deafweekly

 

April 27, 2005
Vol. 1 No. 28

Editor: Tom Willard

Deafweekly is an independent news report for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. It is mailed to subscribers every Wednesday morning and available to read at www.deafweekly.com. For information, contact mail@deafweekly.com.

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NATIONAL
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MAN STABBED TO DEATH, LIVE-IN GIRLFRIEND CHARGED WITH MURDER

Robert Adelsburg, 45, a deaf postal worker in Roseville, Mich., was found stabbed to death in his home Friday night. Police arrested Mary Ann McBride, 41, the victim's deaf live-in girlfriend, who worked with him at a local post office. Adelsburg apparently was attacked while he was asleep, and then tried to escape after being awakened. He was found in a basement bathroom "with blood all over the place," said a police officer, and coroners found that he bled to death from a severed artery in his leg. According to the Detroit Free Press, police believe McBride became upset when she learned that Adelsburg was planning to leave her. She is being held in jail without bond and faces a preliminary hearing May 4.

PROPOSED SIGNING TOWN IN SOUTH DAKOTA FACES CRITICISM

Until now it has been smooth sailing for Laurent, the proposed town for signing people to be built near Sioux Falls, S.D. But the Argus Leader reported Sunday that opposition has sprung up among neighbors of the planned town. A group of concerned citizens met April 16 in Salem farmer Jim McGregor's garage to discuss Laurent and the impact it could have on the area. Opponents fear residents of the new town will not accept rural life without complaint (there are 13,000 cows within three miles) and doubt that Laurent can support a public school district on 275 acres. One of Laurent's co-founders, M.E. Barwacz, said she was expecting such complaints to surface. "I think the issue here is fear ... fear of change, distrust," she said. Martha Sherman, who co-owns a campground, said, "It has nothing to do with the fact people who are moving in are deaf." As for why the critics are just now emerging, she said, "A lot of us thought it was so crazy, it was going to disappear."

TWO IN NEVADA FILE MILLION-DOLLAR LAWSUIT ALLEGING ADA VIOLATION

Two deaf citizens in Nevada have filed a million-dollar lawsuit against the City of North Las Vegas and its police department, alleging a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Jeffrey Beardsley told KVBC TV-3 that during a traffic stop in 2003, a police officer refused his request to write on a pad, threw the pad on the ground and pulled him roughly out of the car. Soon he was handcuffed and feeling completely helpless, he said. He is joined in the lawsuit by Melissa Ward, who claims that after she was arrested a few years ago she was not given a qualified interpreter in North Las Vegas courts and could not tell her side of the story. Said Ward: "We have rights and we have to have interpreters in these very serious situations."

STUDENTS IN WASHINGTON TO MEET THEIR PEN PAL, A U.S. SOLDIER IN IRAQ

Next Tuesday, students at the Kendall Demonstrative Elementary School in Washington, D.C. will meet the U.S. soldier who has communicated with them from Iraq since August. It will be the first time the students have come face to face with U.S. Sgt. Earl (Jay) Beatty, a Maryland state trooper and Marine who was deployed in the Iraqi town of Fallujah. Before leaving, Beatty was asked if he'd be willing to communicate with students as part of a visual literacy project. He accepted, and he and his wife have written to the students ever since. The Internet allows the kids a front-line look at the war through Beatty's reports, but the communication goes both ways, said Phil Bogdan, KDES art teacher/researcher and project organizer. Beatty moved around so much the first month that "the first messages he received were those of the students, and he was enormously appreciative."

DEAF AND BLIND TEEN LEFT ON CITY BUS AFTER FIELD TRIP

A recreation center in Montgomery, Ala. is doing a review to find out why a 13-year-old deaf and blind boy with cerebral palsy was left alone on a locked bus for several hours last Wednesday. According to the Montgomery Advertiser, Christian Moore was found sitting in the bus at 6:20 p.m., nearly four hours after anyone had last seen him. He was apparently left there after attending a field trip with his afterschool program at the city-run Therapeutic Recreation Center. "They didn't even miss him," said his mother, Thelma Richardson. The center's director, Fredrick Thomas, confirmed the incident occurred and said "We're in the process of putting policies in place to make sure this does not happen again."

