From the Chair
I hope this newsletter finds everyone happy, healthy and safe as summer break winds down for some and we all try to enjoy a bit of leisure time in these difficult and uncertain times. Your Board, Officers and committees have been very busy lately, and I’m happy to provide an update.
The Global Alliance is forming a member-led committee to help us in planning a four-part series of webinars we will host this fall. Each webinar will be 60 or 90 minutes, and topics will be of interest to anyone who has hearing loss or anyone who provides captioning, as well as to advocates and students. These webinars will be available to all, whether a member of the Global Alliance or not. We believe our webinars will also be eligible for continuing education points, or units, with other professional associations. We need your talent and your time. Contact us now to get involved and help to make these webinars a huge success!
On August 4 we held our quarterly Board of Directors meeting. In the weeks leading up to the Board meeting, our Membership and Nominations Committee interviewed members interested in filling the two expiring Directors’ terms. At this meeting we said goodbye to one Board member, Gael Hannan, and we welcomed Ron Drach, who was nominated to fill this Director’s position. Raja Kushalnagar, who earlier this spring completed the remainder of the term of a Board member who resigned, will be staying on for an additional year. Thank you, Raja!
On behalf of the Board and all our members, I want to thank Gael Hannan for her term as a Director. Gael was among our original Board members, and she served on the Strategic Partners Committee. Gael’s experience as a caption consumer and her wisdom and wit were invaluable as we interviewed members interested in filling our first slate of Directors’ positions. Gael has graciously offered to assist with future projects for the Global Alliance. Thank you, Gael, for your service on our Board of Directors!
Our newest Director, Ron Drach, is a subject matter expert in military and veterans’ issues with more than 50 years of experience in the area of veterans’ benefits, services and programs. After losing a leg as a result of combat in Vietnam, Ron medically retired from the U.S. Army with a Purple Heart. Ron has worked at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Disabled American Veterans and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service. He recently served as a member of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Recovering Warrior Task Force after being appointed by Former DOD Secretary Robert Gates. Ron currently serves on the Boards of United Spinal Association and TransCen. He also served on the governing boards of the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities and the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. We are thrilled to have Ron serving as a Director!
Our Board represents not only the diversity of our membership but the diversity of people with hearing loss and the full breadth of caption providers. Our Directors are people with and without hearing loss; steno, voice, postproduction and TypeWell captioners; representatives from industry; educators and consumers; and they come from North America, Europe and Australia. We encourage you to visit our website and read the full bios of our Board of Directors.
Last month we welcomed five new members to the Global Alliance, including our first TypeWell captioner. Welcome to our new members! We appreciate your support of the Global Alliance.
Finally, at our recent Board meeting the Board voted to approve new categories of membership and new rates that apply to those categories. More details can be found further in this newsletter. We believe these new rates will allow more caption consumers to join the Global Alliance, but they will also encourage companies and other nonprofit partners to join, too. The new rates are intended to make it easier financially for consumers and advocates, retired service providers and students to join as full members.
To our members, thank you for your support! If you’re not yet a member, join today. We need you!
Stay safe and healthy, everyone, and take good care of each other.