A new name, a bold mission

I’m writing to each of you today to share some important news. As I’ve discussed with many of you over the four-plus years that I’ve worked for this great agency, I have felt a nagging sense of discomfort with our corporate name. At least once a week – whether I’m meeting new or prospective employees, area businesses leaders or professional acquaintances – I enthusiastically describe the wonderful work we do. But I’m almost always asked what our name means, or where it comes from. When I explain the history of the “R” word and its presence in our name, I have to say: “But that’s not who we are today.”

Two years ago, as our senior leadership was working to develop our strategic plan, we assessed our strengths and weaknesses. As we looked back over our 60-year history, we could see the name conflict I just described play out in the numerous name changes we have undergone. Not surprisingly, we concluded that we needed to explore a decisive change to our organization’s name to better reflect our community and culture.

To further that goal, we launched a re-branding effort in July 2017. A team of representatives from our Board of Directors, staff and major stakeholders began a process to reflect on the organization’s current perception and future goals. What we heard above all was that our community – both internal and external – is the key to our success and to the core values of our organization. This recognition guided us in the selection of our new name.

I am proud to say that as of October 1, 2018, our new name will be Communitas, Inc., which is a Latin word referring to a community in which all people are equal.

I believe that “Communitas” goes to the very spirit of who we are, what we do and where we want to go.

Over the weeks to come, we will initiate a communications campaign targeting participants, family members and supporters across the many communities we serve to introduce our new name – reassuring everyone that no matter what may change on the surface, our core beliefs and commitments remain the same. In the words of our new Mission Statement: Communitas welcomes, values, respects and supports people of all abilities. Our mission is to meet individual needs – whatever they are and however they change – while inspiring dreams. We advocate passionately while compassionately delivering services and programs that expand opportunities, empower people, support independence and enrich lives.

A new name, a bold mission. To learn more about our planning process, read our “EMARC Name Change 9.31.18 Presentation”

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any question you may have. Thank you so much for your continued support and belief in what we all hope to accomplish!


Paul Cote