On October 16, 2014, AdvocacyDenver staff, board, self-advocates, and members gathered for a memorable evening at our annual membership meeting held at the ever-wonderful Randolph’s Restaurant. The dining room was full of people and conversations celebrating the work accomplished by our advocates in the last year. Thus far in 2014, advocates have served over 278 individuals with more than 414 unique advocacy issues, an increase in both clients and issues from 2013. This demand drives every staff member to work as hard as they can, and we are looking forward to increasing our capacity as we move into the new year!
Our Board of Directors has always maintained a strong foundation and clear vision that ensures best practice by the entire organization. The 2015 Board slate was presented and unanimously approved. Members Shauna Casement, Kent Olsen, and Beverly Hirsekorn were re-elected to the board, and the following individuals were chosen as Executive Committee:
- Shauna Casement, President
- Mitch McKinney, Secretary
- Don Morales, Treasurer
AdvocacyDenver was honored to present four outstanding individuals with awards honoring their service and commitment to people with disabilities.
The John Bear Award for Outstanding Self Advocacy was presented to board members Donald and Raiko Johnson, who have demonstrated unmatched passion and drive advocating for their son and others. The Johnsons deserve the Good Housekeeping stamp of approval for family development and community support. We’re lucky to have their counsel and support.
The Shenkein Distinguished Service award was given to Jonathon Poster, a trusted friend and advisor on all things investment for over 10 years. We’re a better organization for having a relationship with him.
A new award was presented in honor of past board member Clarence Miller, who passed away earlier this year. Clarence was a fireball at the Colorado State Capitol, a fierce self-advocate, and connoisseur of all things public policy. The first Clarence Miller Award for Public Policy Accomplishments was presented to Christy Blakely, former Executive Director of Family Voices Colorado. Christy and Clarence were peas in a pod. They both loved to laugh and could separate the real from the superlative.
Member Meg Day remarked, “I don’t know which Clarence (Miller) would be more happy about, the fact that you (Christy Blakely) won the first award or that he has an award named after him!”
Executive Director Aileen McGinley also took a moment to honor longtime board member and friend Famer Reini, who passed away earlier this month.
The 2015 Budget Summary can be reviewed here. We have a 6% income increase from 2014 and expect to maintain around $700,000 in operating reserves.
Entertainment was provided by the incredibly talented pianist and friend, Purnell Steen, and bassist Fred Fuller. Purnell and Fred have become a sort of establishment at AdvocacyDenver’s annual meeting, and their sound sets the tone for a good night. Check out Purnell’s website, and book him and his band Le Jazz Machine for yourself!
Aileen’s complete report to the membership can be viewed here. AdvocacyDenver thanks everyone who was able to attend this year, and our membership as a whole for its invaluable support and shared passion to enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities!