Name: Frank Herd

Role in MRA: District C Representative and Editor of The Spotlight.

Professional Role: Placement Coordinator with the VRS team in the Brooklyn Park CareerForce Center.

Why I Chose This Career Path: I have always been motivated by roles in service, and derive tremendous personal and professional satisfaction from knowing my efforts have left someone even a little better off than they were before. I worked for more than 15 years in grassroots political advocacy in an effort to affect positive change on a large scale, directing an office of activists supporting fundraising and organizing efforts for more than 10 different progressive organizations across the country. I would try to be an ear for my staff when personal issues affected their work, so the Regional Director would often remind me I was "a Director, not a counselor." When I chose to explore my next challenge, I took the RD's words as a sign and chose a role that still allows me to affect positive change - only now it is one person at a time.

One Thing Others Don’t Know About Me: My name is on a spacecraft somewhere outside our solar system. No, really. Ask me about it when you see me...

How MRA Involvement Has Contributed to Your Professional Growth: While working at the CRP Avivo (formerly RESOURCE) I was exploring ways to become more involved in the rehabilitation community. Two seminal conversations with Past President Wally Waranka, and current President Kelly Kennedy stoked that interest and suggested an outlet for it: Joining MRA and JPD. Since then I have served as VP and President of MRAJPD; received the National Rehabilitation Association's (NRA) Margaret Fairbairn Award for contributions to employment of persons with disabilities; and I currently serve as the VP of NRAJPD in addition to my roles as MRA District C rep and Spotlight editor. I feel proud of the impact I have had, and even on the roughest days I am buoyed by knowing I am part of such an amazing professional family serving such an important need.

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