Villa Charities Annual Report 2019 - Page 6

Villa Charities Message FROM THE CHAIR I am delighted to report that the revitalization of Villa Charities Inc. (VCI) continued to make solid progress in 2019. Our organization has become more engaged than ever with the community, our stakeholders and the people we serve, helping us to build a path to a brighter future. Community Engagement In 2019, we continued to engage with our valued patrons, visitors, residents, tenants and staff as part of our planning and decision-making process. VCI’s “Community Open Forums,” “Friday Chats with the CEO” and our “Dinner and Conversations” provide opportunities for stakeholders to share their views on our programs and services. At the March 26, 2019 Community Open Forum, community members joined us to discuss the findings of the Villa Charities Visioning Project, a broad-based stakeholder consultation providing input toward a new campus-wide strategy. The goal was to identify the existing and new resources needed to address immediate needs and to enhance our services and facilities for the future. An initial visioning exercise in 2018 with Directors of VCI and each affiliate was expanded to multiple stakeholder consultations involving 200 people. Separately, at a May 28, 2019 public meeting, highlights from VCI’s 2019 Annual General Meeting were shared with community members. We also introduced monthly Friday Chats with the CEO, where community members engage in one-on-one conversations with our President and CEO, Anthony DiCaita. Partnerships VCI continued to collaborate with other Italian organizations and to provide some of them with financial and other support. In 2019, this included support for the book launch of “Land of Triumph and Tragedy: Voices of the Italian Fallen Workers,” published by the Italian Fallen Workers Memorial Project, the 2nd Annual Librissimi Book Festival and Mississauga ITALFEST. We also held a VIP reception for Mr. Luigi Maria Vignali, Director General for the Italians Abroad, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and hosted a special dinner to welcome the international food brand Eataly to Toronto. VCI gained significant brand visibility as the Major Sponsor of the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario’s inaugural “IT@CA” symposium, featuring Italian academic and industry leaders. In 2020, we are planning even more exciting events with industry leaders and partners in the Italian community. Looking Ahead: A New Strategic Plan Work has just been completed on the development of a new VCI Strategic Plan. The plan, which will incorporate feedback from numerous stakeholders, will identify the strategic priorities that will serve as our roadmap over the next few years. This is an important step in VCI’s quest to better serve our diverse community and engage new people of all ages. I look forward to sharing the new Strategic Plan at an upcoming Community Open Forum. As you can see, many hands are involved in the process of reaffirming VCI’s position as a cultural leader and destination for multigenerational Italian-Canadians and the community at large. Since being elected Chair of VCI’s Board of Governors almost two years ago, I have come to have the highest regard for the people responsible for our progress, among them my fellow Board members, VCI President and CEO Anthony DiCaita and his executive team, our staff, patrons and other key stakeholders. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all of them Sincerely, Villa Charities Inc. Santo Veltri CHAIR 6 | Consolidated Annual Report 2019