January 1, 2019
A MESSAGE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Greetings FOCUS Friends and Supporters:
2018 was an exciting and challenging year for FOCUS.
When the year began the FOCUS team established goals and objectives that would move the organization to a new place of prominence in our community. FOCUS has always been a leader in the realm of community engagement, and in 2018 we set out to build upon that reputation by finding new ways to engage the public and widen the network of individuals attending our events. With those goals in mind our team:
- Conducted more FOCUS Forums than in previous years to inform the public on issues including tourism efforts, patient-centered health research, local economic development, and citizen-led capacity building in our neighborhoods to name a few.
- Held FOCUS Forums at new and exciting locations including the La Casita Cultural Center, the Oncenter, Fayetteville Village Hall, the Southside Innovation Center and the Exposition Center at the State Fairgrounds.
- Established new partnerships with the Thursday Morning Roundtable, Leadership Greater Syracuse (LGS), Believe in Syracuse and others to coordinate our community outreach events and maximize our diverse networks for greater public engagement.
- Held one of the first town hall events with then newly elected Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and then partnered with LGS in a highly successful town hall program with new Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon.
- Recognized our “Community Storyteller” Sean Kirst as our 2018 Wisdom Keeper.
- Celebrated 20 years of FOCUS success by recognizing 20 Community Success Stories via our locally acclaimed 20 for 20 FOCUS series 20 for 20
- Conducted another highly successful Citizens Academy that included over 35 new future leaders of our community.
While we consider these activities a success, sometimes the best intentions and plans just run out of time and resources. While we did offer programs in different parts of our community, citizen participation at those programs did not always meet our stated goals. We will continue to work on that, and in 2019 we hope to build upon our lessons learned to widen and diversify our audiences.
We also did not meet our financial goals in 2018. To sustain our mission and programs we must find new ways to bring in revenue. This effort will include continued efforts to partner and collaborate with other like-minded organizations. These activities will continue to be a priority for us next year.
So as FOCUS moves ahead, I look forward to meeting you, and I encourage you to send me your thoughts and suggestions on how we can continue to be a positive and productive force in Central New York. Our community needs good volunteers who are willing to put their experience to work in making this an even better place to live, work, and play; and FOCUS can use all the help we can get. You can contact FOCUS at (315) 448-8732.
FOCUS Executive Director