Marybeth Clare became the leader of the group in March after being encouraged by Justin Morgan, Director of Retail Operations for Envision Xpress and Nikki Gathard, Regional Manager over the Eastern Envision Xpress BSC’s. “After Nikki and Justin had a series of visits to different BSC’s, they recognized a great desire from many BVI employees to learn more about Envision as a whole,” said Marybeth Clare, a Cashier/Stocker at the Xpress BSC in Mountain Home, Idaho, and the National Industries for the Blind 2023 Employee of the Year. “Many were craving a place where they could express concerns or troubles in a community of people with similar needs and experiences. After this visit, Nikki and Justin came back and asked me if I would be interested in creating and leading a group with these goals in mind. I said yes!”
The first few months of establishing the group consisted of Clare calling individual BVI employees at different BSC’s, getting to know them better and asking them questions about their own needs and what they might like to explore within the new group being formed. The group currently has 40 members which includes managers and assistant managers of different BSC’s. The first speaker for the group happened in June and featured Blake Lindsay, Envision Dallas Outreach Manager, who was able to share his life story and his advocacy and leadership for the blind and visually impaired community. November of this year marks the tenth meeting of Sightless Solutions, and topics have ranged from Microsoft program skills, accessible products and tools for the workplace, the importance of advocacy with a government relations expert speaker and many opportunities to speak freely about different things happening within each BSC.
“I hope that our group will continue to grow and use the connections that we have,” said Clare. “I want to build a bridge that connects each BSC and Envision as a whole. Even though we are miles away we can still have that connection and support with one another. In the future, my goal would be to see this group expand to include other job roles and areas within Envision. I have also thought about doing some exercise with Toastmasters. When we make calls, do advocacy work, or even just working with customers one on one, having public speaking skills is very handy.”
When asked why Sightless Solutions is passionate to her, Clare responded, “I love this group and how it has brought us together. I am so grateful for everyone who participates, our speakers and for Nikki and Justin who saw the need and helped create something great. I encourage anyone to start groups like this in their department. It is so good for us to come together.” Clare is encouraging anyone who wants to learn more about Sightless Solutions or how they can implement similar groups in their own communities to contact her at email@example.com.
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