Family Centre announced today that the chairperson of its Board of Directors, Justin Freisenbruch, has stepped down after a total of eighteen years of service with the last seven years as Board Chair. The Board of Directors unanimously elected Board member Venetta Symonds as the new Board Chair, effective June 7, 2023.
Justin Freisenbruch has been a Director on the Family Centre Board since 2005, serving on the Fund Development and Governance Committees. Among many transitions, Justin’s visionary leadership helped to take Family Centre through its move to the Sunshine League House, an Executive Director Leadership transition, and a pandemic. “Justin Freisenbruch has always empowered our staff and leadership teams to dream big and own our space of impact in the community. His drive to ensure that our organization was fully supported so that we can meet our mission has been felt during his entire length of service,” said Dr Sandy De Silva, Executive Director of Family Centre.
“It has been nothing short of an honour to be involved with such a critically important organization and the incredible people that work there. Over my time with Family Centre there has been remarkable change, yet Family Centre is no doubt as consistently essential and uplifting as it always has been. It is with great pleasure that I will pass on the Board Chair role to Venetta Symonds, who has a huge wealth of relevant experience and obvious passion. I have no doubt she will work well with Family Centre’s leadership to drive the organisation to further successes,” said Justin Freisenbruch.
“During Mr. Freisenbruch’s tenure, Family Centre experienced tremendous growth and notable impact on the community. We fulfilled a staff driven dream to own our own home. Family Centre’s Counselling Services expanded capacity with additional counsellor positions and an internship programme. The Community Outreach Programmes expanded to now include a Beyond Yoga Bermuda programme. Our Advocacy Initiatives continue to grow ensuring that prevention efforts remain as important as the delivery of our therapeutic intervention services,” said Dr De Silva. She added, “Mr. Freisenbruch’s exemplary leadership strengthened our focus on being strategic to maximize impact. We are grateful for his service to the organization.”
Venetta Symonds is the former CEO and President of the Bermuda Hospitals Board and is currently an Executive Coach and Mentor. She possesses a range of experience and skills honed through 40-years of service in healthcare, with 20 years of service at the leadership level. Mrs Symonds has served on various Boards throughout the years and now volunteers on Boards where she finds alignment with her values, such as the value of the family unit. Mrs. Symonds is a seasoned executive, coach, and mentor. She championed patient care while serving on the front line of change throughout her career, and advocated for employees, introduced needed health services, delivered on significant deliverables, insisted on high consistent standards, and improved corporate governance.
“I am honoured to join Family Centre. Family Centre is known for the value it contributes to the community, providing much needed care and resources to the families of Bermuda. I have witnessed how selfless leadership is reflected through the work of Family Centre’s Board, staff, volunteers, and in the faces and voices of children utilizing the services of the organization. I respect and admire Dr De Silva and her skilled team, and I look forward to working with them to realize the Family Centre strategy, along with the support of dedicated community partners.” said Venetta Symonds.
Dr De Silva ended, “We are so fortunate and proud that Family Centre remains in great hands under the leadership of Venetta Symonds who brings extraordinary skill, integrity, compassion, and understanding to our organization as we move into the next phase of our growth.”