TWO MICHIGAN MEN INJURED IN ROADWAY ACCIDENT

Two deaf men in Michigan sustained minor injuries in a traffic accident Sunday morning. Police reports indicate that Joseph Wiegers, 37, of Lake Orion, was using sign language to communicate with his passenger, Garry Buchalski, 44, when the crash occurred. Wieger (his name was spelled with and without an "s" in The Huron Daily Tribune) reportedly lost control on the slushy roadway, driving into a ditch and striking a driveway embankment, causing the car to spin around and come to rest on its side. Both men were wearing seat belts, and they were transported to a hospital for medical treatment.

HIGH SCHOOL IN IDAHO CONSIDERS ELIMINATING SIGN LANGUAGE PROGRAM

The sign language program in Pocatello, Idaho is in danger of being cut or reduced, KIFI-TV (Idaho Falls) reported last week. Very few high schools in America offer ASL as a foreign language, KIFI noted, but in Pocatello it's an option that students don't take for granted. However, a financial shortfall may result in the elimination of the District 25 sign language program, or at least some cutbacks. School officials were expected to make a final decision on the program's fate in the near future.


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INTERNATIONAL
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JAPANESE GOVERNMENT ASKED TO APPROVE SIGN LANGUAGE IN SCHOOLS

The Japan Federation of Bar Associations has submitted a report to the government calling for it to legally recognize sign language and approve it as a teaching tool. The report to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology resulted from a 2003 request from the Japan Deaf Children and Parents Association. Midori Okamoto, 47, head of the association, said "There are plenty of deaf schools out there that scold children if they dare move their hands." Ministry officials agreed that there is room for improvement but downplayed the concerns, reported The Asahi Shimbun. "Sign language is not necessarily banned at schools for the hearing impaired," he said. "Yet we don't think the current situation is what's best for the children, either."

VICTIM OF SCISSORS ATTACK RELIVES ASSAULT FOR SENTENCING HEARING

Sharmila Gounder told an Edmonton, Canada court last week that she still has nightmares about being attacked with scissors by her estranged husband last year. She relived the brutal attack through a videotaped victim impact statement played at a sentencing hearing last week for Mukesh Ratnum Gounder, 33, who pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for attacking his wife in front of their two children when she came home from work April 26, 2004. Sharmilla, who suffered eight wounds and needed numerous sutures, is now divorced and living in New Zealand with her two children, a son, 8, and a daughter, 1. The couple were married 13 years and Gounder was under a restraining order when the assault took place. "He tried to kill me," said Sharmila on videotape. "I still don't understand the reason. I never did anything bad."

11-YEAR-OLD BOY IN INDIA ALLEGEDLY SODOMIZED

An 11-year-old boy was allegedly sodomized April 18 in Khanna, India, according to a Ludhiana Newsline report. The victim named a 17-year-old "sewadar of a religious place" as the assailant. The victim was taken to a doctor and then a hospital by his grandmother, who had noticed blood on his clothing. Police were called in after the victim described the assault through sign language and gestures. The report indicates that the grandmother initially brought the victim back to the scene of the alleged crime, where he pointed out the 17-year-old, but "a few committee members gathered there and favored the accused." Police are investigating and had sent a party to the victim's house for more details.


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LIFE & LEISURE
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GROUND BROKEN FOR DEAF SENIOR HOUSING COMPLEX IN CONNECTICUT

About 100 people turned out for a groundbreaking ceremony Monday for a 16-unit independent living complex in Middletown, Conn. for elderly people who are deaf or hard of hearing. The three-story building will be financed with $1.8 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and $600 from the housing authority. According to The Day (New London, Conn.), the complex will be called Salvatore L. Monarca Place, named after a past commissioner of the Middletown Housing Authority who worked on the project during his 27 years in office. Construction is expected to be completed within a year, and officials are considering a lottery to handle a potential crush of applicants. The housing project, on the drawing board for decades, was pushed along by Larry Marino, a 96-year-old who was inspired by his three hearing-impaired siblings. "I've been working 40 years trying to get this facility," he said. "Now my dream has come true."

