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Notes from Peter Bell

chrisMarch 7, 2014

My first month at Eden has been productive, rewarding and encouraging. Although we endured more than our fair share of bad weather, cancelations and delayed openings, getting to know Eden by visiting our programs and interacting with students, adult participants, and staff has helped me look forward to the future with even greater excitement. I am extremely grateful for the positive reception I have received. The sense of appreciation for and a genuine interest in seeing Eden move to the next level are palpable. My sincere thanks for the warm welcome   I have received and sharing my excitement about the future of Eden.

Let me share a few early observations based on the themes I outlined in my last communication:

webmikelis·ten (`li-sən) verb  to hear what someone has said and understand that it is serious, important or true

Eden stakeholders are not timid. They have a lot to say and I appreciate that they are willing to share both their joys and concerns. Creating a safe environment where we can openly talk about our hopes and dreams as well as our fears and frustrations is very important to me. I have enjoyed meeting and getting to know our families, Eden staff, board members, neighbors, and supporters from the community. If we haven’t met yet, please feel free to contact me or stop by my office. I will soon be meeting with small groups of parents and caretakers to encourage even more dialogue. What you have to say is important and it will help inform me as we move forward in making Eden an even better provider of services to the autism community.

lead (`lēd) verb  to guide on a way especially by going in advance; to direct on a course
or in a direction

John Quincy Adams once said “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” Eden’s success, which I define by the success and outcomes of our students and adult participants, depends heavily on our ability to create a great team environment in which we serve our clients with excellence and empower leaders among our staff to develop their talents. I value innovation, creativity, teamwork, hard work, improved outcomes, high quality – and even fun. These are the values that I am promoting throughout the organization. As staff learns more about my leadership style, which includes accountability, integrity, results, transparency, and a commitment to quality, I believe that they will agree that our good work relies on our ability to deliver excellence as well as experience laughter, joy, and happiness alongside those we serve. Our mission is clear but we must always keep our eye on the horizon. We are in many ways setting a new course; I know the journey will be great.

be·lieve (bә-`lēv) verb  to accept or regard (something) as true

notes1Perhaps the best part of my new role at Eden is getting to know our participants. Whether it is meeting students in the hallways or classrooms in the school or paying visits to our adult participants’ homes and work centers, I am constantly reminded of why our mission at Eden is so important. What is clear to me is that the individuals we serve at Eden are capable of so much and deserve an opportunity to show what they can do. They need us, and others, to believe in them. I am very pleased to announce that several of our participants will be joining us at the Princeton Lecture Series on March 21st to help introduce the world-renowned speakers! We hope you will join us as we proudly present just a few of the talented people we support at Eden while we learn from some great thought leaders. Stay tuned for even more opportunities to showcase the strengths and abilities of our participants.

In closing, my first 30 days at Eden have been wonderfully invigorating. I look forward to coming to work each day. This is a complex organization where there is much to do but the fruits of our work are visible every day. The Eden community is remarkable…from the brave and hard-working individuals we serve to the supportive and loving families that care for them to the dedicated and talented staff who work hard to improve their quality of life…I am honored to be a part of this family. I look forward to sharing more details and plans for our future in the coming months. Thank you so much for your support.

With fond wishes,
web sig



* Definitions taken from Merriam-Webster Dictionary