IFB Beat – Week of December 4, 2023

A Message from the Editor

Need a laugh today? Stroll the Beat and find the chuckle of the week. You will also find:

  • IFB Solutions holiday celebrations details!
  • Staff Campaign reminder.
  • Meet the Winston-Salem Manufacturing Team.
  • Read about how S.E.E. students are giving back to the community.
  • The mobile mammogram unit will be onsite at the Winston Salem facility in January. Schedule an appointment today.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week!

Anastasia Powell

IFB Solutions Communications Manager

apowell@ifbsolutions.org | 336-245-5698

Quick Links:

New this Week

Holiday Hams and Celebrations Details
IFB Solutions Staff Giving Campaign Update / Reminder
Meet the Winston-Salem Manufacturing Management and Supervisory Team
See what S.E.E. is Doing
Adult Support Group Meetings
CLVC Item of the Week

From Our Community

Insider Corner

HR and Opportunities

Business Essentials 2024 – Winston-Salem Facility
Benefit of the Month – Mammogram Signup
New Job Openings

Support Group Zoom Meeting Links


Holiday Hams and Celebrations Details

Asheville Facility:

Get ready to have a ton of fun celebrating this holiday season! We will be distributing Christmas hams at the end of the day on Thursday, December 14th. Distribution details will be announced soon.

On December 21 employees will be treated to a Christmas lunch from Boxcar Grille. Prior to lunch there will be several door prize drawings. We also look forward to a week of festivities starting on Monday, December 18!

  • Monday, December 18 – Wear Your Christmas Colors Day
  • Tuesday, December 19 – Wear Your Christmas Accessories Day (jewelry, scarves, socks, hat, etc.)
  • Wednesday, December 20 – Wear Your Pajamas Day (within the IFB dress code, please)
  • Thursday, December 21 – Ugly Sweater and Ugly Hat Day

Winston-Salem Facility:

Happy Holidays! We will be distributing Christmas hams on Thursday, December 14th. Supervisors will distribute hams to their departments and admin staff will pick up hams on the plant floor between 10am and 11am (location will be announced).

We will be celebrating the holidays ALL MORNING on Thursday, December 21st!! Festivities will include holiday music, cookies & hot chocolate during your regularly scheduled first break, and giftbags for EVERYONE! We will also have 3 contests: best Ugly Sweater, best Santa Claus, and best Dressed Elf. If interested in participating in any of the contests, please let your supervisor know by December 18.

For Winston-Salem Facility employees, there will be a workday early dismissal on December 21 (time coming soon). Employees will be paid for the remainder of the scheduled workday following the to-be-announced dismissal time. For all those to which this applies, please schedule your transportation accordingly.


IFB Solutions Staff Giving Campaign Update / Reminder

As the holiday season continues, we wanted to share ways that IFB positively impacts the lives of children and adults who are visually impaired. We send this message to present you with the opportunity to give hope and inspiration so that together we can impact many more. Many of our employees are a testament to the life-changing opportunities IFB provides and are committed to putting them forward.

Tony Brake (Asheville, NC):

Tony was a restaurant manager; however, his vision loss forced him to quit that job. With no suitable employment in the small town where he lived, he found IFB on the web, applied, and began working at the Asheville facility in 2018. Working at IFB has provided Tony and his family with financial stability and a brighter future. His wife is now pursuing her passion for Medical Coding, and he sets a splendid example for their three children daily. IFB has given him the opportunity to display his dedication and tenacity.

Ibette López Maldonado (Cabo Rojo, PR):

Ibette holds IFB Solutions near and dear. Here, she has acquired invaluable skills and furthered her personal development. She feels deeply cherished by her co-workers, who are always there to support her and lend a helping hand when needed. IFB Solutions has provided her with an opportunity to demonstrate her capability and self-sufficiency as a human being despite her disability.

