March to the Beat of a Different Drum: Apply to Become a 2019 DKM First-Timer

by Kenneth Semien Sr.

Left, right, left, right, left, right. Step up to the plate to take advantage of future leadership opportunities. The DKM First-Timers Committee encourages members who have never attended an ACB conference and convention and have a desire to learn more about ACB and its rich history to march forward to participate in the DKM Experience while joining the class of over 40 current DKM First-Timers and interact with hundreds of other members during the 58th annual ACB convention in Rochester, N.Y. 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 the applicant’s 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. Another step of eligibility for applicants will be the expectation of undergoing 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 and leadership activities, reception, banquet tickets, the general convention registration fee, and other activities determined by the committee and ACB’s 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 Friday, July 5 through Friday, July 12; participating in daily general sessions, the Keys to the Convention seminar, and 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 2019 First-Timers during the latter part of April. Eligible applicants will be notified 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 DKM 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. All questions should be sent to DKM chair Kenneth Semien Sr., or (409) 866-5838. We look forward to offering support to every applicant in an effort to ensure a rewarding experience.