I am thrilled to be a part of PWMB! I live in Bothell, Washington with my husband Richard, a pack of kittens and my youngest son who is off to college in the fall. I have 3 amazing young adult children who have been an absolute blessing to us. I spent almost 30 years in the Communication/Technology world prior to losing all my vision in April of 2021. Since that time I have had to relearn my whole world as a blind person. Luckily I found several resources and am currently working towards a new career path as an Assistive Technology Instructor and State Certified Braillist.
Musically, I am more of a singer than a player. I have been in several choirs through the years and for a short time played flute. Once I get through my schooling I intend on taking piano with PWMB as I have never had the opportunity to learn. I am anticipating being able to accompany myself with some favorite piano tunes.
I love the outdoors, fishing and camping. I am also a card/board game player as long as I can adapt the games. I savor being in the kitchen and trying new things.
I truly believe this program will provide some positive experiences and help those in our blind community find their talent and passion for music, while building confidence and independence. Losing your vision can be a very scary and sometimes lonely place. Music has healing powers for those that need it most.
I trained to be an accountant and received the CPA certificate, and spent several years doing tax and audit work. But, if there was a chance to do the computer parts of those assignments, I was on it. So in 1983 I did a career change, and went to work at Boeing on a project to see if networked computers could enable a small team to be dramatically more productive. It worked out, and so I stayed for 31 years, somehow eventually being named a Boeing Technical Fellow, much to my amazement. Facilitating collaboration and communications was one of my passions.
I am not a musician, but like many, I did have piano lessons as a young person and I have strummed a few chords on an acoustic guitar. I see music as being three things. One is something that is very personal when no one else is around. Another is as a way to entertain someone else. And finally, for those who really know how to speak the language of music, it is a way of having a conversation with another musician. I am quite excited about PWMB to share music as another mode of communication with the blind. I'm thinking that my best ability to be of some help will be with the operational and financial processes and details, and maybe asking a good question now and then.
As for the rest of me, I live not far from the Boons with my wife Sue and daughter Nicole. My son Alex and daugher-in-law Emily have just made Sue and I grandparents for the first time. My avocational interests include woodworking, the history of clocks, and the history of that made-up thing called money.
Music has been a part of my life since a young age. Early on I was involved in the local community theater, running the ticket booth, puppeteering, and performing musically on the harp. I continued my musical journey performing with various orchestras including Cascade Youth Symphony Orchestra and Western Oregon Symphony and Wind Ensemble. I became passionate about accessibility in college where I majored in ASL/English Interpreting & Psychology. My career path has led me to my current position as a Forecast Analyst with REI where I have worked for over six years.
Outside of my professional life, I love spending time with my pets, traveling, and being outside whenever I can. I also hope to get back to my musical endeavors soon. I am honored and excited to support this organization and combine two of my longstanding passions- music & accessibility.
I have been a music teacher for two plus years after retiring from Boeing with over 32 years. I had ten years of formal piano training quite a while ago and due to a medical complication, I was only able to keep music as a hobby and occasionally play in worship bands over the years.
By teaching piano and drums the last couple of years I have found a passion for returning a love of music to a people group that has normally been turned down for musical opportunities. I reached out to one person a couple of years ago who was visually impaired (VI) to see if she and others who were blind wanted to learn how to play the piano and witnessed her pure enjoyment and excitement playing her new digital keyboard! Since meeting her and teaching her, I am embracing this adventure to teach students who are VI or blind to not just learn to play, but to perform music, too.
Providing musical opportunity for this group of people and having them nurture their gifts into performances is where this charitable organization is going--how fun! Blending previous degrees in business with a master’s in organizational management and working with this current team of intelligent and energetic board members has helped create this nonprofit dream.
I have volunteered in the past with these roles; coached soccer, facilitated coordination at food banks, taught 5th grade Sunday School and provided recreational therapy at Children’s Orthopedic Hospital. I am a current member of the American Council of the Blind and the Washington Council of the Blind. I live with my wife, Vicki, in Maltby, and we have three adult children and three grandchildren. I thank God for this fabulous opportunity to give back this wonderful gift of music!
Pacific West Music of the Blind was approved by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Donors can deduct contributions the make to PWMB under IRC Section 170. Pacific West Music of the Blind is also qualified to receive tax deductible bequest, devises, transfers or gifts under Section 2055, 2106 and 2522.