The New Brunswick Association for Community Living (NBACL) welcomed Suzanne Desrosiers into the position of President at the Annual General Meeting in Moncton in September. Since joining the Board, Suzanne has been part of the Executive as Secretary, followed by the position of Vice President.
Growing up in a small mining community in northern New Brunswick, Suzanne pursued post-secondary studies at the Université de Moncton where she completed her undergraduate degree in business. She then moved to Fredericton where she started her career in human resources at NB Power and worked for 23 years in progressive human resources roles. Suzanne is currently the Vice President of Employee and Student Development at the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) where she has worked for the last seven years.
Suzanne’s involvement and knowledge of NBACL began through her role as Vice President of Employee and Student Development. NBCC offers designated seats for students who may need a different path or accommodations for completing post-secondary education. Suzanne is a big supporter of the special admissions program and became aware of NBACL through its relationship with NBCC.
“Together NBCC and NBACL help young adults fulfill their dreams of a career and continuing their education,” said Suzanne. “It’s an amazing relationship we’ve had for a long time, and I love what the organization does.”
As part of the executive at NBCC, Suzanne was encouraged to give back her time to boards and to her community. She wanted to find a board that aligned with the work she does with NBCC. She had the opportunity to see from a broader aspect what NBACL does by attending our Inclusive Education Awards held annually at Government House in Fredericton. After exploring other boards, Suzanne found the Board at NBACL to be the perfect match.
“The Board at NBACL was really inspiring to me,” said Suzanne. “While I don’t have anyone in my personal life who has an intellectual or developmental disability, I joined our Board with the perspective of, ‘What can we do in our society to be more inclusive?’”
Her vision for NBACL over the next two years as president is to focus on the development of the Association’s next five year strategic plan with a lens of sustainability, as the current one comes to a close.
Suzanne stressed the importance of the need to empower communities, so they can also be sustainable.
“That sustainability is key to us,” said Suzanne. “There have been tremendous people, who have grown the organization way before me, so we need to take a step back and really look at our vision, and is that the vision that will carry us for the next five years, and is that one that will be sustainable?”
When met with challenges, Suzanne’s perseverance and strong determination inspires her to keep going because it’s the right thing to do.
“This inspires me to continue to keep going, and continue to have the courage to have those discussions,” said Suzanne. “People with an intellectual or developmental disability are just like you and I, they just want to have an ordinary life. But in order for us to continue to be able to provide that, we need everyone to be working in that direction. And that’s the right thing to do.”
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Living in Fredericton, Suzanne is married with two adult children, a daughter and son, and a fur baby, Oscar, an 8-year-old Golden Doodle. She is a lover of the outdoors and is an avid reader. Given the opportunity, she would be found on vacation with her family, at a beach home overlooking the ocean, a stack of books beside her, with lots of good food and even better wine.