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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

American Foundation for the Blind Welcomes Three New Trustees From Sun Microsystems, Ebony magazine, and Western Michigan University


Carrie Fernandez
(212) 502-7674 or

November 24, 2003 (New York)—During an October 2003 convening of its Board of Trustees, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) announced the election of three distinguished board members: Bill MacGowan, Vice President of Human Resources, Global Centers of Expertise, Sun Microsystems; Walter Leavy, Managing Editor, Johnson Publishing Co. (Ebony magazine); and William R. Wiener, Dean, The Graduate College, Western Michigan University.

"AFB has always relied upon the hard work and dedication of our Board," said Denny Scott, Chairperson of AFB's Board. "I look forward to working with them to further enhance AFB's efforts to eliminate the inequities faced by people who are blind or visually impaired."

Bill MacGowan joined Sun Microsystems in 1998 to lead Human Resources (HR) for Sun's Enterprise Services (ES) division, played a pivotal role in transitioning the ES headquarters from the Bay Area to its Colorado location, and helped to expand a number of Sun organizations. As Vice President of the HR Global Center of Expertise, MacGowan manages a global HR workforce, with responsibilities for functions such as Sun Microsystem's worldwide Compensation and Benefits, and Employee Leadership and Development.

Since 1980, Walter Leavy has held several editorial positions at Ebony magazine, in which he was responsible for writing and editing a wide range of articles, directing production, conceptualizing special projects, and contributing to the improvement of the overall look of the magazine. In his current position of Managing Editor, he coordinates the efforts of writers, photographers, art directors, photo engravers, and copy editors. Also a member of the editorial board, Leavy helps to direct the focus of Ebony.

William R. Wiener continues to lead an active and accomplished career in the blindness field, specializing in Orientation & Mobility (O & M), or specialized instruction for visually impaired individuals that leads to safe and independent travel. Wiener has authored numerous articles in highly respected academic journals, and he has conducted several research projects relating to issues surrounding O & M. His awards include the 2002 Newcomer-Hill National Service Award for the Profession of Orientation & Mobility and the 1996 Lawrence E. Blaha Award for Excellence.

"These three new board members will bring a wide variety of perspectives and experiences to the table," said Carl R. Augusto, AFB President & CEO. "Their talents and input will no doubt prove invaluable to AFB in the coming years."

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The American Foundation for the Blind—the organization to which Helen Keller devoted more than 40 years of her life—is a national nonprofit whose mission is to eliminate the inequities faced by the ten million Americans who are blind or visually impaired.

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