By Jule Ann Lieberman, Chair
It has been my privilege to serve as membership chair of the PCB Membership Committee this year. We are truly blessed to have both veteran PCB members as well as new and young PCB members among our committee. We welcome additional members as the varied experiences, locales and perspectives are highly valued. I want to once again thank the following PCB Members for their hard work this year: Jeanette Schmoyer, Yvonne Garris, Brent Kessler, Rosemary Martin, Jackie Wissinger and new-comer Nancy Scott. The leadership of PCB was represented faithfully by Tony Swartz and John Horst. I also want to express on behalf of the committee our thanks for the assistance provided by our capable PCB Office staff this year, Christina and Gail. They really did a wonderful job assisting us all this year.
In reflecting on our accomplishments, I want to first point out the great development in communication with our members at large this year. On average, ten or more members at large join an every-other month teleconference meeting for an informative time with PCB leadership and committee representatives. Nancy Scott, committee member and member at large has taken the extra step of organizing a less formal meeting on the alternate months, where members at large have the opportunity to share ideas, ask questions on peer issues, and have the general social exchange often found at chapter meetings. This has brought together members who cannot participate in a chapter meeting in a convenient and comfortable manner. I offer my congratulations on this fine effort and encourage other members at large to contact the PCB office to be included in the next call.
Another accomplishment this year was evident at the statewide convention. Our student and young professional members have taken strong steps in forming the sought after student/young professional affiliate for PCB. The student representatives who spoke with confidence and determination during the convention give us all great hope that PCB will remain strong and have talented leaders in the future.
As with all accomplishments, we must also recognize where more work is needed. The membership totals are still in decline; reporting membership data continues to be problematic and the inconsistency of members’ participation in advocacy are areas we need to address for 2015. We need to stem the tide of member losses, reach new members and allow us to together represent persons with vision loss locally, statewide and on the national stage. I will be contacting chapter leaders, members at large and ACB affiliate members in Pennsylvania to encourage growth and provide us with future security. Together we can grow, remain strong and have our opinions made clear to our community, state and national leaders.
On behalf of the membership committee, I want to wish all our PCB members the warmest of holiday greetings and hope that together we can make 2015 a year of growth and action!