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A New Era for The Center

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Spring is the season of transformation and rebirth. The Community Services Center, with its 39 years of history, is currently facing its own period of renewal with a new era for the Center. In March, the Center team convened to define the Center’s direction over the next three years in a strategic planning meeting facilitated by William Farrell, Managing Partner at Boyden, a distinguished talent advisory and leadership consulting firm.

With Farrell’s expert guidance, the Center team evaluated the Center’s current strengths and weaknesses, redefined their mission statement, and developed four high-level goals that will guide all future Center initiatives:

1

The Center is a multi-cultural, safe, reliable, and trustworthy organization providing counseling, classes and tours, and information about Taiwan and living in Taiwan.

2

The Center fosters a transparent working environment where staff collaborate towards common goals while respecting and supporting professional growth.

3

The Center has established a diversified revenue stream through strategic partnerships, successful events, effective counseling services, and impactful programs, ensuring stable financial sustainability and continued growth.

4

The Center has harnessed technology to expand our community outreach, enhance customer experience, optimize workflow efficiency, and generate revenue through innovative digital solutions and platforms.

Strategic Direction

From these goals, the Center team developed a set of actionable and measurable objectives for all departments to make progress towards over the next few months. These objectives include building long-lasting relationships with new partners, creating and hosting events of greater interest to the Center community, and improving internal workflow.

The Community Services Center, a locally registered non-profit foundation, offers a diverse array of tours and activities that explore various religions and cultures. We have organized tours to religious sites such as mosques and temples. Our tours are intended for educational and cultural enrichment and should not be viewed as endorsements of any specific beliefs or groups.  At the Community Services Center, our door is always open to individuals from all walks of life. We strive to foster an inclusive environment where everyone is welcome to engage and learn together.

Building Partnerships

The Center seeks to increase their community partnerships within Taipei. Currently, the Center has six partnerships with organizations including the Jewish Community Center, San Fu Biotech, Costco Wholesale, Taipei American School, Bai Win Collection, and Steven Leach.

Their support allows the Center to develop and host exciting new events, provide high-quality counseling services, and build a space for connection and learning for the international and third culture community in Taiwan. By establishing new enduring partnerships, the Center hopes to move towards a more financially sustainable business model and create more opportunities for collaboration.

Events at The Center

Events have always been a cornerstone of the Center’s mission, serving as a platform for fostering community and connection. With these new initiatives, the Center is committed to hosting more events that can bring the international community in Taiwan closer together, highlight diverse voices, and start important conversations surrounding mental health. In April, the Center hosted its first major speaker event with Jason Portnoy, author of “Silicon Valley Porn Star.” Jason spoke about his background as an executive in Silicon Valley, his experience as part of the “Paypal Mafia,” and how his addictions to porn and sex nearly destroyed his life and career.

Going forward, the Center hopes to continue to highlight Taipei’s diverse communities with events such as our upcoming tour of the Jewish Center, the first permanent structure of its kind, located in downtown Taipei. The Center’s upcoming conversation with Nancy Chen Baldwin, author of “One Thousand Layers of Water and Clouds,” will illuminate the complexities of Taiwanese culture and life during post-war Taiwan and explore themes of identity and belonging. Events like these not only celebrate incredible individuals within the Taiwanese and foreigner community, but also serve to further align the Center with its mission to promote cultural exchange, start meaningful dialogues, and educate its community.

Improving Workflow

The Center is committed to conducting regular professional development sessions with the aim of improving efficiency, communication, and teamwork among its staff.

Taking an active role in this initiative is John Quinlan, the Center’s Technology Advancement Officer, who recently hosted an internal training session on data privacy. Quinlan has exciting plans to enhance the Center’s workflow through the strategic implementation of artificial intelligence. Quinlan is taking a cautious approach with incorporating machine learning technologies into the Center’s existing workflow, beginning with a pilot program consisting of only limited tasks and team members before expanding support to the whole team. This phased implementation will ensure smooth integration by refining the tools as they are used, based on feedback and performance.

Ultimately, Quinlan wants to help save the Center staff time and effort spent on what could otherwise be put into more creative endeavors that can more effectively provide support to visitors of the Center.

Going Forward: A New Era for The Center

Adam McMillan, Director of the Community Services Center, emphasizes the importance of accountability in achieving these objectives. “It’s critical that in addition to developing objectives, we need to be able to go back to everyone who participated and have them report back on what progress they are making towards achieving these goals,” McMillan underscores, highlighting the Center’s commitment to tangible results and continual growth. We invite every member of our diverse community to engage with these new developments, and participate in our upcoming events. With your feedback, we can continue our mission to enhance the lives of those we support, and ensure that the Center not only adapts, but thrives.
Angela Chen was born in Taipei, Taiwan and grew up in California, USA. After graduating from the University of California, San Diego, she decided to return to Taipei to reconnect with her family and culture.
After working as an English teacher, she found her place at the Center, where she currently serves as their Social Media Content Manager. She has a soft spot in her heart for chihuahuas and other rat-like dogs. In her free time she loves to play video games, read books, and take long You-Bike rides along the river.

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