The Comox Valley Child Development Association is bidding its executive director a fond farewell.

Joanne Schroeder is leaving the association to get a head start on her retirement.

She originally took over from Lorraine Aitken in June 2014. 

The CVCDA says that since then, she has led the organization through “many exciting initiatives and projects.”

“Joanne had big shoes to fill when she started as our executive director,” said board chair, Pam Crowe. 

“However, she stepped into the position with determination and enthusiasm and succeeded in every way. She masterly guided the CVCDA through two successful CARF accreditations, resulting in the CVCDA continuing to receive the highest accreditation of three years in each case. Not that that result was ever in doubt in our minds.” 

Crowe said that Schroeder’s strong leadership and knowledge at the monthly board meetings has been “so much appreciated by all of the board members.” 

“She is organized and always so well prepared to answer any question,” Crowe said. “Especially, when it comes to interpreting acronyms.”

The CVCDA says that Schroeder’s most recent and perhaps most high profile accomplishment was steering the association through to the construction and opening of the new Comox Valley Autism Centre. 

She has also represented the CVCDA on many high profile committees in the Valley.

Crowe said Schroeder will be missed: “We will miss our meetings together at various places during telethon time, our visits to our many wonderful service clubs, especially at telethon time, and just generally working with her on a day to day basis – it has indeed been a privilege.”

“It is bittersweet for me to be leaving the CVCDA”, Schroeder said. “My time in this role has allowed me to be part of a thriving and generous community of children, families, staff and volunteers. It has been a wonderful experience. I am particularly proud of the completion of the new Comox Valley Autism Centre, and the expansion and introduction of several programs.”

She added, “The CVCDA has always played a leadership role in the community and I have appreciated the chance to continue this tradition through my participation in the Early Years Collaborative, the Local Action team, the Local Hero initiative, and the Social Planning Committee. It is through these partnerships that we most effectively leverage meaningful action for our children and families.”

CVCDA’s new executive director, Cindy Xavier was selected just before Christmas and joined the team this month.

About the CVCDA

The CVCDA is a non-profit organization supporting children with special needs and their families for 45 years. 

In 2018, over 1,000 Comox Valley children and their families used services at the CVCDA. 

Visit the CVCDA’s website here or visit them on Facebook.