A Letter from Shannon Ryan, New Executive Director

I’d like to provide a brief update on my transition into the Executive Director role. First, I’d like to offer my congratulations to the board for ensuring organizational stability over the past year or so. The agency has gone through several challenging moments and the board has done a lot of heavy lifting, the work of John, Janet, Holly, Precious and other board members has supported stability and continuity.

We also owe Wendy our collective thanks and gratitude for keeping the OAN on course since early 2018. She has demonstrated true excellence in managing the work of the OAN – this is no surprise to anyone who knows her work. She didn’t simply maintain the status quo, her work has been additive. Thanks also to Phillip for taking on so much in this transition – including a move and office renovations. Finally, we owe our collective thanks to the amazing OAN staff team for so ably managing through changes in leadership. Romilson, Ryan, Tara, Jiang and Martin have done a great job and I am so impressed by how much this small staff team accomplishes. They are the heart of the OAN and they have ensured both excellence and continuity.

As you know, my transition into this role will take place over the next two months. While my time in the office will be limited, I will be checking email and voicemail regularly and will respond to urgent issues as required. I have a number of goals over the next few months. The first is to engage with the OAN staff team and board to build a deeper understanding of their needs and goals. The second is to visit as many member agencies as possible and engage with our funders to get a sense of their expectations. Next is to determine our priorities related to advocacy and election planning in collaboration with our members. Finally, I also hope to continue the OAN’s focus on PHA engagement and inclusion in our work and deepen my understanding of the expectations our PHA community has of this organization.

It’s clear that the OAN has many challenges to face over the coming months and years given the funding and political environment. I look forward to working with you all to face them and to build on a strong OAN legacy.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

Shannon Ryan
Executive Director
Ontario AIDS Network

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