A Note From the TASH Board President

A color portrait of Jennifer Lengyel. She is smiling with pursed lips. She has straight, shoulder-length brown hair, a red shirt with a white undershirt, and a thin golden necklace.The background has large slanted windows with bright light streaming in.

We would like to thank Dr. Ruthie-Marie Beckwith for her leadership and commitment to TASH over the last four years. Under her direction, TASH has re-established roots in grass roots advocacy and self-advocate leadership. Dr. Beckwith has really shined during the COVID crisis – compiling resources, organizing ways for members and self-advocates to connect, providing webinars and advocating for the basic human right to live through this crisis are just a few of the outcomes of her leadership. The Board of Directors would like to offer our gratitude and recognition for a job well done, Dr. Beckwith. We wish you a safe and fruitful journey in your next endeavor.

Every three years, the TASH Board elects a new President. However, we can’t move forward without acknowledging the outstanding leadership and lifetime commitment of Ruby Moore, the outgoing President. As a Board Member and the Board President, Ruby has always been the first to raise her hand. Whatever was needed, she was the first to volunteer. Ruby’s commitment, passion and love of TASH is evident in everything she does. No conversation can happen without a reference to TASH and an ask for support. Ruby’s work for TASH never ceases, days, night, weekends, holidays, vacations and even sick, She has been there to keep TASH moving forward. There are no words to express our gratitude for all that you have given both personally and professionally as Board President. You have been an invaluable leader.

I am honored to be the incoming President of TASH. I have served on the Board for the past four years in a variety of leadership roles and have been involved with TASH as a member since the 90’s. I am pleased to be the invited special guest at the first monthly TASH Member Meet Up on July 20th. I am looking forward to spending more time with members and leading the Board through the challenges and opportunities of the next few years.

As we move into the next chapter for TASH, we want to ensure a smooth transition. Dr. Ruthie-Marie Beckwith will be leaving at the end of August. The Board of Directors has established a search committee for a new Executive Director. The process for applying and advertisement for the new Executive Director are included in the July TASH in Action. In order to ensure TASH continues to move forward and stay strong, the Board has engaged an interim Executive Director, Dr. Serena Lowe. Dr. Lowe has a long history with TASH and is able to step into this position until a new Executive Director is found. Dr. Lowe has significant policy and leadership experience in government, non-profit management as well as the private sector. We are very excited to have her on-board.

We will continue to move forward with the Virtual Outstanding Leadership in Disability Law Symposium and Celebration of Judith Gran on October 7th. This year’s theme, Inclusion as a Human and Civil Right: Past, Present, and Future Legal and Advocacy Implications, could not be timelier. In this time of a global pandemic and blatant civil rights violations, it is imperative we come together and discuss what we can do. Tickets are currently on sale on the TASH website.

We are also evaluating the environment for a successful 2020 TASH Conference. At this time, we are moving forward with planning an in-person Baltimore conference. We will keep the membership informed of any changes.

Times of change are also opportunities and we look forward to the new opportunities ahead for TASH.

Jennifer Lengyel
President, TASH Board of Directors