The Council welcomes two new board members, each bringing valuable experience and perspective to their positions.
A native of Arkansas, Melanie has lived in Madison for 30 years, and is a communication and speech coach. She also serves on many organizations and is the vice president of the Wisconsin League of Women Voters, chair of the Madison Committee on Foreign Relations and active in Downtown Madison Rotary.
Melanie connected with the Council as her eyesight deteriorated due to macular degeneration. What she found was professionals who were helpful in recommending handy tools including audio books, and contacts for the paratransit system.
Melanie wants to ensure people have the information and tools to live their lives with confidence and ease as their vision worsens.
“There have got to be ways to prepare people and help reassure them to not be afraid,” she says.
“I look forward to this opportunity to work with the Council and hope to be able to bring some ideas and participate in a way that will add value,” Melanie says.
Renee Peterson and her husband, Dave, split their time between residences in Horicon and Kingston with their dogs Shae and Walter. She has worked with Horicon Bank for 21 years, currently as Talent Acquisition and Development Officer.
She heard about the Council during her 17 years of service with the Wisconsin Lions. She is passionate about her foundation work, which provides camp opportunities for people with blindness and visual impairment, deafness or hearing loss, and those with cognitive disabilities.
“I’m always for the underdog,” Renee says. “I want to be able to make sure everyone has the same experience.”
In her new role, she is eager to learn and apply her skills to educate and advocate for those served by the Council.
“I look forward to using my human resource and policy experience to add value to the Council board,” she said. “My goal is to use the things that I am naturally good at to help others and work toward the organization’s goals.”