Community Enterprises' 40th Anniversary Celebration

MAY 12, 2016

Community Enterprises celebrated 40 years of empowering individuals with disabilities to live, learn, work and thrive in the community at a luncheon on May 12th, 2016 held at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, MA.

More than 350 participants, staff, individuals and businesses in the community attended the event. Various guest speakers, led by Master of Ceremonies Scott Coen, congratulated CE and assisted in presenting the Community Partnership Awards. These awards recognized 75 employers, funding sources, participants, supporters, volunteers and staff who have exemplified Community Enterprises’ mission throughout the past 40 years.

Thanks to those who sponsored the event, and to everyone who contributed, Community Enterprises was able to raise $40,000 for their programs.

Alex & Ani
Amherst College
Benjamin A. Barnes P.C.
Big Y Foods, Inc.
Borawski Insurance
Brien Center
Brittney Kelleher
Deerfield Packaging
Dick Venne
Donald Miner
Dr. Cai Eyecare Center
Dr. Nguyen
Eastside Grill
Elaine & Oliver Jones
Florence Bank
Gil Cote
Gove Law Office
Health New England
Jennifer Pisano
Jim Kelly
Joanne Carlisle
Joanne Salus
Julia Powers
Kate Venne
Kathy Moylan
Ken Gagne
Kim R. Crossman
Liberty of Oklahoma
Linda and Michael Gilman
Mike Goggins
Mohegan Sun
Mutual of America
NAMI Western MA
Nickolaus Haenchen
Pam Zagorski
Paragus IT
Patty and Jim Byrnes
Pioneer Landscapes
Rich Horton
Roger Aubuchon
Royal P.C.
Sue Cauley
The Gaudreau Group
The Log Cabin
Valley Marketing
W. B. Mason
Webber & Grinnell
Whittlesey & Hadley
William Donohue
Windsor Program
Zenner’s Package & Variety, Inc



Ode to Community Enterprises May 12, 2016 by, Dick Venne

The Incentive Community Started in 1972
As part of a Hospital Improvement Grant run by Dan Loux
Incorporating as Incentive Community Enterprises in 1975
Listening to the Bee Gee’s Stayin Alive 

There were many great business started that same year
Microsoft, Apple, Armani along with Community Enterprises are still here
With humble beginnings in the basement of Northampton State
Our first big change occurred with help from MRC in 1978 

Transitional Employment services came to be
By the way that was the same year the company hired me
It was then that the company created project AIM
Institutional and supported living care would never be the same 

In 1980 the company took a very big gamble
Hiring our first CEO, an Irishman from California named Joe Campbell
Joe helped shape the vision for a new service model
Community inclusion began at full throttle 

Our services were at the beginning of a national movement
We closed our workshops in favor of supported employment
Our notoriety gained a lot of traction
And ICE community based services were the main attraction 

We began to open new branches at the request of the state
Our programs and services were seen as first rate
Our Connecticut service contracts began in 1984
The first from DMR led to many more 

In 1989 we lost our Incentive and became Community Enterprises
We moved into the 90’s without many surprises
1997 saw the departure of our Irishman Joe
Back to California he was off to run a new show 

The Board began their search with a look toward heaven
They received quite a gift in the form of Dick Venne
For the past 19 years at the Community Enterprises helm
Advancing the company into many new realms 

As the turn of the century we expanded our work
We opened a branch in Long Island New York
From Community Staffing to Adult Family care
Our wide array of services are beyond compare 

2008 was a great year of change
We started the Walgreens Project increasing our range
Our Job Training and Placement Services would never be the same
Corporate America is now in the game 

We’ve replicated the model with 10 other firms
Thousands of jobs created helping our participants earn
As I looked for our next state I did ponder and wonder
And chose the Greer center in the home of the thunder 

Expanding to the Southwest
Oklahoma will put us to the test
Our Consulting Division began 2 years ago
From Kentucky to Colorado XEROX has kept us on the go 

Last year we opened services in Rhode Island
Our abundance of opportunities looks like they will never end
I must applaud my tremendous leadership team
Rich, Joanne, Mary, Carla, Kathy, Pam and Noreen 

I am thrilled you came to celebrate with us today
We are here to honor many in a special way
Please join in with me and cheer
As Community Enterprises celebrates its 40th year