Message from the President and CEO and Board Chairman
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They inspire and inform every business decision of The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. They provide the framework for planning for the future and as we work to create jobs and meet our customers’ needs.
We have put this inspiration into words through our Strategic Plan. In each Annual Report, we highlight the past years’ achievement and it is our privilege to share with you the successes of 2011.
Ours is a unique organization, serving two important bottom lines. One bottom line is to create the best possible results from our businesses. The second metric is to enhance the lives of individuals who are blind, Deaf-Blind, and blind with other disabilities.
To support our Strategic Plan of creating and sustaining 500 livable wage jobs by the end of 2016, we track progress and successes in the following five key strategy areas:
Building Our Core Manufacturing Capabilities: In 2011, we finalized plans for additional plastic injection molding capability which will expand the kinds of products we can provide to aerospace customers. We added Okuma milling machines and continued to work with our customer base to determine new products we can manufacture. We engaged with other blindness-related organizations on the West Coast to explore with them how we could apply our capabilities to create additional employment and empowerment. This work in 2011 achieved exciting results that we will be announcing details about in 2012 and beyond.
Develop Service Businesses: We successfully completed our first Navy task order providing Contract Management Services (CMS) and were awarded another. CMS has created new jobs for blind individuals in San Diego. We also continued to explore opportunities to provide customer service through our Contact Center – another area where we have secured new business.
Physical and Geographic Expansion: The demand for office products resulted in increasing the number of employees at our Inland Northwest Lighthouse (INL) in Spokane. We also continued to set the stage for future growth at our Base Supply Centers (BSCs), building on our growth in previous years. This planning and research to open new BSCs through dedicated focus by our staff and volunteers is leading to tremendous future growth.
Expand Accommodations and Training Opportunities: To further underscore The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc.’s commitment to accommodations, our Board of Trustees approved an Accessibility Policy in Spring 2011. We created two new positions under the guidance of this policy: an Accessibility Manager to provide specific oversight to assessing employees’ work areas and needs; and an Employee Support Services Manager to manage the supports necessary for the Lighthouse to continue to be a thriving work environment.
Expand Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind Foundation: We added new members to our Foundation Board, held successful special events including the inaugural Spokane Braille Rally, and received generous support from new supporters and major donors.
It takes all these elements to make the Lighthouse work – literally. Our employees would not have these opportunities without the focus on our strategic goals. We are proud of our team, proud of our employees, and so thankful for the volunteers, customers, board members, and community partners who have joined with us in working toward these goals. It shows how powerful a plan can be when it serves a compelling need by harnessing the good work of a diverse array of Lighthouse stakeholders.
You are part of this good work as a member of our community focused on making people’s lives better. Thank you for that — and thank you for a wonderful year that has served as another step in the Lighthouse’s work toward its mission.
Kirk Adams, President and CEO
Fred Mendoza, Chair, Board of Directors