SM: Hello! Vice President Maloney and Region V Representative Mish Ktejik here to provide you an update to the RID Board meeting that was held from November 2- 5, 2017 at RID Headquarters in Alexandria, VA. Although the meetings started on November 2nd, most of the Board arrived on November 1st to attend the NAD 2017 Breakthrough Awards Gala in downtown D.C. It was an inspirational, fun evening that gave us the opportunity to support NAD and it truly set the tone for our week together.

MK: I’m Mish Ktejik, the Region V Representative. So after our Wednesday social night, we got to work Thursday morning. Really, the work started a month ago with you, the members. At the national conference, you gave us all of your ideas and recommendations – thirty-five pages worth! In that data, some common themes showed up, such as improving communications and member support. Another theme was increased involvement of the Affiliate Chapters. Affiliate Chapters are technically separate organizations from RID but the feedback showed a need for more involvement and guidance from RID. Members also asked us to review our governance structure and voting system. We currently operate under a system that was set up some time ago and seemingly no longer fits our current member needs or what more modern organizations are doing.

For our strategic planning session, we hired a consultant to work with us. Krista Walker is amazing – she helped us stay on task and walked us through the process step by step. We discussed processes, results, and relationships. We looked at internal and external factors that influence one another and talked about everything from individual members to the organization as a whole and the needs of the community. We came up with some brave ideas. Now the question is, where do we go from here?

SM: We knew coming into the meeting that we would not have a completed Strategic Plan at the end of our four days together. In order to complete the work, a writing team comprised of RID Board members and RID staff will work to take the themes we identified from the 2017 Conference Recommendations to create Strategies, Goals, and Objectives. Once completed, a draft of the Strategic Plan will be sent to the Board, Council of Elders, Deaf Advisory Council, and Diversity Council for review and revision. The writing team will create the final plan from those revisions to be completed by Spring 2018.  

The work will only begin at that point. Once we have a final plan, the Board will set both quarterly and annual reviews to ensure the plan is being implemented appropriately and the necessary resources are in place. Those reviews will occur during regular BOD meetings.

Lastly, the Executive Director position is still vacant. We will use what we have learned this week to update the position description. The updated description will be released in the coming weeks. If you are interested in applying or know someone who is qualified, you or they can contact President Walker by email at president@rid.org for more information. There is a lot of work to be done and the Board is excited for what is to come in the next few months!

MK: So what can you do? You can be involved! Stay aware of what is happening and the reasons behind it. I have a feeling some big changes are coming and we need you!