National Association of Disability Representatives (NADR) - Al Gonzales Distinguished Service Award
Bob McDowell - CEO of McDowell, Stromatt & Associates
Think of this award as Member of the Decade. The Al Gonzales Distinguished Service Award was created for members who change the face of NADR so much that a one year award isn't enough. Past President Bob McDowell definitely fits this description. After attending his first conference in 2008, Bob knew NADR was special. He went back home to Kentucky and emailed about 20 of his local colleagues telling them about NADR, encouraging them to join and offering to pay them back if they didn't find it worthwhile. Shortly after, he volunteered to serve on various committees and was quickly elected onto the board as Treasurer, even filling in for Martha Gonzales before his term started (that first Treasurer's report in Chicago was one for the books!). As Treasurer, Bob dedicated his days to analyzing costs and developing financial strategies to help the organization grow. After Treasurer, Bob was Vice President and began to focus on membership growth opportunities. He led the board through a tumultuous period when he was required to take on the Presidency without notice and did not allow the board or the membership to get sidetracked with negativity. As President, he continued to serve NADR like it was a full time job (without the pay, of course) continuing to find ways to save the organization money, add membership benefits and represent NADR before SSA and Congress. Anyone who knows Bob, knows that he is a successful businessman, effective leader and without a doubt, a fun-loving guy. NADR would not be where it is today without his passion for the organization and his constant volunteerism. Thank you Bob!