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A Farewell to Monty

Monty Laskin with group at farewell party
Written by Skid Crease

Monty LaskinOn Wednesday afternoon, April 6th at The Exchange in Bolton, a farewell party was held to celebrate the almost two decades of service that CEO Monty Laskin has given passionately to Caledon Community Services (CCS) and the people of the Town of Caledon. I had the privilege of interviewing Monty a few days before the event. His responses were heartfelt and poignantly honest.

Here is that Q and A verbatim:

Q. Monty, reflecting over your time with CCS, what are the changes you have noticed in the needs of our community? What do you see as our priorities as we move forward?

A: “I was welcomed to the team in 2006. Seventeen years later, a snippet of time in the grand scheme of Caledon’s growth, there are some cracks (in a mostly beautiful landscape) that threaten some people’s opportunities for independence and well-being. So what’s the greatest need? What’s the opposite of complacency? All of Caledon’s community services are facing risks of being overwhelmed with volume that simply cannot be accommodated within the existing service models. I guess that means the need is for the community to step up. I appreciate that this is a familiar refrain from community organizations, I just don’t recall it ever being shouted with such alarm by all of Caledon’s community-based agencies. When this community is engaged we see time and again what it can accomplish. So that’s the need in a nutshell, increased community engagement, an army of families and groups taking up the cause to support their neighbors. If the increased need for food support is tracking at 40% year over year, it’s pretty apparent that there are growing poverty challenges that demand attention.”

Q: What have been the highlights of your 17 years of service?
A: “People who have been exceptional in the pursuit of their dreams; people who have persevered; people who have made it their responsibility to build a strong and caring community; the staff and volunteers I’ve come to adore; the Senior Directors I’ve had the privilege to work with, battle with, problem solve and get good things done in the name of a tremendous community organization.”

Q: What would you like to say to your team at CCS on this occasion?.
A:  “Can’t thank them enough for giving the Caledon community and many staff bold and innovative leadership. And for being part of a strong work family that shared many joys, challenges, some sadness, all in all a journey that has been such a joy.”

Monty Laskin with Wanda Buote

(L to R) Monty with Wanda Buote, Chair of CCS Board of Directors. Background: longtime community volunteer Doug Prince.

The farewell party at The Exchange was a full house, packed with colleagues, friends and Caledon citizens who continue to be beneficiaries of Monty’s leadership. An inscription near the entrance welcomed the crowd and set the tone for the afternoon. It read:

“True leaders are rare, and you, Monty, are one. Thank you for sharing your skills and wisdom. We hope your next chapter is a great one!”

Warm hugs and smiles filled the room as 17 years of stories were exchanged with Monty. It is in the words and memories of others that the true nature of a person is revealed, and that was on full display at this party. When it came time for the speeches from his staff, they highlighted his “innovative leadership, challenging the status quo, and commitment to Caledon.”

One colleague commented: “Whenever Monty engaged a client, it was true, honest and heartfelt.”

Monty’s farewell address was simple. He humbly praised his team, staff and volunteers, and each Chair of the Board of Directors with whom he had served over those 17 years was remembered personally: “I was blessed to have strong leadership on the Board.”  He concluded by expressing his gratitude to the CCS staff.

His staff and the community responded by thanking Monty with an online card filled with their

gratitude for his passionate and positive impact on our lives. Here are a few examples:

“Thank you for being a good friend, leader, visionary, opponent, colleague, mentor and CEO. You have done an amazing job in a time and space like no other. You made massive contributions to the organization and this place we call home. Your mark will be permanent. Wishing you the very best in your next pursuit. Off you go with tremendous thanks.”

“Your impact on the Caledon community is immense Monty. Thank you for all that you’ve done.” 

‘Your dedication to newcomers has been nothing short of inspiring, and your positive impact on our community is immeasurable. I’m grateful for your kindness, your open-mindedness, and your unwavering smile of support to all around you.” 

“Caledon is lucky to have had you in our corner all these years!

Now it will be up to the experienced team at CCS, invigorated by energetic new additions to staff, to carry on that passion of caring for our community. We need look no further than the legacy of Monty Laskin and the CCS team to find a shining example of the opposite of complacency. Let’s take that inspiration into the future, Caledon.

The way I see it.

SPECIAL NOTE:  The Caledon Community Services Board has launched a one-time initiative that invites people to make a donation in celebration of Monty Laskin’s tenure, All funds raised will go towards areas of greatest need in the year ahead. People wishing to donate should go to Caledon Community Services | Donate ( and Monty will receive a card informing me of their kind gesture.


About the author

Skid Crease

Skid is an internationally respected, award winning educator, author, keynote speaker & storyteller. An environmental & outdoor education specialist. Accredited member Canadian Association of Journalists. “Always leave your campsite cleaner than you found it.”

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