great nation’s independence and reminds us of our mission – to help people live independent lives.
This past weekend, I was reminded of all the people we have helped. In the last year alone, we have directly provided care to more than 5,000 people. Considering AWARE’s positive impact on our clients and their families, friends, teachers, and communities, the number of people we have positively affected increases exponentially. Since AWARE’s inception in 1976, every person entrusted to our care has been able to celebrate milestones on their individual journey toward greater independence.
AWARE’s ability to deliver quality services is only possible with our nearly 800 caring, compassionate, talented, and dedicated team members who provide the best care in the state. To honor our employees, we recently held our Unconditional Care Awards Banquet to celebrate employees who embody the spirit of our 10 Unconditional Care Principles. We also recognized Employee of the Year, Independent Spirit, and George Groesbeck award recipients. These awards and their recipients are described later in this newsletter.
This past month also brought about changes to AWARE’s leadership. After many years of service, both Jesse Laslovich and Richard Saravalli have resigned from their positions on the board of directors. Jesse accepted The President’s nomination, was recently confirmed by our nation’s Senate, and was sworn in as US Attorney for the District of Montana. Richard is looking forward to fully enjoying his retirement after dedicating his entire career to the human services industry. AWARE has taken great strides over the years because of the leadership demonstrated by both Jesse and Richard. Gentlemen, I appreciate you and will sincerely miss your mentoring.
Kristy McKay has since moved from her role as vice-chair and into the chairperson position. We are confident that AWARE will continue to improve with Kristy’s and our other board members’ guidance.
Matt Bugni - CEO