Demarious Bowens (Winston-Salem, NC):

“I personally find it essential to give back to the company that has had a transformative impact on my life. As a legally blind individual, IFB has not only provided me with meaningful employment but has also given me a sense of purpose and independence that I might not have found elsewhere. By donating a small portion of my earnings, I am directly contributing to the sustainability of the very programs and services that have enabled me to lead a fulfilling life. It is my way of expressing gratitude and saying thanks. Giving back also allows me to pay it forward, ensuring that more people like me can benefit from the opportunities and support provided by this great organization.”

WHY: To raise funds to sustain employment and training of our employees and our community services:

  1. Training for IFB employees, employee support groups and activities, transportation, medical assistance, and community outreach.
  2. Low vision assistance at Community Low Vision Centers in Asheville and Winston-Salem.
  3. Specialty low vision tools and equipment to children with unique vision needs at no cost through the Focus on Literacy program.
  4. S. E.E. After School program at Tracy’s Little Red Schoolhouse.

For those who would like to donate, you can contribute in the following ways:

  • Payroll deduction: Please fill out and sign a payroll deduction form before December 8, 2023. Contact Tatiana for a form.
  • Cash or check: Give directly to Tatiana Russell or Naomi Venable (make checks out to IFB Solutions).
  • Online at https://ifbsolutions.org/donate/

All donors who contribute $20 or more will receive a customized lunch bag and will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win gift baskets donated by a generous donor.

Photo of three gift baskets featuring a variety of items.


Meet the Winston-Salem Manufacturing Management and Supervisory Team

IFB Solutions, the largest employer of people who are blind in the US, is steadfast in its mission to build life-changing opportunities. While providing employment, job training and services is paramount to our success, IFB also strives to have highly trained management and staff to help individuals in the workplace find the right tools to succeed. In the next few editions of the IFB Beat we will be highlighting different departments and team members within IFB Solutions to provide you with the most recent organizational structure. This week we start with the Winston-Salem manufacturing operations and staff.

Pedro Rojas Headshot

Director of Manufacturing Operations – Pedro Rojas

Pedro oversees the day-to-day manufacturing operations to ensure efficiency, quality, and on-time delivery. He is to monitor the key performance indicators to evaluate and improve manufacturing performance. This includes the effective allocation of resources such as personnel, equipment, and materials. Pedro also manages production schedules and capacity planning to meet the demand of our customers. At the same time, he provides leadership and guidance to the manufacturing team to achieve the performance objectives.

Pedro gets it all done with the assistance of his direct reports which include Maintenance Supervisor Frank Ellison and the Production Supervisors Tina Jolly, Aaron Miller, Vickie Keaton, and William Lindsay.

Pedro has been with IFB Solutions for 16 years and states, “My experience at IFB continues to demonstrate that determination is the key to achieve anything, and I am happy to be a part of it.”

Ed Sykers Headshot

Engineering and R&D – managed by Edward Sykes

Edward and his team are responsible for process flow, efficiency, and product development. Assisting him is Gary Rippey.

Edward has been with IFB for 9 years and states, “Since working at IFB I have gained a lot of experience that has helped me grow as an engineer and a person.”

Paul Quesenberry Headshot

Quality Control – supervised by Paul Quesenberry

Paul and his team are responsible for supervising and supporting production processes to ensure all products meet consistent standards. Assisting him are Quality Inspectors Dorothy Cooley, Bobbie Manring, and Shequelle Conrad.

Paul has been with IFB Solutions for 16 months and states, “Working at IFB has been a great experience. I love what I do and supporting our mission every day.”

Ellissia Rouson Headshot

Pinnacle Mercantile – supervised by Ellissia Rouson

Ellissia and a team of 15 employees assort and package various Commercial Products such as tent stakes, honey bottles, and t-shirts which are sold on Amazon. Assisting her is Production Assistant Earline Burrow. Check out IFB’s Amazon store front: Pinnacle Mercantile

Ellissia has been with IFB Solutions for 2 years and states, “I enjoy working for a company with a passion for employing those who are visually impaired and blind. It is a joy every day to come to work and see so many people making the best life possible for themselves and knowing that IFB is creating those opportunities.”

