Photo: Past and present leaders of the CVCDA. L-R: Lorraine Aitken (past Executive Director), Joanne Schroeder (outgoing Executive Director), Cindy Xavier (new Executive Director), and Pam Crowe (President of the CVCDA Board of Directors).

“I am dedicated to creating environments where all children thrive. I believe that communities have an important role in supporting families in caring for their children and that we must all advocate for all children. I believe I share this value with those of you in leadership roles within the CVDCA and would be pleased to be part of furthering the work you are doing.”

We say ‘good bye’ this month to Joanne Schroeder, our Executive Director of the Comox Valley Child Development Association (CVCDA) for the last six years. The quote above is from Joanne’s application, when she originally applied for the position. It goes without saying, she certainly did live up to her vision in her time with the organization.

Joanne had big shoes to fill as our new Executive Director. However, she stepped into the position with determination and enthusiasm and succeeded in every way. She masterly guided the CVCDA through two successful CARF accreditations, resulting in the CVCDA continuing to receive the highest accreditation of three years in each case. Not that that result was ever in doubt in our minds. Joanne’s strong leadership and knowledge at our monthly board meetings has been so much appreciated by all of the board members. She is organized and always so well prepared to answer any question. Especially, when it comes to interpreting acronyms.

Joanne’s most recent and perhaps most high profile accomplishment was of course steering the CVCDA through to the successful construction and exciting opening of our new Comox Valley Autism Centre. It was, as Joanne would say, a huge team effort. But we know, every Team requires a leader and certainly Joanne was that!

Joanne has represented the CVCDA on many high profile committees in the Valley. This is surely reflected today when we look at the many organizations we see here now. Her collaborative approach and genuine care for children and families has ensured continued solid relationships with all our business and community partners, and our provincial and federal representatives.

As a Board, we will miss her. We will miss our meetings together at various places during Telethon time, our visits to our many wonderful service clubs, especially at telethon time, and just generally working with her on a day to day basis – it has indeed been a privilege.

So on behalf of all the members of the CVCDA Board of Directors and on behalf of the children, youth, young adults and families of the Comox Valley whose lives she has touched and enriched, we all say a very heart felt THANK YOU!!!!

We wish her happy travels to happy places, lots of wonderful grandma time with her grandchildren and happiness in wherever life takes her next.


Pam Crowe
President, Board of Directors
Comox Valley Child Development Association