How do you fill the shoes of a giant?
That was the situation that faced us with the passing of our long-time Office Assistant Vickie Nettles. She meant so much to this organization and to the families we served. She was who we all contacted when we had questions about autism or just needed a sympathetic ear. She helped us to move the Autism Society forward by being available to make presentations to various groups and participate in community resource fairs. She was one of the main reasons that the Autism Society of Acadiana had grown so much. Her death left a huge hole in our chapter that could not be easily filled.
We knew we needed to staff the office with someone who is very knowledgeable about autism and disability issues, who could really listen to families and help them find the resources they may need. We also needed someone who could make sure the office runs smoothly and can help us provide the workshops, trainings, and fun activities that benefit our families, as well as coordinate the fundraisers that help us to operate. We knew this was a tall order to fill and that we needed to take our time to do it right.
At its August 16 meeting, the Board of Directors voted to set up a committee to look at how the office was staffed and everything else that Vickie had done, determine what we needed to help us continue to successfully grow and be relevant to our members, to create a staffing plan for the office, and develop new job descriptions. The committee recommended to the Board at its November 15 meeting that, instead of one office assistant and a contract bookkeeper, that we establish two new positions.
The Office Manager will be in charge of the day-to-day operations for the Autism Society Acadiana office. The Events Coordinator will work with our events committees to coordinate all Autism Society events from fundraisers to parties to workshops and presentations. We were adamant that both positions be knowledgeable about autism and disabilities issues so that they could both provide necessary assistance to our families or refer them to resources that can help them better meet their needs. This was the main reason we opened this office five years ago. Thanks to Vickie and all she did, we have become a highly trusted resource for our families and for the community. Establishing two positions means that the office continues to run efficiently while we provide a high level of service to our membership and our communities. It also gives us more manpower with we which we can provide you with more events, activities, and educational opportunities going forward.
The job descriptions for both the Office Manager and the Events Coordinator are on our website. If you are interested in applying for one or both of these positions, please send your résumé to us either by email or mail to:
Autism Society of Acadiana
3108 West Pinhook Road, Suite 101
Lafayette, La. 70508
Autism Society of Acadiana