KENTUCKY ADVOCATE RECEIVES 'OUTSTANDING WOMEN' AWARD

Betty Timon, an advocate for deaf and hard-of-hearing people in Kentucky, was one of six women to be honored last Wednesday at the Outstanding Women of Northern Kentucky Awards. The award program, now in its 21st year, is sponsored by The Kentucky Post, Northern Kentucky University and Thomas More College. According to the Post, Timon became a tireless advocate for deaf people when she lost her hearing at 35. "Everything I did was for the cause of people who can't hear well, who need to be included in the community," she said. Noting the large number of community and business leaders in the audience, she added to laughter and applause: "I'll be knocking on your doors for more services and access."

IOWA AGENCY HONORS 'NATIONAL EXPERT IN DEAF EDUCATION'

Elder Services Inc. in Iowa City, Iowa honored Phyllis Harper-Bardach at its Re-Generation celebration, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported Sunday. She was honored as a teacher, mentor and community worker since her retirement in 1991. "She started out as a housewife in Keokuk," said Susan Boyd, president of Elder Services, "and became a national expert in the field of deaf education." Harper-Bardach's career was inspired by her son, Freeman, was born deaf in 1954 when special services were scarce. She searched for educational opportunities for her children while furthering her own education, eventually earning a doctorate and helping to pass a federal law in 1994 that guarantees an education to children ages 3 to 5. "You needed to start earlier," said Harper-Bardach, 77, who now lives in Staten Island, N.Y. "It was playing catch-up."

ILLINOIS HOLDS DEAF SPELLING BEE FOR EIGHTH YEAR

Illinois held its Deaf Spelling Bee for the eighth year at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, reported KWOC-TV recently. The competition attracts seventh and eighth graders from across the state. Teachers present the word to be spelled in sign language, and the students respond by fingerspelling the words. The news report did not indicate the winner's name, but it did report the winning word: "quarrel."


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WORKING WORLD
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FLORIDA AGENCY PLANS MOVE TO NEW OFFICE

Deaf & Hearing Services of Lake and Sumter, in Leesburg, Fla., has operated out of a small office space since it was founded 15 years ago. That will change May 1, reported The Daily Commercial, when the agency moves to a new location on 9th Street. "It's twice as big and it will cost less money," said Jeanne Hobson, director of outreach and development. The move was made possible through a partnership with Morrison United Methodist Church, with local contractors donating landscaping, materials and time. The agency provides support groups, case management and other assistance, and has helped more than 10,000 veterans in Florida to obtain telephones through the Florida Telecommunications Relay program.

NAD APPOINTS BRAD TROTTER TO CHAIR MENTAL HEALTH COMMITTEE

Brad Trotter has been selected to chair the Mental Health Committee at the National Association of the Deaf. Trotter is program manager with the North Carolina Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services. His appointment was announced by Andrew Lange, NAD president, who said, "The status of mental health services for deaf and hard-of-hearing people in the United States has been a priority of the NAD for a long time." The NAD has created a steering committee to refocus the work of its Mental Health Committee and plans to develop demonstration projects in three states. If you would like to be involved, write to brad.trotter@gmail.com.

COLLABORATIVE OUTREACH PROGRAM LINKS NAD WITH NORTHWEST AIRLINES

The NAD also announced recently that it is teaming up with Northwest Airlines on an outreach program. The collaborative agreement will enable the NAD to share advocacy efforts and news of its 125th anniversary through exhibits and workshops at various national conferences and trade shows. NAD representatives have served on Northwest's Customer Advisory Board since it was formed in 1999, and the organization "is delighted to collaborate with Northwest Airlines on this outreach project," said CEO Nancy J. Bloch. Ronald Pettit, a hard-of-hearing man who runs Northwest's disabilities program, said the company is "pleased to team with NAD to inform people about the projects and services we have available for customers with disabilities."

