On January 1st, I began my new role as CEO/Executive Director of Wildwood Programs, and though many of you know me already, I thought it would make sense for me to introduce myself in greater detail in this edition of Reaching Out.
I’ve worked in the disability services field for 27 years, where I’ve held several DSP positions and different management roles during my career. Among other jobs, I’ve been a TA, a DSP, and a job coach and I’ve led employment and day support departments. From there, I’ve gone on to positions as head of strategic development and, most recently, as chief operating officer. I came to Wildwood 12 years ago and it has been four years since I was appointed COO.
The twelve years I’ve spent at Wildwood have been the most fulfilling of my career and it is has enabled me to understand the organization, the supports, and the people that make up Wildwood in a very real and intimate way. Wildwood’s culture is unique and I believe preserving that culture while meeting the challenges around us is one of our highest priorities. The culture is a treasure and it is what makes our organization very special.
I am very fortunate to have worked with my predecessor, Mary Ann Allen, for so many years, and from the time of the announcement of my appointment, we worked very closely to make the transition as seamless as possible. Like Mary Ann, I’ll have an open-door policy and would love to hear your feedback on not only what we are doing right, but also in areas where we could do better.
Of course, one of the main challenges we’ve faced has been managing our supports, services and workforce during this pandemic. Unfortunately, another challenge that will be coming on the heels of the COVID crisis will be the fallout from the looming New York State budget deficit. In addition, as you know, quality staffing is the bedrock of our ability to provide the highest quality of services for the people we support, and attracting and retaining the best staff remains a priority.
At Wildwood we’ve always seen adversity as a catalyst for change and growth and 2021 will be no different. I am excited about our organization, the people that make up our community and my new role in it. I hope you will join me on this journey as we go about making Wildwood the very best it can be.
Wildwood CEO/Executive Director
After Lou’s appointment to the CEO position, Wildwood shared several interviews that included his take on the transition and what his hopes and goals are for Wildwood in the future.
Watch the full 10-minute interview “Meet Lou Deep, Wildwood’s Newly-Appointed CEO” on our YouTube page at https://youtu.be/SnNjDJ1uHlM.
Only have a couple minutes? Get the basic facts from our “Who’s Lou?” interview, available at https://youtu.be/75EAq99TuZ4
Additionally, members of the Executive Management hosted a Virtual Town Hall in the fall. Learn about Wildwood’s current status in regards to fundraising, finances, and more at https://youtu.be/zn7K69DwpL4