Vickie Keaton Headshot

ACH, PTU, IWOL, EWOL and Mattress– supervised by Vickie Keaton

Vickie and a team of 124 employees make Army Combat Helmet pads, mattresses, Cold Weather Gear jackets and garment parts for the US military. She is assisted by Production Assistants Sharon Hariston, James Williams, Roselia Bolanos, and Argenis Acevedo.,

Vickie has been with IFB Solutions for 27years and states, “IFB is like a family to me. I have watched so many employees who are blind grow with the company and become more independent as a person. Working here has been a blessing and an example that anything is possible with the right opportunity.”

William "Jo Jo" Lindsay Headshot

Advanced Combat Shirt (ACS) – supervised by William “Jo Jo” Lindsay

Jo Jo and a team of 80 employees make thousands of shirts from material cut at the Asheville facility for the Army. He is assisted by Production Assistants Gabriela Romirez and Oralia De La Cruz.

Jo Jo recently returned to IFB Solutions in July of this year and states, “I come to work every day with a purpose, which is to see who I can help be better at their job and to meet my daily production.”

Aaron Miller Headshot

T-shirts – supervised by Aaron Miller

Aaron and a team of 50 employees make thousands of moisture-wicking combat t-shirts for the Army. He is assisted by Production assistant Richard Brown.

Aaron started with IFB Solutions in July and states, “I come to work every day with the understanding that there are no secrets to success.
It is the results of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”

Tina Jolly Headshot

Rag & Wipes, Vinyl, Scissors and Markers – supervised by Tina Jolly

Tina and a team of 72 employees’ package and assemble Scissors, Foot Covers, Socks Rags, Wipes, Markers and Highlighters, etc. for LCI, Lions Club, various Base Supply Centers located on military and government sites and AbilityOne.com. She is assisted by Production Assistant Mike McBee.

Tina has been with IFB for 19 years and states, “This is the most rewarding job I have ever had, and I enjoy coming to work every day!”


See what S.E.E. is Doing

S.E.E. Students drop off pet food

The S.E.E. kids thought about others in our community at this time of Thanksgiving. We purchased and donated 130 pounds of food to the Crisis Control Ministries and 80 pounds of pet food to the Humane Society. We wanted families and fur babies to have great meals for the holiday.


Adult Support Group Meetings:

Attention RP Support Group Members:

Alyssa Steel, Director of Events (South Region) for the Foundation Fighting Blindness will be our guest speaker for the December 6 meeting. Please join us for a holiday celebration and great conversation! If you plan to attend, contact Diana Soto, RP president at dsoto@ifbsolutions.org or Shonn Redmond at sredmond@ifbsolutions.org or 336-245-5672. We want to make sure we have enough goodies for everyone to enjoy!

Upcoming Support Group Meetings

  • Monday, December 4 AAA Committee meeting from 12:00-1:00 in TADS Room
  • Tuesday, December 5 VIPS Club meeting from 12:00-1:00 in TADS Room
  • Wednesday, December 6 RP support group meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room


CLVC Item of the Week:

ZADRO Starlight Projector Sound Spa

ZADRO Starlight Projector Sound Spa for $59.95. Enjoy a choice of 15 calming soundscapes, including white, pink, and brown noise. ZADRO Transforms any bedroom into a peaceful retreat with the Starlight Projector Sound Spa.

The Community Low Vision Center is celebrating the holiday season with great sales and discounts!

Come on in during your breaks and check off the items on your Christmas Wish List. All Transactions over $100.00 will receive a 5% discount and purchases over $200.00 will receive a 10% discount. All orders can be paid directly or through payroll deductions.

If you are interested in purchasing Low Vision Equipment through our Loan Program (3rd Party), please contact a Low Vision Coordinator for assistance.