AOL JOINS CSD ON PROJECT TO FACILITATE TTY CALLS

America Online has teamed up with CSD to make it easier for AOL customers to call for help on a TTY. Differences of grammar and syntax can complicate matters when deaf people use TTYs, said a recent press announcement, and under the agreement these calls will be forwarded to a CSD call center in Tucson, Ariz. At the center, CSD representatives who are specially trained to interpret ASL syntax will help to ensure "an easier, more friendly member services experience for AOL members who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech disabled." AOL's TTY number is (800) 759-3323 and it's available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
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CHECK OUT STUDENT ARTWORK AND VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITES

Judges are now evaluating 63 artworks and 250 essays submitted to Gallaudet University's annual art and national essay contests. In a new addition to the program, you are invited to view all the artwork on the Internet and vote for your favorites. Gallaudet will present "Viewer's Choice" awards to the top five vote-getters. "Please take time to check out and vote for your favorites," said Timothy Worthylake, co-coordinator of the art and essay contests. Cast your vote by visiting http://clerccenter.gallaudet.edu/WorldAroundYou/2005artandessay/index.html.

CAPTIONED MOVIES COMING TO SOUTHEAST TEXAS

Captioned movies are finally coming to Southeast Texas. Beginning Sunday, the CineMark Theater in Beaumont will show open-captioned movies every Sunday and Monday of each month. "This is a unique opportunity," said CineMark manager Anquinetta Lee. "We couldn't let it pass us by." The idea originated a year ago with Tracey Michol, a Lamar University graduate who has a master's in deaf studies and deaf education and knew firsthand what it was like to drive 175 miles roundtrip from Beaumont to Houston to see a captioned film. "The drives were long," she said. "I hope open captioning is a welcomed addition for everyone."

STUDENTS FROM SIX STATES TRAVEL TO OKLAHOMA FOR ARTSIGN 2005

KTEN-TV of Ardmore, Okla. reported Friday on ArtSign 2005, which took place last week at the Oklahoma School for the Deaf. More than 100 deaf high school students from six states shared their acting talents and artistic abilities during the four-day event, which offered workshops in topics such as creative dance and watercolor painting. ArtSign takes place every two years, and this was this first time since 1995 that the Oklahoma school has hosted the event. It would be an annual event if the students had their way, the news crew reported. "I think it's cool to be involved with the ArtSign," said student Kelsey Jones. "It's a new experience for me and I really like it."

ONE-WOMAN SHOW TO HIGHLIGHT FUNDRAISER FOR DEAF PILOTS ASSOCIATION

"You Think Deaf People Have Problems?" is the title of a one-woman comedy show to be presented by Angela Stratiy at Nassau Community College in Garden City, N.Y. Stratiy's act is the highlight of a fundraiser that will include refreshments, desserts, raffles and prizes. Admission is limited to 300 people and the suggested donation is $5. It takes place next Friday, May 7, from 6 to 11 p.m. Proceeds will go to the Deaf Pilots Association to help deaf and hard-of-hearing teens attend its Deaf Aviation Academy this summer. For information, contact Nicole Mazzola at woley@aol.com.


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SIGN LANGUAGE FOR THE FAMILY VIDEO SERIES and COMPANION BOOK
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SPORTS
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NEBRASKA POLE VAULTER ON TRACK AND ABOVE IT ALL

Deaf pole-vaulter Pat Southern, a senior at Nebraska University, shows extraordinary ambition, reported the Daily Nebraskan earlier this week. Born deaf, Southern recalls his father's advice that he could make his own life, but the important thing is to start somewhere. He started on a school track in Indiana, and now, a few years later, Southern is a Deaflympics gold medalist and Big 12 academic honoree who has cleared 16-2/3 in the pole vault. At the Deaflympics in Australia in January, Southern made a winning jump of 15-7, just an inch shy of the world record. Southern reads lips and speaks clearly, thanks to therapy and a cochlear implant he had in ninth grade. But he takes it off when he competes, noted the newspaper, so that he can "pole vault undistracted."

