Harmonize For Speech Trustee Introduction to Christopher Brand

It began with George Shields writing to ask whether or not I would consider being a trustee of Harmonize For Speech. Yes was the instant answer as this amazing District initiative is one of the reasons that I was attracted to the risers in Ottawa 10 years ago. I am the uncle of a young man who was born with 75% hearing loss in both ears and I heard of H4S through Voice for Hearing Impaired Children. As the H4S representative with the Capital City Chorus I have enjoyed a relationship with George and Bruce Dibble for more than 5 years. The progression to the group of Trustees is very special and I am humbled to be one.

My first quarterly meeting in this capacity began with an introduction to some of my fellow trustees and we then got quickly down to business. While I would have expected nothing less given my friendship with George S. over the last few years, I was impressed with the organization behind the agenda and the skills with which the meeting unfolded. Bruce Dibble has the process nailed down and with George in the Chair, each and every one of the requests for funding that was placed before us was given all the time needed for discussion and careful consideration. And four hours later after a pizza lunch we were done.

I was interested to learn the breadth of the requesting organizations and how they related to supporting speech therapy, education and pathology. Aphasia, Acquired Brain Injury, Hearing Impaired, Diploma and Degree granting education, Children with Speech Challenges and more. Not only is there bigger bang for the buck in supporting those organizations that provide group therapy, it is well established that group rather than individual therapy is much more effective in accommodating the needs of the individual.

This was only my first meeting and I was able to contribute directly to our next get together in July by returning to Ottawa and visiting an organization that had not requested funds from H4S before to find out more about its submission and how it fit into our charity's overall mandate. I am looking forward to presenting my findings and recommending the request for funding and further, I hope to be able to contribute positively to H4S for a long time to come. It's all I expected it to be and more.