Southern California Chapter: Building Synergy

Editor’s Note: After checking in on well-established chapters the last few issues, in this issue we check in on one of the newer NSCIA chapters to learn about the logistics of getting a chapter off the ground.

Having lived and worked in and around the Southern California disability community for almost 30 years, Rick Hayden would seem to be perfectly positioned to start an NSCIA chapter serving the region and its many members. Hayden, a T8 para, has worked for Everest & Jennings, Colours and Icon Wheelchairs and has a long background in sales and marketing that has connected him across the disability industry and community. Yet when United Spinal Association’s Nick LiBassi approached him about launching a chapter in 2013, the road forward didn’t seem obvious.

“I didn’t have a vision initially,” says Hayden. “I knew we needed something, but how it was going to interface with what was already in place, and how it could be a benefit to folks in these four counties was a little obscure.”