History of ACENA
On August 31 and September 1, 2005, a group of North American Conductive Education conductors, administrators and parents attended the North American CE Workshop held at Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan. This Workshop was the second attempt in history to bring together the relatively new providers to North America for Conductive Education, the Hungarian approach to assist those children having cerebral palsy, spina bifida and other motor impairments. The first group meeting occurred in Washington, DC three years earlier.
The final session of the Workshop was a meeting of all participants to determine if a new professional organization to represent and support all Conductive Education personnel was needed in North America. After lively discussion the group voted to start the process of creating a new membership organization that would invite the one existing CE organization to merge with the newly established one.
The group voted Patti Herbst, Executive Director of the Center for Independence through CE program in the Chicago area as the Interim President. Patti received the charge to hold telephone call-in meetings of all interested CE related parties for the next year with the express purpose of having all the organizational pieces in place by July 1, 2006.
Telephone call-in meetings were held on a monthly basis with the sole purpose of collecting information on all the necessary Bylaws provisions. This included, but not limited to: mission and aims, membership categories and qualifications, Board of Director’s positions with defined duties and election rotation, nominations and elections, statement of required meetings, dues and assessments structures and the of course, the name of the organization.
The Association for Conductive Education in North America (ACENA) was selected as the organizational name and the Bylaws were adopted by the founding group in the May 2, 2006 meeting. Since Board of Director members were designated to start their term of office on July 1, an election process was created with nominations taken for the Board positions and the election was held in June
The following persons were elected to the charter Board of Directors for ACENA:
President David Dvorak
Secretary Melissa Larson
Director of Advocacy Erika Nagy
Director of Communication Erika Bartos
Director of Continuing Education Borbala Goda
Director of Finance Mary Hare
Director of Membership Judit Roth
Director of Practice Andrea Benyovszky
Director of Program Operations Patti Herbst
The first Annual General Membership meeting occurred at the North American Conductor & Program Administrator Workshop held at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids on August 30 & 31, 2006. Since the organization officially began July 1, most of the officer reports were statements of goals for the upcoming year.
The second Annual General Membership meeting occurred at the North American Conductor & Program Administrator Workshop held again at Aquinas College on the dates of August 29 & 30, 2007. Board of Director’s reports provided the accomplishments of the past year. Notably, Director of Membership Judit Roth’s report indicated the current membership total of 50, with the following breakdown: CET 22; RCP 9; PA 14; SCET 3; Associate 2; and Sustaining 0.