[tabi] Re: Lighthouse of the Big Bend hires new director

  • From: "Laurie Davis" <davisllb@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 18 Oct 2015 17:23:15 -0400

I think that the new director will be successful, if the Board takes Lynda's
suggestion and hires a Director of Client Services who knows about the
education and rehabilitation of the blind. Then, she will be able to do the
administration and fund-raising and not have to work till late at night just to
get everything done.
When I worked there, we didn't have the birth to five children or the
transitions program and all those in-house classes. That seems a lot for just
one person to deal with.
When my husband used to work for two different NPR stations, one here in town
and the other in Miami, each station had a station manager who knew all about
the inner workings of radio and a dedicated development director who dealt with
fund-raising and grant-writing and ran the membership drives. The NPR stations
are very successful by doing it this way.
Mr. Seale tried to do all of it, despite the fact that development was
definitely not his strong point and that the Vision Awareness Month and White
Cane Day were during October, during the United Way's black-out period. We
were a United Way-affiliated agency at the time. I remember him talking about
staying at the office until late in the evening and taking work home and on
vacation with him.
Skip Koch also tried to do all of it. He has development in his background, as
well as special education, although not vision teaching.
I really hope we can encourage them to take this approach, because I think the
Agency is big enough and there is too much diverse work for just one person.

-----Original Message-----
From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
Norine Labitzke
Sent: Sunday, October 18, 2015 4:13 PM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: Lighthouse of the Big Bend hires new director

Sorry for not being more specific - my comments were directed to all, but with
special emphasis on those being overly negative (in my opinion); not you, Lynda
or Laurie (with apologies to others offering more positive feedback than I am
currently remembering; it seems vision loss rehab cannot cure or rehab all
memory loss problems of age as well).

Reading many of these negative posts makes me feel sad the new director and
others may feel they are reflective of the blind community; they are not
reflective of me and what I believe to be the "silent majority" who are
positive, supportive, and caring. I want success for her and the board, and
feel we are now in a position to offer positive suggestions for changes to her
and the board. I am willing to support and encourage the new director and
board, hopefully offer positive suggestions, as I am sure most of the others on
this list are. Norine

-----Original Message-----
From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
Chip and Allie Orange
Sent: Sunday, October 18, 2015 3:23 PM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: Lighthouse of the Big Bend hires new director

Well put Elizabeth.

Norine, I hope you feel I was trying to move forward with constructive ideas;
it wasn't clear who you were replying to. I do like your quote about digging
in our heals.

Chip


-----Original Message-----
From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
Elizabeth S Bowden
Sent: Sunday, October 18, 2015 3:17 PM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: Lighthouse of the Big Bend hires new director

I see your point.
I know that when I was on the board of FIRE, clients were not invited to give
any suggestions as to service improvements, or processes. I believe that is
still the case now. A form could be developed for the web page where people
could leave comments, which would not be considered a survey. Since some
people don't have the ability to use the computer, a voice mailbox could also
be set up for callers to leave voice comments. Someone could transcribe them.
As of now, the Lighthouse, its board and staff exist in a bubble consisting of
only those who have been served. It would be good if clients board members and
staff were encouraged to become a part of the blindness community.



-----Original Message-----
From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
Norine Labitzke
Sent: Sunday, October 18, 2015 2:40 PM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: Lighthouse of the Big Bend hires new director

Let's move forward. The decision is made. She will be able to serve all of us
better if we begin with encouragement and positive suggestions. Perhaps
letting the board also know of your positive suggestion and ideas would be a
good idea. As a previous member and president of the board, I do not ever
recall receiving input from the visually impaired community, staff, or clients;
perhaps this avenue needs to be explored further. The negativity on this
subject I have read on this list would not be helpful or inspiring to me as a
board member, director, or human being. Constructive criticisms are ok; they
can be good if accompanied by helpful suggestions. "Digging in our heels only
results in sore feet." Norine.

-----Original Message-----
From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
Chip and Allie Orange
Sent: Sunday, October 18, 2015 1:56 PM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: Lighthouse of the Big Bend hires new director

Hi robert,

If it was me, one way would be to continually survey anyone who came through
the Lighthouse for anything. Not just once (immediately after services when
most people are feeling all warm and fuzzy about their instructor), but 6
months and a year and 2 years later; asking them to judge how well the services
prepared them for whatever they wanted to do.

I'd have a different survey anyone in the community could take on interacting
with personnel from the Lighthouse (as many of us have more casual
interactions). All surveys would of course be annonymous. Their would be a
way to enter annonymous suggestions on the web site/social media, so the
director could be made aware of possible problems.

And finally, a good administrator will be able to learn who's trying to do a
good job, and who's just trying to fill out the time sheet; and as others have
pointed out, there should be a head of rehab services who will give the
director this information as well.

I am not saying that you and others don't have a good point, but you made it
(presumably) to the board, and they believe this is the better approach, so at
this point we need to give the new director a chance.

Chip


-----Original Message-----
From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
Robert Miller
Sent: Sunday, October 18, 2015 1:34 PM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: Lighthouse of the Big Bend hires new director

So how does she know if her Braille teacher is doing a good job or if her
technology teachers are doing a good job and keeping up with the latest and not
the necessarily gratest? How does she know if the clients are being tought
good safe techniques in cooking, home repair and mobility.

