Ashley’s Farewell Message and Announcement
A Few Words from Ashley:
25 years ago, I lucked into good work with great people. I met people I wouldn’t ordinarily meet, I was encouraged to get out of my “relationship silo” and joined Tom Kohler, George Seaborough, hundreds of citizen advocates, proteges, board members, and loyal and generous donors to provide protection and advocacy for people with disabilities in our community. Over the years, the big vision has been to work towards a community where people with developmental disabilities are included in the opportunities, options, and vibrant ebb and flow of community and civic life in Savannah and Chatham County.
We made many citizen advocacy matches together and have kept the “social” in “social change” by introducing advocates and proteges to one another and supporting them to develop helpful long-term friendships. I have met some of the finest people in Savannah, as they seem to be involved in citizen advocacy in one way or another.
When Tom Kohler was ready to retire, we hired George Seaborough to learn the work of making and supporting citizen advocacy relationships. George has shown us that he is the right person for the role of Coordinator/Executive Director, and now, it is time for him to build a fresh team. We were very lucky to bring Ambria Berksteiner on board, and she is learning the work and bringing her talent and networks to the organization.
I had planned to “retire” from the work in December 2022, but I got an offer I couldn’t pass up, so my timeline for retirement sped up. I am working with the local accounting firm Sadowski & Company for my paid work. But I look forward to helping citizen advocacy flourish as a donor, a committee member for Chatham-Savannah Citizen Advocacy, and a committee member for the Statewide Citizen Advocacy Safeguards Committee.
Thank you all for your continued support of citizen advocacy. It means a lot to us.
Ashley Brown O’Brien