Katie Frederick for 2018 ACB Board of Directors
160 W. Wilson Bridge Rd., Apt. 405
Worthington, OH 43085-2226
Phone: (419) 306-3721
1. Introduce yourself and explain why you wish to serve as a member of the ACB board of directors.
My name is Katie Frederick and I live in Columbus, Ohio. I work at The Ohio State University as a Digital Accessibility Specialist, ensuring digital content, such as applications and websites are accessible to people with disabilities. Previous work and leadership experience includes serving as the Executive Director of the American Council of the Blind of Ohio, working for the federal government, and serving on the Board of Trustees for the American Foundation for the Blind. During the 2014 ACB Conference and Convention, I learned of open board positions and made the decision to seek election to the board.
Serving as a director for the past four years, I have gained a better understanding of ACB’s organizational operations, helped hire an executive director, further develop leadership skills, learn about access and advocacy initiatives ACB is addressing, and help develop a strategic plan guiding the organization for the next three to five years. I am seeking re-election to the board and welcome the challenges and opportunities ACB faces as we work together for a brighter future for ACB members and individuals who are blind or visually impaired in the United States and around the world.
If you wish to contact me with questions or would like to discuss issue with me, you can reach me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow @holnan on Twitter, or call or text me at (419) 306-3721.
2. Summarize your experience with the national organization and/or with state, special-interest or local chapters that qualifies you for service on the board of directors.
I attended my first ACB Conference and Convention as a college student in 2004 and met engaging student leaders and adults who invited me to participate in activities and learn more about the organization. The positive experience I had at the national convention encouraged me to become more active at the local chapter and state levels of the Ohio affiliate. For the remainder of college, I continued attending monthly chapter meetings and the annual ACB-Ohio Conference and Convention. Attending the national convention and remaining active at the chapter and state levels led the Ohio membership to nominate me for a term on the board of directors.
My first term on the board of directors of the American Council of the Blind of Ohio began in 2007. I served two two-year terms as a director, and then the membership elected me secretary of the affiliate in 2011. In 2013, I accepted the position of executive director of the American Council of the Blind of Ohio. Managing the day-to-day operations of the organization and working with the board of directors helping meet the needs of Ohioans who are blind or visually impaired are a few roles and responsibilities I oversaw as executive director.
During the 2014 ACB Conference and Convention, I learned there were openings on the organization’s board of directors. I felt my previous leadership roles qualified me to seek election to the board, and I submitted my name for consideration. The membership voted me onto the board and I am completing my first four-year term.
Remaining active at the local chapter level is important to me as well. I am completing my first term as President of the ACB-Ohio Columbus chapter, and am looking forward to enhancing my leadership at the local, state and national levels of ACB.
3. If you could strengthen the ACB’s performance in any area, where would you focus your efforts, and what would you do?
Marketing and communications is an area of focus ACB can improve. Because of the strategic plan implementation, efforts are underway examining the methods and channels used to communicate and the communication effectiveness.
As ACB works to develop a communication plan to improve and increase outreach, many other facets of the organization will improve and increase. The more effectively ACB communicates information about the programs, services, organizational activities and committee activities, new and prospective members will feel engaged and potential donors and donations can be realized. I believe ACB is improving the process for communicating and investigating new innovative ways to raise awareness of the work we do and reaching an external audience while remaining cognizant of internal communication methods. Moving forward, I know there are many areas where communication and marketing efforts can improve, including taking a look at how and when communication occurs about specific initiatives, making sure ACB captures strategic photos and videos used to promote the organization, and utilize existing and new emerging technology to convey our message internally and externally. Recently, to celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day, ACB staff created a Facebook Live video discussing the importance of digital accessibility and stressing continued advocacy to ensure accessibility needs are part of future conversations. The Global Accessibility Awareness Day live video received over 1,500 views and highlighted an unrealized effective method for ACB outreach and engagement.
ACB’s marketing and communication efforts are reaching a broader audience, but I know, as an organization and as an individual who is leading the marketing and communications strategic initiative, there is a long road ahead. I am confident, however, the more we work together to develop specific communication projects and plans, measure the effectiveness of communication and continue seeking innovative methods to engage, the better and stronger ACB will become.
4. How would you strengthen the cohesiveness among the ACB and its state and special-interest affiliates?
Communication and collaboration are keys to strengthening the relationship between ACB and state and special-interest affiliates. It is important for ACB leadership to know what is happening at the state and special-interest levels and it is beneficial if state and special-interest leaders share ACB information with members. The ACB Leadership email list, ACB Radio, websites, and newsletters are great ways to connect with ACB staff, board members and network with state and special-interest affiliate leaders and members. Sharing ACB national and state and special-interest affiliate news and updates via social media is another way to increase collaboration and cohesiveness within the organization.
As an ACB leader, I believe we need to encourage more state and special-interest collaboration and co-sponsorship of activities such as conference workshops and regional leadership conferences. Many state affiliates hold joint annual conferences, providing opportunities to share limited resources, hear different speakers and topics, save money, and increase attendance. Collaboration presents some challenges but provides opportunities to strengthen relationships within ACB and the state and special interest affiliates.
As implementation of ACB’s strategic plan continues, leadership needs to examine how, from a national perspective, marketing and communications, membership, and fundraising resources can assist state and special-interest affiliate members and leaders. The more ACB national and state and special-interest affiliates can collaborate and communicate, the more effective ACB advocacy and work will be.
5. What are the most important areas where the ACB should focus in the 21st century? How can you assist the organization to excel in those areas?
I believe ACB needs to focus on communication, membership and technology as we move forward. Communication is ever changing, as is the technology used to communicate the message. For ACB to maintain and attract potential members, I think we need to be mindful of current communication and technology but not be afraid to think outside the box and try new things from time to time.
Recently, ACB utilized Facebook Live to share a message concerning digital accessibility, a very relevant topic to many in the blind and visually impaired community. I believe it is crucial for ACB leaders to look at new innovative ways to communicate, engage members and improve ACB’s presence.