Each year, Lighthouse employees have the opportunity to nominate their peers and colleagues for one of two employee of the year awards. For more than 50 years, these awards have been a way of recognizing our legally blind employees for their outstanding performance. Learn more about each of the 12 nominees and why they were nominated below.


John Cashion, Production Worker, Spokane Facility

“John’s consistent upbeat demeanor is light hearted which brings others up and helps production hum along. He enhances the workplace for everyone and is very reliable as well.”

“Dealing with vision loss with a positive outlook has been a big part of John’s work. John has taken advantage of many Lighthouse training programs and services like braille and computer classes. Adapting to vision loss with fortitude and learning accessible technology has helped him immensely in his personal life as well.”

 John Lewis, Lead Production Worker – Litter, Seattle Facility

“John always has a positive and upbeat attitude.  He is excited and enthusiastic when working with others. He finds new ways to do specific tasks in order for people that are blind to be successful.”

“As the Lead, John keeps the area moving smoothly. In most cases he anticipates issues beforehand and resolves them before they impact the work.”

Dan O’Brien, Production Worker 2, Seattle Facility

“Dan is all about safety. He makes it his priority to keep himself and those around him safe.”

“Dan has gone above and beyond his duties as a shear operator. Taking on new tasks to improve the quality of work in the area as well as traceability and clear communication for all the material that passes through the area. His efforts have impacted the shop greatly and made overall operations smoother.”

Tesfa Habtemariam, Production Worker – Defense, Seattle Facility

“Tesfa is a very reliable worker. You can count on him doing the best that he can. His productivity is very high and makes a good quality product.”

“He always is willing to help out fellow co-workers. Tesfa always brings a positive attitude and tells his co-workers that they are working hard. He has learned some new skills and is a big help to his department.”

Brandon Spence, CNC Machinist 1, Seattle Facility

“Brandon’s dependability is excellent. His progress in his area has been great.”

“His job performance is great not just in quality and quantity, but also his ability to figure things out on his own and help those around him when needed.”


David Geary, HR/Legal Project Manager and Corporate Secretary, Seattle Facility

“Much of the work David does is “behind the scenes” and may not be easily recognizable but that does not take away from the importance of his efforts. He is called upon to support many crucial functions of our organization and he does so admirably.”

David’s efforts during these pandemic times have been a great value to everyone that works here. He has been a major player in helping to keep the business up and running during these challenging times. The work he does has a very positive impact everyone that works here.”

Tim Paulding, ECS Services and Instructional Manager, Spokane Facility

“Tim is highly motivating and helps when and where needed. He is great at sharing new innovations and accommodations to the team when he finds something new that may work for more people than just him. Tim is a wealth of knowledge because of the dedication and research he puts in to making his life and job more accessible for himself.”

“He is a fantastic teacher who can adapt to the needs of the attendee, or participant. Tim represents every value the Lighthouse holds and is a great Lighthouse ambassador!”

Learn more about Tim’s work as an Orientation and Mobility instructor >>

Mike Scheschy, Production Manager, Seattle Facility

“Mike has been a stalwart employee in our aerospace division since he arrived at the Lighthouse in 1990 as a basic production worker. His talents were quickly recognized by management. Exhibiting strong leadership ability, Mike was eventually promoted to Machine Shop Manager, creating a solid foundation for Lighthouse aerospace manufacturing for years.

Mike has completed advanced education provided by the National Industries for the Blind called Business Management Training or BMT giving him a robust background for his managerial position.

Consistently showing a steady, calm manner Mike deals with all employees in a fair, professional manner, so is highly respected by management and production personnel alike.”

Shawn Dobbs, Senior Director of Talent Acquisition, Spokane Facility

“Shawn contributes to the success of the Lighthouse mission daily by supporting every department in finding and hiring successful employees. He demonstrates a professional approach, and is positive and kind.”

“Shawn works on projects to support other departments, and brings his unique skill sets to those projects. He also is a good role model for others in that he uses all kinds of technology and other tools available to people who are blind, and is always out and about doing something interesting.  He is the only employee who has worked at each of our manufacturing sites, and has excelled in many different roles along the way.”

Katy Todd, Braille Services Specialist and Support Employee Advocate, Seattle Facility

“Katy has a great attitude and others enjoy working with her. She also has a good work ethic.”

“Katy transferred to her new post in the Accessibility program and she has been doing very well.  She usually finishes up her tasks there and then comes to help out in the machine shop during the evening, where she also is very helpful.”

Melinda Slovernick, Administrative Assistant BSC, Seattle Facility

“Melinda’s positivity is refreshing and allows for more confidence in communicating needs or information amongst our team members.”

“She is very charismatic and cheers the stores on to success. Her team spirit is shown      through her gregarious attitude, her care and concern for her team members when faced with questions and concerns, and her phone etiquette as many stores are separated by distance from home office.”

David Haney, Store Manager, Fort Lewis Main BSC

“David has exemplified himself as an outstanding and dependable employee over the past 14 years of service with LHB working in Manufacturing and the Base Supply Centers. During this tenure, he has been a consistent fixture at work and engaging with both his employees but also customers. He has been identified as a role model for peers and supervisors causing others to raise their performance to his level.”

“David has an extraverted personality that enables him to work with others well and he has established an inclusionary attitude. He welcomes all people to work as a team and show their individual talents. This has produced a happier workforce that are more inclined to present before others and build their confidence.”

“His maturity, selfless service, and work ethic assisted in him excelling in all positions he has served. David is an amazing addition to the organization and has set himself above his peers.”