American Foundation for the Blind Welcomes Five New Trustees
December 5, 2007 (New York,NY)—During a November 2007 convening of its Board of Trustees, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) announced the election of five distinguished board members: Cathy Burns, Huntington-Ironton Empowerment Zone; A. Jonathan Trafimow, Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.; Jeff Thom, California Legislative Counsel Bureau; James R. Fisher, Fisher Capital Corp LLC; and Shafiq A. Khan, Marriott International.
"These five individuals bring a plethora of experiences and perspectives to the table that are sure to prove invaluable to AFB in years to come," said Richard J. O'Brien, Chair of AFB's Board of Trustees and Managing Director of Summit Asset Management. "They are all acclaimed leaders in their respective fields and I look forward to working with each of them."
"It gives me great pleasure to welcome this diverse, accomplished group of professionals to AFB's Board," said Carl R. Augusto, AFB President and CEO. "Their knowledge and guidance will certainly help fulfill AFB's mission to expand possibilities for people with vision loss."
Cathy Burns is the Executive Director of the Huntington-Ironton Empowerment Zone and is also presently serving as Director of Ohio University Southern Business Training Resource Center. As Executive Director, she administers the economic development initiative for Lawrence County, Ohio, and Cabell County, West Virginia. Under Ms. Burns' direction, more than 2,000 jobs have been created through new business development and/or business expansions since 1999. As the Business Training Resource Director, she assists businesses in Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky with their training and personnel needs by coordinating classes in the areas of safety, computers, industrial maintenance, management, and specialized training. In 2007 she was named Business Person of the Year by the Herald-Dispatch. Ms. Burns received her Master's Degree in Public Administration from Eastern Kentucky University and her undergraduate degree from Marshall University.
A. Jonathan Trafimow is a member of Epstein Becker & Green, P.C., and works in their Labor and Employment Practice Group. Mr. Trafimow represents employers in many areas, such as workplace discrimination, retaliation, harassment, defamation and civil rights claims, and class actions. He counsels employers on aspects of employment relations laws, policies and prevention, collective bargaining, wage and hour matters, employee handbooks and policies, severance packages, employment agreements, and other issues. Mr. Trafimow graduated from New York University School of Law in 1989 and the University of Chicago in 1986, and was admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second and Eleventh Circuits, the United States District Courts for the Southern, Eastern, and Northern Districts of New York and the Northern District of Illinois, and the states of New York and Illinois. Mr. Trafimow frequently writes and lectures on employment law topics in venues throughout the United States.
Jeff Thom is a Principal Deputy Legislative Counsel at the California Legislative Counsel Bureau, where he supervises a unit of attorneys that provides legislative drafting and legal opinion writing services in the areas of health and human services and workers' compensation. Since 2003, Mr. Thom has served as the President of the California Council of the Blind, the largest advocacy organization of persons with visual impairments in California, and is also a member of the Board of Directors of the American Council of the Blind. He received his J.D. degree from Stanford University in 1978 and his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Willamette University.
James R. Fisher serves as the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Fisher Capital Corp LLC in Cranbury, New Jersey. Mr. Fisher specializes in developing undervalued property casualty insurance companies. He is currently a member of the National World War II Museum's Board of Trustees and Lafayette College's Board. He received an undergraduate degree in Economics from Lafayette College.
Shafiq A. Khan is responsible for leading Marriott's eCommerce initiatives. This includes Marriott.com, which is the lodging industry's largest web site with estimated gross sales of $5 billion in 2007, Marriott's participation and relationships with all online channels including Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline and Orbitz, as well with all global distribution systems (GDS) including Sabre, Cendant/Galileo, Worldspan, and Amadeus, and the emerging online travel intermediaries that include search engines such as Google and Yahoo and meta-search engines such as SideStep and Kayak. Mr. Khan's prior background includes marketing for United Airlines, where he pioneered a series of groundbreaking initiatives, including the development and launch of the airline industry's first online booking product, Priority TravelWorks, and electronic ticking, which fundamentally restructured airline distribution channels. In addition, Mr. Kahn provided management consulting with Booz Allen & Hamilton International, and marketing and sales assignments with Pakistan International Airlines, in Pakistan and in France. Mr. Khan received an MBA from the Harvard Business School and an economics degree from the Punjab University in Lahore, Pakistan. He is currently a member of the eBusiness Advisory Board of Towson University and the Advisory Board of OPEN (Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs of North America). His prior board assignments include the Airline Reporting Corporation and the Harvard Business School Club of Washington D.C.