by Analisa Smith, Immediate Past State Presidents’ Representative
Joan K. Teach, State Presidents’ Representative
It is a saddening and bittersweet moment to pass the torch over to your new State Presidents’ Representative, Dr. Joan Teach of Georgia. I have been truly honored to represent the affiliates and serve as your State Presidents’ Representative for the past year. Leslie Rubinstein, New Jersey and I (Analisa Smith, South Carolina) have enjoyed working with affiliates as you have provided support and promoted advocacy for individuals with learning disabilities. We have tried to provide you with relevant information and timely resources that could assist you in providing support and advocacy for affiliate LDA offices. I can honestly say I have enjoyed getting to know each individual contact person better and learning more about the individual operations of each state affiliate. We are all individual groups and we all do things a bit differently than the other, but what I have learned and seen in action is that we are all working for the same purpose. In that end, I commend you all on the hard work you do each day that sometimes goes perhaps unnoticed, but never goes unappreciated. I look forward to my affiliate working with Joan this upcoming year as we move forward in continued efforts to make a difference in the lives of individuals with learning disabilities.
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Thank you, Analisa for passing the torch so eloquently. I am excited to again have the privilege or serving as your representative.
Our upcoming year will prove to be a busy one, and I am energized to move us to a new level of service. I heard from several of you who were frustrated that we had so little time together, and even a smaller amount of time to have our issues heard. Conference was jam-packed with so much to do, so many wonderful speakers, such a wide variety of issues to stimulate brain cells that it left us with whirling thoughts, excitement and new energy. Thank you, conference committee, for a wonderful job, well done!
On to the future! Our focus this year is to provide a stronger communication between National, State, and Local Affiliates. I have been in touch with those responsible for our new-look website, congratulations to you for a job well done, and have discovered that we now have the ability to have an even stronger support page for sharing materials across the states. We envision a page where common how to solve in the trenches issues are posted: What to do if? Where do ideas for meetings come from? How do I recruit new volunteers? How do I increase PR locally? These are the tip of the iceberg and you are asked to suggest as many as you can to make this page worthwhile to all. This area of support will be added to over the year, and could become an ongoing project.
The second area of support via the website is envisioned as a chat room style area where folks can post their issues and concerns, and answers that each of you have found valuable. It would be possible then to have answers to one question from anyone in any state, with any size group, varying populations so the answers would not only benefit the one who originally asked the question, but others who silently wanted more information for themselves. This is all in the pre-planning, early digested stage, so any comments, suggestions, or opinions are gratefully welcome. This approach will not substitute or eliminate the call-in interactive dialogue of the phone meetings, but be on the web as an addition.
What is your role? Be active! Be involved! I know each of you as a leader is committed to LDA and yet jet off in a gazillion directions due to work, family, outside commitments. We all have our LD population at the center of our heart. We can make this work. Best to all of you as we go along our journey this year. Contact me anytime: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s to a great year. Ã¢—Â