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).

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