Reach Society’s executive director Renie D’Aquila was named Citizen of the Year Friday night (Nov. 17) at the 72nd annual Business Excellence Awards Gala hosted by the Delta Chamber of Commerce.
D ’Aquila’s compassion for others and her willingness to go above and beyond in both personal and professional capacities have resulted in a life of service.
“There is always a way we can help children and families who are struggling and even in the most complex situations and that’s what we do,” said D’Aquila. “We want families to know that help is within Reach. I’m humbled and overwhelmed by the generosity of your words. For those of us who volunteer and work in the community, we know that as individuals we gain far more than we give when we help others. I’m so grateful to live and work in such a caring community. I’m honoured to be a part of Reach.”
D’Aquila is a long-time South Delta resident and has three sons together with her husband Rod Lotzkar. Her involvement with Reach Child and Youth Development Society – a non-profit organization that helps children with special needs reach their full potential – began when her son started attending Reach preschool (then called Delta Association for Child Development). Charitable organizations seek individuals with community values and D’Aquila was a natural fit to join the board of directors as a parent and then in 1999 became executive director.
Through her strategic approach and commitment and under her leadership Reach has become a leader in the delivery of services for children and youth with Autism and special needs. Today, Reach serves more than 1,200 children in Delta, Surrey and Langley annually.
In 2010, she was instrumental in forming the Reach board to undertake the capital campaign of raising $5.7 million towards the construction of the three-storey, 20,000 square foot Lois E. Jackson Kinsmen Centre for Children near Memorial Park in Ladner.
“Renie D’Aquila’s compassion, dedication, and relentless pursuit of positive change serves as an inspiration to us all,” said Chamber executive director Jill McKnight. “Her impact on Delta is immeasurable, and her recognition as the 2023 Citizen of the Year for 2023 is truly well-deserved.”