Centre 507 welcomes new executive director

October 27, 2011

Centre 507 welcomes new executive director

Shea Kiely says her love of taking on new challenges is a big reason she finds herself in her new role as executive director at Centre 507. A North Bay native, Shea has spent the last seven years in social services helping people overcome daunting challenges. Her commitment and drive to learn from these experiences put her at the top of the list of candidates for the job.

Shea’s commitment to participants shows in the little things, like a friendly smile, and in the big things, like making presentations to city hall, as well as in her ideas for expanding the Centre’s services.

Shea started working at Centre 507 in 2008 in the Drop-in Program, eventually moving to the Rooming House Support Program. She also filled in as acting executive director on several occasions, so she knows what makes the Centre tick.

“It’s all about respect and getting to know people so you can build a rapport with them. We’re like comrades in a homey, close-knit community,” Shea says. “You have to respect what a lot of our participants face every day just to get by. Their resilience is amazing.”

Shea’s experience at the Centre also means she knows the team of staff she will be leading. Going from co-worker to boss might be a tricky proposition, but the Centre 507 team is expecting to benefit from Shea’s history with the Centre.

“The fact that Shea was acting executive director means we won’t miss a beat. I’m excited about some of the plans for things that we already have in place, like our employment program, that Shea will be able to push through,” says Josh Bridges, a support worker at the Centre. With Shea’s help, Josh is working to establish better links between the Centre’s employment program and the YMCA’s employment program. The aim is to allow participants to graduate from the Centre’s program and find even more meaningful work through the YMCA.

Shea plans to take this kind of collaborative approach with all the staff. “Together, we are going to focus on ideas that will build on our success. We want to do things like expand our harm-reduction programs for substance abuse and improve the Centre’s kitchen. The staff and their ideas will be key to all the plans we bring to the Centre board for approval,” Shea says.

While big plans may end up defining Shea’s impact on the Centre, her ability to connect with people has already won her fans among participants.

“She is a good person and she really knows how to make things work to help people,” says Dennis, a longtime participant at Centre 507.

Comments

2 Responses to “Centre 507 welcomes new executive director”

  1. Barb Kiely on November 19th, 2011 9:41 pm

    Way to go Shea!!!! You are the perfect choice and you will do this job with a lot of heart! Congrats!!!!
    Love Barb, Ian, and Patrick

  2. Darlene Brewer, Ph.D. on April 5th, 2012 5:47 pm

    Shea Kiely is a fantastic and professionally sound choice for leadership at Centre 507. She has wonderful gifts of laughter, care, organization, and a collaborative style that maintains harmony and wellness among both the participants and staff. Shea brings many good ideas and is always ready to hear those of others. I had the pleasure of working with Shea in 2008 at Centre 507. I miss the participants and the staff, but Shea and otrhers remain close friends. Centre 507 and its board has made a strikingly good choice.

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