NEW YORK, June 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Vice President Joe Biden honored business titans Jack Welch and Jes Staley with a congratulatory message lauding their accomplishments as they received the Freeing Voices Changing Lives Award on Monday night at the 8th Annual American Institute for Stuttering (AIS) Gala held at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers.
The sold-out crowd was comprised of the financial world's most influential leaders who turned out in force to honor these remarkable men. The Awards Presentation was hosted by Becky Quick of MSNBC's Squawk Box and Arthur Blank, Owner of the Atlanta Falcons and Co-Founder of The Home Depot, served as Gala Co-Chair. Both the Vice President and Jack Welch shared personal stories of their stuttering and how their mothers helped them overcome criticism in their lives. Each encouraged her son to meet their speech challenge head-on and echoed a similar message – "Stuttering does not define you."
Ellis Lankster of the New York Jets and Trumaine McBride of the New York Giants accompanied Blank to the event in a show of support for the Institute.
Jack Welch is one of the most influential CEOs in the business world. He became General Electric's youngest CEO in 1981 when he was appointed its Chairman and held the position until 2001. In 2009 he founded the Jack Welch Management Institute, offering online executive MBA degrees, and remains its guiding force. Jes Staley has been one of the financial industry's foremost leaders for more than three decades. Currently with BlueMountain Capital Management, Staley is the former CEO of J.P. Morgan's Investment Bank and the former CEO of J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
The Freeing Voices Changing Lives Award is presented annually to individuals who have successfully overcome a stuttering problem and later excelled in their professional careers. This year's recipients possess incredible determination and are symbolic of recipients who are given this prestigious accolade.
The Benefit Gala is a festive and educational event and includes a Cocktail Reception, Awards Presentation and Dinner. It attracts a diverse crowd comprised of more than 300 individuals from the worlds of finance, politics, sports and the arts.
Past award recipients include Samuel L. Jackson, Vice President Joseph Biden, Oscar® winner Colin Firth, NBA star Kenyon Martin, Carly Simon, TDAmeritrade Chairman Joe Moglia and actress Emily Blunt, an AIS Board member.
More than 3 million Americans and 60 million people worldwide stutter. It is a genetic and neurological disorder that is not, as many assume, caused by anxiety. Stuttering is often dismissed as a minor hindrance, when in fact it can govern a person's life, affecting their education, relationships, and career. Greatly misunderstood, stuttering is one of the few disorders that provoke undeserved shame by humiliation and even laughter by an uninformed public.
The American Institute for Stuttering serves children and adults who stutter with specialized speech therapy. Founded in 1998 by Catherine Otto Montgomery, its goal is to help clients achieve freedom and confidence in the face of stuttering. Their clients have come from across the United States and over a dozen countries around the world. The organization also trains speech-language pathologists in the expertise of stuttering therapy and engages and encourages people who stutter worldwide.
About the American Institute for Stuttering
The American Institute for Stuttering (AIS) is a leading 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the United States that offers state-of-the-art speech therapy to people of all ages who stutter, guidance to their families, and much-needed clinical training to professionals. AIS offers a range of services, including early intervention therapy for children as young as two years old, support to school-age children (who are more often bullied than their peers), group therapy courses that accommodate diverse schedules, and unique three-week intensive treatment programs. AIS also provides training to speech-language pathologists, who traditionally are inexperienced in treating stuttering, to meet the great need for specially trained therapists. AIS is committed to advancing public understanding of stuttering and worked in Washington, D.C. to increase federal funding for research. The Institute adheres to the motto of our founder, Catherine Montgomery, who so eloquently noted, "Free a voice and save a life."
For more information about stuttering and AIS, please visit http://stutteringtreatment.org.
Contact: Christine Madden
SOURCE The American Institute for Stuttering