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‘Celebrating Developmental Challenges’ ~ Don Walker Executive Director, Mary Centre of the Archdiocese of Toronto

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We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.

~ George Bernard Shaw


When it comes to human dignity, we cannot make compromises.

~ Angela Merkel



Today BMG is turning our spotlight on a recent client, Mary Centre of the Archdiocese of Toronto (Mary Centre).  The following blog segment contains a conversation with Don Walker, Executive Director.  Don has given permission to share our conversation for the purpose of this blog.  If you want to have further conversation with Don, he is open to that contact.  Contact Don at 416 630-5533 x223

The Mary Centre’s tagline, ‘Celebrating Developmental Challenges’ and their vision statement frames the delivery of integrated support services and creates new opportunities for the benefit of the developmentally challenged, their families and the community in which they live.  Don emphasizes the values of the organization, Dignity of every person, Integrity, Focus on the individual and Responsibility as the corner stones of this faith based organization, which is a member of Catholic Charities.  Don expressed that ‘these values frame the primary responsibility of Mary Centre which is to strive for the best interest of the individuals we have the privilege to support.’

Mary Centre’s engagement of BMG established a Strategic Planning process.  The organization had not had a formal strategic plan for a number of years and was intent to develop a robust plan to enhance the detailed operational plans of the recent past.   Don said ‘he had had some past indirect contact with BMG and some interaction with David Barnes.’  He was comfortable with David and trusted the professionalism of the firm.  Don stated ‘we clearly knew our expectations and BMG was prepared to do what we expected.’  It was undoubtedly a good match.

Don went on to say ‘David and the BMG team went beyond expectation.  It was clear from the beginning that they could and would adapt to opportunities that arose, they were flexible and willing to jump in as those opportunities presented themselves.  ‘At any time in the process, accessibility to David and the other consultants was immediately and respectful.  You could count on the team.’

David Barnes, Maureen McKenna and Louis To were the BMG Team on the Mary Centre project.  Don stated ‘we were very clear on the type of consultants we needed for our project and BMG heard our direction and David put together a very strong team.  The quality of the team sent us a message that BMG heard our need and would produced what we needed.  This level of validation from BMG created a comfort for the board, that the process would produce what we expected.’

‘Maureen’s energy, positive upbeat attitude to the work and encouragement pulled people together.  Her unique and professional ways were very much appreciated.  Louis moved often behind the scenes, discovering and gathering information.  He brought a particular and important financial perspective to the project.  Again one of our clear directions to the project success.  All of this contributed to an end product reflective of the initial directions we set and the resulting direction that BMG provided.’

Don closed by saying ‘Mary Centre has a robust strategic plan to carry out the important work of our organization while enhancing the lives of the people we support and our commitment to their lives in our community.’

Written by Deborah Lavender, BMG Senior Consultant

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