Celebrating Service: In Conversation with Two CLB Staff

Community Living Brant (CLB) is celebrating 70 years of providing supports and services to people in Brantford and Brant County.

This past June, new employees and experienced staff alike gathered for a gala to recognize their hard work and dedication — as well as to enjoy an evening of festivities.

At this gala, Stephanie Braund and Patty Bester both received recognition for their years of service — five and 35 years, respectively.

Stephanie is a supervisor with CLB and Patty is an Early ON educator. They met and sat in conversation for the first time this September to chat about their roles, gifts and, of course, the agency.

Patty Bester (left).

Patty Bester (left).

Both began their time at CLB by providing direct supports to people with developmental disabilities. Patty started supporting people in their homes back when she was in high school — working before and after her classes.

“Everyone I work with has been so supportive since I started with the agency, and I know I have so many people who are looking out for me.”

It was here that her eyes were opened to what she wanted to do for her career and where she found a sense of purpose as she assisted people to find the things in life they enjoyed and were passionate about.

Now, in her role as an Early ON educator, Patty continues to find meaning in her work by assisting families to connect to services in the city as well as to each other.

Patty considers herself a community connector and finds great joy in watching the moms who attend her groups form relationships and support networks with each other.

Stephanie Braund (right).

Stephanie Braund (right).

Stephanie has been a supervisor with CLB for the past six months, previously providing direct supports.

While Stephanie misses the one-on-one time with people her previous role afforded her, she enjoys the different challenges each day brings in her new position as well as the numerous options available for her to explore her passions in terms of CLB committees and groups.

Both women speak of their gratitude in working for an organization that is supportive of their professional development as well as their overall wellness.

“Everyone I work with has been so supportive since I started with the agency, and I know I have so many people who are looking out for me,” Stephanie says.

Patty has appreciated the opportunities to explore her own passions in her work, such as designing workshops for early childhood development as well as teaching first aid and parenting courses.

She adds that her manager is invested in her personal well-being and always ensures she is checking in to make sure her staff have the support they need.

Patty Bester (centre).

Patty Bester (centre).

As the women look to the future, they say they are confident that CLB will continue providing service that aligns with their vision and values.

“We will continue to ensure we are providing personalized supports that help people achieve their outcomes,” Stephanie says.

Patty adds: “We want to support people to see what they are capable of so they can get the best out of life.”


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