“I’m a self-starter; I don’t like to rely on other people unless it’s absolutely needed,” said Dana Van Dussen, Senior Director of Human Resources and Lighthouse’s 2020 Indirect Labor Employee of the Year. She has led a successful 15-year career at the Lighthouse working in human resources.
Upward mobility is a key tenet in the Lighthouse mission, along with providing services such as computer technology training, orientation and mobility, braille instruction, and other courses, all to support employees in a successful career at the Lighthouse and beyond.
We thank Katy for her commitment to the Lighthouse and its mission. During her 25 years of service on our Board of Trustees, Katy was involved with the initial opening of the Base Supply Center business, participated in the expansion process to our Spokane and South Carolina locations, played a part in hiring the Organization’s first CEO who is blind (Kirk Adams) and was instrumental in the recruitment and hiring of our current President and CEO, Cindy Watson.
“Being blind has never stopped me from doing things that sighted people do,” said Karl Schaeffler, Set-Up Specialist at The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. Karl was elected as the 2020 Raymond. W. Haman Direct Employee of the Year.
The DeafBlind program provided 843 hours of direct services in FY20, most of which occurred prior to the onset of the pandemic. The majority of those service hours consisted of American Sign Language (ASL) classes, taught by DeafBlind instructors to groups of Lighthouse employees in the workplace.
When Governor Inslee initially made the “stay at home” order in March of 2020, The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. moved swiftly to ensure the safety of all our employees in all our facilities across the U.S.
In 2021, the Lighthouse will open the Coast Guard BSC in Seattle, WA and two new stores in coordination with General Services Administration to support the Navy in California. This growth marks a milestone for both the Lighthouse and NIB.
Not only is making high quality products for our customers paramount to our organization, but also our imperative to create diverse, sustainable, and meaningful employment opportunities for people who are blind, DeafBlind, and blind with other disabilities.
It is with hope and confidence that I will be passing the torch of Foundation Board presidency to longtime friend of the Lighthouse, Brad Wiens. I will be remaining on the board, and I am excited to see the fabulous work we have started continue to flourish under Brad’s leadership.