National Federation of the Blind of Washington 2022 Convention Highlights
We had a wonderful state convention celebrating the "Magic of New Beginnings". Our attendance was the highest it has been in years. We had a number of individuals join the movement and start their journey with the National Federation of the Blind of WA. We are working on editing audio recordings of our convention and hope to have them up soon.
We want to say a huge CONGRATULATIONS to our scholarship winners May Tran, Finn Paynich and Lucien Gandarias. These bright stars are our future and we are very proud of them.
On Sunday, we held elections for our state board. We were happy to add Nikki Palm as our new 2nd Vice President and welcome Chris Higley as a new NFB of WA Board Member. Jim Portillo stepped down from the position of 2nd Vice President but remains on the board as a member. We appreciate all the hard work that these members do to help lead this affiliate. You can see our entire Board of Directors and learn about each of them by visiting the Board of Directors page .
Corey Grandstaff headed up the convention planning committee. He has led the committee for a number of years and is a large part of why our NFBW conventions are successful, entertaining and run so smoothly! Corey negotiates contracts, manages the state treasury and keeps the rest of the committee on track. A big thank you to Corey and the committee members Marci Carpenter, Deja Powell, Nikki Palm, May Tran, Kris Colcock and Jim Portillo for pulling together a fantastic convention.
Denise Avant from Illinois was our national representative. She is a national NFB Board Member and brought tidings from our National Federation of the Blind President, Mark Riccobono. She shared with us the activities happening around the nation. She also challenged us to continue the work bigger and better within our own state.
We heard from Scott McCallum, Superintendent of the Washington State School for the Blind, Danielle Miller, Director of the Washington State Talking Book and Braille Library, George Abbott, President and CEO of the Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind and Michael MacKillop, Director of the WA State Department of Services for the Blind. Each of them were able to give us updates regarding the happenings within their agencies. It is always a wonderful time to learn about the success and challenges each department deals with. It is also our chance to ask questions and express concerns. We thank each of these individuals for taking the time out of their schedules to attend our convention.
Friendships were strengthened and new connections were made between and after sessions of the convention. Many of us shared tables with new people during lunch so the restaurant could serve us quickly and efficiently. Friday night found us playing Apples to Apples and engaging in a fierce UNO tournament. If cards weren't your thing, many were sharing their talent Singing karaoke. After the banquet on Saturday, the Clark County Chapter of the NFBW hosted a trivia night. There were many of us discussing philosophy and of course the over 21 crowd did visit the bar for a nightcap. The community, acceptance and understanding were evident everywhere you looked. It was an incredibly empowering weekend and we look forward to coming together again in 2023!
Would you like to help plan the 2023 NFBW state convention? If the answer is a resounding "YES!" then drop us a line and Presidentnfbw@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you.
Before we go, we want to say another BIG thank you to our sponsors:
Be sure to check out their websites which are full of useful information!
Washington state School for the Blind, “Every blind and low vision student in Washington has the supports and services they need to succeed.” WSSB
Democracy Live INC, “Voting Technologies for the Modern Voter,” Democracy Live Inc.