Greater New England Chapter MS Activists
“To me, advocacy on behalf of the MS Society has always been like the warp or weft of a fabric. That is, it is an integral part of all of the organization. We are all advocates, whether or not it's part of our title, in our job description or something to which we even give a conscious thought. What the MS Society is or what it is perceived as being or what influence it has is up to each and every one of us. We are all advocates.”
Ken Jones is a true MS activist. His skilled leadership helped establish the New Hampshire Government Relations Committee (GRC), and has guided its work to repeated success focusing on disability rights.. Ken has served as Chairman of the New Hampshire GRC since 2003 and is a member of the Greater New England Chapter’s Board of Trustees. He is a long-time Bike MS event cyclist. In October 2011, Ken was inducted into the National MS Society Volunteer Hall of Fame for his work in advocacy.
Ken’s willingness to engage public officials on behalf of our MS advocacy efforts is clearly one of his most notable contributions. Ken does not hesitate to use his political capitol when there is an opportunity to advance MS issues. These activities have included identifying potential sponsors for MS initiated legislation, analyzing and identifying prospective legislative allies following each election, using his connections to foster support with leadership on committees MS priority bills are assigned, and contacting his connections when MS bills come to the floor for a vote. He has secured mentions in the House and Senate calendars for MS Awareness Week and has encouraged attendance at MS Policy forums.
As Chairman of the GRC, he has effectively applied his business background strategically to pioneer solutions to problems or unmet needs experienced by people with disabilities including handicap parking signage, automatic door openers and participation in the Governor's Commission on Disability. The GRC’s active, vocal and prominent participation with this Commission keeps the committee in the forefront of disability issues. As GRC chair he has provided leadership for the drafting and passage of eight accessible parking related bills into law.
Ken utilizes his friendship with House & Senate leadership to secure his sponsorship of the MS awareness event inside the State House and distribution of the MS Society legislative booklet to all Representatives and Senators. This booklet was created to help legislators understand MS and the issues people face daily living with this disease.
Ken utilizes his relationships with members of the New Hampshire congressional delegation and staff members in Washington D.C. at the MS Society Public Policy Conference to secure support for MS federal priority issues.
Despite a busy schedule, Ken is the consummate leader and attends meetings, hearings and other public events related to MS advocacy. As an active member of the New Hampshire Lifespan Respite Care Coalition on the chapter’s behalf, he attends monthly grant meetings. Ken has been instrumental in creating an effective and efficient system to match respite care needs with respite care providers.