AMERICANS IN SOUTH KOREA FACE DEAF SCHOOL ON BASEBALL FIELD

A unique "friendship game" took place on a baseball field in South Korea last week. Teams from Seoul American High School and the Sungsim School for the Deaf met for the game, which was organized through the Good Neighbor program started by U.S. Forces Korea in 2003 to foster good relations with local communities. The teams put on a good show, reported Stars and Stripes Monday, and even U.S. Forces Korea Commander Gen. Leon LaPorte was on hand for the special event. SAHS coach Boe Roberts called the deaf team one of the "toughest teams we've played this year" and senior Tommy Rozzi said it was tough to get used to opponents who communicate quietly through sign language after playing against other teams that chatter constantly. SAHS won the game 4-3.

STEFAN LEFORS CHOSEN BY CAROLINA IN FOURTH ROUND OF NFL DRAFT

Stefan Lefors, quarterback at Louisville, was chosen by the Carolina Panthers during the fourth round of the recent National Football League draft. In an interview posted on the Panthers' website, Lefors spoke of what it was like to grow up with parents, a brother, grandparents, aunts and uncles who are all deaf. "To me, it was normal," he said. "It was all I knew growing up. We just communicated with our hands instead of our mouths." Lefors noted that he is often asked if the experience helps him in football, but said, "I really don't know. I think it just goes back to my family. We were always outside playing with a ball somewhere."

CANADIAN BOWLER SAID TO 'BOWL WITH THE BEST OF THEM'

The Star Phoenix of Saskatoon, Canada reported yesterday on Dwight Safroniuk, said to be one of the top 10 bowlers in Saskatoon. Safroniuk, 36, is unable to speak or hear but "can bowl with the best of them," said Ray Kloschinsky, head coach of the Special Olympics 10-pin program in Saskatoon. Safroniuk has a 20-week average of 198, with a single game high of 256, and is capable of competing in major adult bowling events, said Kloschinsky. "But he likes to bowl with his Special Olympic athletes, he likes to help the others with his own special style of communicating with them, and I think he prefers the fun of the game as opposed to the pressures he would face in other leagues."

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COMING EVENTS
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DEAF MOTORCYCLISTS PLAN AUGUST RALLY IN SOUTH DAKOTA

If you're a deaf motorcycle enthusiast, you might want to be in Sturgis, S.D. for the Deaf Bikers of America rally that starts August 7. Attendees are asked to list their names on the organization's website so that others can see who is coming and sponsors can gauge the attendance. A free lunch is planned at Camp Lakodia in Madison Saturday, Aug. 6, the day before arriving in Sturgis. "It's a wonderful way to meet old and new friends, catch even more sights of our country and to have unforgettable moments," said tour chairperson Lorinda Kronenberg of St. Charles, Ill., who gained her love for motorcycles from her father, who grew up in San Francisco in the 1940s. If you'd like to attend, check out www.deaf-bikers-of-america.com/2005sturgis/schedule.htm.

ROCHESTER SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF PLANS ANNUAL SPRING FESTIVAL

If it's spring in Rochester, N.Y., can the Rochester School for the Deaf Annual Spring Festival be far behind? This year's event takes place as Seabreeze Amusement Park on Saturday, June 4. RSD has reserved a pavillion for picnicing and will sell food in the afternoon. The annual Spring Festival Raffle is set for 5 p.m., with proceeds benefiting the school. Tickets are $12 until May 20 and go up to $14 at the school until June 3. After that, it's $19.95 at Seabreeze. Tickets can be purchased from Brenda Hill at Bhill@RSDeaf.org.

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MILESTONES
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HOUSTON NUTT SR., ARKANSAS SCHOOL VETERAN, FATHERED FOUR COACHES

Houston Nutt Sr., longtime coach and director of athletics and student life at the Arkansas School for the Deaf, died last Wednesday in Little Rock, Ark. at 74 following a stroke. According to the Associated Press, Mr. Nutt was the father of four college coaches and the only person to play basketball for college coaching greats Adolph Rupp and Henry Iba. He had a lifetime of hearing problems, AP reported, and retired from the Arkansas deaf school in 1987 after working in various roles on campus for 32 years. Mr. Nutt competed in the Deaf Olympics of 1957, winning a gold medal, and was inducted into the Arkansas and national deaf sports Halls of Fame. He is survived by his wife Emogene, four sons, a brother and sister and 13 grandchildren.

