All posts by Angela Labrecque

It Starts with You!

WHY I WANTED TO START A BLOG…

Thank you for the honor and privilege of serving as your AMBUCS National President for the 2017-18 year. The theme of my year is “IT STARTS WITH YOU.” This theme came to me when I realized that every AMBUCS success starts with a single member. We, the National Board and AMBUCS Resource Center (ARC) staff, thank you for all you do to make AMBUCS great!

When I began looking at things I wanted to do this year, increased communication was at the top of my list. I expressed this desire to our Marketing and Communications Director Angela Labrecque and Executive Director Jay Laurens, they came on board immediately with a lot of excitement.

Angela suggested I explain why I wanted to start a blog. So here it is: I wanted a monthly blog to exchange information and ideas and to let you know that we are here to serve you. Your ideas and thoughts are just as valuable as mine, the staff’s, board’s or those of any other AMBUCS member.

As defined by Wikipedia,

“A blog is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries.”

This blog will be a monthly discussion on various topics and will include guest bloggers. Through the blog I hope to broaden all of our knowledge of AMBUCS and where we have been, are currently and will be going.

Some of the topics will be AMBUCS history, fundraising ideas, grants, member recruitment, telling your story and communication (social media, websites, press releases and how do I get my chapter noticed by the media?). We want you to tell us the topics you want to know more about too.

I want to use this blog as a bridge to the future. Our strength is in working together. Together we are at our strongest. Our impact is huge and only growing. WE are all AMBUCS!

Your National Board and ARC staff are here to serve you. Let’s work together to create solutions and use our gifts to change more lives.

TOGETHER WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!!!

Executive Director Message

New executive director hired - Jay LaurensNOTE: We have retained this announcement because of its historic and ongoing importance to our organization.

The National Board of Directors is pleased to announce that AMBUCS hired Jay Laurens as its new Executive Director.

“Jay Laurens began his career with AMBUCS on January 1, 2017 and I am excited to have him on the team,” said Eric Oschwald, AMBUCS National President. “We are heading into exciting new times for our organization and we feel Jay is the best fit for our culture and expectations for growth.”

Today, our 95-year-old nonprofit charitable organization boasts more than 5,000 members in more than 150 chapters in over 30 states – all working on a grassroots level to fulfil one mission – creating mobility and independence for people with disabilities. Each year AMBUCS members donate approximately 3,500 Amtryke therapeutic tricycles.  They also support 260 educational scholarships for students studying for a career in physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech language pathology and hearing audiology.  Members also contribute countless hours and dollars toward various community service projects.

Jay comes to AMBUCS with nearly 20 years of nonprofit management experience and eight years in higher education administration. The majority of Jay’s extensive nonprofit work involved the oversight of residential, vocational and educational services for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Just prior to joining the staff at AMBUCS, Jay served as Director of Career Services and Internships at Pfeiffer University, a private North Carolina liberal arts university.  In this capacity, he coordinated placement of undergraduate and graduate students in experiential internships with nonprofit, corporate and governmental partners.

Jay’s educational background includes a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University and a Master of Arts in Special Education from Lenoir-Rhyne University. On a more personal level, he is father of a child with special needs, a former special education teacher and a recreational cyclist.

As the new Executive Director, Jay is responsible for overseeing the operations of AMBUCS and Amtryke; leading staff, volunteers, and members to fulfill the AMBUCS mission; and ensuring all nationwide AMBUCS programs are appropriately supported from the AMBUCS Resource Center in High Point, NC.

Regarding the challenges ahead, Jay recently said, “The work of AMBUCS will never be complete nor the mission fully accomplished. As long as disabilities occur at birth and as result of injury and the aging process, there will be a need for the dedicated service of our volunteers and staff. By continuing a strategic, coordinated approach to expanding AMBUCS’ national presence and aggressively exploring funding opportunities, progress will be significant and thousands more lives will be changed.”

Eric Oschwald is encouraging all members to be patient as the onboarding process takes place. The succession plan approved by the board is being put into action to ensure a smooth transition.

Please join us in welcoming Jay to the team!

Meet Kids 1

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Meet Kids 2

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