We are all settling in back home from an excellent conference in “Hot”lanta. The conference was awesome and the weather was beautiful in Atlanta in February 2018. We enjoyed meeting old and new friends who are our advocacy family. Many wonderful ideas were shared by state representatives in our short time together and we (Analisa & Kaci) look forward to working with you this upcoming year in the Affiliate Support & Membership Committee to help each state blossom and grow.

Several state affiliates submitted affiliate accolades at the LDA International Learning Disabilities 55th Conference. The affiliates listed submitted the following accolades: LDA Minnesota: 50th Anniversary Celebration Event; LDA Georgia: Reaching the Unserved; LDA New Jersey: After High School Transition Conference & Resource Expo; and, LDA South Carolina: LD101 Fundraiser.  The overall winner chosen as the best accolade submitted was the submission by LDANJ. We are very proud of the affiliates that have shared their accolades with others and the efforts to increase awareness and membership by all state affiliates. Congratulations to LDANJ for an outstanding accolade of After High School Transition Conference & Resource Expo.

Four state affiliates submitted Volunteer of the Year names for their states. Judy Lantz was nominated by LDA Maryland as their outstanding volunteer of the year. Judy has so many accomplishments that they are too numerous to list. It was noted that her colleagues marvel “at her dedication and commitment to keeping the affiliate [of LDAMD] viable and active.” Congratulations, Judy! Dena Kitchens of LDA Georgia was chosen as their representative. Dena is the current secretary for their Board of Directors and is pursuing her call in Christian Education through the Columbia Theological Seminary. Dena has been instrumental in LDA Georgia’s Know Your Child curriculum development and work. Her passion is evident in the time she gives generously to LDAG. Congratulations, Dena! LDA South Carolina recognized Analisa Smith as their outstanding volunteer of the year. LDASC notes that Analisa is instrumental in achieving “outreach and advocacy efforts” for state recognition in advocacy efforts, membership supports, and the Healthy Children Project. Congratulations, Analisa! Last, but definitely never least, LDA Maine was proud to choose Sandy Cort as their volunteer of the year. Sandy has been an active part of LDAME for over 20 years, serving in many roles. LDAME observed that Sandy works “to educate the public and policymakers about the links between toxic chemicals and learning/developmental disabilities.” Sandy is an active participant in the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine, provides testimony on bills before the Maine legislature, and so much more. Congratulations, Sandy! To all our volunteers, you are the thread that keeps us together and we are so grateful for your role in LDA.

Another round of congratulations goes to Kaci Smith for becoming the newly elected State Presidents’ Representative (SPR). Congratulations, also, to Cathy Einhorn who will serve as the Vice SPR for this year. We are looking forward to great productivity from this duo!  Congratulations, Kaci and Cathy!

This year as we move forward, we are so excited to be working with state affiliates. We hope to be a safe confidante for affiliate concerns and offer some new ideas to affiliates that will help to propel states forward, while providing a stabilizing foundation as well.

You are what makes LDA great.

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