It is our great pleasure to welcome the newest TDI Board members of which there are four. Two were elected by the TDI members last year before the 2015 TDI Conference and their terms started at the conclusion of the conference. Cassandra Boryslawskyj is the Northeastern representative and resides in CT. She has extensive experience in working with nonprofits and technology. Jan Withers is the Southeastern representative and is experienced in telecommunications and access. The two members at large are Matt Myrick and Jarvis Grindstaff. Matt is employed by AT&T for 12 years and has been very involved in the area of accessibility. Some of you may recall Matt being on one of the panels in the 2015 TDI conference.  Jarvis works for the US Small Business Administration on accessibility for disability community as well as outreach to the deaf and hard of hearing community. We look forward to working together with the new Board members. Please join me in welcoming them aboard.
Cassandra Boryslawskyj Term: 2015-2019 Region/Position:
Northeast Region Representative Bio:
Cassandra “CM” Boryslawskyj, as an entrepreneur and consultant in Internet Technologies, owns her small business ‘Spiral Shell Web’ since 2000. She also works as a part-time Deaf interpreter. She has held many leadership roles over the years. In the early years as a college student, she was a part of a community college’s student club with the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) to offer open-caption films. She has served on the Connecticut Association of the Deaf, Connecticut Council of Organizations Serving the Deaf and Deaf Women United – as Secretary, Treasurer, then Vice President and lastly, President, respectively. She had been appointed by the Connecticut Governor to serve on the Board of Regents for Higher Education and also as a member for the State Rehabilitation Council for four years. She also has served on the Connecticut Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities, Inc. as well as the Connecticut Union of Disability Action Groups Inc. In her hometown, she had been appointed by residents as town representative member to serve on the Northern Middlesex County Cable TV Advisory Council. She is a MBA graduate from University of New Haven with the concentration being in telecommunications management. She is actively involved in advocacy on accessibility by technologies for Deaf and Hard of Hearing such as TTYs, caption channels (C1), and TV decoders. Quote from Cassandra on TDI:
“Quite not long ago, while we grew up, we would drive all way to visit our friends or families but often found them not at home. We had to leave our written notes on their front doors to let them know we stopped by. Fast forward to today’s incredible technologies, now we are able to reach them via email, or VP, or text, or any other devices. As there is a growing digital divide, I am honored to be a part of TDI as leadership to help close the gap and beyond in telecommunications.” Jan Withers Term: 2015-2019 Region/Position:
Southeast Region Representative Bio:
Jan Withers is the Director of the Division of Services for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Through the division’s seven regional centers, 73 employees and 250+ vendors, the division provides telecommunications relay and equipment distribution services, direct client services, training and consultation to local, state and federal agencies and businesses across the entire state. Prior to joining the Division, Jan served as the Director of Student Support Services at the NC School for the Deaf in Morganton. She began her professional career as a mental health therapist for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children. Jan also previously represented the NC Department of Health and Human Services on the NC Interpreters and Transliterators Licensing Board. Jan is a founding member and Secretary on the Board of Directors for the National Association of State Agencies of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She currently serves as ex-officio on the NC Council for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing. A North Carolina native, Jan received her Bachelor’s Degree from Davidson College and her Master’s Degree in Counseling from Gallaudet University. Quote from Jan on TDI:
“Access that is easy, reliable and effective opens doors in all aspects of our lives. TDI works to ensure we all have this access through technology, and I am pleased and honored to work with such a great organization to achieve this important goal.”
Jarvis Grindstaff Term: 2015-2019 Region/Position:
Member-at-Large Bio:
Jarvis Grindstaff is a native of Frederick, MD and currently lives in Washington, DC. Jarvis was born deaf and uses American Sign Language to communicate with his family and friends. Since 2015, Jarvis has been working at the US Small Business Administration as an economic development specialist in the Office of Field Operations, working to expand SBA’s accessibility and outreach to the deaf and hard of hearing community. His bi-lingual and bi-cultural background focus on community collaboration has led him to a number of volunteer opportunities and community leadership roles. Jarvis received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Gallaudet University and is currently studying for the Master degree in Public Administration at Gallaudet University. Quote from Jarvis on TDI:
“Since I was a little kid, I always admired the TDI’s impressive overview of work with the deaf and hard of hearing community. So I am really honored and pleased to be part of the TDI team to raise the standard of deaf and hard of hearing’s quality of communication.” Matthew Myrick Term: 2015-2017 Region/Position:
Southeast Region Representative Bio:
Matt Myrick, AT&T Lead Product Development Engineer, has been with AT&T for the last 12 years; beginning with Relay services and now works for Chief Compliance office as an accessibility engineer. Myrick currently resides in the Washington, DC Metro area; his current responsibilities include accessibility compliance and evaluation of AT&T’s new/existing/emerging services. Myrick consults project manager teams in understanding and implementing Federal guidelines on rules and regulations; such as, section 255, 716, 717, 718 and the Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA). Mr. Myrick worked at the Office of Admissions of his alma mater, Gallaudet University, in Washington, DC. During those two years as a university recruiter he traveled extensively across the United States and Canada extolling the university’s virtues to prospective students. Myrick graduated from Gallaudet University in 2001 with a Bachelor’s degree in human biology. Myrick is an avid supporter for charities, culinary, traveling and spending quality time with family. Quote from Matthew on TDI:
“TDI is an organization which has profound impact on everyone with or without hearing loss. Together, we can knock down walls and gaps that prohibit accessibility and improve the lives of all people. I am humbled to be working with colleagues and friends that share the same common goal and empower changes that make our lives easier.”
It also gives us great pleasure to announce the current slate of officers of the TDI Board in this eNote. The officers are: Sheila Conlon-Mentkowski, President Andy Lange, Vice President Alexa Schriempf, Secretary Stephanie Buell, Treasurer All of us on the TDI Board look forward to working with our members and friends in promoting access to telecommunications, media, and information technology for this vast spectrum of people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, and all of our other colleagues in shaping an accessible world. It gives us great pleasure to welcome the newest additions to our board, and we look forward to accomplishing much together!   Sheila Conlon Mentkowski
Board President
Telecommunications for the  Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc.