Board Member since 2019
What influenced you to join SIL’s Board?
Kathy Foley, was the guiding force behind introducing me to SIL and becoming involved initially. Kathy and I met through a mutual friend and most of our conversations took place over the phone or by email before ever meeting in person. She asked me to join a couple panels at SIL‘s Inclusion Forum. It was an honor to be asked but more than that, Kathy’s exuberance and advocacy of SIL and its mission drew me in much closer. After attending and presenting at that session, and meeting so many people affiliated with SIL, I knew that I wanted to jump in with both feet to assist as much as I could.
What excites you most about the direction of SIL, and how will you contribute to it?
I have only been on the Board for a short period of time, but in that span I have been thoroughly impressed with the wide range of services and dedication that the Board and staff have for its success. More to the point, I believe that Shannon’s ascendancy to the Executive Director role will honor Kathy‘s legacy, continue SIL‘s mission, and usher in a new era of leadership and innovation. Obviously, I will do all that is asked of me to further these goals.
If you had to choose one thing about SIL that makes you the proudest to be a part of it, what would that be?
Wow… Such a tough question to choose just one. So let me just broadly answer it this way: every piece of evidence I have, every moment I have experienced (whether at the offices, the Board room, or the Forum), has shown me that SIL places it’s Consumer‘s first at all times. Egos are left at the door and the overriding principles and questions to be answered are: how will this affect our consumer’s lives? How will this improve their daily activities? And how can we improve our offerings to do better by them. This process makes me extremely proud to be affiliated with SIL.
What’s something you saw recently that made you smile?
My daughter constantly makes me smile. She truly is a miracle in my life. As a quadriplegic, I never thought I’d have the opportunity to be a father. And yet, after almost 30 years in a wheelchair, I have an amazing family, wife, and 5-year old daughter who make me smile every single day. When I was first injured in California in 1992, agencies with similar missions as SIL aided my journey back to recovery. I think that’s why I’m so passionate about giving back now. I want to share the smile I’m so blessed to wear with those who have not yet found their own yet. And I know, perhaps better than many, that happiness, joy, and gratitude are within all of our reach. I am confident that SIL can be a huge portion of that process for so many.
If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
So now you bring out the tough questions, huh? Well… I could pick some randomly named color they seem to always relish in overly-complicating (like “Summer’s Splash of Spring Rose on a Winter’s Afternoon in the Glow of an Autumnal Rain Shower“). But honestly, blue has always been my favorite color. All shades, all tones. I believe there’s something chemical that happens within us when we see our “favorite color…and with me, it’s blue. It just brings me joy. I can’t explain it and frankly it may be something too spiritually complicated to understand properly, but I can look at 1000 crayons smattered about and I will always be drawn to blue. It just makes me happy and what more can you ask than that from a simple crayon and color?
What’s one song or artist that you’re embarrassed to admit you like?
Easy: Rick Springfield’s Jessie‘s Girl. And I’m not ashamed to admit it. Lol. It’s the most ridiculous song in the world. He’s breaking like 12 Commandments there, uses the word “moot“ to rhyme with cute in a pop song, for gosh sake, and it’s repetitive as all heck… But darn it: I love it and will listen to it any time I want to crank up the volume and sing, unabashedly, at the top of my lungs.