Preston Shepard, our new Program Executive Director featured in the June CACDI Connection newsletter

CACDI Newsletter Member Spotlight: Preston Shepard

Image Description: Preston Shepard is wearing a blue button up shirt while positioned in front of a tall bush planted in a large grassy field on a sunny day.

Q: How long have you been a member of CACDI?
I have been involved with CACDI since December 2023.

Q: How did you learn about CACDI, and why did you want to join?
I learned about CACDI through a co-worker. I have been an advocate for the disabled community for a long time and have recently begun a push for ADA compliance and equal access within the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department and the City of Columbus as a whole. I feel that involvement with this organization will further that mission and support the same across the entire community.

Q: What are you most passionate about?
One of my biggest passions is to be a voice for those who don’t have one. I learned early on in my disability journey that there are many shortcomings regarding access and inclusion for the disabled community. Additionally, I learned that there are very few people confident enough and willing to take up this important mission. I enjoy the challenge and the satisfaction from a mission accomplished. This mission still has a long way to go.

Q: What would you say to folks who are interested in joining CACDI?
If you are interested in joining CACDI I encourage you to do so. It is a good group of folks fighting for a worthy cause. The more voices we have the louder the message.

Q: What does “advocacy” mean to you?
To me, advocacy is about educating yourself on a problem, surrounding yourself with good people who are like-minded, coming up with a viable solution to the problem, and acting on it. Never look the other way or wait for someone else to do it.

Q: What are you looking forward to most this year?
The thing I am looking forward to most this year within CACDI is getting to work in our sub-committees. This approach seems like it will yield results so I am excited to get going and work with committee members along with our City Council members to enact positive change in our community.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
I enjoy many things but I am ultimately an adventure seeker. I am an avid skier, kayaker, and mountain biker. In addition to participating in these activities, I am also certified to instruct them. My day job as Program Executive Director for Adaptive Sports Connection allows me to provide opportunities in these activities and more to veterans and folks with a disability all over the midwest. I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends and working on projects at home.