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In July 2002 – PLAN Okanagan was incorporated as the not-for-profit society – Okanagan Lifetime Networks Association (OLNA.). We began operations in September of 2002, and by the end of our first fiscal year, we had presented 5 workshops and we had initiated 7 social networks for our Lifetime Members.

Year 2 was similarly busy and productive with substantial increases to both our Lifetime and Associate Memberships. Given that we are all about people, and relationships, we were proud of this accomplishment. We presented 6 workshops and the interest in PLAN’ Okanagan’s programs increased substantially. Our bi-annual newsletter reached over 250 homes in the Central Okanagan, and the Board of Directors started along the process of organizational development, employing the PATH (Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope), and contracting with a consultant to assist with Board Governance Policy Development. Committees were developed to assist in carrying out these tasks and continuing to provide valuable resources and tools for our membership.

Our third year of operation had our human resources both “tapped” and “increased” at the same time via the infusion of 2 new members to our Board of Directors, and through the assignment of some tasks to our first Facilitator Mentor. We conducted 6 workshops, and the Resource Development Committee continued to be diligent in fund-raising to maintain autonomy from government funding. We had 9 networks in various stages of development, with 8 facilitators connecting our focus people to the community. At the organizational development level, we adopted board governance policies, committee structures, and associated terms of reference. 

2005 – 2006 was a year of change; a year that saw our pioneering Executive Director (ED), Barb Penner; take on a different role within PLAN Okanagan. Barb resigned her position as ED, and joined the Board of Directors to provide continuity and guidance as new leaders – Kirstie Blanleil and Colleen Evans took the helm.

In our 2007 – 2008  we saw our Executive Director move on to other ventures and wished Colleen well as she left PLAN Okanagan.  Mary Bickert was hired as our new Coordinator and Community Connector (formerly called a Facilitator) for several of our networks.  This  new position reflected the evolving needs of PLAN Okanagan.

What did not change, however, was the dedication and support of the Board of Directors, and Lifetime Members in working to secure a good life for people with disabilities and their families. We continue to present workshops to our constituents and the community at large taking the lead by introducing the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) to the Okanagan area.  We continue network development within our community.

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