Voices of Vision Leaders is back with former and current board members of the Hall of Fame of Leaders and Legends in the Blindness Field. Bill Weiner, Jim Deremeik, and Mark Richert discuss the history and importance of the Hall of Fame, as well as how to nominate for this year’s inductees. Learn more about the Hall of Fame.
Thank you to Bill, Jim, and Mark for speaking on the history of this Hall of Fame and the legacy of the remarkable legends who have been inducted. If you would like to nominate an individual for the Hall of Fame, go to sites.aph.org/hall/nominate.
About Voice of Vision Leaders Podcast
Please tune in to Lee Nasehi and the staff of VisionServe Alliance as they speak with leaders in the field of blindness and visual impairment on a range of topics affecting the field, such as networking and collaboration, public policy, accessibility technology, leadership development, and much more. Executives from around the country join us to hear what they are doing to improve the lives of people living with blindness and low vision.
Meet Sherry Walker-Cowart, one of our inspiring keynote speakers for our Executive Leadership Conference (VSAELC) 2022. Sherry is the Senior Consultant for Ramerman Leadership Group, a team of certified professional consultants and coaches who provide leadership development and executive coaching for CEOs, executives, teams, and organizations.
Her career in leadership positions has lasted over 25 years. She has served as President and CEO of the Center for Dispute Settlement and the Community Place of Greater Rochester. She believes in the importance of continuous education and professional development and considers herself a servant/transformational leader.
Creating a Vision for Success
Sherry’s relationship with the blind/visually impaired community started decades ago through a collaborative partnership. “As the CEO of a not-for-profit agency, we often hired individuals who were supported by our local Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI),” she says. “Throughout the years, ABVI would become our go-to agency for ordering lunches for board meetings, staff retreats, and other small or large gatherings.”
She knew firsthand the capabilities of those with visual impairments as she watched her grandson grow up. “He was born blind in one eye,” she tells us. She admits that she unintentionally displayed ableism and often became overly protective but soon learned that his visual impairment was in no way limiting to the vision he had for his life. “He told me he discovered what he could do well and excelled in those areas. In his 20s, he is a successful engineer.”
A Career of Service
Sherry has master’s degrees from both SUNY Brockport and Keuka College and has spent much of her time since graduation dedicated to addressing social justice issues. She combines that knowledge with her experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion to discuss the link between them.
“Ableism and prejudice are two sides of the same coin. The focus of social justice is wealth, health, opportunity, and privilege. The link is access. Equitable access from every angle must be considered and addressed at first thought, inclusive of members from the focus communities.”
For employers with a workforce of visually impaired individuals, Sherry says to think success. “Ensure workers have all the tools they need to be successful in the position. Model the way and demonstrate the belief you have in the workforce. Institute accessible ways of giving and receiving feedback from the workforce. Based on the feedback, pivot if necessary. Know their name and work with everyone to support their vision for growth in the organization and personally.”
During her keynote, “The Importance of Envisioning a Clear Mission,” Sherry will expand further on these topics, which she breaks down into Noticing, Struggling, and Envisioning.
Join us in person in beautiful Tampa this spring! VSA invites industry professionals and leaders involved in providing service to or with people who are blind or have low vision to reflect on our industry’s impact on society and share ideas for a transformative future. The 3-day event will offer opportunities to attend exceptional learning and networking sessions on topical issues, including specific learning tracks for CEOs, Programing, Fundraising/Administration, and Advocacy.
The 2022 VisionServe Alliance Executive Leadership Conference is just a few months away! To prepare those registered and encourage those who have yet to sign up, here are 5 reasons this conference is not one to be missed!
In-Person Networking Opportunities
It’s been almost three years since our last in-person conference. We know everyone is tired of virtual meetings, so it is time to un-mute and get back to reality. Our Executive Leadership Conference provides attendees with opportunities to network face-to-face and make new connections with leaders and professionals active in our field! If you’ve been wanting to travel again, this is the perfect moment!
Our agenda is packed with timely topics for all. Among them are 21 presentations by 30 speakers spanning from leadership and program development, public policy, employment, as well as CEO exclusives! Our speakers will include:
Sherry Walker-Cowart: Senior Consultant, Ramerman Leadership Group
A. Gidget Hopf, Ed.D: Retired President and CEO Goodwill of the Finger Lakes
Mary Pat Knight: CEO & Founder Leaders Inspired
Justice Shorter: Disability Justice Advocate and Black Disabled Lives Matter Amplifier
And many more!
Come for the Conference, Stay for the Weather
Tampa is the perfect getaway! While learning and networking, you can experience and explore all that Tampa has to offer. With bright, sunny weather year-round, add an extra day to enjoy the many relaxing options for some much-needed R&R.
Our conference offers the opportunity to achieve Continued Education Unit credits for those who are seeking them! If you need to earn CEUs to maintain a license or certification, what better occasion than the VSAELC?
Replay and Review
After participating in our event, every attendee will gain access to recordings of key sessions, on-demand content, exhibitor booths, and more!
So, what are you waiting for? Come join us April 3 through April 6 for VSAELC 2022!