President Updates – July 2022

Outgoing President Melissa Draganac-Hawk and Incoming President Jenny Buechner join together to give their updates from July 2022.

[VIDEO DESC & TRANSCRIPT: Melissa (left) and Jenny (right) appear together in a zoom setting. The NAD logo appears as a watermark on the bottom right. Video then turns to Melissa presenting alone on the Zoom screen.

MELISSA: Hi! I’m Melissa Draganac-Hawk and this brings me to President’s update for the month of July. We have several things to share with you. First, let me update you on the five priorities from the 2020-2022 term. Of these five, the Foster Care Bill of Rights priority is almost completed. The NAD will continue to work on the other four priorities in the next term, 2022-2024. You can view updates about each priority through videos on the NAD website. Next, I want to take some time to share some gratitude to different people. First, thank you for giving me the opportunity to lead as President for the past six years. It was such a powerful experience and incredible journey for myself as an individual as well as together with the Board. One of the most pivotal situations to happen during the last term was the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a huge shift for all of us, but despite the pandemic, we continued to do our best and work hard. I’d also like to take the time to thank several groups. State Associations and Affiliates, thank you for your hard work for the past six years. Delegates at the recent 2022 Biennial NAD Conference in Florida, thank you for your participation in our training to be prepared and for attending the Council of Representatives with your full attention, discussion, and voting on the bylaws amendments, priorities, and the election of the new Board. To the NAD Headquarters Staff, thank you for your hard work — I am truly indebted to you, you’ve gone above and beyond work hours and duties and surpassed my expectations. I recognize and praise your innovative strategies, persistence, and loyal support for the deaf and hard of hearing community. To the NAD Board, thank you for your hard work — you did more than just participate in the Board meetings. You worked diligently on many issues while serving on committees, planning the conference, and many other duties. Thank you, Board! And finally but importantly, thank you to my family and friends for being there for me since I first joined the NAD Board in 2009. Again, thank you with love and affection. This video is to support the transition to the new President whom I am excited to introduce! Please welcome the 2022-2024 President of the NAD, Jenny Buechner! Jenny first joined the Board in 2013 then became the NAD Secretary for the past six years. Now I turn it over to you, Jenny.

Melissa (left) is joined again by Jenny (right) on the Zoom screen.

JENNY: Thank you Melissa! First, thank you for your service to the NAD for the past 14 years, with six of those years as President. Really, we are thrilled to have seen you provide successful service to the NAD and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors. 

Zoom screen turns to Jenny alone as she continues her remarks:

JENNY: Melissa, as President, has made amazing achievements, and it now turns to me as the incoming President and I know I have a lot of work to do to keep the success of the NAD going! As Melissa mentioned, four of the five priorities from the last term continue onto this term and new ones. Our five priorities that we will work on now are: Addressing Deaf Youth Well-Being, Achieving Equity in Deaf Education, ASL Resources for Deaf Babies, Deaf Seniors Issues, and Dismantling Racism in the Deaf Community. I look forward to working with the community, our committees, and the Board to address those priorities within the next two years. Melissa mentioned the newly elected Board — however, we still have four vacancies. These vacancies are for: Region I Board member, Affiliate Board member, and two Appointed Board members. I’m currently working on reaching out to individuals and interviewing potential candidates to fulfill those positions. I am excited to work on completing the Board and look forward to letting you know who will be joining the NAD Board in my next video update next month. I look forward to working with you and the community in the next two years on our priorities and other issues that arise, and more. I look forward to working with the Board in the next two years. 

Melissa (left) joins the Zoom screen with Jenny (right) as Jenny continues: 

JENNY: Thank you all for your support of the NAD!]