2018 Gala VIPS
Keynote Speaker - Dean Bragonier
Dean Bragonier is the Founder and Executive Dyslexic of NoticeAbility Inc, a nonprofit organization that designs and delivers proprietary curricula to students with dyslexia. Grounded in social-emotional learning, executive function methodology and project management techniques, NoticeAbility offers authentic inquiry experiences in vocational subjects that cater to the neurological strengths of the dyslexic mind: entrepreneurship, engineering, architecture and narrative storytelling (film, literature and stage).
Shaped by the challenges associated with his dyslexia and after struggling through the traditional secondary education system, Dean became a diligent and successful college student who developed a true love of learning at Bates College. Upon graduation, Dean embraced his entrepreneurial instincts and acquired a small seasonal restaurant on Martha’s Vineyard Island that he transformed into a successful full-scale enterprise. It was through this endeavor that he was able to contextualize his years of laborious academic learning and discover the true gifts of his dyslexic mind. As a social entrepreneur, Dean has founded his own nonprofit organizations and served as board member and advisor to a number of others. NoticeAbility is the culmination of Dean’s passion for education and his conviction that the advantages of dyslexia far outweigh its associated challenges.
Emcee - Don Shelby
Don Shelby is widely considered the most decorated and honored local television journalist in the country. He has won three national Emmys, the Columbia-duPont, the Scripps-Howard, the National Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and he has been honored twice with the Pulitzer Prize of broadcasting, the George Foster Peabody.
Don continues his 50 year career in reporting after retiring from daily journalism in November of 2010. He continues to practice journalism and is often read in Salon and dozens of other internet news aggregators. He now specializes in environment and science reporting, and lends his time to the Climate Science Rapid Response Team as well as the international environmental change movement – Georversiv.
He serves on 13 boards or advisory boards, is a frequent lecturer at journalism conferences. As head of the capital campaign for the Washburn Center for Children, Don led a team that raised more than $27 million dollars for children with mental health issues.
Don is an avid outdoorsman and a primitive survival specialist. He spends much of his free time climbing icefalls, mountains, hiking and canoeing his beloved BWCAW. He has a wife and three grown daughters.
Event Chair - Trish Blake
"The Groves Gala is our single largest event of the year. It is also THE most important fundraising venue for the organization. It is a time for all of the Groves community including teachers, parents, grandparents, friends, and relatives to come together to celebrate an exceptional organization and support it in a fun, celebratory way."
Trish Blake is a parent and board member at Groves Academy.
2018 Gala Committee Members -
Event Chair - Trish Blake, Kristi Colby, Dina Conzemius, Libby Coppo, Heather Heefner Dart, Martha James, Caryn Kelly, Melissa Kestner, Anne Koby, Jen Lang, Heide McDermott, Meredith McGuirk, Shawn Pleimann, Megan Prindiville, Allison Sriver and Catherine Steffen.