During her tenure as chief executive officer of Easter Seals Blake Foundation, Ema Kammeyer has played an integral role in the agency growing to become one of the largest social service providers in Southern Arizona, offering a variety of programs throughout seven counties and impacting the lives of over 9,000 children, adult and families each year.
Kammeyer’s work allows her to see just how successful a child can be if provided the right opportunity at the right time. For example, Mark was 18 months when he was referred to Easter Seals Blake Foundation upon receiving an autism diagnosis. After receiving services, Mark transformed from a child who wouldn’t make eye contact, would rather play independently and did not make any sounds to communicate to a child who seeks out others which with to play, responds to his name and maintains eye contact. Now almost three, Mark has more than 100 words in his vocabulary, has great play skills, has stopped hitting his head and biting his mom when he’s angry and instead uses words to tell how he is feeling. In fact, Mark’s pediatrician noted if he were to do the initial evaluation today, he would no longer give Mark the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, but instead classify Mark as developmentally delayed.
Kammeyer challenges herself to ensure all programs offered are valued within the community and are available and accessible to families in need. One of the greatest issues Southern Arizona families face is accessibility of programs and funding concerns. The state is in a financial crisis and has openly challenged the importance and value of early intervention with the claim of “needing that funding” for other purposes. Kammeyer wishes more people understood the importance of early intervention and the impact it can have to ensure a child a healthy start in life, in addition to being the most cost effective way to help each child.
Kammeyer has an extensive educational background including degrees in Philosophy, Liberal Arts Studies, and graduate degrees in law and business administration.