The National Association of the Deaf is deeply saddened at the passing of Michael A. Michner, who provided extraordinary service to our organization as our Board Treasurer (2010-2012) and as our Chief Financial Officer since 2012. With his remarkable intellect, expertise, and hard work, Michael contributed his tremendous skills to helping the NAD navigate through difficult financial challenges to reach the stable and healthy economic status it has now. We honor Michael now for his amazing and humble life as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) who assisted not only the NAD but many other organizations and people.
Michael was born on May 22, 1959 in Fresno, California to Lou and June Michner. At five months old, the family found out he was deaf. He was the valedictorian at Bullard High School and went on to graduate from the California State University at Northridge (CSUN) in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting Theory and Practice. He worked at the accounting firms of Price Waterhouse and then Nelson, Nelson & Berger. In 1986, Michael became one of three Deaf CPAs in the country.
Michael was dedicated to his profession for over 30 years and served more than 20 of those years as the financial manager for Public Counsel, the largest non-profit law firm in the country. In addition, he has given his expert skills as a CPA to numerous organizations other than the NAD such as: Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness (GLAD); Deaf Counseling Advocacy & Referral Agency (DCARA); Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service Center (DHHSC); KODAWest; Deaf West Theater (DWT); California Educators of the Deaf (Cal-ED); United Cerebral Palsy of Central California (UCPCC); Writers Guild Foundation; and the California Women Law Center. He also gave up his time to serve on the boards of various organizations besides the NAD including GLAD and DWT. His selflessness and generosity will be missed.
NAD President Melissa Draganac-Hawk remembers Michael fondly, “Michael left an important footprint on NAD. His expertise ensured long-term healthy finances for the organization and its programs. Personally, he radiated a special warmth to all when he worked with them. He will be sorely missed by the Deaf community. Thank you, Michael, for everything.”
NAD CEO Howard A. Rosenblum cherishes Michael and recalls that “as a Board member, Michael was one of my bosses when I started at the NAD. He did such a good job that we asked him to transition to being our CFO even though he was very busy with his family, with his full-time job, and with his many clients. But most importantly, he was a great and supportive friend above all, beyond being a board member or a staff of the NAD. He was taken from us too soon.”
As all of his friends knew, Michael was very proud of and truly devoted to his family: his wife Amy and three children Aaron, Adam, and Ariana. We mourn with them as we remember the warm, kind, gracious, and brilliant person that Michael was.