by Allen Casey
New leaders are the sustaining lifeblood of an organization. Like money, they do not grow on trees. They must be identified, cultivated, motivated and given opportunities to mature by honing their skills and advancing the work of the organization. This year, with the support of a generous grant from JPMorgan Chase & Co., ACB will invite 10 future leaders to the national conference and convention in Minneapolis, eight as recipients of the DKM Leadership Award and two as traditional DKM First-Timers. (See accompanying article.)
The Leadership Award, which does not carry the requirement of being a first-timer, provides each recipient round-trip transportation, hotel accommodation (double occupancy), per diem stipend for meals and incidentals, convention registration fee and reception and banquet tickets. Recipients are expected to attend the convention from the opening session Sunday evening, July 3, through the Friday evening banquet, July 8, and to participate actively in all convention activities, including the daily general sessions, special-interest presentations, seminars and workshops. Eligible applicants must be 18 years of age or older, blind or visually impaired, and members in good standing of ACB.
To apply for the DKM Leadership Award, you must submit a personal letter of application and a letter of recommendation from the president of your affiliate. The letter of application should provide a brief summary of your education and relevant experience; number of years as an ACB member, as well as previous conventions attended, if any; description of your role as a leader; and assessment of what you bring to ACB. The letter of recommendation should address the applicant’s contributions to the affiliate, ACB and community organizations, and describe the applicant’s demonstrated leadership skills and leadership potential.
Application documentation should be forwarded to Kelly Gasque in the ACB national office, firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for receipt is April 1. Questions regarding the application process and required documentation should be directed to DKM chair Allen Casey, email@example.com.