ABC welcomes three new members to its board of directors following the retirement of two members on November 30th. Those members who joined the board December 1st were Christopher J. Fairman, CPO, Deborah Merritt Plescia, CPO, and Anthony Sertick, Jr., Atty., ABC’s new public member. At its September 18th meeting in Las Vegas, the ABC Board of Directors confirmed these appointments and also bid farewell to Thomas F. Coakley, public member, and Robert S. Lin, CPO, FAAOP.
Christopher J. Fairman, CPO of Ann Arbor, Mich., has been volunteering with ABC on both the Prosthetic Exam and Prosthetic CPM Administration Teams for several years. He also currently serves as an ABC exam site coordinator. Fairman, co-owner of Great Lakes Prosthetics & Orthotics, completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan and his orthotic and prosthetic education at Northwestern University. His specialties are pediatric and adult prosthetic care, orthoses for athletes, and unique custom orthotic and prosthetic challenges.
Deborah Merritt Plescia, CPO of Covington, La. is a second generation practitioner and comes to the ABC board with a great deal of experience working in the orthotics and prosthetics profession. Plescia has volunteered with ABC for many years as an examiner, exam development and administration team member, and facility accreditation surveyor. She completed her orthotic and prosthetic education at Northwestern University. Currently, she is a practitioner for Hanger P&O and also serves as the NCOPE Residency Site Coordinator for the New Orleans Hanger residency site.
Anthony Sertick, Jr., Atty. joins the ABC board as a public member. Sertick was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio and received his Bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University and his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Akron. Sertick currently serves as the Magistrate of the Youngstown Municipal Court. As an orthotics consumer for thirty-five years, Sertick is an avid contributor to the disabled community. Sertick serves on the Board of Mahoning County Developmental Disabilities, the local Goodwill Board of Trustees, and the Board of the Hine Memorial Fund, a program that provides support for children with disabilities in the Youngstown area.
The following two board retirees have spent years serving ABC and are leaving having made numerous contributions to the organization.
ABC is very fortunate to have dedicated and hardworking volunteers such as the two members leaving the board this year. I am grateful for the leadership and guidance they have provided throughout their board tenure,” says Catherine Carter, ABC’s Executive Director.
As one of two public members on the ABC Board of Directors, Tom Coakley worked to ensure that the consumer had a voice. “Tom has definitely been a valuable member of the ABC board,” said ABC Immediate Past President, John (Mo) Kenney, CPO, FAAOP. “Not only was he instrumental in the stewardship of our finances, he provided his own unique perspective as one of our public members.”
Coakley joined the ABC board in 1999 and has been influential in the strategic and financial planning of ABC. Both Coakley and his wife, Nellie, have been, and continue to be, strong advocates for the amputee community, counseling veterans and providing a voice for amputees.
Coakley reflected on his time with ABC, stating, “My twelve years on the ABC Board have been tremendously gratifying. The work has been not only meaningful, but rewarding and I have met a lot of great friends along the way. Any benefit I have been to ABC has undoubtedly come back to me in so many ways.”
Robert S. Lin, CPO, FAAOP of Harford, Conn. joined ABC’s board of directors in 2003 and served as President in 2009. He began his service with ABC as an orthotic examiner and was instrumental in O&P educational development by chairing several ABC exam committees and serving as Commissioner for the National Commission for Orthotic/Prosthetic Education (NCOPE). Lin is currently the Chief Pediatric Orthotist/Prosthetist for Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Additionally, Lin is a teacher and Program Director for the Newington Certificate Program in Orthotics and Prosthetics in Newington, Conn. He also serves on the faculty at the University of Hartford in the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions. Lin was a key liaison for ABC, bringing to the table over 28 years of experience in the O&P profession and eight years serving on ABC’s Board of Directors.
“I’ve come to know Bob Lin as an icon in the O&P profession”, said Kenney. “Through his experience at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and Newington O&P Certificate Program, Bob has created a professionalism that has brought tremendous strength to both ABC and its board of directors.”
With their continued commitment, enthusiasm and dedication to the profession, Coakley and Lin encompass everything ABC looks for in volunteers. ABC would like to extend its sincere thanks to each of these board members for their sacrifice of time and energy.