Message from Dawn Whitcher:

As President of RID, I have been fortunate to have an employer who allowed me the opportunity to fulfill my responsibilities to RID, coupled with my after hours and weekend time.  Unfortunately, the position I have been in is grant funded and will end September 30th.  As a result, I must now put the needs of my family first and seek another full-time position.

In my research I have found positions available in the field as well as in RID HQ.  I have taken the time to consider my interests, qualifications, and passion.  The position for which I have decided to apply is as RID’s Sr. Director of Programs and Services.  It would result in conflicting priorities for me to seek employment with RID while also serving as the Board President.  I took the time to discuss and decide this with my family.  We, together, have determined that I will resign so that I have the time and opportunity to focus on the needs of my family.

The decision to resign was not easy.  My dedication to the position of President is strong.  My dedication to the people on the Board and their work is strong.  This is a decision that places my focus and priority on my family.  For my family it means finding full time employment, whether with RID or otherwise.  Again, this has been a difficult decision for me.

The support I have felt from members for my work, my leadership, while president will remain close to my heart.  My experience as president has been difficult and beautiful.  I am grateful for having had the opportunity to serve as president.  To the Board members, thank you for your work and your support of me and one another.  I hold much admiration of current, past, and future Board members.  This role is not one to take lightly.  This role is one that requires commitment.  It’s one that requires humility.  It’s one that requires honesty and the ability to bring people together, and not encouraging speculation and distrust.  This has been a difficult decision and only comes as a result of prioritizing my family.

I look forward to watching the work of the board moving forward.  Vice President Melvin Walker will become President of the Board.  He and I have had the opportunity to walk this journey together and work closely for the last three years.  He is more than ready and able to become president.  Melvin is a leader I trust.  He will be a great leader of the board and the organization.  He is your new President. He is my new President.  I am lucky to announce, and I am lucky to be the first to congratulate Melvin on his role as RID President.


Message from Melvin Walker:

It is with honor that I thank Dawn for her tenure as President, accept her resignation, and take on the role of RID President.  To be honest, it is hard for me to express my gratitude for Dawn. She is a leader. She has commitment. She has a strong belief in what RID stands for. I am honored to have an opportunity to work with her. This announcement may come as a surprise to members.  I want to assure you that the RID board and headquarters will continue our momentum of leadership.  I have worked closely with Dawn during our time as President and Vice President.  I feel prepared and look forward to serving as your President.

Next steps…  As per the bylaws, I step up, and become President. This leaves the position of Vice President vacant with less than one year left on the term.  Because of this, the Board is able to appoint a person to complete the term of Vice President.  I will work with the Board to make this appointment.  Please watch for more information.

Change is to be expected.  We are prepared to lead without disruption because of the leadership style that has occurred throughout the last several years.  I ensure you that, while there may be a few bumps in the road, we will continue to move forward.