Melody Goodspeed joined AFB in 2018, originally as Manager of the Executive Office. In her current role as Major Gifts Specialist, Melody is responsible for securing financial resources through strategic and effective donor relations, building and managing major gift-level portfolios, and securing planned gifts. She actively engages with audiences from all walks of life, from the disability community to beyond, sharing the stories of AFB to potential donors about AFB’s progress and how the organization relies upon public engagement and gifts in order to create and effect positive systemic and societal change.

Prior to joining AFB, Melody had a variety of experiences, including teaching grade-school children with special emotional and learning needs. During this time, she woke up one morning with pinhole vision. She discovered she had an undiagnosed blood clot in her brain, placing pressure on the optic nerves, eventually resulting in full loss of vision.

Melody switched careers, moving into contract management, including various procurement positions of increasing responsibility. However, she felt like something was still missing. She is passionate about advocating for others and after coming to terms with her own vision loss wanted to be an advocate for others on their journey. She entered the blindness field as a public policy senior specialist at the National Industries for the Blind (NIB). Upon joining AFB, Melody brought along her passion for adaptive technology and self-advocacy as a blind person.

Since joining AFB, Melody has served as a mentor in the Blind Leaders Development Program, designed to increase upward mobility and create meaningful leadership experiences for blind employees in the beginning stages of their careers; and founded the Inform and Connect series, a weekly online meetup intended to foster camaraderie within the blindness community through informal storytelling and learning about relevant, interesting topics, such as audio description, music, and poetry, to name just a few.

Melody holds a bachelor’s in communications from George Mason University and is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) via the Co-Active Training Institute.