Zeke’s Reflections on Transition
In his last week as Executive Director of the Kelly Brush Foundation, Zeke reflects on his last 6 years at the KBF and what he’s excited about going forward:
I was a 19-year-old college Sophomore when my then-girlfriend and Middlebury College Ski Team teammate crashed in a collegiate ski race and suffered a spinal cord injury that changed the trajectory of our lives.
Nearly 15 years later to the day, I am passing off the day-to-day leadership of the Kelly Brush Foundation to an incredible team of leaders, professionals, visionaries, and friends, including our new Executive Director, Edie Perkins.
My mission over the last 6 of those years as Executive Director of the Kelly Brush Foundation has been to transition a family-run operation with a loyal core of supporters and an ambitious vision into a professionally-run national leader in the spinal cord injury community. In that time we have directly and significantly impacted over 1,000 people in the spinal cord injury community; we have supported and bolstered dozens of partners and others actors in the adaptive sports community; and we have inspired thousands—with and without an SCI—to believe in not just the possibility, but instead to have an expectation that life with an SCI can be awesome.
While I’m proud of everything we’ve done, I don’t deserve that much credit either. It is Kelly’s example of quiet resilience and grace and, quite frankly, the standard she has set that inspires our communities. It’s Greg’s willingness to embrace adventure and defy expectations. It’s Cheryl, Whitney, Stephanie, and Colleen’s commitment to and passion for making an impact in our community. It’s our former team members—Betsy, Susan, Elizabeth, and Jenn’s—contributions to where we are today. It’s the entire Brush family whose vision endures. And maybe most importantly, it’s the faith you put in us with your time, wisdom, and support.
Under Edie’s new leadership and partnership with Kelly, you can expect the KBF to be more innovative in shaping the future of the SCI community and assertive in demonstrating the exceptional and every-day accomplishments of our community and our organization.
And although I promised the team and Edie that I’d stay out of their way on the day-to-day operations, I’m afraid that many of you may not be so lucky! I’m joining the KBF Board, will still work on the initiatives of our ski racing safety mission, will bend any ear willing to listen, and will continue to be Kelly’s right-hand man.
I genuinely can’t wait to see what this team and this organization will do in the next 15 years. The KBF will work and innovate until everyone with an SCI has the same opportunity as the abled bodied community to engage and find fulfillment through being active. I hope you’re as excited as I am!
Stay tuned, you will not be disappointed!