Board member since 2006
Teacher & Social Worker
What influenced you to join SIL’s Board?
I had been referring individuals to SIL prior to being on the board as a social worker for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and as a teacher for individuals with developmental disabilities. I felt that SIL was an excellent organization that offered many services to its consumers. I was also impressed by the advocacy work it had been done in the community for so many years. A former board member, Matthew Wilding, asked me to consider being a board member. I am so glad that I took him up on the offer. SIL is a wonderful organization!
What excites you the most about the direction of SIL, and how will you contribute to it?
SIL is always looking forward to the needs of their constituency. They offer programs to individuals of all ages that are well planned and informative. As a board member, I can contribute ideas to SIL as well as utilize their services. Over the years I have served on the finance committee and participated in yearly planning meetings to help the agency grow and keep up with the latest trends.
If you had to choose one thing about SIL that makes you the proudest to be part of it, what would that be?
SIL is always looking to help their consumers. If they do not have an answer, they will do their best to connect an individual to someone who can help them.
What’s something you saw recently that made you smile?
As a teacher of individuals with cognitive disabilities, I have worked with a variety of students for nearly 30 years. I currently teach a program at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center where my student interns work in jobs that will lead to competitive employment. A former student recently came into my classroom and flashed his hospital badge. It read, “Cook”. He was so proud to show it to me as he worked his way up from the Dishroom. I was so excited for him!
If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
I would be the color gray. Wikipedia defines it in this way. “It is a neutral color or achromatic color, meaning literally that it is a color “without color”, because it can be composed of black and white”. I believe that there are “gray areas” whenever you are working with people or learning about their situations. Never assume that you know what the best for someone is before you know all the facts because you might be surprised by what you learn.
What’s one song or artist that you are embarrassed to say you like?
I cannot honestly say that I have ever been embarrassed by a song or an artist. I am currently a fan of country music. I enjoy the stories artists tell in their music and how it often relates to their lives.