Message from Kirk Adams, Harry Egler, and Howie Dickerman
A mission gains its power through the collective efforts of the individuals who carry it out. As representatives of The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. and Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind Foundation, we’re pleased to report on fiscal year 2012 to highlight our mission-based businesses and our role as an institution made possible by the support of our community.
As our fiscal year ended in September 2012, we saw the beginnings of the current challenges created with changes in federal spending. At the same time, we were also energized by 2013 marking the 75th anniversary of the passage of the Wagner-O’Day Act, landmark legislation in its creation of opportunities for people who are blind and of National Industries for the Blind (NIB). As one of the 91 NIB associated agencies throughout the country, we are not alone in responding to current fiscal challenges, nor in addressing the needs of our employees.
The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. designed its strategic plan knowing that external factors would change the particular steps we take toward our long-term goal to increase employment for individuals who are blind, Deaf-Blind, and blind with other disabilities to 500 by 2016. Accomplishments under this plan in 2012 include:
Building our Core Manufacturing Capabilities:
The Lighthouse began an exciting new endeavor in producing a Compression Stuff Sack, a duffel bag-like item made for the U.S. Marine Corps for efficiently carrying cold weather sleeping bags. We continued to strengthen our partnerships with other local non-profit social enterprises through CONNECT Supply Chain. At the same time, our aerospace production grew.
Developing Service Businesses:
We successfully continued our expansion of Contract Management Support (CMS) work in San Diego. Our Contact Center maintained its contracts with Puget Sound area businesses and grew its capabilities serving the Navy customer in an NIB Contact Center contract.
Physical and Geographic Expansion:
We finalized construction plans and broke ground at our new Base Supply Center at Fort Irwin, California and for the expansion of our Inland Northwest Lighthouse facility in Spokane.
Expanding Accommodations and Training Opportunities:
The first full year of having our Accessibility Manager and Support Services Manager positions increased our ability to meet accessibility needs and to provide more community resources for employees. We also held another year of our Deaf-Blind Retreat and were able to give employees important technology to travel safely.
Expanding Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind Foundation:
We continued the expansion of our outreach to the community with our growing Redefining Vision Luncheon, a second year of our Spokane Braille Rally at Inland Northwest Lighthouse, the growth of our Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind Foundation Board, and significant support from individual donors, institutions, and bequests.
The Lighthouse is proud to collaborate with volunteers, business partners, NIB, and our associated agencies to create jobs for individuals who are blind, Deaf-Blind, and blind with other disabilities. It is only by addressing these needs together that we have the power to do so, and we thank all of you reading this annual report for your role in making it possible.
Kirk Adams, President and CEO
Harry Egler, Chair, Board of Trustees
Howie Dickerman, Foundation Board President