Message from the President and CEO Kirk Adams
Working for The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. gives me the opportunity to celebrate two “New Years.” Our fiscal year ends on September 30th, so we have a chance in the fall to celebrate a successful year-end and to start our work on new contracts and endeavors. And then of course, we get to enjoy the beginning of a new calendar year over the holidays with traditional celebrations, employee events, and family gatherings.
Whether it’s a new fiscal year or calendar year, it’s always a wonderful time to think of the community that makes our mission possible. It is a great chance over the fall and early winter to look back at our recent accomplishments in 2012, while looking forward to the work ahead of us in 2013.
As with all of our work, it all starts and ends with our employees. The Lighthouse exists to provide opportunities to employees who are blind, Deaf-Blind, and blind with other disabilities. And it is those very employees who are responsible for our accomplishments as an organization. You’ll see mention in this issue of Horizons of the two Employees of the Year for 2013. I am so pleased to highlight the achievements and hard work of Larry Irvin and Greg Szabo. These employees will represent the Lighthouse well – and will have the chance to attend the National Industries for the Blind (NIB) Annual Conference in National Harbor, MD in October 2013.
The NIB conference is another “end of year” gathering I always look forward to, as it brings together so many caring individuals who make the work of our organization possible and that of so many others. At the most recent NIB Conference in October in Baltimore, our 2012 Employees of the Year had this same opportunity to hear about the innovative work of agencies across the country.
Readers of our Horizons newsletter are comprised of new and longtime donors, volunteers and employees, and other committed community members and stakeholders. Many of you are members of our Society for Redefining Vision, which is how we designate those donors who make significant annual gifts.
Others of you are members of our Legacy Society who have named the Lighthouse in your will or in another way, such as a charitable gift annuity. We could not create as many opportunities as we do without all of your support. Thank you for helping the Lighthouse succeed. Our success in turn empowers so many individuals in our community.
Your support has provided the tools necessary for the Lighthouse to reach numerous milestones throughout the organization.
In manufacturing, the Lighthouse has developed new products such as the Compression Stuff Sack for the Marine Corps. We are also continuing to see growth in the production of aerospace parts.
In our service businesses, we’re starting up a new round of Contract Management Service work in San Diego. And we are also continuing several contracts in our Contact Center, including a partnership with other organizations across the U.S.
Construction plans are underway for a new Base Supply Center at Fort Irwin, California. And in the coming year, we will be nearly doubling our space at Inland Northwest Lighthouse in Spokane.
Such achievements rely on strong business planning, but their success is also dependent on charitable support through our Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind Foundation. Charitable support makes the jobs possible by supporting critical accessibility measures, such as providing technology training and screen-reading software, educating employees on how to travel safely to and from work, and for interpreting in visual and tactile American Sign Language.
It takes a whole network of companies, organizations, and individuals to provide these supports which in turn allow the Lighthouse to employ approximately 240 individuals who are blind, Deaf-Blind, or blind with other disabilities. You are part of that network. We are grateful for your involvement and your generosity.
President & CEO