Nominations For Friends Board Of Trustees

Submitted by rmann on Thu, 05/10/2018 - 19:07

Below are the nominees who have applied for our openings for 2017. We currently have four seats open. They are each 3 year terms. Please look the applicants over carefully and select who you think would be best suited to fill these positions.

Irene Hewett

My name is Irene Hewett. I would like to be elected to the Board of Trustees of Friends of Library Access, Inc. in November, 2017. I have been a member of FLA since the organization's beginning in 1992. Over the years, I have served as President and Recording Secretary, and am currently serving in that office. I have witnessed the many ways that FLA has helped the Library, its volunteers and patrons. I would like to continue working with other Board members and the Library staff to recruit new members and increase awareness of the Library's services. I am a Library user, and am enjoying the freedom of ordering books directly from BARD.

Irene Hewett
Paul Kurtz

I would like to express my interest in being on the Friends Board following expiration of my present term. As a youngster, I, like many other blind people in Florida, was impacted by lack of library resources. This affected both my school life and personal recreational life. People at the library in Atlanta were making their best effort; they just had a tremendous amount of territory to cover. Now, we have a much better system all around, but we can’t rest on our laurels. Over the course of my life, I’ve been a rehabilitation instructor, a counselor, and worked in a variety of organizations serving blind people including the Mayor’s Disability Council for the city of Jacksonville, The Florida Rehabilitation Council for the state of Florida, Clay Council of the Blind as president and first vice-president, and other service organizations. I’ve had a 30-year-plus private project to provide Braille trumpet method books for blind trumpet students and I know just how important information provision is to all of us who are blind. I’m happy to serve as a Board member for the Friends and in any office my peers feel I can assist the group by serving in.

Paul Kurtz
Pam Keezel

I was born and raised in the Midwest, and moved to Winter Park, FL after graduating from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. Besides wanting to leave the extreme cold and snowy winters in the north for the sun and beaches, I wanted to pursue an MBA degree at Rollins College. When I became employed at UCF in Orlando, the decision to seek admission at the campus where I worked each day was most logical for my needs. Within a couple years of relocating to Florida, I met and married the man I am still happily married to today. Over 34 years we have traveled many winding roads, while having a hand in raising his two children and facing life’s challenges. Thank goodness my husband, Joe, loves dogs as much as I do and we are now the proud parents of our eighth fur baby. I began my accounting business in 1995, and over the years have provided financial services to numerous non-profit organizations covering Orange, Seminole and Volusia counties. In 2005 I jumped at the opportunity to work at the Center for the Visually Impaired, Inc. I felt a true attachment to the philosophy of the organization, as I suffered vision loss months after being married. After being diagnosed with T1 Diabetes in 1961, I was also diagnosed with Diabetic Retinopathy in 1983. Nearly a year after my diagnosis I regained sight in one eye, however, lost all vision in the other from a detached retina. Many times I have wished the Braille and Talking Book Library would have been available to me during my months of blindness. Because of the isolation I felt at that point in my life, I want to give time now to this library and the Friends organization so they can properly serve the visually impaired all around our state, and beyond for many decades to come. I have been the designated bookkeeper for Friends of Library Access, Inc. since May 2006, and would very much welcome becoming a member of the Board of Directors for the coming year. Thank you so much for considering me as a more permanent fixture in this organization.

Pam Keezel
Shelley Sawyer

My name is Shelley Sawyer and I currently reside in Tallahassee FL. I am employed as a medical transcriptionist, working for the Lighthouse of Houston. I am again running for a seat on the board of the Friends of Library Access. I have been a Talking Book Library patron for over 50 years. Mom made application for me when I was still in elementary school. We lived in Ohio then, and I believe I was about 9 years old. I remember reading books on records on those big heavy talking book machines. Over the years, I have read through hard disks, flexible disks, cassettes, digital cartridges, and am now downloading books from the BARD web site. I am not really noted for being a highly passionate person. However, among my passions, the Talking Book Library would surely be near the top of the list. Over the years, it has brought me countless hours of enjoyment, laughter, tears, and learning experiences. I am currently serving as recording secretary for our local FCB chapter. I am also recording secretary for the Florida School for the Blind Alumni Association. I would welcome the opportunity to attempt to give something back for all that I have received. It would be my pleasure and honor to continue to serve on this board, to work to keep our library alive and to help it grow. I hope you will consider allowing me to maintain this position on the Board of Friends of Library Access. Thank you very much

. Shelley Sawyer
Betty J. Boyette

This is an abbreviated synopsis of my work history. The character, integrity and personality you will learn for yourself. Some of you have known and worked with me for decades. I started working with people in a business capacity when I was thirteen years old at the “dime store”. I graduated from Lanier County High School, Lakeland, Georgia and my family lived in the same place for generations. On a Sunday night when I was 17-1/2 years old I returned home from my Senior Trip and on Monday morning I went to Jacksonville to attend a business school on a scholarship. That same week I got a part-time job in the afternoon doing secretarial work. When I was old enough, I took the Civil Service Test and was chosen to work for a judge. He was a good judge and I got to work with many children and parents in the Juvenile Court and even chose the adoptive parents for one baby found in a trash can. When I grew tired of that after twelve and a half (12-1/2) years it was time to run for re-election, I took my courage in one hand and my foot in the other and ended up at the BRAILLE AND TALKING BOOK Library where I was able to learn, teach and recruit new volunteers. I especially liked learning the new programs and new technology. I was the first to learn and teach computer Braille. I didn’t know anything about computers or Braille, but was willing to learn. One director asked me how I ran the Volunteer Services Section and immediately I told them I used the “STRING” Method. I learned the jobs first myself, then got in front and led as I taught. Now, I am retired after nearly forty years at the BUREAU OF BRAILLE AND TALKING BOOK LIBRARY. One of my greatest accomplishments which I am very proud of was helping to start the FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY ACCESS INC. I would like to continue to support the Friend by now serving on this board as a board member. With the knowledge I have gained throughout the years working at the library, I feel I can be an asset to this board, contributing in a manner which will allow me to make the appropriate decisions, that will in turn, help ensure that the blind and visually impaired citizens of Florida who have been receiving services from the BRAILLE AND TALKING BOOK LIBRARY, will continue to receive these valuable services for many years to come.

Betty J. Boyette
Gwenyth “Wendy” Wilson

I have been a client of the Florida Braille and Talking Book Library for 25 years. I am also a volunteer for the same. The Deland Lions Club has been a donor for the Friends of the Library since I joined in 2000. Last year, they voted to elect me for a life membership. Many of my fellow Lions are also subscribers to the Friends of the Library. I am a National Federation of the Blind Newsline marketer as well as an NFB member. This includes presenting Newsline to groups and at health fairs. I sign people up for the service, troubleshoot problems and walk them through any problems they may face. Newsline gives access over the phone, computer, etc. to over 400 newspapers, magazines, TV Guides and much more, free of charge to those with certain disabilities. I am involved in a class at Daytona State College. We teach medical professionals, medical students and others that are interested in how to interact with the visually impaired. This is a continuing education Unit course. It is called, “Assisting Persons with Limited Vision”. Due to the growing foundation (which I am president), the class is now free. Summing up, I am also a Guardian Ad Litem volunteer, H.E.L.P. Animals Inc.as well as a few other hats. I would appreciate being considered for the Friends of the Library board.

Gwenyth “Wendy” Wilson