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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

20th Annual Helen Keller Achievement Awards

20th Annual Helen Keller Achievement Awards, June 16, 2016. Illustration of J.W. Marriott Essex House with signposts 

reading Comcast NBCUniversal, JPMorgan Chase and Co, and Rebecca Alexander

The Helen Keller Achievement Awards were established by AFB in 1994 to acknowledge Keller's extraordinary efforts and promote the notable achievements of individuals and organizations that have improved quality of life for people with disabilities.

Save The Date!

Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.
New York City


  • Comcast NBCUniversal
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Rebecca Alexander, LCSW-R, MPH

Master of Ceremonies

  • David Ushery, Anchor, NBC 4 New York


J.W. Marriott Essex House New York
160 Central Park South
New York City

There will be a reception, silent auction, and dinner with live music. For reservations or to place an acknowledgment in the dinner journal, please contact Suzette Williams, e-mail: or call: (212) 502-7621. Online reservations and payments

Proceeds from this stellar fundraising gala will enable us to continue to provide our vital programs and services that remove barriers, create opportunities, and expand possibilities for people with vision loss. Your generous support is tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Past awardees include leaders from business such as Apple, Genentech, and Vanda Pharmaceuticals as well as giants from the performing arts including Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, and Patty Duke.

Honorary Chairs

J.W. Marriott, Jr.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Marriott International, Inc.

Alex Trebek
Host of Jeopardy!

Dinner Chairs

Peter Alexander
National Correspondent
NBC News

Dana Deasy
Global Chief Information Officer
JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Alison Starling
Anchor, WJLA-TV
Washington, D.C.

Tony G. Werner
Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer
Comcast Cable

Dinner Committee

Lori B. Adair
Account Executive
Marriott International, Inc.

Dina M. Grilo
Program Manager, Office of Nonprofit Engagement
JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Matthew Kaplowitz
President and Chief Creative Officer
Bridge Multimedia

Steven Restivo
Executive Director
Corporate Communications - Consumer Products
Comcast Corporation

Christine Warren
Director, Client Success




The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation
Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc.


Hewlett Packard Enterprise

About AFB’s 20th Annual Helen Keller Achievement Award Honorees

Comcast Corporation is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the nation's largest video, high-speed Internet and phone providers to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. NBCUniversal operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures, and Universal Parks and Resorts.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is a worldwide leader in financial products and services from retail and commercial banking to online and mobile-based platforms. It continually seeks to improve its product lines so that consumers and clients with disabilities can take full advantage of all the company has to offer.

Rebecca Alexander, LCSW-R, MPH is a psychotherapist who works with individuals, couples, and groups, specializing in the treatment of addiction, anxiety, and mood disorders. She is a Lululemon Athletica ambassador and an extreme athlete who teaches spin classes. In 2015, she climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and swam from Alcatraz to shore in the San Francisco Bay. Rebecca began losing her vision and hearing as a teenager due to Usher Syndrome type III, a rare genetic disorder, and now has just 10 degrees of vision and is completely deaf without the use of a hearing aid and a cochlear implant. Read more in her memoir: Not Fade Away - A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found. Her determination to live a rich and meaningful life while achieving her goals, is inspiring people with and without disabilities across the globe.

David Ushery is the Emmy award-winning Anchor for NBC 4 New York’s 5:30 P.M. Monday through Friday newscast and at 12-noon Thursday and Friday. He has covered many breaking news stories including Hurricane Sandy, the Newtown elementary school shootings, and papal news from the Vatican in Rome. Previously, he was the lead evening reporter for WFSB-TV in Hartford, Connecticut and reported for the Hartford Courant and the Los Angeles Times. He has won numerous awards including the national and New York Emmys, the Edward R. Murrow Award, and the Excellence in Journalism Award from the Public Relations Society of America.

Vivienne Heston
tel: (212) 502-7625

For reservations or dinner journal information: Suzette Williams
tel: (212) 502-7621
email: Online reservations and payments.

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