IFB Beat – Week of December 19, 2022

Quick Links:

News to Know
IFB Solutions Holiday Celebrations
2022 HOURLY Paid Time Off (PTO) Policy
Winston-Salem Cafeteria Lobby Sanitation Update
Promotion Announcement – Ernest Davidson – Winston-Salem Facility
Winston-Salem Employee Mattress Sale

Programs and Services
Volunteers Needed in Winston-Salem Location
See what S.E.E. is Doing!
Adult Support Group Meetings:

Community Low Vision Centers
CLVC Item of the Week
CLVC Item of the Month

Insider Corner
Connect with Faith Harding, Insider Corner Editor
Holiday safety tips for our four-legged family members

Community Connections
Mike Mote & the Learfield Panel Discussion on Disabilities
From the Tech-VI list owner: Just in time for the holidays!

HR and Opportunities
Announcing 2023 Voluntary Benefits Open Enrollment January 1, 2023 through January 13, 2023
Winston-Salem – Mobile Mammography Unit
Have FSA funds left over from 2022?
Open Positions

Support Group Zoom Meeting Links

News to Know

IFB Solutions Holiday Celebrations

Graphic with text "happy holidays"

WINSTON-SALEM: In lieu of a luncheon this year, we are excited to announce we will be celebrating the holidays ALL DAY on Wednesday, December 21st!!! Festivities will include holiday music, cookies & hot chocolate during your regularly scheduled breaks, and giftbags for EVERYONE! At the end of the day, we’ll have prize drawings and 3 contests: best Ugly Sweater, best Santa Claus, and best Dressed Elf.
Winners will receive a $100 VISA gift card, but you must be present to win! So get ready to have a ton of fun celebrating this holiday season with your IFB friends and coworkers! (If interested in participating in any of the contests, please let your supervisor know by December 19).

LITTLE ROCK: Get ready to celebrate the holidays with our annual Christmas potluck party, held on Friday, December 23 at 12 noon. There will be a Christmas costume contest, and everyone will vote for their favorite costume. Prizes will be given to the 1st and 2nd place winners.


2022 HOURLY Paid Time Off (PTO) Policy

Please note IFB Solutions PTO policy for hourly employees:

  • If an employee’s PTO balance the last week of the calendar year is greater than zero, the balance, up to 40 hours, will be rolled over.
  • Any remaining hours (those over 40) will be paid out before January 31st, 2023 once employees have used PTO to cover any time off at the end of the year.
  • It is important to note, that any remaining balance at the end of the year will be locked from January 2nd, 2023 through January 8th, 2023 to ensure balances are whole/accurate for the payout calculations.
  • Any time off taken from Monday January 2nd, 2023 through January 8th, 2023 will be unpaid. Please note, employees may still be approved/excused to take time off during this period, however, supervisors should not code any PTO hours during that period (January 2nd, 2023 – January 8th, 2023).
  • Any hours beyond forty, will be paid out to employees on January 13th, 2023.

Supervisors and Managers, please cascade to your hourly employees.


Winston-Salem Cafeteria Lobby Sanitation Update

The cafeteria lobby (large room with tables and chairs) will be closed daily from 3:45pm – 4:30pm to allow ample time for deep cleaning and for the floors to dry. During this time the afternoon breaks should be over and there should be limited traffic in the cafeteria. We will monitor this change and adjust as needed. If you have any questions, please contact Angela Jordan at ajordan@ifbsolutions.org or ext. 5771. Thank you in advance for your cooperation!


Promotion Announcement

Ernest Davidson has been promoted to Facilities Manager at our Winston-Salem location. He will report directly to Angela Jordan and will oversee facilities maintenance and provide support for projects and events. Prior to assuming this role, Ernest was the AR Manager (Anti-Reflection) of our Optical lab where a high level of attention to detail and finding quick resolutions to problems was required. Ernest exemplifies IFB’s core values, specifically, mission possible, by embracing a positive outlook and seeing the potential in others.

To request assistance or report facilities related issues please send an email to facilities@ifbsolutions.org.

Congratulations Ernest!


