We held our two-day National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) staff retreat Nov. 27-28. The staff came in from across the county for the yearly retreat. Community Outreach and Engagement Manager Colleen Hatcher kicked us off with Adrian, David and I going live on Facebook during Giving Tuesday to encourage people to donate to NDSS during the national campaign. To all that saw and donated, we thank you for your contribution to help us better the lives of all with Down syndrome.

During the retreat on Tuesday, we had a presenter named Scott Williams of Nxt Level Solutions talk to us about the difference between being a leader and being a manager and the characteristics that comes with both. When Scott was done presenting, we discussed the launch of attract, retain and develop programming throughout NDSS and what we want to see happen in 2019. That day, NDSS Chief of Staff Keisha Landry rolled out a new mentorship program we are implementing. The mentorship program would allow each staff member to be paired with a leadership member to ensure goals are being met for the individual.

As the first day wrapped up, the team went to see the zoo lights at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. It was amazing and definitely festive. It was also very cold outside so next stop was dinner to warm up and do our white elephant gift exchange.

On Wednesday, the leadership team, including Josh, Keisha, Kandi, Sara and Ashley had us break into groups with our mentors to discuss our strategic work plan for 2019 and what the future holds for us going forward. We did our Secret Santa gift exchange during lunch, reviewed the updated employee handbook and did a Sexual Harassment training.  In conclusion, the staff retreat was about planning for 2019 and the goals we want to reach both personally and professionally.


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