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Faces Behind the Seal

Ema Kammeyer, Chief Executive Officer

Ema Kammeyer, Chief Executive Officer: Ema has been the CEO for Easter Seals Blake Foundation for more than 30 years. When she first joined the agency, the company had under 20 staff and an annual budget of $250,000. Today she is responsible for all administrative, executive and programmatic activities, including development, implementation and monitoring of budgets for 60+ individual direct service programs, totaling almost $50 million for FYE 2019; oversight of all administrative and managerial functions for programs; development of and interfacing with Boards of Trustees;  oversight of all Fund Development and Community Public Relations functions; management of the Blake Holding Corporation;  and acquisition and management of Real Property and Assets of all the entities.

She is also the primary liaison with Easter Seals National.

Ema has a JD from the University of Arizona and maintains membership in numerous professional and philanthropic organizations. She moved to Arizona from New England in 1973, and has two children. Outside of EBF, Ema’s interests include travel, skiing, biking and reading.

Ema’s commitment to Easter Seals Blake Foundation’s work, ensuring excellence and innovation in all agency endeavors, supporting the work of our 1000+ staff, and meeting the ever-changing needs of families in our communities keep her continuously motivated and passionate about our agency.

danny Blake, Board Member & Disability Advocate

(L) danny Blake, in his early years

danny Blake was born into your typical American blue collar family. 

After enduring a particularly grueling childbirth, danny was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and it was recommended that he be immediately placed in an institution. His parents staunchly refused and took their son home to join his family. At home, danny was like any other member of the family, with chores and responsibilities.  In 1955 at the age 5, danny was named the Easterseals Child of year and was photographed with Governor Laushe of Ohio.

There was no such thing as “inclusion” in 1958 – anyone different was separate. However, it didn't take long for danny's educators to realize that his “differences” were only surface level. In the third grade he moved into the general education population. Initially danny remembers being, tormented, teased, and even physically beaten by his peers. While many children would let this treatment deter them from school, danny persisted, and within two years his tormentors became his friends, supporters, and motivators. By his senior year he was the school President, editor of the school yearbook, and graduating near the top of his class with a 3.8 GPA.

He attended Miami of Ohio for his freshman year and then moved with his family to Arizona, and enrolled in Arizona State University to complete his Bachelors and ultimately received a Master's Degree in Social Service Administration.  After graduation, he moved to San Francisco but despite his qualifications, he was only offered employment at the local Cerebral Palsy Center, where he became an agency spokesperson and disability advocate. He spoke/taught courses on emerging issues of the decade like Sexuality and Disability. When he returned to Southern Arizona in 1985, he became a board member of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation of Southern Arizona.  He was instrumental in helping the agency obtain a half-million dollar grant from Angel Charities, giving the final speech on hope and perseverance, which left the entire room in tears. By 1993, Cerebral Palsy Foundation of Southern Arizona was serving more than just those with Cerebral Palsy and decided to change their name to The Blake Foundation, in honor of danny. In 2006 the agency became an Easterseals affiliate. danny remains on the Board of Directors and is a past Board President.

danny spells his name with “d” in order to carrying his experiences as a youth with him in his adult life. Thankfully, the world is a different place for people with disabilities today.  danny’s life serves as a reminder of how far we have come and the work left to do.

Easter Seals Blake Foundation namesake danny Blake  
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