Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Introducing two more new hosts: Annie Bradberry and Pamela Mertz

Left: Annie Bradberry (photo credit: Bradberry);
right: Pamela Mertz (photo credit: Ali Salem)
Stutter Social is also proud to announce two more additions to its lineup of hosts: Annie Bradberry from California and Pamela Mertz from New York.

Bradberry is a person who stutters from Tustin, California and former executive director of the National Stuttering Association (NSA), which she first heard about as a teenager. "At that time, I was not ready to face [my stuttering] or let alone call someone, so I did nothing for two years," she says. "We didn't have Stutter Social, Facebook, or even texting back then. When I finally did pick up the phone, my entire world changed. I am blessed to say that I have been involved in the stuttering community for my entire adult life."

It was on Facebook at the NSA conference that she first heard about Stutter Social. "I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of," she says. "I thought back to the beginning of my stuttering journey when there were no social media outlets. I remembered feeling alone and isolated, as well as remembering how it felt the first time I spoke to and met another stutterer. [It's] amazing to connect with people from all over the world."

In her spare time, Bradberry says she has taken up painting "as a way to de-stress from [her] crazy lifestyle." An avid traveller, she has also been "fortunate to meet people from all over the world, traveling to stuttering conferences in Iceland, Norway, Belgium and a few other places."

Meanwhile, Mertz, a person who stutters and program manager in adult education from Albany, New York, also learned about Stutter Social through social media. Since then, she has participated in many hangouts. "I enjoy having the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life who share the experience of stuttering," she says. "I like having an option for a virtual support group, as we all need an opportunity to be open, share, and learn from each other."

When not working, hosting, or participating in Stutter Social, Mertz, a self-professed theatre geek and writer, can be seen taking in a show or writing for her local newspaper. She also manages the blog Make Room for the Stuttering and hosts the podcast Women Who Stutter: Our Stories. "I enjoy hearing people's stories and helping people find a way to tell their stories," she says.

Bradberry and Mertz will be hosting the Sunday evening hangout, alternating every week at a new time: 7:30 PM Eastern Standard Time (Toronto, New York).

Introducing one of our new hosts: John Robinson

Photo credit: John Robinson
Stutter Social is happy to announce the first recent addition in its latest lineup of hosts: John Robinson from Oklahoma.

Robinson is a person who stutters and speech therapist, who works with the geriatric population of a nursing home in Oklahoma City. He first heard about Stutter Social last year after a Google search of self-help for people who stutter, and has participated in many hangouts since. He says he "really likes talking about stuttering and listening to what other people's views on stuttering are."

After several months of participating, he decided to step up to become a Stutter Social host. For the last few months, he has been hosting every other Tuesday at 8:30 PM Eastern Standard Time (Toronto, New York), alternating with Matt Schreifels.

He says he took up hosting because he "wanted to challenge his speech" and meet other folks who stutter.

When not hosting or participating in Stutter Social, Robinson, who enjoys all things fitness-related, can be seen working out. He is also the former leader of the National Stuttering Association chapter in Wichita, Kansas.