Winston-Salem Employee Mattress Sale

IFB Solutions is clearing out inventory of commercial mattresses – this is a great opportunity to purchase a mattress made by your colleagues at a great price. Supplies are extremely limited and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and holds cannot be made. View the complete listing and details here.

To purchase: stop by the workstation (cubicle) of Mendy Hunt in the customer service area or call 336-245-5646. Payment is due at time of purchase, and mattresses must be picked up from the IFB Solutions Warehouse at 6180 Indiana Avenue on Thursdays in December (no delivery or disposal of old mattresses available).

Available items:

  • Universal Bed Frame for All Sizes ($25)
  • TWIN Boxspring ($99), Commodore Mattress ($150), and Extra Firm Mattress ($175)
  • FULL Commodore Mattress ($175), Standard Firm Mattress ($175), and Extra Firm Mattress ($175)
  • QUEEN Boxspring ($99) and Standard Firm Mattress ($185)
  • KING Standard Firm Mattress ($225) and Extra Firm Mattress ($275)

Mattress descriptions:

  • Commodore: pillow top (can be rotated, but not flipped) with quilted ticking in “Toast” color. 3″ foam topper for comfort.
  • Standard Firm: traditional innerspring (can be flipped) with quilted ticking in “Toast” color. 1.5″ of foam is built in for comfort.
  • Extra Firm: same as standard, but with firmer springs.

Questions? Call Mendy Hunt at 336-245-5646 or email at mhunt@ifbsolutions.org (note purchases cannot be made over email). For full details, see flyer here: http://ifbsolutions.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/IFB_WS_EmployeeMattressSale_Flyer_FINAL_12-4-22.pdf



Programs and Services

Volunteers Needed in Winston-Salem Location

Do you love to work out in the gym and familiar with various equipment? If the answer is yes, this volunteer opportunity is for you!

The Winston-Salem facility is re-opening the exercise room very soon. The updated space will include incredible new equipment thanks to a generous donation from Allegacy Credit Union. We are looking for volunteers who are sighted to teach employees who are blind and visually impaired how to navigate the room, learn equipment button functions, practice safety in the space, and more.

The time commitment for volunteers will be one hour a day during first and second breaks for one week (Monday – Thursday). If interested, contact Anastasia Powell at apowell@ifbsolutions.org or X5698. Thank you!

(Please note, we are still determining the exact date for reopening and hope to announce soon).

See what S.E.E. is Doing!

Brandon standing beside the yule log dessert

S.E.E. After School Winston journeyed to Canada on our fourth stop of Christmas around the world. We made a yule log dessert of angel food cake baked long and flat, Nutella and peanut butter spreads inside, rolled up, and iced with chocolate. Powdered sugar gave this log a dusting of snow. What a yummy treat to go with “Petit Papa Noel” song and a creche ornament of baby Jesus in the manger.

Justin making ornaments with a cookie cutter

S.E.E. After School Winston made ornaments out of applesauce and cinnamon with Christmas cookie cutters. On our journey around the world, we visited Holland where Sinterklaas brings presents on a white horse. We enjoyed honey buns with some ginger nuts that we made in a frying pan.


Adult Support Group Meetings:

  • Monday, December 19 AAA Committee meeting from 12:00-1:00 in TADS Room.
  • Tuesday, December 20 VIPS Club meeting from 12:00-1:00 in TADS Room.
  • Wednesday, December 21 Diabetic support group meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room.
  • Thursday, December 22 Blind Ambitions support group meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room.


Community Low Vision Center

CLVC Item of the Week:

Echo Dot 4th&5th Generation Table Stand

Echo Dot 4th&5th Generation Table Stand for $19.95.

[SMART TABLE STAND] The CYECEN Desktop holder for Echo Dot 4th&5th Generation, Echo Dot 4th&5th Gen kids edition and clock edition (Device and power supply cord are not included).


CLVC December Item of the Month:

Image of Alexa Echo Show

Echo Show 10, Up to $240. Alexa can show you even more – With a 10.1″ HD screen that is designed to move with you, video calls, recipes, and shows are always in view. The speakers deliver premium, directional sound.


Insider Corner

Connect with Faith Harding, Insider Corner Editor

Have a story, new article, app, or interesting fact you want to share? Email me! Faith Harding at FHarding@ifbsolutions.org.

