The Council of Community Services Celebrates 53 Years!

On Monday, November 11, 2013, the Council of Community Services’ staff and Board of Directors celebrated their 53rd Anniversary. Don’t worry you didn’t miss the invitation! This year we chose to celebrate on a much smaller scale with only Council staff and Board. The event took place at Carlos Restaurant.

If you’ve worked with the Council at all this year, then you may be aware of the changes. To say this year was the year of transition, would be an understatement. While we had our fair share of accomplishments to celebrate with the community and our partners, our 53rd Annual Meeting focused on the transitions at the Council and celebrated the staff and Board that helped guide the change and smoothen the process.

The year ending June 30, 2013, was one of planned leadership transition. We said farewell to long-term president, Pam Kestner and wished her well in her continued role as Homeless Outcomes Coordinator for the Commonwealth. The Board of Directors entrusted Daniel W. Merenda to fill the position of President.

The following information was shared during The State of the Council of Community Services portion of the program by Daniel W. Merenda and Paul F. Phillips, Vice Chair:

Resource Development Capacity

We ended the year with a substantial increase in both the Council’s contribution to the community and to the Council’s effectiveness as a high performing nonprofit organization. With a sharp focus on our mission of “providing leadership in planning, information, and referral”, we made great strides in diversifying funding sources, reducing overhead, and improving financial performance.

Program Delivery and Impact Capacity

The year of transition was also the year of improvement. During the year, we planned for substantial improvements in the 2-1-1 VIRGINIA information and referral system. The 2-1-1 VIRGINIA call volume continues to increase, during 2012-2013 2-1-1 VIRGINIA helped assist 182,587 individuals find needed resources – this number is the largest since it was founded. The need for ongoing maintenance to the systems is evident; new workforce management software and training were purchased to further improve program delivery.

Strategic Relationship Capacity

The Council’s ability to partner with other organizations remains a great strength and priority. We are pleased to have partnered with several organizations to develop and implement plans to improve the quality of life in our community. We worked with Carilion Clinic and the United Way of Roanoke Valley to support the formation of Healthy Roanoke Valley; we continue to work with the Roanoke Valley Alleghany Regional Commission in the development of a coordinated, regional planning process to promote economic opportunity and quality of life.

At our 53rd Annual Meeting, we also recognized retiring or resigning Board Members as well as staff milestone anniversaries.

The following Board Members were recognized for their outstanding leadership, dedication, service, and support:

Hope F. Cupit, 2009-2013

Maggie Gray, 2007-2013

Andrea Martin, 2010-2013

The following staff was regonized for their dedicated service to the Council:

Lee Bosworth, 5 Years of Service

Teresa Lavinder-Zeigler, 5 Years of Service

Sharron Terry, 5 Years of Service

Kay Brady, 20 Years of Service


To wrap our 53rd year up, we would like to thank you for your ongoing support.

We are so pleased with the outcomes achieved during this year. We plan to remain mission focused by continuing to provide leadership in the areas of planning, information, and referral services to improve the quality of life in our communities.

We’re looking forward to the next 53 years!


Now that you’ve heard what you missed, it’s time to see what you’ve missed!

Take a look at a few pictures below and then head to our facebook page to view more in our album “53rd Annual Meeting”!