As I prepare to retire as CEO of the Greater Richmond Chapter, I wanted to take an opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your support and encouragement during my nearly 17 years of service to the community.
Some of you were involved in the Chapter when I came on-board as the only full-time staff member when we were located in a dingy office on Forest Hill Avenue. We’ve come a long way. Thank you for all that you have done to help the Chapter grow to meet the ever increasing need for our services.
During my tenure, I have had the opportunity to work with numerous Board Members who have provided personal support to me, and have given their time, talent, and financial support to the Chapter. Our growth would not have been possible without their involvement and dedication.
I have also had the privilege of working with the most dedicated and caring staff – individuals that work hard every day to make life a little less stressful for those we serve. Our Chapter staff truly care about the 26,000 individuals in our service area with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, and whether they meet with clients directly or provide support in the background – they are amazing! I want to thank them all for making my job easier and so enjoyable.
Sadly, the biggest change I have seen in my 17 years is the number of people affected by this devastating disease.
When I started, we said that one in four of us knew someone affected by the disease – now one in two of us know someone. When I am out in the community, I meet more and more people who know the challenges that those with the disease and their families face on a daily basis.
However, there are also more reasons to be hopeful that an end to this disease is on its way!
The Alzheimer’s Association has been a part of every major Alzheimer’s research project over the last 30 years, and during the last several years, the Association has been able to increase federal government support of Alzheimer’s research. In addition, the National Alzheimer’s Project Act that passed in 2012 required the creation of a national strategic plan to address the rapidly escalating Alzheimer’s disease crisis and will coordinate Alzheimer’s disease efforts across the federal government.
As I prepare to retire, my only wish is that we could all retire because our services were no longer needed. I know you share mine, and the Alzheimer’s Association’s, vision of “a world without Alzheimer’s disease.”
Until we reach that goal, thank you for all you do.