After working at FHR for more than 21 years, Mike Cote, the Director of Plymouth Bay Clubhouse (PBC), is retiring at the end of this week.
I have great admiration for Mike's commitment to the FHR mission and clubhouse philosophy. While I understand Mike's desire and need to devote more time to his family, his presence will be greatly missed. Mike's career with the Fellowship was exceptional. Mike was hired on July 2, 1990, as a mental health counselor. Within a couple of months he was promoted to vocational coordinator and two years later to Assistant Director. On April 8, 1997, Mike became the Director, and that's when the club really took off.
His accomplishments as Director were soon recognized by his receipt of the Private Service Award-Americans with Disabilities Act awarded by the EOHHS Employment Services Action Council in October 2000. Excerpts from his performance appraisals speak to Mike's teamwork, leadership, compassion, resiliency, patience, and inspiration. I would add, an exceptional human being who despite the failing health of his wife and now his two sons, would be the first to offer help if you needed it. I had the privilege of knowing Mike a little better than some others in his position. The reason was because he did extraordinary things. Like the time he severed the tip of his finger when a car jack slipped changing a tire on the program van. Hearing of the accident, I called the program the next day to inquire if staff had an update on his situation. You can imagine how shocked I was when he answered the phone and treated the injury as no big deal.
Mike’s community involvement was a major reason that PBC was well-received and highly-regarded in Plymouth and surrounding areas. He invested his energy into PBC when he was there, but he also invested that same energy at home caring for his wife, who had a debilitating disease and his sons, who also face a difficult road ahead because of the same illness. In life, you meet many people who make an immediate impact on you; but some, because of their extraordinary accomplishments, make a lasting impression. Mike is one of those people. His work and dedication to the clubhouse will never be forgotten. The members will surely miss him as a leader and a friend; however, we can rest assured that this is not a final "goodbye" for Mike. Please join me in wishing Mike all the best in his retirement and congratulate him on a job well done.
Joseph F. Dziobek