Have a wonderful week!

Faith Harding


Holiday safety tips for our four-legged family members

Submitted by the Guide Dog Support Group.

Jennifer with guide dog Jill

WINTER MINDFULNESS: Happy Holidays – Healthy Hounds!
By: Dr. Kate Kuzminski, Medical Director, GDB

Happy holidays GDB Alumni! What a fabulous time to celebrate with family and friends…and your guide dog. Along with the warmth of the season comes the safety risks that every December brings for dogs. A surefire way to ruin the holiday spirit is an emergency trip to the veterinarian. To reduce the risk of this unpleasant adventure, now is the time to take inventory of your home, consider your holiday plans and identify what might be risky for your dog. As always, having your veterinarian’s phone number and address posted in a visible place, as well as the local after-hours emergency clinic, shows excellent preparedness!

Holiday Safety Tips:

• While delicious, the holiday meal is not something to share with your dog. Avoid a case of pancreatitis and keep the people food for you and your two-legged family. Similarly, sweets and adult holiday beverages can also be dangerous. Remember that chocolate and the sweetener xylitol can be toxic to dogs. So can grapes, raisins, and onions. Make sure all tasty morsels and unattended alcoholic beverages are placed out of your dog’s reach….and keep that lid on the garbage can!

• Holiday plants such as amaryllis, holly, poinsettias, and the berries of mistletoe can be dangerous to your dog if ingested. Vomiting, diarrhea, incoordination, drooling and even seizures are possible depending on the plant. Do your dog a favor and avoid these plants in your home this holiday.

• This is the season for candles! While beautiful, lit candles are a definite hazard when there are wagging tails around. Make sure candles are not down at dog level and that your dog is always supervised when in a room with candles burning.

• Ornaments are so pretty…but not if they are ingested. Broken ornaments can cause obvious damage to your dog’s mouth and gastrointestinal tract. So can tinsel if swallowed. Try to avoid tinsel, lights, and intriguing ornaments (especially food-based ones) on the lower branches of Christmas trees.

• Potpourri is lovely to smell, and it can also be toxic to dogs if handled or ingested. Keep all essential oils and potpourri products out of your dog’s reach.

• Child toys and small toy pieces can be exceptionally interesting to a dog. So can the batteries that are needed for our new devices and games. It’s always best to ensure these items are not left on the ground. Taking a bite of a battery can cause chemical burns to your dog’s mouth.

The holidays can be busy and overwhelming. Sometimes we all need a quiet place to retreat to when we need a rest from the fray. Having a comfy bed in a separate room might give your dog a welcomed respite. This is especially true on New Year’s Eve when revelers delight in fireworks and noisemakers.

Community Connections

Learfield Panel Discussion on Disabilities

Submitted by Kim Shoffner

This panel discussion is held every year to recognize International Disability Awareness Day. It covers all disabilities and is designed to provide information on what disabilities are recognized, and how people can be more educated. Mike Mote IFB Solutions Manager of Accessibility and Workforce Development was invited this year to talk a little about working as a blind individual, and some of the challenges that goes along with that. Check it out: https://vimeo.com/779008493/ebdd014f40

From the Tech-VI list owner: Just in time for the holidays!

Here is a wonderful adaptation of “a Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. The narrator along with each character is voiced by a different speech synthesizer, many or all of which you might recognize. As an example, the character Ebenezer Scrooge is voiced by one of the British Eloquence voices. This piece also has music and soundscapes.

Check it out: https://www.dropbox.com/s/2zczncdhxkdcxb1/a_synth_Xmas_carol.mp3?dl=0



HR & Opportunities

Announcing 2023 Voluntary Benefits Open Enrollment January 1, 2023 through January 13, 2023

Voluntary Benefits like life insurance and short term disability insurance are different from Core Benefits (medical, dental, and vision). These run on a calendar year enrollment period. Enrollment for these Voluntary Benefits opens January 3, 2023 and closes January 13. Effective date is February 1, 2023.