Robert


-----Original Message-----
From: Chip and Allie Orange
Sent: Sunday, October 18, 2015 1:01 PM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: Lighthouse of the Big Bend hires new director

I can expect this of anyone who is a good administrator; they can see what
their organization's mission is, review personnel records to see if anyone
doesn't qualify to do the job they hold, and take appropriate action (to me,
that would be the mark of a good administrator in general, nothing to do with
what exactly they administer).

And also, I am agreeing with Linda and Norine, you need to give her a little
time to see what she does before condeming her.

Chip


-----Original Message-----
From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
Robert Miller
Sent: Sunday, October 18, 2015 10:21 AM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: Lighthouse of the Big Bend hires new director

Chip,

How can you expect some one to do this if they don't have experience in that
area.
someon

-----Original Message-----
From: Chip and Allie Orange
Sent: Saturday, October 17, 2015 7:29 PM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: Lighthouse of the Big Bend hires new director

Yes, but this gives the new director the opportunity to examine current
employees (I'm thinking of the ones who have no credentials for the job that
they hold), and do something about such an undesirable situation (especially if
it's a result of nepotism). We should give her the chance to improve the
reputation of the Lighthouse, or see if it's just going to be business as usual.
We can hope for the best.

Chip


-----Original Message-----
From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
Elizabeth S Bowden
Sent: Saturday, October 17, 2015 6:30 PM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: Lighthouse of the Big Bend hires new director

I agree with Nancy and Laurie,
Since it was founded, Lighthouse of the Big Bend has had the reputation of
being an agency who hired anyone regardless of qualifications to provide
training. There have been throughout the years, several instances when blind
people working at the Lighthouse of the Big Bend were treated badly because
sighted staff wanted to feel superior to them and so had them removed.
This attitude is still practiced today. Unfortunately, the Division of Blind
Services makes no provision for ADA violators in their contracts. I guess that
says something about service quality and quality of life expected of clients
served.
And you wonder why most agencies are not trustworthy?


-----Original Message-----
From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
Norine Labitzke
Sent: Saturday, October 17, 2015 4:42 PM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: Lighthouse of the Big Bend hires new director

Let's give her and staff a chance! These previous posts seem unfair and
prejudgmental to me, and not reflective of the more positive and open traits I
have experienced with most in the visually impaired community. Why create
stress and pressure for her from day one? She might appreciate positive
comments and suggestions. For me, I say "welcome" and look forward to the new
ways you may have to make Lighthouse better. I will help any ways I can.
Norine -----Original Message-----
From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
Laurie Davis
Sent: Saturday, October 17, 2015 4:20 PM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: Lighthouse of the Big Bend hires new director

Hi, Nancy,

I checked out her profile and I agree with you.
Training for blind people has to be specific to our disability, especially
where daily living and communications skills are concerned. I believe that the
way public education is done nowadays, blind kids are lumped in with other
disabled students and they only get a couple periods a week with an itinerant
vision teacher, instead of a resource teacher who is at the school at all times
and can be seen by the student as needed. . There is not enough time to work
on the needed skills that are blind-specific.
When I worked for the Lighthouse years ago, when it was Independence for the
Blind, there was always the controversy over whether the State agency for the
Blind, (DBS) should be kept in the Department of Education or moved to
Department of Labor and merged with DVR. The argument we always had was that
the services needed by blind people are different from those with other
disabilities and that merging them would leave the needs of blind people out.

-----Original Message-----
From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
Nancy Folsom
Sent: Saturday, October 17, 2015 3:32 PM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: Lighthouse of the Big Bend hires new director

If history servs me correctly, Division of Blind Services didn't fare well when
a Director with some experience with the blind and visually impaired was hired.
Odds are that history will repeat itself, especially if there is a pliable
Assistant Director who is easily influenced by suggestion. . In reviewing the
job announcement for the position, I rediscovered that there was no requirement
that candidates have experience working with the blind or visually impaired,
only experience with persons with disabilities was required. If we the blind
believe that training needs are so specific that an agency serving the blind
should not be assimilated in to Vocational Rehabilitation, the difference is
not important to the Board of Directors of the Lighthouse of the Big Bend. We
all know what comes of hiring staff who have a high school diploma and
administrative experience with agencies serving the disabled such as Easter
Seals. I looked up the new Executive Director on linkedin w
ith the following results. See what you think??
Same novel different writer.

https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=ADEAAAH18KoBdCq94KYN6TFCYPpGuPR2mU8VCTE&authType=NAME_SEARCH&authToken=z5s-&locale=en_US&srchid=3971505621445104634272&srchindex=1&srchtotal=1&trk=vsrp_people_res_name&trkInfo=VSRPsearchId%3A3971505621445104634272%2CVSRPtargetId%3A32895146%2CVSRPcmpt%3Aprimary%2CVSRPnm%3Atrue%2CauthType%3ANAME_SEARCH

-----Original Message-----
From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
Owen Mccaul
Sent: Saturday, October 17, 2015 10:05 AM
To: TABI@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Lighthouse of the Big Bend hires new director

From today's Democrat:

Lighthouse of the Big Bend, a non-profit which guides people through vision
loss, named a new executive director Friday.

Kim Galbán-Countryman will serve as the organization’s fourth director,
succeeding Barbara Ross who resigned due to health matters. Ross has been the
executive director since 2004. Her resignation takes effect Nov. 3.

Galbán-Countryman, who will assume the new position and go through a transition
period starting Oct. 19, most recently served as assistant director at the Big
Bend Homeless Coalition.



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