Walton D. Dutcher, Jr.
Mr. Dutcher is a quadriplegic, the result of a spinal cord injury in May, 1956 while serving in the Navy. His educational background includes the study of Architecture at the University of Illinois, a graduate of the Milwaukee School of Broadcasting, an AA degree from St. Petersburg College and a BA in Business Administration from the University of South Florida.
Mr. Dutcher’s first involvement in disability organizations and advocacy was in 1959 as a founding member of the Milwaukee, WI chapter of the National Paraplegia Foundation (NPF - now the National Spinal Cord Injury Association). In 1961, following his move to Florida, he organized the Tampa Bay Area Chapter of NPF. In 1971 Mr. Dutcher participated in a committee to lobby City Council to establish an advisory committee of the City to address the needs of persons with disabilities. He was first appointed to that committee, now known as the City of St. Petersburg’s Committee to Advocate for Persons with Impairments (CAPI), in March, 1997 and served eight years, including 3 years as Chair, as a member of CAPI. CAPI advises the Mayor, City Council and the Administration on matters pertaining to the inclusion of persons with disabilities as regards the City’s facilities, programs and services. He also is currently serving as a co-chair of the Pinellas/Hillsborough Real Choice Advisory Board. He assisted in the formal organization of the National Alliance OF The Disabled, Inc. (NAOTD), a virtual online national, cross-disability, grass-roots organization. He was a member of the Board of Directors and served as the Executive Director of Operations for from its inception in 1997 until its dissolution in 2002. In 1992 he organized Caring & Sharing Center for Independent Living, Inc. (CASCIL) in St. Petersburg, FL and served on the Board of Directors of from 1992 until June, 2001 during which he served three terms as President and three terms as Secretary. He was honored by New Mobility magazine (Jan. 1998) in being nominated, along with notables such as Stephen Hawkings and John Hockenberry, for the “Person of the Year” award given by New Mobility. He was selected, along with 49 others out of 400 candidates, to be profiled in a book titled Roll Models: People Who Live Successful Lives After Spinal Cord Injury and How They Do It by Richard Hollicky.
After graduating from college in 1968, Mr. Dutcher organized and concurrently managed; a mutual fund, the fund's underwriter, and the fund's investment adviser. In 1980 he joined the management company for the Templeton Group of mutual funds and served as the Compliance Officer for the funds. In 1985 he accepted a position with a small, 5 employee, cabinet manufacturer and led it through its growth to become a 165 employee, $6 million company in two and one-half years. This company was honored as Employer of the Year by Goodwill-Suncoast in 1988. He does small business consulting and has conducted small business workshops focusing on startup.
Besides his volunteer involvement with CASCIL and CAPI, he organized the St. Petersburg Aquatics competitive swim club in 1978 and did meet announcing for 13 years. Mr. Dutcher enjoys singing and has been a member of the Alumni Singers since 1985.
His passion is architectural design. He has designed and built 3 of his own homes and designed a number of others for individuals throughout the U.S. He does home modification assessments as a Medicaid Waiver provider and also consults with architects, builders and developers. He has designed other things such as a bowling stick; the prototype accessible workstation for the City’s libraries; the accessible lecterns for the City Council Chamber, which are differentiated from the commercial ones in that they have 18 inches of height adjustment versus 8 for the commercial ones; the accessibility renovations and accessible docks for the Sailing Center in St. Petersburg, which is considered the finest small venue accessible sailing venue in the world; the ramp for the City’s new competition pool, and an accessible kitchen wall cabinet using off-the-shelf parts.