Inspiring Leadership Award for a Provider: Jane Banks

On November 6, 2014, Homes for Families held our Annual Meeting/Membership Convening/Provider Appreciation Lunch/20th Birthday Party. We voted in the recommendations from our Visioning Day report, did a SWOT analysis of unifying as providers,  broke out into groups to discuss Policy Advocacy and Consumer Engagement (PACE), did an activity to help us grow and strengthen our membership program, saw an awesome livetweet from Stephanie Brown during a Twitter tutorial, and updated the group on HFF’s efforts…all in three hours.

But we did two other things crucial to the day’s success:

  1. We ate a delicious birthday cake to celebrate 20 years of HFF’s leadership in the movement to end family homelessness, and
  2. Awarded Jane Banks of the Center for Human Development our Inspiring Leadership Award for a Provider.

To truly capture the spirit and leadership the Jane encompasses, you have to see her in action. A blog post simply cannot do her justice.  However, that is no reason not to promote, celebrate, or even try to explain the empowerment she brings to families overcoming homelessness, and those working to support them, like this local news paper did.

We would like to add to that explanation. Please read our letter to Jane announcing that she is this year’s Inspiring Leadership Award Winner from our Executive Director, Libby Hayes:

Dear Jane,

It is with much pleasure that I share with you that the board and staff at Homes for Families has voted to honor you with our 2014 Inspiring Leadership Award for a Provider.  We have been inspired by your commitment to quality services, to the inclusion and dignity of families overcoming homelessness, and to the power of the provider voice.  We have been inspired by the teamwork and collaboration you foster.  And, we have been inspired by your enthusiasm, your energy and your empathy.  We invite you to attend our Annual Meeting/Membership Convening on Thursday, November 6th from 10am-1pm at 6 Institute Road in Worcester, where will incorporate the award presentation and appreciation lunch.

Homes for Families, the state, and provider community has come to rely on you and your team at the Center for Human Development to be a leader in innovative practice, family centered services and adapting to, and being a catalyst for, positive systems change.  We have been so impressed with the quality of work, the consistency, how in sync your staff is with families, and the pride you take in sharing it all.  Your leadership, values, and dedication to the work is evident throughout your programs.  As you say, “You can’t do great work with a bad attitude,” and it is clear that your positive attitude is contagious….and inspiring.

You also make Homes for Families better- be it leading the discussion on membership dues, asking for action on controversial, but important issues, and of course, taking Visioning Day to the next level! Obviously arranging busses for families and colleagues in your region made the 2014 event a huge success (“Western MA Rocks”) and will hopefully inspire programs in other regions to follow your lead.  But your feedback about Visioning Day a few years ago helped us to recognize how important the inspirational parts of the day are-because of you we are now more conscientious to include elements of hope, empowerment and unity.

We rely on our members and partners to meet our mission- to keep us informed, to educate us, to advocate with us, to link us with families and front line staff, to challenge us, to run programs with integrity, to lead us, and to inspire us. Thank you for informing, educating, advocating, linking, challenging, running, leading, and inspiring.  Thank you for the positive role you play in the movement to end homelessness and the incredible impact you make in the Homes for Families community.

With much respect,

Libby and Team HFF

Thank you to Jane and the people who work with her for supporting families and strengthening the commonwealth…and with a great attitude.



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