REUBEN SAVANICK, FOUNDED COMMUNITY DEAF SERVICES IN PENNSYLVANIA

Reuben H. Savanick, 53, died Saturday at a hospital in Bloomfield, Pa. after an extended illness. Mr. Savanick, of Scottdale, Pa., was founding director of the Community Deaf Services of Westmoreland County, reported The Tribune-Review (Pittsburgh). He was inspired to work in the community by his deaf parents, said sister Rosetta Brown. "It was a way of giving back for what our parents had given to him," she said. Mr. Savanick became a certified sign-language interpreter, taught sign language, served Scottdale Mennonite Church as pastor to the deaf and interpreted religious services for nearly 20 years. Still, his family came first, said his wife, Martha Detweiler Savanick. "He never let a job take him away from time he felt he needed to spend with his [three] sons."


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EMPLOYMENT
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POSITION OPENING
Chief Financial Officer

The Laurent Company, located in rural southeastern South Dakota, which is building the world’s first fully integrated signing community, is seeking a Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Position Description
Chief Financial Officer will be responsible for all financial reporting and control, banking and maintenance of the company’s overall financial well-being. This person will be involved in both the tactical day- to- day accounting/financial management of the business as well as strategic and long term planning and implementing for growth and expansion.

Essential Functions
*Financial planning policies and controls, accounting practices, financial reporting, treasury operations, asset management, budgeting, tax planning and compliance, corporate services and internal audit.
* Develops financial strategies by forecasting capital, facilities, and staff requirements; identifying monetary resources; developing action plans.
* Oversees timely close of monthly financial statements and distribution of monthly reporting package, which includes monthly and year-to-date comparison with budget, key performance metrics and written management discussion and analysis.
*Continually reviews financial performance results against plan for all functional areas, finance, administration, sales and participates with COO and/or other senior management.
* Hires and supervises the financial team and monitors payroll and other operating expenses, and operating profitability measures with a focus on improving those measures.
* Develops and maintains a strong working relationship with the Company's specific financial institutions.
* Works with legal counsel as a participant in key legal decisions or other legal or contractual matters relating to the business.
* Maintains awareness of new regulations.

Qualifications
CPA credentials strongly preferred, with 10+ years of senior financial management experience. We are especially interested in candidates with a real estate background, as well as experience in managing budgets in excess of $100M. Sign language skills preferred.

Benefits
Position offers a very competitive starting salary plus a comprehensive benefits package, including fully paid group health insurance.

If interested in applying for this position, please contact Marvin Miller, Chief Operating Officer of the Laurent Company, at marvmiller@thelaurentcompany.com.

An EOE committed to a drug and alcohol-free workplace. Drug testing required.

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POSITION OPENING
Vice President of Construction

The Laurent Company, located in rural southeastern South Dakota, which is building the world’s first fully integrated signing community, is seeking a Vice President of Construction.

Position Description
Vice President of Construction will be responsible for managing construction activities, overseeing and coordinating the entire construction project of building the town of Laurent. Will have overall responsibility for project deadlines, budgets, and client satisfaction during construction. Manage the estimating and bid process.

Qualifications
* Have commercial and/or residential construction management experience
* Knowledge of all trades, construction methods and materials
* Can read and interpret construction plans, bid packages, and spec sheets
* Requires a minimum of 10 years construction management experience, building over 25 residential and/or light commercial projects a year, and eager to do more, OR a technical degree in a related field and 5+ years construction experience
* Must have basic computer skills, preferred Microsoft Office and project management software. Experience with Macintosh computers a plus
* Strong organizational skills and be an effective problem solver
* Must have high integrity, a strong work ethic, and the ability to build and lead an organization.
* Fluency in American Sign Language (ASL) preferred. If not, willingness to take classes and learn ASL is required. Sign Communication Proficiency Interview (SCPI) will be required.

Benefits
Competitive salary based on your experience. Competitive benefits package.

If interested in applying for this position, please contact Jennifer Schiltz, Executive Assitant to CEO of The Laurent Company, at jens@thelaurentcompany.com, or fax or mail resume to The Laurent Company (see information above), attn: Jennifer Schiltz.

An EOE committed to a drug and alcohol-free workplace. Drug testing required.

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