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ACO Recovering, Finances Secure
Board presents stable and improving picture at AGM, membership not at arms

(REGIONAL HEADQUARTERS)  IN a room noticeably quiet compared to some meetings over the past year the 30 or so members of the AIDS Committee of Ottawa who were present tonight received reports from their Board of Directors with respect to the last 6 months and approved 3 of the 4 new Board candidates presented by the Nominating Committee.

It's equilibrium ... with the staff appointment that was announced tonight [Man to Man Project Coordinator], that's the last key in terms of getting all the staff additions up and running.  So I think now we're in good shape to have the agency move forward...  [We] still have to decide in which direction the agency's going to move but the structure's now there again.
-Ron Chaplin, Former Chair and Board member
Apparently having followed an organization rebuilding process over the months of first addressing the "[financial] disaster picture of March 1999," as described by the Acting Treasurer, then the "many personnel changes," as described by the Executive Director, and finally by addressing program services themselves, the governance and management of this agency so troubled in the recent past presented a relatively stable organizational picture and received little dispute from the membership in attendance.

State of the Organization from the Chair of the Board

Board Chair Brad Buxton praised and listed the accomplishments of new Executive Director Lise Ladouceur including the successful addressing of staffing and funders' issues. He explained how the agency has been challenged in adapting to changes such as the those in the demography of HIV/AIDS. And he stated that the organization was at risk of losing charitable status due to not meeting financial audit standards for 2 of the 3 years in a row apparently allowed by the government.  More ...

Service Delivery from the Executive Director

Executive Director Lise Ladouceur then addressed topics of service delivery and user concerns. "In the past month three groups have been on-site and this has brought people back to ACO," she stated. New permanent hires have included an Education and Advocacy Team Leader (Sharon Ryan in September), and Coordinators for both the Man to Man Project (Michael Blair this week) and Volunteers (Cameo McLaughlin, again in September). Although some areas of the Man to Man Project were contracted-out during the summer, "a great deal of work [is] to be accomplished in the bar scene, with gay youth, as well as with men's health," Ms. Ladouceur admitted. "We are confident that we can achieve our commitment with a regular and permanent coordinator. [With respect to the Education and Advocacy Team] the new hires are producing a new energy. Cameo hasn't stopped since the Walk - [she's brought in] 20 new volunteers."  More ...

Finances from the Treasurer

"I am confident that the organization will continue to exist into next year with some belt-tightening," Acting Treasurer Richard Surgeson stated clearly. "[But it needs] a system for planning and control. And not just bean-counting but a control function." Commenting on the recent loss of ACO's bookkeeper, currently being replaced by Rehab Aly on an interim basis, he continued, "One warning: Find that accountant quickly, because if financial records go into disarray it's very hard to catch up."  More ...

Election of New Board Members and Other Business

"We were just discussing who would be Secretary," said newly-elected Board member Suzan Molinski as she and fellow electee William Riley walked to the front of the room to take their seats. "I think it will be Bill," she asserted, squarely dropping her belongings behind the "Vice-Chair" nameplate to laughter and applause.  More ...


The next anticipated meeting of the AIDS Committee of Ottawa membership is the quarterly accountability one, likely to be scheduled sometime in March. All ACO membership meetings are open to the public.