Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with Special Needs
Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with Special Needs

2015 Annie Oliver Award Winner – Michelle Palmer

Michelle Palmer

Winner of the 2015 Annie Oliver Award for Excellence – Michelle Palmer, Community Living London

The Annie Oliver Award for Excellence, named after the founding President of OASIS, Annie Oliver, is awarded each year for outstanding contributions to the work of OASIS.

This year’s winner, Michelle Palmer, Executive Director at Community Living London, has demonstrated her commitment both to her agency, and to the developmental services sector as a whole through her provincial role.  She firmly believes that everyone connected to the field of disabilities is equal, and uses an open door policy with everyone.  She is accessible at all times and can be counted on 24 hours a day if needed.  Her quick wit and ability to find humour in difficult situations ensures others remain calm.

Michelle is a natural leader, and uses a participative approach to bring others on board.  In her community she has contributed to many different groups, and ensures that others do not forget the importance of including people with disabilities in their decision-making.

She encourages all members of her team to participate in community events and committees, and ensures the community knows the many faces of her agency, not just her own.  She shares in the successes, and also assumes responsibility if there are areas of concern.

This past year, Michelle was nominated by Fanshawe College for the Premier’s Award from Colleges Ontario.  Fanshawe College has previously presented her with a Distinguished Alumni Award for her contributions to her community.

Last year she was Chair of the OASIS Conference Planning Committee, and orchestrated one of our most successful conferences to date.  Other members of the committee will tell you, no matter how stressed things became, she had a way of calming people respectfully, while recognizing their attributes and ability to contribute.  Michelle is a highly valued leader within her own organization, and far beyond.  Congratulations Michelle!