Happiness House/Finger Lakes United Cerebral Palsy Inc. and CP Rochester will consider in the upcoming months establishing a more formal partnership.
Two local organizations that, combined, serve more than 3,600 individuals with and without disabilities are strengthening their ties with an eye toward the future.
Happiness House/Finger Lakes United Cerebral Palsy Inc. has signed an executive staffing agreement with CP Rochester and will provide senior leadership to the organization. With the retirement of CP Rochester President Brian Klafehn, Mary Walsh Boatfield, CEO of Happiness House, has assumed the position of president and CEO of CP Rochester, while continuing her role at Happiness House.
“This is a complementary joint venture poised to create an opportunity for growth, as well as endurance, in today’s difficult business climate,” said Boatfield, who began her new role on Monday. “Our nearly 550 employees remain committed to our similar missions and will work together to provide the highest quality services to children and adults with physical, intellectual and developmental disabilities.”
Happiness House, with locations in Canandaigua and Geneva, and CP Rochester will continue to operate as separate entities and will retain independent boards of directors.
“It’s a very strategic move by both organizations to leverage resources, enhance quality programs and services, and become more cost-effective,” said Joyce Weir, chair of CP Rochester’s board of directors.
Boatfield, who has been CEO of Happiness House since 2001, said the two organizations will be looking at ways to share services while also conducting an assessment to consider establishing a more formal partnership, such as an affiliation or merger. She said the process could take up to 18 months.
“We will be assessing opportunities to share between organizations and also working toward a more permanent relationship with both organizations,” Boatfield said. “We’re looking at all different types of partnerships. We want to make it as seamless as possible for both organizations, and we want them to maintain their identities.”