As we approach the end of the year, a period traditionally reserved for both reflection and celebration, I find that it is a good time to acknowledge the exceptional year we have experienced at Envision. This year marks a noteworthy milestone in our history – 90 years of dedicated service. I am eager to share with you the pivotal achievements we have realized in 2023, which are a direct reflection of your unwavering commitment and effort in perpetuating our esteemed legacy.
We renewed several long-term Envision Industries manufacturing contracts helping us to continue our mission of employing people who are blind or visually impaired.
Our Envision Xpress Base Supply Centers acquired a substantial product order that will set them up for success next fiscal year.
Our Envision Xpress Space Force Base in Aurora, Colorado won the Base Supply Center Excellence Award from the National Industries for the Blind while Xpress employee, Marybeth Clare, was awarded the 2023 NIB Employee of the Year Award for Direct Labor.
Through our partnership with Pratt Industries, we received an Environmental Impact Award, and together have saved millions of gallons of water, millions of kilowatt hours of power, thousands of trees and more natural resources.
Our powerful work and mission have created new partnerships with the State of Kansas leading to critical funding for mission service initiatives, including a significant DRAW grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce and the SPARK Executive Committee.
We successfully hosted our annual Evening with Envision Gala, and golf tournaments in both Wichita and Dallas, centered around celebrating our 90th year of service legacy with our generous partners, vendors and friends.
Exciting growth milestones in Dallas continue with us achieving our initial capital campaign goal thanks to our outstanding generous community of donors, marked by critical contributions from LC Industries Foundation, J.E. & L.E. Mabee Foundation, and Larry Kimbler. This campaign will accelerate the expansion of our services in North Texas with a new facility opening in spring 2024.
Dallas also secured several important contracts to allow for expansion of our manufacturing operations, services to the community and employment opportunities including ones with the State of Texas and several with the Defense Logistics Agency.
Dr. Amy Burcham inaugurated her practice, Beacon Vision Center, within Envision Dallas, enhancing care for the low vision community.
The Envision Arts Program and our partnership with Dallas sculptor Tomas Bustos, gained national attention with a feature on NBC Nightly News and will reappear on the Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist show, significantly amplifying our mission’s reach.
We received a generous pledge from BOSMA, one of our National Industries for the Blind sister agencies, to support important low vision research done at the Envision Research Institute.
Research Fellow Sarika Gopalakrishnan finished her research study, sponsored by Dave Sharma, becoming the first person in the world to publish research papers describing and comparing three different augmented reality devices in the field of low vision.
The Wichita Envision Vision Rehabilitation Center expanded its service radius and impact, reaching more individuals across Kansas.
A remodel of the P.R.I.D.E facility was completed with support from the State of Kansas, allowing consumers to enjoy modernized, accessible spaces that provide a variety of daily learning and employment opportunities of their choosing.
Free assistive technology and career-ready training classes for people who are blind or visually impaired were hosted by our Workforce Innovation Center, made possible by an ARPA grant from the City of Wichita.
Many new children were enrolled at our Child Development Center further bringing inclusivity to the forefront of childcare as we are the only vision-integrated early education center in the region providing comprehensive learning experiences and support to children and their families.
Over the summer, we hosted our annual Level Up Conference and Heather’s Camp programs that brought together students across the nation who are blind or visually impaired, so they gain the confidence to succeed in anything they set their minds to.
Strategic leadership changes were made and started with celebrating Noreen Carrocci's retirement while welcoming in Luis Rodriguez as the new Senior Vice President of Foundation and Mission Services. Patrick Tuttle joined the team as the new Senior Vice President of Operations and New Product Development, and Buddy Sell was promoted to the role of Executive Vice President of Government Channels and Chief Revenue Officer.
This overview, though comprehensive, merely scratches the surface of the vast array of accomplishments and stories that our dedicated teams have brought to fruition this year. We deeply appreciate your ongoing support and donations that enable us to continue our mission of serving individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
Wishing you all a safe and joyous holiday season and a prosperous new year.
With deepest gratitude,
Michael Monteferrante, Envision President and CEO