Magazine article Volta Voices

Conversations

Magazine article Volta Voices

Conversations

Article excerpt

When I started this column in 2009, 1 dedicated it to the many people that I am fortunate enough to meet in my travels as the executive director of AG Bell. The wide scope of individuals involved with AG Bell and the listening and spoken language community is truly amazing. On a daily basis, the AG Bell staff interacts with people from across the United States and all over the world. Little did I know that one of the most interesting characters I would meet would reside right here in Georgetown, home of the Volta Bureau, AG Bell's historic headquarters in Washington, D. C.

Over the past year, AG Bell has hosted a series of meet-and-greets at the Volta Bureau for local AG Bell members and residents of the Georgetown community. These receptions are meant to serve as a community building effort in the region, as AG Bell lacks a chapter in the District of Columbia and Maryland. At the first gathering, a gentleman introduced himself to me as Neil Dickman - husband of the late Donna Dickman, executive director of AG Bell from 1986 to 1998. We exchanged pleasantries, but with the crush of people and noise of conversation, we both moved on as often happens during these events.

A week later I received an email from Neil inviting me to lunch at a near by restaurant called Martin's, a well-known local pub with good food and an environment conducive to conversation. Our first lunch and those that followed provided me an interesting window into a different era at AG Bell. To Neil, AG Bell was more than an employer to his wife Donna - it was family. In fact, AG Bell was key piece of his family's history. From the Leadership Opportunity for Teens (LOFT) program to various biennial conventions, Neil told me fun stories of staff singing as he played piano or humorous antics of AG Bell "kids" who have now grown up - one or two even serving as members of the board! …

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