Portage is pleased to announce that Gaetano DiFalco, known by staff and residents as Gaetes, was appointed Facility Director of Portage Elora, effective May 1, 2012. With twenty-one years of experience at Portage and having gone through the Portage program himself in 1991, Gaetes brings a wealth of experience to this new role.
Gaetes began his career with Portage as a counsellor for the Adult Program at Portage lac Écho, which is located in the Laurentian Mountains just north of Montreal. In 1992, he transferred to the day treatment program in downtown Montreal, where he and a co-worker were responsible for intake, admissions, and operations of the program. It was just over a year later that Gaetes moved to Ontario to begin working with youth at the residential rehabilitation centre in Elora. Though he had intended to return to Montreal, Portage Elora became his home, and he has since held a variety of roles from Counsellor, to Unit Manager, to Admissions Coordinator, and then to the role of Associate Director in 2005.
“Each role has been a great experience and has given me a different perspective of the Portage program and an understanding of how it all works and fits together. Because I have held all these different roles, I have a good understanding of the challenges and responsibilities that my staff members experience day-to-day.”
When asked why it is so special to work at Portage, Gaetes explained; “Portage is a wonderful organisation, and it’s unique. You get to work with great people; it has a real family atmosphere. The relationships I have with my co-workers are very rewarding, there’s no other experience like it. There’s a bonding that happens with people at Portage as a result of the work we do here for the youth that doesn’t happen anywhere else.”
Gaetes welcomes and encourages partners, donors, and friends to come visit the Portage Elora facility and meet the youth and the staff members who make it such a special place. To arrange a site visit, please contact Sarah Lounsbury at firstname.lastname@example.org.