Climb Aboard the 2018 DKM Express

by Kenneth Semien Sr.

The DKM Express is tooting its horn to attract members who have never attended an ACB conference and convention and have a desire to learn more about ACB and its rich history. Access your ticket to join the class of over 40 current DKM First-Timers and interact with hundreds of other members during the 57th annual ACB conference and convention in St. Louis, Mo. this July, by completing all required steps.
To be eligible for consideration, each applicant must meet specific requirements, which include being age 18 or older; blind or visually impaired; an ACB member in good standing, and never have attended a previous ACB national convention. In addition, two letters must be submitted for each applicant — a letter of application from the interested member, and a letter of recommendation from a state or special-interest affiliate president. The letter of application introduces the applicant to the committee and contains reasons for applying for the award, a brief summary of education and experience related to his/her community service, contributions to the affiliate, and the significance of the First-Timers award to the applicant’s personal or career development. The letter of recommendation should include the applicant’s leadership contributions and potential. Applicants who meet these requirements will also undergo a 30-minute interview with a team of DKM committee members during mid-April.
The DKM program and ACB honor recipients by funding round-trip air travel and supporting transportation, hotel accommodations (double occupancy), per diem allowance for meals and incidentals, leadership institute, reception, banquet tickets, the general convention registration fee, and other activities determined by the committee and ACB board of directors. Optional tours and other fun activities are not covered by the program. The responsibilities of each recipient include but are not limited to attending the full week of conference and convention activities from Saturday, June 30 through Friday, July 6; participating in daily general sessions and the Keys to the Convention seminar, along with special-interest and committee seminars, while interacting with ACB leaders and fellow members.
Applications and supporting letters should be forwarded to Kelly Gasque,, and must be received in the ACB national office no later than April 3rd. Incomplete applications will not be considered. The DKM committee will select the 2018 First-Timers during the latter part of April. Applicants will be notified of their status shortly thereafter. The selection process will conclude with two recipients being awarded as DKM First-Timers — one from east and one from west of the Mississippi River. The committee reserves the right to recognize two recipients from the east or west if there are no qualified applicants from one of the specified areas. If you have questions, contact DKM chair Kenneth Semien Sr. via email,, or phone (409) 866-5838.