Cathy Deagle Gammon
Executive Director, Dartmouth Adult Services Centre (DASC)
Social Change Award, EAST
DASC is a person-centered, non-profit organization that strives to enhance community, social and economic inclusion for persons with an intellectual disability, providing employment support, vocational day programs and recreation and leisure programs for 180 persons with intellectual disabilities, some of whom have a secondary mental health or physical disability. More than that though, DASC gives individuals the support they need to realize their true potential and become active members of their community. Cathy’s mission since her teens has been to make communities more welcoming and enlightened about the contributions of persons with disability and the right to full participation as engaged citizens.
What do you wish you knew at the beginning?
This life long journey of over 35 years has been incredible and there is nothing I would have changed: the good, bad and the ugly made me the person I am today. If anything I wish I knew at the beginning that sometimes the learnings from failure are as important as the learnings from success. In fact, a few glitches in the road can actually inspire and motivate.
What can other businesses learn from the way not-for-profit organizations measure success?
Business can learn that there is an added value and how to tell the story of that value beyond profit – at impact! Businesses are increasingly measuring beyond profit and calculating what their impact is in the world-at a cultural, environmental, and social level. Additionally, measuring success is long term and it’s about sustainability and it’s about patience and in that timeline – celebrate every moment.