A LETTER FROM THE COMPANION-IN-CHARGE
As we entered 2023, we were pleased to begin to reap the benefits of a number of changes the Society instituted during the previous couple of years. We are now fully staffed with revised position descriptions in key areas:
- Sarah van Gulden, general manager, oversees the entire operation. Laura Landry maintains our Society membership lists and handles all the reservations for Adelynrood. Nicole Frizzo coordinates our print communications, our website, and our social media. Phil Kourmanopoulos works part-time as our financial assistant. All accounting services are now managed by Baker Tilly, our former auditors who provide financial services offsite for businesses and non-profits.
- Stewart Guay manages the Adelynrood grounds. He works with one full-time staff member, Jim McAuley, and one part-time assistant, Barry Brodette, along with a seasonal groundskeeper. Stewart works closely with the Adelynrood Committee to budget and schedule repairs and maintenance.
- Adam Segal continues, as he has for 17 years, as our chef and kitchen manager. Challenges in hiring seasonal chefs and kitchen help have lessened somewhat this summer as the hospitality industry as a whole begins to recover from shutdowns during the COVID pandemic.
These changes were the result of wise and frugal investments in staff hiring. Under the leadership of Edwina Simpson, our previous Companion-in-Charge, we revised position descriptions to meet our current needs and to give us flexibility into the future. In particular, a thorough review of our communication strategy resulted in not only our improved website and capacity to connect with each other within the Society but also in vastly better ways for people to find up-to-date information about the Society and about Adelynrood.
Treasurer Marilee Backstrand urged us to switch to the cloud-computing capacity of our former auditing firm. This improved the timeliness of our financial reports, since we can now read our accounts in real time, and lowered the cost of paying in-house accounting staff.
Society governance is about more than bookkeeping! We are also beginning to benefit from the wisdom of some changes we made to the governance of the Society when we revised our bylaws.
- Including the chairwoman of the Aims and Prophetic Ministries Committee on the Governing Board means that we include the aims we pray each day in the IP in the most important decisions about the Society and Adelynrood.
- Now that we have the chairwoman of the Development Committee on the Governing Board, we can pay more attention to our membership, as well as how we support the Society with our talents and treasure.
- With the Companion-in-Charge of Chapters on the Governing Board, concerns about how we support the liveliness of chapters are always part of the conversation.
- The Companion-in-Charge of Discerners reminds us about the ongoing task of inviting women to join us as new Companions. She helps Sponsors and Discerners alike as we work through the discernment process and incorporate new leadership into the life of the Society.
The Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross contains many treasures and many blessings. I am honored to serve in leadership as Companion-in-Charge, as we continue to grow in loving service and to walk the Way of the Cross.
JACQUELINE SCHMITT Companion-in-Charge