NEW YORK, Oct. 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- United Spinal Association announced today that it has appointed Carina Ho, Accessibility Specialist, Airbnb; Minna Hong, Delta's Disability Advisory Board; Synergies Works Board; Andraéa LaVant, President, LaVant Consulting, Inc.; Chris O'Donoghue, Emmy Winning General Assignment Reporter; Reveca Torres, Co-director, ReelAbilities Film Festival; and Renee Tyree, West Regional Pharmacy Director, Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospitals to its board of directors.
"United Spinal strives to build diverse perspectives and backgrounds within our board of directors so we can effectively address intersectional issues impacting people with disabilities and reach underserved populations," said James Weisman, president and CEO of United Spinal Association.
"We value the support of Carina, Minna, Andraéa, Chris, Reveca and Renee and look forward to working with them to promote the inclusion of wheelchair users in all facets of society," added Weisman.
- Carina Ho (Oakland, CA) is a national musical artist performing under the moniker ONIKHO. She has danced professionally with AXIS Dance Company. As a Fulbright Fellowship recipient Carina taught dance at the national dance conservatory in Montevideo, Uruguay. She now works at Airbnb as an Accessibility Specialist in addition to continuing her artistic career. She is passionate about creating an accessible an inclusive world for people with disabilities.
- Minna Hong (Suwanee, GA) is a mixed medium artist, jewelry designer, painter, ceramicist and food artist. She is committed to creating an inclusive community through participation in Delta's Disability Advisory Board; Synergies Works Board; New Mobility Magazine; and One Bread. Prior to her retirement, she was the Spinal Cord Injury peer support manager at Shepherd Center, board member of Disability Resource Group, and distribution committee member for Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund.
- Andraéa LaVant (Tempe, AZ) is founder and president of LaVant Consulting, Inc., a strategic communications firm that fosters disability-inclusive cultures. Andraéa has over a decade of experience working with programs that support people with disabilities and other underserved populations. Andraéa has also managed national initiatives that increase and support engagement of people with disabilities in mainstream programs and coordinated multiple federally funded technical assistance and training centers that prepare young people with disabilities to transition from school to employment.
- Chris O'Donoghue (New York, NY) was an EMMY Award winning general assignment reporter and investigative producer for FOX Television. After earning a Bachelor's Degree in English at CCNY and a Master's Degree in Rehabilitation Psychology from NYU, Chris built his own rehabilitation consulting business. In 1993, he received the Henry Steiffel "Against All Odds" award for exceptional positive role modeling for people with disabilities. In 1996, he was appointed as Adjunct Professor for the NYU Journalism Department's Graduate and Undergraduate Television Reporting.
- Reveca Torres (Palos Heights, IL) was paralyzed in a car accident at the age of 13. After completing degrees in Fashion Design and Theatre Arts, she worked as a costume designer and with various organizations in disability health/fitness, advocacy, recreation, and peer support. She is also the founder of the disability nonprofit BACKBONES and co-director of ReelAbilities Film Festival Chicago. She has curated touring photography and art exhibitions that showcase the work of people with disabilities and bring awareness to disability rights.
- Renee Tyree (Chandler, AZ) is a pharmacist with more than 20 years of experience in hospital pharmacy management and leadership. As the current West Regional Pharmacy Director for Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospitals, Dr. Tyree combines her organizational and leadership skills with her clinical interests in the areas of physical medicine, spinal cord dysfunction and neurological conditions to create and support successful teams that deliver leading pharmaceutical care to rehabilitation patients. Dr. Tyree is also a former Paralympic athlete, having competed on three medal winning basketball teams.
United Spinal's Board of Directors manages, supervises, and controls the business, property and affairs of the organization, except as otherwise expressly provided by law, the Articles of Incorporation of the Corporation, or bylaws.
The full list of board members and officers is available on the United Spinal website at www.unitedspinal.org.
About United Spinal Association
Formed in 1946 by paralyzed veterans, United Spinal is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Americans with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D). Membership is free and open to all individuals with SCI/D, with over 53,000 members across 50 chapters nationwide. Known for its revolutionary advocacy efforts, United Spinal played a significant role in writing the Americans with Disabilities Act, provided important contributions to the Fair Housing Amendments Act and the Air Carrier Access Act, and was instrumental in attaining sidewalk curb ramps and accessible public transportation in New York City, which created the standard accessibility model used in many United States cities.
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SOURCE United Spinal Association