From the Desk of the Executive Director

Dr. Michaela Weber, Executive Director
It’s the New Year and as you read this, I hope that you are all transitioning into 2018 feeling refreshed and relaxed, after spending some quality time with your respective families/friends/loved ones this past holiday season.  Many of you are reflecting on the past and making projections for the upcoming year, and hopefully most of you are jubilant about the possibilities!
Since it is the beginning of a new year, what better time to reflect on who we are as an agency, and where we are going. The cautionary tale in a time of change or transition is the potential to lose sight of what is most important and what should not be negotiable – and that includes your core purpose and core values. For us, our core purpose and core values drive everything – from our program goals, to our direct services; staff and board recruitment, and future planning for the agency. Here at VSS, the entire team recently spent some time together reflecting on our core values as an agency. This required us to respectfully question our own assumptions and explore new ways of responding. Our team mutually agreed to focus on the “why” and the “what” of our goals as we looked to the future.
As a result, here’s what we came up with:
The Core Values of Victim Support Services are:

  1. To empathize with the client
  2. To empower lives
  3. To innovate advocacy practices
  4. To be authentic in thought and action

(Empathy, Empowerment, Innovation, Authenticity)
This process of self-evaluation brought us even closer as a group and now everyone has increased buy-in to our organizational processes. We all know that the nonprofit sector consistently faces challenges, but these challenges can be met head-on when you have a strong team! Here at VSS we have so much to be thankful for.  We have jobs that have impact. We help people heal and build resilience, we support families, and we educate, entertain, inspire, and engage people. To boot, we get to work with other staff and volunteers who are also dedicated to a mission to seek the greater good. How cool is that?!
So as this (holiday) season of light, family, warmth, and sharing comes to a close, and as a new one begins, I want to personally express my gratitude, as I complete my first full year as the Executive Director of VSS.  This has been a fulfilling year for me and I am grateful to those who have welcomed me with open arms and allowed me to become a part of this wonderful community and State! To the amazing staff of VSS – THANK YOU! What an impressive, dedicated, intelligent group of beautiful and caring souls. Jim Collins authored a book called ‘Good to Great’, and in it he describes the need to “get the right people on the bus.” I cannot think of a group of professionals I would rather have on this bus with me. Your energy propels me forward!
Next, to those who volunteer with the agency, whether it is directly serving clients, helping at events, and/or serving on our Board of Directors or on a VSS committee; I want to thank you for dedicating your personal time to working with our nonprofit, and to serving your community. Thank you for embracing your passion, finding a purpose greater than yourself, and for your energy and commitment. Most importantly, for taking action in a complicated world of civic engagement, and for making a difference!
Finally, to our loyal donors, supporters and constituents — we are truly proud to be your Partner. The nonprofit sector in general does so much to build community, help those in need, improve and enrich lives, educate, preserve culture, and improve the lives of others. We are grateful in this New Year to play our part, and we simply could not do it without you all!
Wishing you all a happy, healthy, 2018 and looking forward to continued partnerships!
All the best,
M.W .