During the LITTLE EDEN Society Annual General Meeting on Saturday 14 July 2018, the Board of Governors announced the retirement of Mrs Lucy Slaviero from her position as Chief Executive Officer effective 31 August, and the appointment of Xelda Rohrbeck as the incoming Chief Executive Officer. Lucy and Xelda will be working together in the upcoming months to ensure a smooth transition.
Lucy (65) has been involved with LITTLE EDEN since she was 14 years old, and progressed to the leadership role 22 years ago. The Board has appointed her Honourary Lifetime President and she will remain involved at LITTLE EDEN.
Lucy said: “When I accepted the position of Chief Executive Officer of LITTLE EDEN 22 years ago, I did so with some trepidation. I had some very big shoes to fill – those of my father and mother, the founders of LITTLE EDEN, Danny and Domitilla Hyams. Then 76 and 79 years of age, Danny and Domitilla were adamant that the reins had to be handed over to someone younger, who would bring new energy and new ideas to the organisation, and thus ensure the long term future of their beloved ‘angels’.
“I am looking forward to slowing down a little and being able to spend more time with my family and loved ones – whilst still maintaining close ties with LITTLE EDEN, and offering guidance and support through the initial period of the incoming CEO,” she added.
Mrs Xelda Rohrbeck (35) is not new to LITTLE EDEN. She became involved in the work of the Society as part time receptionist between 2002 – 2005 after having been introduced to the Society by her now husband, Mr Michael Rohrbeck, one of Danny & Domitilla Hyams’ grandchildren. In 2005 Xelda completed her B.COM HONOURS Strategic Management from the University of Johannesburg. During these studies she took up full time employment within the hospitality industry as an Administrative and Client Account Manager.
In July 2008, prior to the birth of her two sons, Xelda returned to LITTLE EDEN to take up full time employment. Her career at LITTLE EDEN has developed over the last ten years from Office Administrator, to Administration Manager to Operations Manager.
“I am proud and excited to have been entrusted with the opportunity to take over the reins from our outgoing CEO, Lucy Slaviero,” she said. “Lucy has been an inspiration to me over the years and I have learned much from her, both as a person and as someone committed to improving the lives of the most vulnerable members of society – children and adults with profound intellectual disability.
“I am committed to maintaining the ‘golden thread’ of values that have been woven into the fabric of LITTLE EDEN, and which make it the very special place that it is. I will strive to do my utmost to be worthy of the trust that the Board and management team have placed in me, and hope I can continue to count on LITTLE EDEN’s many friends and supporters in the years ahead.”
Pictured above are Lucy Slaviero and Xelda Rohrbeck with LITTLE EDEN resident, Mutshidzi.