This year we have many wonderful people working on the SWC Convention Committee. Here’s a continuation of meet the crew.
Erica Penn told us: I joined SWC in 2008 when I first met one of the original SWC members, Linda Binns. She introduced me to this amazing group of hearing-impaired individuals who put emphasis on inclusion and a heart-felt warmth in welcoming new members. As a member of the SWC Board of Directors, Linda strongly encouraged me to visit the 2008 SWC Convention in Philadelphia to see for myself. I was very nervous in meeting such a large group of individuals I hadn’t met before, but once the conversations started flowing, I was hooked! I’ve been involved with the SWC in various roles since then.
What do you like about the SWC? There are several aspects that I really appreciate about the SWC. First of all, I appreciate the wide variety of folks with different hearing loss and deafness experiences. Since there is no “one size fits all” approach to hearing loss; everyone has their own story to share and tell others about their unique experiences. Very often, I’ve marveled at how one person’s story could help another person solve some barriers related to hearing loss. We help each other! Additionally, I love the inclusivity of the SWC. Everyone is welcome, no matter what level of hearing loss they have, or what background or experiences they may have gone through. Having belonged to other hearing-loss organizations, I have found that the SWC really resonates with me and my own experiences and is the best fit!
How many years have you volunteered for the convention committee? I actually jumped into becoming the Local Host for the Baltimore SWC Convention in 2011, and that experience further cemented my appreciation for this amazing group! It was an amazing time, and I learned so much about what goes into a successful Con. Since then, I’ve assisted the Convention Steering Committee in various roles until recently, becoming the new Hospitality Chair for the 2016 Boise Con. I can’t wait to support the SWC by providing incredible hospitality to our members, old and new! The annual conventions give me a welcome respite from a busy, hectic life and I can enjoy the company of new and old friends who understand our hearing loss journeys.
What’s your goal for the SWC Boise 2016 convention? As the new Hospitality Chair for the 2016 SWC Boise convention, my goal is to improve Hospitality by working with the Sponsors and SWC members to ensure that everyone feels welcomed and excited about the Con, making this the best Con ever! We definitely hope to see you in Boise!
Jack Nichols has been with the SWC since 1999. He loves the people and the friendly chats. His favorite part of the convention is meetings strangers who turn out to be friends. Jack has created some fun loving memories for convention attendees over the years taking people to one of his favorite restaurants where they rave about the fried pickles among other things.
Having been a member of the SWC board, he’s helped many times at the conventions but this year he’s on the committee acting as our treasurer and helping with registrations. His goals for the 2016 convention in Boise are pretty straight forward:
- Helping people to enjoy themselves
- Meeting and finding new friends
- Learning about the latest technologies
- Learning to cope with hearing loss by learning how other people deal with theirs
Donna McNary has been a member of the SWC for 7 ½ years and has helped with 2 conventions; Madison, WI where she did a wonderful job as local chair and now she is helping with the Boise convention. This year she is co-chair to “Marvelous Marty” on the silent auction, an important part of our convention.
What do you like about SWC? I enjoy talking with people that “get me”, and that understand where I come from. I feel safe and accepted with the people in the club. I feel like I will always get very knowledgeable answers to my questions.
What do the conventions mean to you? I love the conventions! They are a “safe place” to be with friends (family really) that understand. I learn a wealth of information from not only the workshops; but from the SWC members. We also have a blast!
What’s your goal for the SWC Boise 2016 convention? Several goals: To aid newbie’s and new people to the convention in feeling part of the group. Help make this convention the best one yet. Be a great co-chair with Marty and the Silent Auction. To have fun with my tribe.
We still have 3 more people to interview for the blog! We really appreciate the crew this year. They are making great strides already with all the workshops set, the banquet keynote speaker acquired and sponsors. Be sure to look at our website regularly to be up to date on convention happenings. New pages have opened up.