by Kim Charlson and Kenneth Semien Sr.
As ACB approaches its 57th annual conference and convention, we continue to place more emphasis as an organization on investing in the development of new leadership talent for the future. A special grant from JPMorgan Chase (JPMC) permits ACB to continue to offer a program which will bring five ACB members with recognized leadership potential to this year’s convention in St. Louis, Mo.
These individuals needed to satisfy three basic criteria — be 18 years of age or older; be blind or visually impaired; and be members in good standing of ACB. Each applicant had to be recommended by the president of their respective affiliate. Factors considered in the selection process included the applicant’s reasons for applying for the leadership award; a brief summary of the applicant’s education and relevant experience; number of years of membership in ACB, as well as previous conventions attended, if any; a description of one’s role as a leader; and an assessment of what he/she feels they bring to ACB.
All award recipients receive 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 Saturday evening, June 30, through the Thursday evening banquet, July 5, and to participate actively in all convention activities including the daily general sessions, special-interest presentations, seminars and workshops.
The 2018 JPMorgan Chase/ACB Leadership Fellows are:
Marie Brinas of Fairfax, Va. has served as president of ACB of Virginia for several years, and also as treasurer and immediate past president of the local chapter, NOVA Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired. She has demonstrated her commitment even while experiencing vision loss and other health complications by actively serving in a number of positions on the local and state levels. She has worked for the Virginia Industries for the Blind and the Virginia Department of Taxation. Marie’s community involvement includes being co-chair of the Fairfax Access Services Advisory Board and volunteering for the Equal Rights Center.
Darian Slayton Fleming resides in Gresham, Ore., and is a longtime member of ACB of Oregon. She has held several leadership roles, including president of the Multnomah chapter for several terms, a founding member of the Metro PDX Chapter in Portland, and service as program coordinator and president of ACB Human Service Professionals. She attended Western Oregon University and worked as a resident assistant in the dormitory system, then moved on to Oregon State University to earn a bachelor of science in child development and family life. She obtained her master’s degree in social work from the University of Washington School of Social Work, earned her certification as a vocational rehabilitation counselor (CRC), and later acquired her license as a clinical social worker (LCSW). Darian is committed to being part of the future of ACB and ACB of Oregon.
Debra “Debbie” Rozear of Allentown, Pa. has been legally blind for most of her life; however, she has not allowed that to keep her from moving forward. She earned a degree in applied science as an early childhood education teacher. She returned to school to become a licensed massage therapist. Her work experience includes teaching in a large daycare center, working as a licensed massage therapist, and serving as a community support coordinator at Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living. In 2002, she joined the Lehigh Valley Council of the Blind and shortly thereafter began working on fund-raising and membership development. She served as vice president, and then advanced to president. As a member of the Pennsylvania Council of the Blind, Debbie has served as a conference/convention presenter, has served on the PCB board, and on various committees. In the community she is active with the Lions Club and the Ladies’ Auxiliary.
Michael Talley of Bessemer, Ala. currently serves as first vice president of the Alabama Council of the Blind. Upon graduating from the Alabama School for the Blind, he served in leadership roles in the alumni association. He studied at the University of Montevallo. Michael is licensed in the Business Enterprise Program, and he joined the Elected Committee of Blind Vendors and was elected as vice chair and then chairman. Mike has also been a very active member of RSVA, and for several years, served on the Sagebrush Conference Planning Committee. He sings in his church’s choir, serves on the Leadership Council, and is a Sunday School teacher. He is determined to learn, share and grow.
Debra “Deb” Trevino of Newark, Del. recently relocated from Kentucky, where she served the Kentucky Council of the Blind as first and second vice president, and has been vice president of Guide Dog Users of Kentuckiana. She also served on the board of the Greater Louisville Council of the Blind and the board of the Kentucky School for the Blind Alumni Association. Deb has participated in several of the Crossroads Leadership Conferences. She earned a bachelor of arts from Washington Bible College, and a master of divinity from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She continues to provide pastoral services in Delaware. Deb has also completed several courses from the Hadley Institute for the Blind, including instruction in English grammar and conversational Spanish. She has 15 years of experience in medical transcription. Her volunteer work includes needlework for charities, arts and crafts instructor for a senior center, administrating and knitting for two prayer shawl ministries, and creating and leading chapel services for the seminary community.
- President’s Message: Introducing the 2018 Leadership Fellows
President’s Message: Introducing the 2018 Leadership Fellows
by Kim Charlson and Kenneth Semien Sr.