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Washington D.C. Champions: Vicky Hickok

Our Public Policy Team recently went to Washington D.C. to champion the rights and needs of the blind community as well as attend the National Symposium.  In this series, we'll be hearing from the team on their efforts and the impact of the trip.  This is the second installment of the series with a focus on Vicky Hickok:

What is your title and one sentence job description here at MWEB? I'm the Administrative Manager.  I have many roles at here at MWEB, but my biggest role is as a champion for people who are blind, specifically at MWEB and in the West Michigan area.

Why did you, personally, go on the trip to D.C.?  I went to participate in the conference that was held by NIB and NAEPB.  The conference brings the blind agencies from around the country together and celebrates the employees of the year from around the nation. I also went to thank our political representatives for their past support and champion our cause on the Hill along with representatives from the 100 plus agencies like ours from around the country.  To be honest, I never thought that I would be doing work like this, being so vocal, but this is the role that I feel is the most important thing that I do at our agency:  supporting our employees and their needs.  

What was your role while you were in D.C.?  I went to help oversee and support our team's efforts and to "champion", which included thanking political representatives, specifically from Michigan, for their support and bringing highlights/updates on what’s happening at MWEB.  This was a very effective trip, maybe the most effective trip we’ve taken to date. 

What was most impactful for you while you were on the trip?  Getting the chance to give personal invitations to Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabbenow to tour our facility and celebrate our 25th anniversary of being in business was an honor.  I was also impacted by the story of one of our team members and the difficulties he faced.  It's always moving and motivating to hear about the specific hurdles individuals are facing, especially from someone I work with.     

What are you taking back to your role at MWEB because of your time in D.C.? I've taken back a renewed passion to work hard in championing the cause of the legally blind employees who I work with here at MWEB.