Early in the year the board of trustees finds the financial health of SHHH to be in jeopardy. Executive Director Beth Wilson resigns and several positions are eliminated including that of the chapter development coordinator and the off-site meeting planner. The remaining staff takes over the responsibilities of these positions. The membership is asked to make contributions to support the continued existence of SHHH.
The 17th National Convention attended by more than 1,000 people is held in June in Seattle, Washington. Ann Liming from Michigan becomes board president and past president Marcia Dugan receives the Rocky Stone Humanitarian award. The Research Symposium was sponsored and presented by The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. Kathryn Stephens from the Maryland Association of Nonprofits is retained as interim executive director while the Board of SHHH focuses on the search for a new executive director.
The Board of Trustees institutes organizational changes: a) SHHH becomes an umbrella organization offering non-profit tax exempt status to all local affiliates. b) To achieve unity, there will be one membership dues to SHHH national. Local organizations may not ask for or require membership dues. c) Local entities will be SHHH chapters, eliminating group status. A chapter will be recognized as an SHHH entity when it identifies four members, agrees to support the SHHH mission and abide by the SHHH bylaws. d) Trustee slots will include representation from all ten regions. Members residing in each region will vote for board candidates from their region only as well as for the at-large candidates via electronic means and paper ballots.
The committee searching for a new executive director recommends four candidates. In December, the board of trustees hires Terry Portis Ed.D., as executive director.
SHHH has 13 state organizations. Eight are associations with elected officers and four are offices with an appointed director and a core group of volunteers. (The state office pilot program begun the previous year is very successful.) All are extensions of the national office carrying out the mission of SHHH in the states.
Thanks to the generosity of SHHH members, by the end of the year, the financial picture of SHHH is greatly improved.