NEW YORK (January 9, 2017)—The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has named Robert (Bob) Vetere, senior workplace accommodation specialist with Northrop Grumman’s Global Corporate Responsibility organization, the recipient of the 2017 Stephen Garff Marriott Award. The award honors a blind or visually impaired individual who has served as an extraordinary mentor or who has attained remarkable professional success.
“For nearly 40 years, Bob has been an emphatic and dedicated voice for workplace equality, not just at Northrop Grumman, but for businesses throughout the country,” said Kirk Adams, AFB president and CEO. “His mentorship and leadership by example set the standard, and I am incredibly pleased to recognize Bob’s countless contributions with the 2017 Stephen Garff Marriott Award.”
In his current role, Vetere oversees the reasonable accommodation process at Northrop Grumman, a global security company with approximately 65,000 employees. Over the course of his tenure there, he has held roles of increasing responsibility, and has contributed to a workplace that has been lauded for its commitment to diversity and inclusion. He created the Victory Over Impairment & Challenge Enterprise Employee Resource Group and has been instrumental in Operation IMPACT, another company initiative that aims to provide career opportunities to severely injured service personnel or the primary wage earner if the service person is unable to work. These efforts and others led to Northrop Grumman being named a recipient of the 4th annual Disability Matters Award.
Vetere has served on the U.S. Business Leadership Network’s (USBLN) Corporate Advisory Board since 2011, and was elected as chairperson of the board in 2014. Earlier this year, he was selected as Mentor of the Year by USBLN and inducted into the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame by the National Disability Mentoring Coalition.
Vetere attended York College of Pennsylvania, where he pursued an accounting degree.
The Stephen Garff Marriott Award was established in honor of the late Stephen Garff Marriott, who lost his vision later in life and served as an exemplary role model to others with vision loss. He rose to the upper ranks at Marriott International through hard work and tenacity, and was known for being a talented executive, sales trainer and ambassador of the Marriott brand.
The Stephen Garff Marriott Award will be presented at the 2017 AFB Leadership Conference at the Crystal Gateway Marriott on March 2.
About AFB
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is a national nonprofit that expands possibilities for people with vision loss. AFB's priorities include broadening access to technology; elevating the quality of information and tools for the professionals who serve people with vision loss; and promoting independent and healthy living for people with vision loss by providing them and their families with relevant and timely resources. Headquartered in New York, AFB is proud to house the Helen Keller Archives and honor the more than 40 years that Helen Keller worked tirelessly with AFB.
About the American Foundation for the Blind Leadership Conference
The 2017 AFB Leadership Conference, sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co., Delta Gamma Foundation, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™ and CTA Foundation, among many others, seeks to improve the quality of programs and services to blind and visually impaired children and adults. The AFB Leadership Conference provides a forum in which leadership personnel in the blindness field have the opportunity to increase their awareness of student and client needs, expand their knowledge, refine leadership skills and share concerns and strategies.

Amanda Kolling
Communications and Marketing Manager
American Foundation for the Blind
Tel. (304) 710-3031