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Heroes of diversability: Uptown Rutland Business Association

The Uptown Rutland Business Association (URBA) is all about promoting healthy and strong relationships between businesses to help their corner of our city thrive.

Though they help the businesses around them succeed, URBA has also taken a look within their organization to see where they can make changes.

<who>Photo Credit: URBA</who>

After connecting with Pathways at one of the popular Business After Five events, the two organizations struck a deal, helping to bring URBA’s idea of a hand delivered newsletter to fruition.

In a day where newsletters are mainly delivered electronically, URBA wanted to bring back that old fashioned way of doing things to represent their organization's commitment to knowing their community.

Pathways got them connected with Sandra, who has since delivered the URBA newsletter to over 120 locations once a month, helping to forge the strong ties URBA was hoping for over the last two and a half year.

“People see Sandra coming now and they know it is the newsletter, they look forward to seeing her,” said Laurel D’Andrea, Executive Director of URBA.

<who>Photo Credit: URBA</who> Sandra

According to D’Andrea, URBA has even received a phone call or two from happy readers commenting on Sandra’s positive attitude.

“It’s funny, I was just saying some staff here the other day, that if all employees were like Sandra, life would be better.”

Always punctual and eager to work, Sandra is ready for her route every time despite juggling two other jobs according to D’Andrea. “She works her butt off.”

Though Pathways was the first to strike conversation between the two businesses, D’Andrea has made it quite clear she could not be happier with the outcome of the relationship.

<who>Photo Credit: URBA</who> Some URBA team member at a Business After Five

“We have no misgivings whatsoever, it has been such a positive relationship for our business, more people need to step out of their comfort zone and jump on it.”

After almost three years, D’Andrea says that Sandra is part of the family. “She will come in and tell us about her life, she is very laid back and what you see is what you get with her, she’s just great.”

Not only has URBA gained a star-employee, but according to D’Andrea, they have filled a void they didn’t even know they needed to.

“Don’t underestimate the staff at Pathways, don’t assume they can’t do this or that, just call and ask if they have an employee to fit your job description because their staff are simply just good, hardworking people, and those types of people are hard to find,” said D’Andrea.

(Header image credit: URBA)

This our seventh installment of Heroes of Diversability, which is a series highlighting businesses around Kelowna who have partnered up with Pathways to employ an individual with 'diversability.'

Pathways Abilities Society is a non-profit organization providing services to individuals with diverse abilities in the Central Okanagan for over 60 years.

Among the services it provides, Pathways connects local progressive businesses with individuals with diverse abilities, developing customized employment programs that put diverse abilities to work in our community.

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