by Stephen Dafoe
Raymond Cormie joined Homeland Housing as their new Chief Executive Officer Jan. 2. After a month on the job says he’s pretty settled into the new position and into living in Morinville.
With a variety of experience starting as a recreation therapist 18 years ago and expanding into seniors housing, supportive living, long-term care, and adult day programming, Cormie was seen as the right person to take on the transition after the amalgamation of the former Sturgeon Foundation and Westlock Foundation.
That amalgamation resulted in one housing operation looking after 21 sites offering seniors independent living, seniors lodge, and supportive living three and four.
“My experience is varied through housing and healthcare,” Cormie said. “I think more and more we are seeing an integration of housing and healthcare that is allowing seniors to age in place or age in community, which is important. So, for us as an organization, it is looking at how we balance the need for housing and the need for health care services, so they make sense for our seniors and also our organization.”
Cormie said he has spent the first month getting to know the organization, travelling to all of Homeland’s sites and meeting the staff to get feedback on what in the organization is working well and what immediate and future focus should be.
“We have a very dedicated group of staff, and we are fortunate to have people that are committed to our seniors, that are committed to what we are doing,” Cormie said. “You don’t see that in a lot of organizations. I’m very fortunate.”
Having brought the two organizations together before his arrival,
Cormie is aware that navigating those former entities is part of the road ahead.
“We still need to be able to look through those two organizations and bring forward best practices,” he said. “Each organization had different best practices. We want to bring those together to be an industry leader.”
Cormie said projects like the forthcoming 48-unit Morinville affordable housing project are among the opportunities for future growth as is the addition of 24 units at Homeland’s Redwater facility, and the second phase of Northridge in St. Albert.
“We are always looking for opportunities to grow the industry, not only for seniors but also for affordable housing for seniors and lower-income individuals,” Cormie said.
Homeland Housing Board Chair Gord Putnam said the organization is pleased to have Cormie aboard.
“I’m excited that he’s come on board with us,” Putnam said. “He brings a wealth of experience and background that we are looking for. He has experience in the housing industry, senior housing industry, as well as healthcare – all of which is coming together in our region. We have a lot of that type of need and care.”
Putnam said with Cormie’s assistance, the transition is coming along well.