Letter from Robyn Kaufman:
After much thought and consideration, I made the bittersweet decision to retire in late spring 2021. It is difficult to put into words the gratitude I have for the opportunity to work at Boone County Family Resources for over 30 years and the privilege of serving as the Agency’s Executive Director since 2012. I have enjoyed seeing the Agency evolve and innovate to better meet the needs of persons served since I first joined the team in 1987. As you know, I truly love BCFR. I am passionate about our mission and feel fortunate to work with the most amazing team of caring, dedicated and creative professionals.
I am so proud of what we have accomplished together during my tenure as Executive Director, including:
- Updated the agency’s mission -To enable individuals with developmental disabilities to “thrive in the community, connect with others and achieve their personal goals”. Staff and other stakeholders not only embrace and easily remember our mission, but use it as a compass to help guide their actions and strategic decisions.
- Cultivated inclusion– Participation in the United Way Equity Challenge, development of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and subsequent action plan, Anti-Bullying awareness and outreach efforts, and reading books to school children which celebrate the different abilities of kids are some of the ways we have cultivated inclusion.
- Focused on our employees – Development of an Employee Awareness Committee to recognize and appreciate staff, our most valuable resource. Implementation of Agency-wide Summit and action plan to improve outreach, recruitment, onboarding and staff retention—particularly for DSPs– and the development of plans and protocols to keep employees and persons served safe through the pandemic.
- Expanded employment and other services – Development of the STEP program at Boone Hospital for high school seniors and the IPS pilot program, increased focus on transition-aged youth, contracted with Vocational Rehabilitation, received CARF accreditation for employment services and have an agency wide focus on employment resulting in competitive employment for 30.6% of adults served. Over the past 8 ½ years we have also innovatively supported persons in Supported Living who are aging and more recently through the pandemic and defined numerous new services for individuals in the Family Support program.
- Technology advancements –Implementation of website redesign, SetWorks and other web-based systems for staff training, accounting and HR, electronic records systems, and enhanced mobility and business / service continuity during the pandemic.
- Fiscal Oversight – Planned and set aside reserves for our new office building to meet growing needs, Secured Low Income Housing Tax Credits for Boone Point affordable housing apartments, expanded “Going Green” efforts by decreased usage of power, paper and disposables, provided office to Family Support Division to increase access to Medicaid eligibility determination for persons served and others,
The year 2020 was full of unprecedented challenges for us all and BCFR met each with resilience, creativity and compassion. We look ahead to 2021 with hope. While there is never a perfect time for transitions such as this, in spring we will be settled into our new office building and we should have the worst of the pandemic behind us with a projected widely available coronavirus vaccine. Change is sometimes hard, but it helps us grow and reach the next level of excellence.
Leaving BCFR is difficult, but I am comforted in knowing that the Agency is well positioned for the opportunities and challenges ahead. Our leadership team brings a wealth of diverse knowledge and skills to aid in the transition and will continue being an innovative leader in the State providing exemplary services. BCFR’s future is bright and I look forward to seeing the ways the Agency will continue to enable persons to Thrive, Connect and Achieve.
It has been an honor and a privilege to work in this field for nearly 40 years and advocate for positive changes and better opportunities for our friends and neighbors with disabilities. While I am retiring as Executive Director, I will never retire from being an advocate.
My heartfelt thanks to the individuals, families, staff and community partners for the positive impact you have made in my life as well as the support you have given to BCFR over the years.