[Greater-Baltimore] Thanks for a Great Convention and Introducing the NFBMD Board of Directors

Ronza Othman rothmanjd at gmail.com
Tue Nov 13 02:25:27 UTC 2018

Greetings, Federation Family,

First, I wanted to thank those of you who were able to attend the NFB of
Maryland 52nd Annual Convention in person for a truly phenomenal convention.
Thanks also to those of you who listened online and participated via social
media.  In true Maryland style, we held a number of engaging seminars and
activities, the General Session was packed with fantastic presentations, and
the banquet and Adelmo Vigil's address were inspiring.  Special thanks to
all those who were involved in the planning and execution of this
convention, from planning seminars, to running childcare, to working with
teens and tweens, to troubleshooting challenges, to collecting door prizes,
to running auctions and raffles, to handling streaming, social media, and
sound, to managing the crab race, to managing the myriad of pieces involved
in registration, to facilitating banquet exchange, and on and on and on.  It
truly takes a village, or in our case, an affiliate.


I also want to take this opportunity to introduce myself to you - I imagine
most of you know me, but our family is quite large and I may not have gotten
the pleasure of meeting every single one of you yet.  Yesterday, I was
elected to the position of President of the National Federation of the Blind
of Maryland.  I am grateful and excited about the work we  will accomplish
together going forward.  I am so incredibly honored to follow great leaders
like the incomparable Sharon Maneki in this role.  It is only because of our
remarkable past and our outstanding present that we have such a dynamic
future ahead.


The 2018 Convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland
elected the following individuals to the positions listed below:

-        President: Ronza Othman, Baltimore

-        First Vice President: Deborah Brown, Rockville

-        Second Vice President: Anil Lewis, Baltimore

-        Secretary: Judy Rasmussen, Kensington

-        Treasurer: Shawn Jacobson, Ulney

-        Board Member (2 year term previously occupied by Darlene Barrett):
Sharon Maneki, Columbia

-        Board Member (2 year term): Melissa Riccobono, Baltimore

-        Board Member (2 year term): Maurice Peret, Baltimore

-        Board Member (1 year term previously occupied by Ronza Othman):
Melba Taylor, Bowie


The following positions were not up for election:

-        Board Member: Michelle Clark, Springdale

-        Board Member: Marguerite Woods, Baltimore


Please join me in extending heart-felt gratitude to Darlene Barrett for her
years of service as a member of the NFBMD Board of Directors.  She will
remain active in our organization, and she promises to continue in her
favorite pastime as the Door Prize Diva.


Please also join me in extending immense gratitude, appreciation, and love
to Sharon Maneki, who has served as our affiliate president for 24 of the
last 32 years.  Sharon will remain very active in the affiliate and in the
NFB, and she remains as a member of the Board of Directors of NFBMD, but her
contributions to this point have been remarkable.  To commemorate Sharon's
impact on the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland, the Board voted
to rename the NFBMD Youth Empowerment Grant as the Sharon Maneki Youth
Empowerment Grant.  Sharon received this commemoration when it was announced
at the Board Meeting on Friday, November 9, 2018.  Thus, Sharon's name and
legacy will be recorded as part of our history for all time.  


The theme of our 2018 convention was "Focus on the Future."  I'm really
excited about our future in Maryland.  We have a great deal of work to do,
but with hope, love, and determination, we will live the lives we want.




Ronza Othman, President

National Federation of the Blind of Maryland



The National Federation of the Blind of Maryland knows that blindness is not
the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the
expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles
between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want;
blindness is not what holds you back.


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