Dear Alexander Graham Bell Community,
I am thankful for the love of the AG Bell community around the world, which I have been fortunate to experience on a daily basis since I started working at AG Bell.
This past Saturday marked my third year serving as Chief Executive Officer of AG Bell. It is a habit of mine to celebrate milestones as well as learn from them. I've been honored to be a change agent in the various organizations I have served, and it has been a joy to use those experiences to build a new path for AG Bell .
That path has been both challenging and fascinating. This year's Convention in Denver was truly my first comprehensive AG Bell event, seeing it through from its early planning stages to completion. I hope you felt caught up in the energy we have attempted to instill at AG Bell - either through interactions with me or our staff, or through the public image we have worked so hard to craft .
My mission here at AG Bell is focused on both respecting the history and legacy of Dr. Alexander Graham Bell as well as communicating his message to a modern audience. We have worked to achieve this in how we bring our messages to you, our community and membership, how we provide information that's relevant to new and growing audiences, and how we reach out to new parents who are looking for answers.
It has been my pleasure to bring this mission to you as your CEO. I look forward to achieving our resolute vision of making listening and spoken language accessible to all with hearing loss. The path to success will be gradual, and we will be blazing it every day, doing everything in our power to make it a reality.
In the meantime, I am immensely grateful to everyone who has helped me build the past three years of progress toward this vision.
I am thankful to Lisa Chutjian, whose indomitable work ethic in making our fundraising and grassroots organization efforts click, has been critical in putting AG Bell on the right path.

I am thankful to Ken Levinson, who warmly introduced me to the history of AG Bell with sage advice about the organization, our community, and 
how to support our next generation of leaders.

And speaking of the next generation, one of my favorite moments of this past year was working on the Legacy of Innovation Gala with Elena LaQuatra, Lance Allred, Brick Reilly and, of course, our youngest bright star, Neil Maes.
With Brick Reilly, Lance Allred, Neil Maes, and Elena LaQuatra at the Legacy of Innovation Gala
I am thankful to Meredith Sugar, who served as my first president of the AG Bell Board of Directors, shared her family's story so openly and faced with me every obstacle to achieving our mission.
 
I am thankful to Don Goldberg, who worked closely with me in the first months of my tenure as CEO and continues to help me gain a fuller understanding of how AG Bell changes lives.
 
I am thankful to Ted Meyer, who continues to amaze me with his willingness to do anything and everything to advance our organization in every sphere.
 
I am thankful to the others members of the AG Bell Board of Directors - Jonathan Berger, Bob Bush, Ivette Cejas, Howard Francis, Kevin Franck, Sara Grosvenor, Susan Lenihan, and Arlene Stredler Brown - and the AG Bell Academy Board - Ellen Estes, Teri Ouellette, Rollen Cooper, Sherri Fickenscher, Andrew Kendrick, Ulrika Lofkvist, Jane Madell, Lee Rech, Emma Rushbrooke, Ellen Thomas and Jenna Voss - for sharing with me their ideals and helping us to advance the mission every day.

I am thankful to Bruce Rosenfield, Karl White and Hearing First for the wonderful partnership that we've been able to create through our commitment to parallel missions.

I am thankful to Gayla Guignard, whose energy and spirit have helped us succeed in the most crucial of advocacy efforts as well as our 2016 Convention and upcoming Symposium.

I am thankful to Svante Borjesson, Percival Denham, and Anita Grover, who have been invaluable partners in our efforts to expand the reach of the AG Bell community and message beyond borders and beyond the limits of language .

I am thankful to my friend, Paul Monarch, who came to the Volta Bureau for lunch one day and never left, proving himself invaluable in streamlining our operations and professionalizing our systems to better serve you.

And I am grateful every day for our staff - Robin Bailey, Shirley Chipana, Trenita Dickey, Nicholas Griffith, Lisa McBee-Granados, Daniel Ors, Ruth White, Gary Yates and Brenda Zimmerman.
I thank all of you for your kindness, your support and your enthusiasm. I am thankful for the love of our community around the world, which I have been fortunate to experience on a daily basis since I started working at AG Bell.
 
I am truly privileged and honored to serve you - to serve the dedicated parents of children with hearing loss, the adults who have courageously faced and overcome all barriers, and the professionals who have helped make it all possible. I look forward to working on this mission and bringing AG Bell to loftier heights .   
Thank you for your continued support. I am always available to you at info@agbell.org and at 202-337-5220.   
Until next week,
Emilio EAM signature blue transparent 
Emilio Alonso-Mendoza

 

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Melody Beattie