What is your name, title and how long have you been working in your current role here?
I am Stacy Schikowsky, I am an Executive Director and Shareholder of CASS, I have held this role since July 1, 2019.
What other roles have you had with the agency?
In December of 2003, I started my career with CASS as a Community Support Coordinator in the residential program, I held that role until July of 2018. In July of 2018 I held an interim role of Assistant Program Manager of the CARS, CADO and CAPA programs.
What frontline experience do you have in this sector?
I began working in the Disability Services Field in 1993. My first paid job in the field was with an organization in Lethbridge, as a relief support staff in a residential setting. I have had some fantastic learning opportunities throughout my career working for a number of different service organizations in the south region as well as in the Calgary region. I feel that being connected to a front-line role is really important for perspective and continue to support individuals in a front-line capacity.
What do you want the community to know about the people we serve?
I want them to know that the individuals we support are valued contributing members of the community. I want the community to recognize that it is okay that people are not all the same, and we should celebrate the unique qualities of everyone.
What sets CASS apart from other similar organizations in your estimation?
I love that the organization values people’s abilities and creativity. I love that we explore and foster the ideas of everyone. We do not say “no” we say “how”. How, can we make our organization better for individuals accessing service and the staff supporting them.
Who do you look up to for inspiration or mentorship?
The list of people that I am inspired by is huge. I am inspired by my parents, they supported me in all of my endeavours in a manner that instilled strong advocacy values, strong work ethic and independence. I am inspired by my siblings, they are loving, authentic and fantastically funny people. I am inspired by my co-workers, we make each other better and stronger by providing different perspectives. I am inspired by individuals who pave the way and advocate for equality in the face of significant consequences.
How do you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
I enjoy investigating trends in the field, and educate myself. I am a genuine supporter and believer of life long learning.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from the people we serve?
Perseverance. The individuals that we are fortunate to share in their lives are truly strong humans. The individuals we support have lived life without the same benefits as everyone else, and they succeed.
What is one decision you wish you hadn’t made?
There are a few decisions I wish I hadn’t made; however, I would not be the person I am today without living through those experiences, good or bad.
Looking back, what have you achieved here that you are most proud of?
One of the projects that I am most proud of, is the client Christmas hamper campaign. This is an annual campaign that has been happening now for 16 years.
Also, becoming a Shareholder of the best human service organizations around is a true accomplishment.
What do you like to do for fun outside of work?
There are so many things that I like to participate in outside of work hours. I share my life and my home with three goofy dogs. They do take up a large part of my heart and my house and my time. In the summer months I kayak with my sister and spend time camping with my parents, and my dogs. In the winter I like to craft, sew, re-decorate my little house and attempt to cook new recipes. I am addicted to HGTV and Netflix documentaries. I also really love to travel.