Looking ahead at 40

A small car drove in and out stepped a slightly greying man and two teens. “Remember me? Allan Earle [with son an daughter],” he said.
Yes! A 1970 heavy equipment operator graduate, and son of Cliff McIntosh’s recreation director friend, Del Earle, formerly of Marathon. Allan used to challenge me at ping-pong!
More surprises: Al Earle has live and worked in Japan for the last 13 years. Surfing the ’Net nostalgically one day, he keyed in “Quetico Centre” and viola! Pictures, words, and memories popped up.
So he decided to stop in when he came home to visit his 91-year-old father. And like other long-term friends, Allan reflected on how quickly time has passed, then wanted to know what we are doing now.
Quetico Centre is 40 years old. As the millennium nears, we are positioning our specific activities to meet new needs. But the essence of our work is constant–to help people understand change forces, and through learning and planning approaches shape constructive futures.
We continue our special commitment to Northwestern Ontario. This region is a beautiful place to live, and we believe its problems also spell opportunity.
We will keep doing our best to make constructive contributions to this area.
Currently, we are engaged in helping with the restructuring of health service agencies, municipalities and unorganized areas, non-profit organizations, and anyone else concerned with responding to external change.
We also are the lead agency in a collaborative experimental project testing the feasibility of industrial hemp as an alternate fibber source and significant agriculture business in Northwestern Ontario.
As “Quetico Centre for Healthy Living,” we conduct seminars on stress management, healthful eating, and living well despite disabilities like heart disease or diabetes.
Many groups use our workshop planning and facilitation expertise. Others benefit from bringing key people together in our unique setting for quality thinking and planning on their own.
Unique beyond Northwestern Ontario, Quetico Centre is a serenely beautiful site, and a well-equipped and maintained facility. It is perfectly designed for 100 people, as one group or in smaller, self-contained groups.
Quetico Centre also will keep working beyond Northwestern Ontario in response to requests that fit our philosophy and mission. For instance, the larger population south of the border represents opportunity for Northwestern Ontario generally, and for Quetico Centre specifically.
Given the urban bustle, they value our natural beauty and peace as the “magic” for de-stressing and fresh, concentrated thinking and planning.
Our strategy includes entering the U.S. Midwest. We worked with Inland Steel Company of Chicago 15 plus years ago; and we do that again now as it becomes part of a global enterprise, Ispat.
We also are engaged with Prairie Crossing, a unique conservation community in Illinois. It is a successful model for suburban living that preserves the natural environment.
We always have been educational entrepreneurs–we see a need, or someone comes to us with one. We put together the resources to meet the need. That may seem simple. It isn’t. It is a new challenge every time.
But underlying all our efforts is the faith that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things; and the commitment to help make this a better world.
Linda Wiens is an organization effectiveness coach, editor of a regional newsletter, and vice-president of Quetico Centre.

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