#b#At Eden Autism . . .#/b#

Eden Autism Services is a beacon of hope for individuals with autism and their families. Very few organizations have Eden’s rich history of successfully serving the autism community across the lifespan over multiple decades. Even fewer can claim Eden’s standard of excellence by offering high quality programs grounded in science, integrated within our communities, and sustained by a solid financial framework.

As Eden’s new president and CEO I aspire to work together to carry this legacy forward and take Eden to new heights. I will often reflect on this quote by French poet and novelist Anatole France and hope you will too: “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”

The permission to dream and the reminder to believe are two qualities rarely discussed within the autism community. At Eden, we will continue to dream, believe, plan, and act every day!

As I begin my first 100 days at Eden, here’s what you can expect of me:

Listen. Early in my career, I learned the importance of listening. From my background in hospitality management and consumer marketing, I recognize that the most successful companies are those who treat their customers as kings (or queens). Our ability to create a world-class model for the delivery of autism services across the lifespan will depend in large part on our ability to listen, serve, and satisfy our stakeholders. This includes the participants at Eden, their families, and those who care for them. You have my commitment to be a good listener and to build a program that not only satisfies your expectations but exceeds them.

Lead. With more than 20 years of managing successful businesses and directing high-performance employees, I’m a strong believer in teamwork but not afraid to make decisions. I will delegate responsibility while holding people accountable for delivering results. I have a sense of humor and a positive disposition but take my responsibilities to serve and protect our families very seriously. Honesty and ethical behavior will be expected at all times. I hope to inspire others and create an environment where innovation and ideas are valued. I also plan to leverage my national experience in the autism field by bringing new ideas and resources to bear. I look forward to providing the leadership Eden needs to be a well-managed organization that produces the best outcomes for its participants.

Believe. The most important lesson I have learned as an autism advocate is to believe in the person with autism. My young adult son Tyler, who is also on the spectrum, reminds me of this every day. When interacting with an individual with autism, I always presume intelligence and competence. Despite the challenges that autism can bring, every person on the spectrum has unique talents, strengths, and gifts that need to be shared with others. Focusing on what each individual can do and likes to do,and helping them to discover and share their dreams will be an area of focus. I believe our loved ones with autism are highly capable and can lead meaningful lives.

My first 100 days will be spent getting to know the Eden membership and staff in the classrooms, employment centers, and residential homes. I will be hosting small group meetings to encourage an open dialogue. I also invite you to stop by my office at the main campus in Princeton. You’ll find that door will always be open! Or you can reach me via E-mail at peter.bell@edenautism.org.

I could not be more proud to serve as Eden’s new president and CEO. Thank you in advance for your support.

Peter Bell

Eden Autism Services, 2 Merwick Road, Princeton 08540. 609-987-0099. www.edenautism.org.

#b#. . . And at PACF#/b#

Since I announced my intention to retire at the end of the year, I’ve been deeply moved by the level of support and well wishes from all the people I’ve developed professional relationships with throughout my 20 years at the Princeton Area Community Foundation — and so many of you have become personal friends.

It has been a privilege to watch the Community Foundation evolve from a tiny, nascent organization with donated computers and desks into an organization that impacts thousands of lives every year in central New Jersey.

As I prepare for my next act, I can report that the Community Foundation is stable, focused, and poised for new leadership. Today the Community Foundation is stronger and more influential within the communities it serves than ever. When I arrived in 1994 we had $300,000 in assets. Today we have nearly $100 million. That monumental growth has enabled the Community Foundation to grant out more than $7 million per year to deserving nonprofits.

In light of that growth I have made the decision that it is now time for someone else to build on our good work and escalate the Community Foundation to an even greater level of community service.

Our board of trustees has begun the search for new leadership and will appoint a transition committee to oversee the change. I look forward to that process as we identify the right new leader to continue and expand the Foundation’s legacy and contributions to the region.

Nancy Kieling

Princeton Area Community Foundation, 15 Princess Road, Lawrenceville 08648. 609-219-1800. www.pacf.org.

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