One word to describe him: Passionate
Chad first started receiving service from Easterseals when he was 18 months old. He was an Ambassador throughout his childhood, and during his junior and senior year of high school began participating in speaking engagements on behalf of Easterseals. In 2004 with the help of Steve Thompson, Joette Blakesly, and members of the Easterseals CI Board of Directors, he was nominated to be Easterseals National Adult Representative.
Through his role at Easterseals National, Chad had the opportunity to travel both throughout the country and internationally. During this time he traveled to 17 different states and three countries. Chad states that this experience was life-changing because of what it did for him and his family, and how it shifted his career. Easterseals shaped him into the individual he is, and now he uses every opportunity to give back. Chad worked for the local Easterseals Chicago affiliate and Easterseals National from 2004 to 2007, and after deciding to make a move and be closer to family, he joined the Easter Seals Central Illinois team in 2011 as Development Associate, and left in 2017 as Development Manager. He still remains very close to the mission of Easterseals, and shares that it always has and always will hold a special place in his heart.
Chad states that his dream for the future is exactly what every parent wants when they walk through the doors of Easterseals – that a child is not viewed as someone who has a disability, but seen for their abilities, and is respected and valued and engaged in the community. To him, inclusion means focusing on abilities and not disabilities. It means every person leading a life of equality and dignity.
“I felt empowered the day I became a father. You are literally responsible for shaping and caring for another person’s well-being. You are empowered as their parent to make sure that they lead a better life than you had. I look at myself when I wake up every day as empowered as a leader in the community, I’m empowered as a leader, and as someone who is a living, breathing, shining example of ability and reaching the fullest potential each and every day.”
Chad lives by a quote from Edgar Allen, the founder of Easterseals “our lives are valued not by what we take, but by what we give,” and shares his positivity with the world every single day.