Debbie Dennis of Oncor Elected During November Board of Trustees Meeting

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 5, 2020)—The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) today announced Debbie Dennis was elected as its new board chair during the November Board of Trustees meeting in the Bay Area. Dennis succeeds Russell Shaffer, who served as chair since 2017.

"I believe Debbie as our new board chair will help us further our mission to create a world of no limits for people who are blind or visually impaired,” said Kirk Adams, AFB President and CEO. “Her wealth of experience working across numerous areas of responsibility at Oncor, coupled with her driving commitment to serve others, will strengthen AFB as we work to create a more level, inclusive playing field in the workplace, the classroom and communities around the nation.”

Dennis is Chief Customer Officer and Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Corporate Affairs at Oncor Electric Delivery, the largest energy delivery company in Texas. Her areas of responsibility include community relations, economic development, branding and communications, as well as all human resource planning, to name just a few. She also oversees the strategic direction of Oncor’s philanthropy, community involvement and employee engagement initiatives.

In addition to her new role as AFB’s board chair, Dennis serves on the Board of the Dallas Regional Chamber and several non-profit boards including the Baylor Scott & White Health and Wellness Institute Board and the Dallas Regional Chamber Executive Women’s Roundtable Board. She is also a member of the Texas Women’s Foundation Economic Leadership Council and a member of the AHA Dallas Heart Walk 2019 Executive Leadership Team.

Dennis was a recipient of the 2019 Audrey Kaplan Inspiring Women Southwest Award from the Southwest Jewish Congress and an honoree of the Dallas Business Journal’s 2018 Women in Business. She is a graduate of Leadership America, Leadership Texas, Leadership Dallas and a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors, Dallas Assembly, International Women’s Forum and Executive Women’s Roundtable.

Dennis holds a Bachelor of Science from Oklahoma State University and is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management.

“It has always been an honor to serve the American Foundation for the Blind, whether as a donor, at a board meeting, or now as board chair,” Dennis said. “It is a responsibility I take very seriously. AFB has addressed the most pressing needs of people with vision loss for nearly 100 years, and we must continue to advocate and effect positive change into our next century and beyond.”

Other board changes included naming Diane Fazzi and Barbara Rifkind as co-vice chairs. Ted Francavilla was named Treasurer, and Melanie Herman was named Secretary. In October 2019, AFB also welcomed three new members to its board: Pedro Alfonso, Sean Callagy, and Louis Fox.

About The American Foundation for the Blind
Founded in 1921, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is a national nonprofit that creates a world of no limits for people who are blind or visually impaired. AFB mobilizes leaders, advances understanding, and champions impactful policies and practices using research and data. AFB is proud to steward the Helen Keller Archive, maintain and expand the digital collection, and honor the more than 40 years that Helen Keller worked tirelessly with AFB. Visit: