Diana Soto named IFB Solutions 2021 Overall Employee of the Year

Contact: Melissa Stanz, Two B Public Relations, melissa@twobpr.com, 828.768.1202

WINSTON-SALEM, NC (April 23, 2021) – Diana Soto, who moved to Winston-Salem from Puerto Rico with her husband Kelvin, is the 2021 IFB Solutions Overall Employee of the Year. This award goes to a blind or visually impaired person who goes above and beyond their job description to demonstrate initiative and a positive attitude. IFB Solutions is the largest employer of people who are blind in the U.S., with facilities in Winston-Salem and Asheville, NC, and Little Rock, AR. The nonprofit employs more than 1,000 people.

Soto is now nominated for the National Industries for the Blind Peter J. Salmon Employee of the Year Award, to be announced this May. The national award recipient is chosen from more than 100 National Industry for the Blind organizations nationwide representing some 5,500 employees.

“Diana is an enthusiastic team player, produces quality work, and is dedicated to her job and our organization’s mission,” said David Horton, IFB Solutions CEO. “Her managers admire her willingness to do any job, her positive attitude and her initiative. She is a cherished employee and friend to so many here at IFB.”

Born with a condition called RP (retina pigmentosa), Soto is visually impaired, especially when she comes inside after being in the sun. Her eyes must readjust to see what’s in front of her such as shadows and movements. Her peripheral vision is good, so she turns to the side to make eye contact with people.

“After joining IFB Solutions I knew I had been blessed with an amazing opportunity for my career. I hope that my contributions will serve as a reference to continue planting new seeds in my professional life. Even though I have lost some of my sight, I will never lose my vision for a fulfilling future,” said Soto.

Soto began working at IFB in 2018. In addition to her manufacturing job as a sewing machine operator in Advanced Combat Shirts, she volunteers at the organization by translating company information into Spanish and teaching English to her Spanish-speaking colleagues. She is also a writer for IFB’s Insider employee newsletter.

During the Covid pandemic, she demonstrated extraordinary flexibility when she was transferred from her manufacturing job to care for employees’ children when schools and daycares closed. By doing this job, many IFB employees were able to continue working and earning a paycheck during the pandemic.

Read Diana’s blog post at https://ifbsolutions.org/losing-my-sight-but-not-my-vision/

Headshot photo of Diana-Marie
Diana Soto, IFB Solutions 2021 Overall Employee of the Year




IFB Solutions is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1936 that provides employment, training and services for people who are blind or visually impaired. As the largest employer of people who are blind in the United States, IFB operates manufacturing facilities in Winston-Salem, N.C., Asheville, N.C., and Little Rock, Ark., in addition to operating nearly 20 office supply stores across the country and producing mattresses. IFB produces eyewear under its Twenty200 brand at its Winston-Salem lab and operates a retail location in Winston-Salem. IFB Solutions funds employee training and services as well as community programs through grants and private donations, making possible summer camps, afterschool programs and activities for children who are blind, and Community Low Vision services through its low-vision Centers across North Carolina and in Little Rock, Ark. ifbsolutions.org