Nevada County’s One Source-Empowering Caregivers president steps down, interim named
Special to The Union
After devoting 50 to 60 hours a week for the last five years as the unpaid founder, executive director and president of the board Donna Raibley is resigning from One Source-Empowering Caregivers, effective June 22.
“I always knew there would come a time when I would hand off the organization to the right people,” said Raibley, who founded the Grass Valley nonprofit in 2014.
One Source provides “care free” respite to 24/7, in-home caregivers in the community.
In January, Raibley resigned as executive director and turned the position over to a paid professional administrator, Carolyn Seyer.
Raibley is handing over the president’s gavel to Deborah Rousseau, who will serve as interim president of the board until later this year.
“I am not the long-term solution, but this will not prevent me from acting as if I am,” Rousseau laughed. She has been serving as vice-president.
Both Seyler and Rousseau were recommended to the board by Raibley and were appointed with unanimous votes.
UP THROUGH THE RANKS
Rousseau moved with her family to Grass Valley in 2015 to be closer to her then-83-year old mother. Inspired by an article she read in The Union, Rousseau was among the first class of graduates of Volunteer Care Specialists trained by One Source.
Volunteer Care Specialists donate four hours a week. They provide safe and trusted, nonmedical companionship to care recipients while the caregivers take a much-needed break to take care of themselves.
“The effort you put forth is so outweighed by the benefit that you receive in the opportunity to help people,” Rousseau said in an April 19, 2017, interview on KVMR community radio.
Rousseau quickly realized that she wanted to be more involved with One Source-Empowering Caregivers.
She told Raibley about her past experience serving on various nonprofit boards and working with transitional startup teams for Google, LinkedIn and others.
Rousseau was not only invited to join the board, she quickly was chosen to be vice-president.
IN THE INTERIM
Regarding her assumption of duties as interim president, Rousseau said she plans to collaborate with the board to redefine the roles and responsibilities of the board.
“For the first time in the organization’s history, the executive director is not a member of the board,” Rousseau explained. “This transition is something we’ve yet to experience. It’s a complex and new dynamic.”
“I think Carolyn’s [Seyler] great,” Rousseau said. “She’s very well networked. I’ve enjoyed working with her. She’s incredibly organized.”
Both Raibley and Rousseau emphasized Rousseau’s appointment is strictly interim. A former board member has agreed to return to the board as president later this year, they said.
They did not name the future president.
Rousseau explained that managing a transition from a startup to a next-level organization is one of her areas of expertise.
But, “I don’t think I’m the right president to take it where it needs to go, because it really does need somebody who’s well-versed in the community and has deep relationships — and I’m just too new to the community to be that person.”
Always stylishly attired, Raibley was fashionably dressed down in ripped jeans and a colorful blouse during a recent interview in Valentina’s near the One Source offices. She looked relaxed and happy to be free of the mantle of responsibility for the organization she created.
“In 2014, I made a promise to my dear, dying, friend Craig Dockter, that I would start what has become OSEC,” Raibley recounted.
“I also made a promise to myself to let it go when it was time,” she said. “What it takes to start a full-functioning community organization is far different from what it takes to run one.
“I didn’t know what I was doing when I started,” she admitted, “so I did everything by the book.”
To avoid any appearance of conflict of interest, Raibley insisted the nonprofit organization’s bylaws stipulated that she could serve as both executive director and president of the board only if she worked as an unpaid volunteer.
“It worked for me,” she said, “but I seriously don’t recommend it.” She revealed her health and family life suffered from doing both jobs.
“I didn’t do it alone,” she emphasized. “I feel so fortunate that I have been able to share this worthwhile mission with so many amazing, generous and talented people.
“What a gift!” she said. “This experience has been so rewarding. I am truly humbled and feel so incredibly grateful. I will now spend more time with my family — my wonderful and supportive husband Bob, my three daughters and five grandchildren.
“I think I’m going to take up painting, and spend more time in the garden,” she smiled.
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