On Friday, August 22nd, INARF hosted the Eighth Annual Legislative Award Luncheon in Indianapolis honoring Senator Ron Grooms. The luncheon has been an annual tradition for several years and offers INARF the chance to recognize the individuals that support our legislative priorities in the General Assembly and most importantly, the individuals who support our INARF Political Action Committee (PAC) efforts.
Patrick Cockrum, INARF PAC Board Chair, opened the luncheon program reminding attendees that “It is one of the most appropriate and effective ways to ensure legislators who have been supportive of critical legislation are elected to or remain in office.” Mr. Cockrum went on to recognize the hard work of the INARF PAC Board Members and INARF Governmental Affairs Consultants who work hand in hand to promote a sustainable service delivery system; advocate for restoration of rates to pre-2010 levels; maximize available Federal Reserves; and encourage efficiencies by pursuing mutually beneficial solutions through collaborative partnerships with stakeholders.
Following lunch, Mr. Cockrum had the distinct pleasure to welcome guest speaker, Peggy Welch, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for Indiana Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann. As a long-time friend and supporter of INARF, Ms. Welch needed no formal introduction. Many are aware of her prior role in the Indiana House of Representatives, on the Ways and Means, Public Health, Government Reduction and State Budget Committees, and as the recipient of the 2008 INARF Representative of the Year Award. Ms. Welch spoke highly of the Indiana providers and the tireless battles they fight on behalf of individuals with disabilities. She encouraged everyone to rethink the 2-3 second opportunity to introduce themselves to others by encouraging an introduction not of a formal title, but of the difference and impact you are striving to make for those you serve. In her closing comments, she thanked INARF for the opportunity of partnership and in joining in the celebration of the luncheon honoree, Senator Ron Grooms.
INARF members Bettye Dunham, Executive Director of Rauch, Inc., and Bonnie Long, Senior Vice President of New Hope Services, had the pleasure of introducing Senator Ron Grooms (Senate District 46) as the recipient of the 2014 INARF Legislator of the Year Award. In addition to serving in Senate District 46, which includes portions of Floyd and Clark County, Senator Grooms serves as the Assistant Majority Caucus Chair, is a ranking member of the Homeland Security, Transportation and Veterans Affairs Committees, and Chair of the Transportation Subcommittee. A dedicated public servant, Senator Grooms has worked on numerous legislative initiatives impacting the lives of people with disabilities and the systems that serve them. He served as the Chair of the Indiana Commission on Developmental Disabilities – driving the Commission to focus on developing actionable ideas. He also sponsored House Concurrent Resolution 46 recognizing INARF’s 40th Anniversary. It is in recognition of these achievements, and our friendship, that INARF is honored to recognize Senator Grooms with the 2014 INARF Legislator of the Year Award. Senator Grooms’ acceptance comments included a thank you to us as an industry for keeping him and other legislators informed on the issues that matter most of those we serve.
Every member is challenged to make a difference by reinforcing their relationships with their local legislators and creating community awareness. For additional information on how you can make a difference, visit INARF’s 100 Visits in 100 Days Campaign and INARF PAC webpages or contact Keith Digman or Christiaan Campbell at the INARF office – 317/634-4957.