DERRY — The Upper Room, a Family Resource Center, recently announced a two new names on the roster of its executive board of directors.
Daryl Arsenault, a corporate trainer for Citizens Bank, has been appointed president. Jacob Wiesmann, Chief Financial Officer for Parkland Medical Center, has been named vice president.
Both men have arrived with unique perspectives, allowing them to provide valuable direction to the agency that will help better serve families in the Greater Derry Community.
Wiesmann became involved with The Upper Room after Tina Legere, Parkland Medical Center’s CEO, identified the agency as one that aligns with Parkland Medical Center’s core values of compassion, respect and a strong family-focus.
Now serving as vice president on the Board of Directors, Wiesmann said he believes The Upper Room fills an important role in the community that often goes underserved.
“Other communities don’t have resources for young families and at-risk youth like The Upper Room does,” Wiesmann said. “The Upper Room gives individuals and families an avenue to develop and strengthen their skills. This education-driven organization understands that every member of the community is valuable, and has the capacity for greatness. I’m so proud to serve on the Board of Directors because I have the opportunity to give back to the Derry community through an organization that centers itself on the fundamentals of family.”
Arsenault has a distinctive story of how he came to be involved with The Upper Room many years ago that eventually helped land his position as president.
In 2007, Arsenault was one of the few chosen to participate in Citizens Bank sabbatical program where employees apply to take part in a three-month long volunteer project with a local nonprofit agency of the individual’s and company’s choosing.
Knowing he wanted to work with youth, Arsenault conducted a quick Internet search to find an organization he could involve himself with. The first result in his search was The Upper Room, where he learned about what’s now known as its Adolescent Wellness Program. Turns out, Citizens Bank had also identified The Upper Room as a potential partnership, as well as two other organizations.
“I had meetings with the other two agencies Citizens Bank chose to see if there would be a mutual fit,” Arsenault said, “and then I met with The Upper Room. The connection between me and The Upper Room became immediately clear, and left a lasting impression. Our initial meet and greet turned into a wonderful two-hour-long discussion that began our working relationship.”
Arsenault came on board with The Upper Room and worked closely with Diane Casale, Greater Derry Juvenile Diversion Coordinator, to kick off the Community Service Learning Opportunities program, where youth participate in community projects in order to learn lifelong skills. He dedicated these three months to making sure CSLO was running smoothly, and identified potential roadblocks and solutions.
When his three-month sabbatical program came to an end, Arsenault chose to stay on with The Upper Room as a part-time employee, in addition to keeping his full time job with Citizens Bank. He soon transitioned from a part-time employee into a volunteer for the Greater Derry Juvenile Diversion Program, where he served on the review team.
In 2009, Arsenault joined The Upper Room’s Board of Directors, and stepped up as acting president in 2012 when the former president had to step down. Now in 2013, he is officially president of the agency’s Board of Directors.
“I just can’t bring myself to leave The Upper Room,” Arsenault said. “The fact that I have chosen to transition into many roles here speaks volumes about the organization, and I am happy to get involved in any way I can. I truly believe in The Upper Room’s mission. So many families need resources that we can provide for them. And even if we don’t have a particular program or service that meets their needs, we will find one for them. I find great joy in knowing I truly make a difference for The Upper Room’s staff members, who in turn make a difference in the lives of our clients every day.”
“We’re elated to have both Jacob and Daryl join our executive board of directors,” said Kimberly Bavaro, executive director of The Upper Room. “We’re confident in their abilities to lead us in a positive direction and make a difference for the families in our community. For Daryl specifically, having previously held the titles of employee, volunteer, and general board member, he has a matchless perspective on all aspects of the organization that allows him to make decisions, and provide guidance without a limited viewpoint.”
To learn more about The Upper Room, and how to become involved, visit URteachers.org.