Kirk Adams is president and CEO of the American Foundation for the Blind.
It is my pleasure to be in Washington, D.C., welcoming attendees to the 31st American Foundation for the Blind Leadership Conference, and my first as president and CEO of AFB.
We are delighted to have a record number of attendees this year, as well as a record number of exhibitors, including our lead exhibit sponsor, Humanware.
I want to thank our conference co-host, Virginia AER, and conference ally, VisionServe Alliance, as well as our partners:
- Association of Vision Rehabilitation Therapists
- Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind
- Maryland School for the Blind
- National Industries for the Blind
- Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired
And this conference would not be possible without the generous support of sponsors like JPMorgan Chase, Delta Gamma Foundation, the Consumer Technology Association™ (CTA), Google, the National Association of Broadcasters, Perkins School for the Blind, Verizon, and Sprint.
I want to congratulate Robert (Bob) Vetere, senior workplace accommodation specialist with Northrop Grumman’s Global Corporate Responsibility organization, who is being honored with the 2017 Stephen Garff Marriott Award today. Over the course of his tenure at Northrop Grumman, a global security company with approximately 65,000 employees, Bob has contributed to a workplace that has been lauded for its commitment to diversity and inclusion.
From left to right: Mari Snyder, Vice President of Social Responsibility at Marriott International, Bob Vetere, senior workplace accommodation specialist with Northrop Grumman’s Global Corporate Responsibility organization, Kirk Adams, president and CEO of AFB, and Wes Bush, chairman, CEO, and president of Northrop Grumman.
We are also honored to have with us a past Marriott Award recipient, Russell Schaffer. Russell is Senior Manager of Global Culture, Diversity and Inclusion at Walmart. He is moderating a panel discussion today with Bob and Denna Lambert, disabilities program manager at NASA, on workplace advancement and mentoring.
We are looking forward to a lively, educational conference that includes the AccessWorld tech summit, an education track, a transition summit, and major policy discussions.