At today’s monthly Board of Directors’ meeting, VISTE (Volunteers In Service To the Elderly) President Alice O’Reilly announced her retirement, which will be effective December 31 of this year.
“Alice’s leadership, commitment, and vitality have translated into significant benefits to VISTE and its clients, along with a high degree of public awareness throughout Polk County,” said Steve Bissonnette, a VISTE Board of Directors member.
“Alice’s unmatchable passion to honor and serve Polk County’s frail elderly, helping them live independently in their own homes for as long as possible, has inspired and challenged thousands of school-age children, community leaders, and volunteers, from all walks of life, to become a part of this noble and ever-growing mission,” said Dan McBride, VISTE Board of Directors Chairman. “This is her legacy.”
Alice O’Reilly began serving on the VISTE Board of Directors in 1986 and has served as its Executive Director since 1995. At the end of her tenure with VISTE, O’Reilly will have served the organization 20 years. In that time, she has become the public face of VISTE and the driving force behind its continued growth and success.
Today, VISTE has more than 4,000 clients and approximately 1,000 volunteers.
“VISTE will certainly miss her daily presence, but we will always feel her presence because she has been such an integral part of making VISTE what it is today,” said Ashley Miller, VISTE’s Volunteer Coordinator. “It has been both a delight to work with her and an inspiration to watch her work. She is my mentor.”
“Serving the elderly has been a huge part of my life for 21 years. My focus will always remain to be what’s best for VISTE, and I am confident that VISTE will remain strong and vital to the clients we support. This has been the greatest experience of my life, and I love each and every one who has made it so meaningful,” said O’Reilly.
During her time as VISTE President, O’Reilly has distinguished herself as a strong advocate for the elderly in this community. She has served in various volunteer capacities herself, including:
- White House Council on Aging – past delegate under the Bush administration
- Florida Department of Elder Affairs Advisory Council – Past Chairman
- West Central Florida Agency on Aging – President
- Leadership Lakeland Class II Graduate
- Jere Annis Award recipient, 2002
- Lakeland Woman of the Year, 1999
- City of Lakeland Seniors Council – Member
- Lakeland Vision – Co-Chairman for Quality of Life
- Lakeland Electric – Advisory Board
- Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce – Executive Committee Member
- Lakeland Leadership Council on Seniors, and
- Lakeland Regional Medical Center Foundation – Past President and Board Member.
O’Reilly is scheduled to continue in her present capacity as President until Dec. 31. Bissonnette has been named the chairman of the Search Committee.
For additional information, please contact McBride at 863.660.0700.