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Recognizing a Remarkable Career

Aspen / Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary would like to share that as of August 28, 2020 Shirley Purves has retired from her role as CEO of Aspen Family and Community Network Society (Aspen). Shirley’s departure marks the close of a remarkable 23-year career as Aspen’s CEO.

Throughout her impressive tenure, Shirley strategically guided her team to deliver smarter social services for people caught at the intersections of our communities’ toughest social issues. Shirley’s leadership encouraged team members at every level of the agency to consistently listen, learn and strive to improve, while pushing the boundaries of what seemed impossible and inspiring others to take action by continually putting People First and thinking about Community Always.

Shirley at the grand opening for the Aspen Commons in Strathmore.

While many leaders often slow down their pace of work and close projects as they near the end of their career, Shirley continued to drive her team forward at full speed, never passing on an opportunity to be innovative, influence change in the sector, and enhance services for people accessing programming. In her final year as Aspen’s leader, Shirley supported the group care team to purchase, renovate and open a third group home with a unique operating model that will allow it to make an enhanced impact beyond traditional group home settings. At the same time, she guided the community team to successfully be awarded two new Family Resource Networks in Calgary and Strathmore as part of the provincial government’s rollout to support children and families differently.

On top of these significant milestones, Shirley explored an opportunity to do things differently in the social services sector by exploring the idea of amalgamating with Boys & Girls Clubs of Calgary to create one big door for children, youth and families in our community. Shirley was a driving force in undertaking one of the largest non-profit mergers in Canadian history. Her legacy at Aspen will forever be that of thinking differently, acting courageously and doing right by the people our organization has the privilege of serving. Shirley’s impact will continue to be seen for many years to come, as she has fostered an effective and resilient team of leaders through her coaching, mentoring and support over the years.

Shirley presenting a HOPE Award to Nulli - Identity Management.

Shirley leaves the legacy of Aspen in good hands, with Jeff Dyer as the CEO of the merged entity and a leadership team that strongly represents members from both legacy agencies. In the coming weeks and months, Aspen / Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary looks forward to sharing our newly developed name, brand, vision and mission; a vision and mission that dreams big and builds from a legacy of impact that Shirley has created.

Shirley, you served admirably and with great insights, leaving a legacy that is committed to doing right by those we have the privilege of serving. You will be missed, but the way that you have invested in the team, ensures that your voice and wisdom will echo as we move forward.

— Jeff Dyer, CEO Aspen/BGCC