WoodGreen (WG) Community Services didn’t have to search far to find its next president and CEO.
Anne Babcock, who worked closely with the east-end social service organization’s outgoing leader, Brian Smith, for nearly four decades, has been selected as his successor.
WoodGreen’s board of directors made the announcement Monday, Dec. 15.
“Anne is dedicated to the vision and mission of WoodGreen and her strong track record of developing and delivering excellent solutions for our clients makes her the ideal leader to take WoodGreen into the future,” Jasmine Tehara, the organization’s chair of the board, wrote in a release.
“Having worked her way through the organization from the front line to Chief Operating Officer, and now to President, she has unique perspective and incredible insight.”
A WoodGreen employee for 36 years, Babcock has been instrumental in helping build the organization from a single location with 40 staff members to a $47 million organization with 34 locations, 650 staff and 1,000 volunteers serving 37,000 people annually.
She’s been involved in all aspects of WoodGreen from seniors’ services to housing and community supports to family and neighbourhood services and employment and immigration services.
Babcock, a longtime Beach resident, has been directly involved in the development of several notable initiatives and programs at WoodGreen including:
• Homeward Bound, which provides a range of services to help inadequately housed or homeless mother-led families earn college diplomas, start careers and achieve economic self-sufficiency;
• First Step to Home, a residence for homeless and street-involved senior men;
• and the Bruce/WoodGreen Early Learning Centre.
Further, she also led WG in its role in the Don Valley/Greenwood Health Link, the replication of Homeward Bound in other communities across Ontario and the organization’s successful integration with Community Care East York. Babcock also worked closely with the City of Toronto to lead the re-housing process for those who were evicted from Tent City in 2002.
“Having worked with Anne for 36 years, I know her proven leadership, strong management skills and unparalleled passion for the mission of WoodGreen will ensure the organization maintains its role as a leader in delivering solutions to the most critical social needs facing Toronto,” Smith said in a release.
Babcock also serves as a volunteer board member with the Toronto Neighbourhood Centres, the International Federation of Settlement and Neighbourhood Services and previously served on the board of the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association, Riverdale Community Development Corporation and Access Loan Fund. She was also the longtime chair of United Way of Greater Toronto’s Citizens Review Panel for Children and Youth.
Babcock begins her new role as WoodGreen Community Services’ new president and CEO on Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015.