Debbie Bryan, Board President
"In my life I've been fortunate to see many barriers fall. Sometimes it's a matter of perception-changing from 'it' will never change to we will make 'it' change. I want to be part of that change and being involved with ETCIL gives me that opportunity." - Debbie Bryan
Roger Purdy, Board Member
"After being in the disability field in the area of Vocational Rehabilitation for about nineteen years, it seems a natural thing for me to be interested and passionate about having a part in helping those who are disabled live as normal lives as possible. Service on the ETCIL Board is giving me a chance to do that. Through the years of my employment with TCB and DARS, I have always felt the services that the ETCIL in Tyler provided were excellent therefore I am thrilled to have a part in helping to continually shape these services for the needs of the disabled in Northeast Texas." - Roger Purdy
"I have been associated with ETCIL since its inception and am very honored and grateful to begin serving on the board with my fellow members. On many occasions, I have witnessed first hand how the agency has helped so many East Texans with disabilities. ETCIL has made a positive difference and impact in the lives of so many people. Because of my career in the durable medical equipment industry, I have been honored to work with many East Texans with disabilities. I receive great pleasure in making a positive difference in the lives of those that have sustained a life changing injury or that were born with a disability. I have been blessed in my life and look forward to this new opportunity to serve, learn and bring Preferred Home Medical’s blend of service and philosophy to the ETCIL family! My proudest accomplishment is being the father of my two beautiful daughters: Lauren and Catherine. I have lived in East Texas since 1987 and have worked in the customer/patient service home medical equipment industry for 26 years." - Jeff Zaber
"Being an advocate is important to me. In 1994, I became a T5 para after a car accident. The ADA was a new law at that time, and most disabled Texans still battled to become contributing and fully integrated members of society. I became involved in adaptive athletics and started my advocacy by promoting the benefits and increasing the opportunities for disabled Texans to participate in sports. I went on to law school and worked with the Carden Law Office on behalf of civil litigants seeking redress under disability related legislation. It was during this time that I also began working with the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities where I currently serve as a board member. Compared to 1994, disabled Texans have made much progress and are more fully able to be contributing members of their communities.
Disability advocates still have much to do in Texas and ETCIL is an important part of this effort. I am excited and honored to serve as a board member at ETCIL and look forward to assisting in their mission helping disabled Texans achieve greater independence, self-sufficiency, and to more fully participate in the community." - Francis Key
"It is an honor to be a board member for ETCIL. I am hearing impaired and live a life of adaptation due to that. I have been a nursing instructor for more than 30 years. I love people of all abilities. It has been a pleasure to meet and talk to the students at ETCIL when visiting my nursing students there." - Nancy Ballard
Francis Key, Vice President
"I have a desire to see the world accept people of all abilities equally. My current role as an Outreach/Marketing Specialist for UnitedHealthCare allows me to advocate and assist with needs of people with disabilities in several counties in East Texas. I am excited and honored to serve as a board member at ETCIL and look forward to assisting in the mission of helping disabled Texans achieve greater independence, self-sufficiency, and to more fully participate in the community." - Shannon Almand
Shannon Almand, Board Member
Michael Cichowicz, Board Member
"I moved to Tyler in July of 2015. I am originally from Norwalk, Connecticut. I work at The University of Texas at Tyler as the Employer Relations Specialist in Career Services. I received my Bachelor of Arts from the University of Rhode Island in Psychology and Sociology. I earned my Masters of Science in Counseling from the University of Bridgeport. Currently I am enrolled at UT Tyler pursuing my Masters in Business Administration.
It is my privilege to advance the exemplary mission of The East Texas Center for Independent Living (ETCIL). This opportunity meshes well with my qualifications as a campus leader and civic leader, exhibiting successively higher levels of leadership in implementing policies and programs and guiding educational and non-profit institutions. I look forward to continually encouraging diverse members of the community to get involved and make a difference. My philosophy is that community is built by fostering dialogue, respecting divergent approaches, and creating the space and time for growth and transformative thinking.
Having the experience of growing up and working with people who have a disability, I have developed a passion to advocate and help these individual’s achieve their goals. I learned at a very young age that everyone is unique and it is important to leverage everyone’s unique abilities to create and implement big ideas into action. As a mentor and friend of mine once said it’s important to 'Think big and follow through'. I am determined to do that." - Michael Cichowicz