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2014 Winner ReFocus Lifetime Leadership Award

Sister Patricia Farley

ReFocus is proud to award Sister Patricia Farley our very first Lifetime Leadership Award. As a Sister of Mercy for sixty-three years, Sister Pat has had ample opportunities to develop her skills as a leader in many varied ministries. Sister Pat has taught in elementary and high school and at Our Lady of Providence Seminary. In addition, she trained medium security inmates at the ACI to teach literacy to other less educated incarcerated men. Sister Pat has been a principal, director of religious education, a tutor of welfare mothers in their homes to assist them in getting their GED, and has served as Vice President of the Leadership Team for the Sisters of Mercy.  Not many people know this, but Pat was instrumental in creating a Literacy Program, training college students from RIC, PC and Brown University, to teach literacy to adults with developmental disabilities. Pat later brought the basics of this literacy program to ReFocus and it has grown and flourishes to this day. In all these ministries, Sister Pat has left an indelible positive mark on many people of all ages throughout her many careers.

We have been blessed at ReFocus, for the past twenty-one years, to have Sister Pat’s leadership skills helping to improve and shape the Agency we have become. Pat began her time here at ReFocus as the Director of Human Resources. Pat’s skills helped create systems for personnel, hiring, improved policy and procedures and, most importantly, a comprehensive and creative training program for all Direct Support Professionals.  After Pat established these basic programs, she then went on to create a dynamic Management Training Program for current coordinators and for those aspiring to move up into management.

Pat’s exceptional teaching and organizational skills were instrumental in bringing ReFocus to a higher level of professionalism. However, many people at ReFocus will tell you that the place where Pat really shines is in her one-to-one conversations, her encouragement, her challenges to you to become better, her vision of you that sees the gifts and talents you possess that you may not have seen in yourself. There are countless stories of people whom Pat has made a point to get to know, to listen to, and  to encourage in her effort to help them be the best they can be!

Pat Farley is leadership in action! ReFocus prides itself on having one of the best employee training programs at every level, thanks to Pat’s love of teaching and her desire for people to know their jobs, understand the expectations, and have the skills necessary to do the job well.

As the needs at ReFocus grew through the years, Pat took on the great challenge of Development and a Capital Campaign to raise $3 million dollars to pay for our new home at 45 Greeley Street in Providence and, by the way, Pat also found the building for us! Although Development was not Pat’s first or second love, she was very good at it. To date, in spite of a very difficult economic climate over the past six years, Pat has led the way in ReFocus raising $2.5 million dollars towards the $3 million goal! Pat’s leadership knows no bounds!

Sister Patricia Farley, how can we ever thank you for all you have accomplished in these past 21 years to make ReFocus a more professional Agency, with carefully vetted and well-trained staff, and with a growing base of dedicated donors and clients who love you as much as we do!