Pam Mertz, received the first Stutter Social Award for her service as Stutter Social host and to the stuttering community.
The award was presented by co-founder, Mitchell Trichon during the 41st annual Weekend Workshop for Effective Communication at the College of St. Rose in Albany, New York, to an audience of clients, family, past clients, student clinicians, supervisors, faculty, and administrators.
A smiling and “so surprised” Pam walked up to the podium to receive her award presented before Mitch began his workshop showcasing Stutter Social as a useful tool for people who stutter.
“Along with being a Stutter Social host, Pam is quite active and does so much for the stuttering community that I felt it was fitting to honour her right in her hometown!”, said Mitch. "It was great to honour Pam in her hometown. She's done so much for the stuttering community. We are so happy she's a part of Stutter Social."
Also in attendance via Google+ Hangout were Pam's fellow stutter social hosts as part of Mitch's demonstration of the technology used in Stutter Social group video chats. "I was so surprised and happy that several of my good friends were there to see it via technology.", Pam later shared on her blog, Make Room For The Stuttering.
Along with being a fierce advocate and great role model for women who stutter, a few fun facts about Pam’s service to the stuttering community include:
- Getting fired from her job of 20 years because of her stuttering was a “defining and positively life transforming moment” that prompted her to never hide her stuttering and let her authentic self shine through. Pam does a lot of public speaking at her current job to high schools, universities, and gives training to colleagues at staff meetings.
- Pam created the Make Room For The Stuttering blog in 2009 to share her experiences with stuttering and prove that stuttering indeed has social value (you can also read Pam's post about receiving the award).
- In 2010, Pam launched her Women Who Stutter: Our Stories podcast to provide a forum for women to share their stories about living with stuttering – so far she has produced over 160 episodes featuring women from over 30 countries!
- Pam gives multiple workshops at the National Stuttering Association’s annual conference and is currently a member of the Board of Directors, Co-chair Special Projects of the National Stuttering Association
- In 2011, Pam was awarded the Jefferson Medal for Public Service for her efforts in raising awareness of stuttering and increasing tolerance.
- A member of the Board of Directors, Secretary of the International Stuttering Association
- Pam regularly shares her stuttering experiences to speech language pathology students
- One of the earliest members of the stuttering community on Twitter (she's @stutterrockstar)
- A Distinguished Toastmaster, Pam credits Toastmasters for being an “incredibly helpful experience” for her where she has entered speech contests, been involved in mentoring, held club leadership positions including Treasurer, President of her chapter, Area Governor and completed the Toastmasters High Performance Leadership Project.
The Stutter Social Award has been created to honour our hosts. It is in the shape of an iceberg as a tribute to the famous Iceberg Analogy of Stuttering.
Congratulations Pam and thank you again for your service!