We are excited to announce a new way to enroll this year: a pre-scheduled phone appointment with a licensed, professional Benefit Coach. The Benefit Coach will review the benefits, costs, answer your questions, and enroll or waive you in the benefits you choose in one easy phone call. You can even include your spouse on your call. Details are below.

MetLife has been our provider for some Voluntary Benefits, and IFB Solutions is now switching all Voluntary Benefits to MetLife. Employees who have Voluntary Benefits with Colonial need to take special note as those will cease effective January 31, 2023.

Voluntary benefits available through MetLife include:

  • Voluntary Life Insurance for Employee and Dependents
  • NEW: Accident Insurance
  • NEW: Critical Illness Insurance
  • Short-Term Disability Insurance (Admin and Hourly Admin Employees Only)
  • NEW: Worksite Short-Term Disability Insurance (Hourly Employees Only)

Enrolling in or formally waiving voluntary benefits is mandatory and may be done online or over the phone. Online Enrollment Starts January 3, 2023 through Paycom. Phone appointments are available January 5, 2023 through January 13, 2023.

If you choose to take advantage of a phone appointment with a Benefits Coach, we HIGHLY recommend you go ahead and schedule your appointment now with the information below.

  • To schedule a phone appointment with a Benefits Coach online: https://IFB.AppointmentNavigator.com (Available 24/7 on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop/computer)
  • To schedule a phone appointment with a Benefits Coach over the phone: call 1-877-277-7476, Mon – Fri, 9 am – 9 pm eastern time
  • Note that phone appointments with a Benefits Coach are available between January 5 and 13, 203 and take place Monday through Friday between 5pm and 9pm eastern time.

For those who wish to enroll in or waive voluntary benefits online, prompts and instructions will be available in Paycom on January 3, 2023.

If you have questions, please reach out to Ciara Frenette at cfrenette@ifbsolutions.org or 336-245-5644, or ask your supervisor to put in a Benefits Ticket to request a meeting.


Winston-Salem – Mobile Mammography Unit

On January 24th & 26th 2023 the Mobile Mammography Unit will be here for mammogram screenings. Please contact Benefits Administrator, Ciara Frenette at cfrenette@ifbsolutions.org or X5644 by Friday, December 23rd to sign up.


Have FSA funds left over from 2022?

List of eligible FSA expenses: https://www.fsafeds.com/explore/hcfsa/expenses?take=100

List of eligible Dependent Care FSA expenses: https://www.fsafeds.com/explore/dcfsa/expenses?take=100

IFB wants to make you aware that your FSA card may be used for over-the-counter medicines and much more!

First aid kits

  • Aspirin or other pain reliever (over the counter)
  • Diabetic monitors, test kits, strips, and supplies
  • Crutches, canes, walkers or like equipment (purchase or rental)
  • Covid testing/at home Covid test kits
  • Allergy & sinus medicine (over-the counter)
  • Cough syrup/cough drops
  • Antibiotic ointment & Antacids (OTC)

Open Positions

Low Vision Services Outreach Coordinator- Winston Salem

Education and Work Experience:
– Bachelor’s degree in Human Service field/Education or Marketing required
– Social Work experience a plus but not required.

Internal candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=53438&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909&jpt=ce8685cef740a6280b5fcb492b556fa5

External candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=53437&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909


Customer Service Representative – CSC

Education and work experience:
– High School Diploma or GED equivalent
– Two years of customer service experience preferred.
– If applicable, demonstrated proficiency in use of Assistive Technology required with either JAWS and/or Zoom Text for visual adaptation. Bilingual Spanish-English capability a plus.

Internal candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=53559&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909&jpt=ce8685cef740a6280b5fcb492b556fa5
External candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=53558&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909


Zoom Meeting Links

Adult Support Groups Zoom

Meeting ID: 994 9807 8576
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+13017158592,99498078576# US (Germantown)

13126266799,99498078576# US

Dial by your location.
877 853 5257 US Toll-free
888 475 4499 US Toll-free
Meeting ID: 994 9807 8576


Assistive Technology Support Group Zoom


Meeting ID: 944 3463 0872
Passcode: 924496

+13017158592, 99434630872, #, # US (Germantown)

+13126266799, 99434630872, #, # US (Chicago)