Thanks for strolling! Here’s the Chuckle of the Week:

“I made a huge to-do list today. I just can’t figure out who’s going to do it.”


From Our Community

Insider Corner

This section is edited by Faith Harding. Reach out to her at fharding@ifbsolutions.org

Hello, Family.

Transportation is a vital means of independence for individuals utilizing public transportation or Trans Aid. In an effort to maintain “Safety First” inside and outside of all facilities and vehicles, the Winston-Salem Transit Authority has established the following zero tolerance Code of Conduct. It shall be enforced by the managing contracted staff, security firm up to and including the Local Law Enforcement officers effective December 1, 2023. It’s vital to read the entire report at: https://wstransit.com/code-of-conduct/

Some highlights:

  • An individual will become permanently banned from services due to but not limited to indecent exposure, physical assault against any WSTA employee or contracted vendors, city officials, or passengers. Conduct violent, disorderly, threatening behaviors. Possessing illegal substances, engaging in criminal activity and/or continued minor violations, etc.
  • If the passenger’s behavior warrants, WSTA Personnel/Security/Contracted Police reserve the right to immediately and/or permanently suspend a passenger’s privileges. Said parties may also issue a less extensive ban of 30 or 90 days based on their discretion, violators prior history and facts of the incident.
  • Any passengers or person banned from the Transportation Center, the bus bays, and the parking lot in the rear of the building under this policy, will be notified in person and may appeal a suspension/permanent removal decision within 30 days after receiving the original ban notification. The WSTA Appeals Committee will meet with any banned passenger who has chosen to appeal the ban decision by security officers and/or WSTA personnel. A ban remains in effect until the appeal process has been completed.
  • Exceptions the 90-minute time period will not apply to patrons waiting for PART, Sunway, or Barron buses. Those patrons are allowed to remain on WSTA property for longer periods of time, but must still provide photo identification and a valid I.D.
  • If an individual is banned from riding all WSTA vehicles and/or banned from any property managed by WSTA, including the Clark Campbell Transportation Center and wishes to appeal that decision, he/she may do so by contacting the Mobility Management Director at 336.727.2000 or via email at custserv@wstransit.com within 30 days of receiving the notification. The 7-day ban violation cannot be appealed.


HR & Opportunities

Business Essentials 2024 – Winston-Salem Facility

IFB Solutions is pleased to be partnering once again in 2024 with Guildford College to offer Business Essentials. The target audience for this training opportunity is open to hourly IFB associates in Winston-Salem who meet all criteria set forth on the Business Essentials Application. Please note this class will be held in person at the Winston-Salem facility.

Some topics that will be covered in this participant focused training include:

  • Business: What, Why and How
  • Deciding to be a manager
  • Money Matters
  • Marketing
  • Motivating and Leading People
  • Ensuring Quality

To be eligible to participate in this course, associates must meet the following criteria:

  • An application must be completed in full at the below link.
  • An updated copy of the applicant’s resume must be submitted to Brent Burkholder via email at bburkholder@ifbsolutions.org.
  • All associates must be employed with IFB for at least 6 months.
  • All participants must have satisfactory attendance and job performance.
  • All associates must have their computer skills assessed by the Workforce Development team (HR will schedule and coordinate this assessment).
  • All participants must be recommended to participate in this class by their supervisor. (HR will obtain recommendation).

Applications are available at:


The deadline to have the application and all supporting materials submitted for consideration is Friday January 6, 2024. For more information or questions please contact Brent Burkholder at 336.245.5611 or bburkholder@ifbsolutions.org.


Benefit of the Month

This section is a monthly feature supported by IFB Solutions Benefits Supervisor Ciara Frenette. Reach her at cfrenette@ifbsolutions.org.

Early detection is the best defense against cancer. The American College of Radiology recommends that women over 40 have an annual mammogram.

The mobile mammogram unit will be onsite at our Winston-Salem location Tuesday, January 30, 2024, from 9AM to 4 PM. An appointment is required to get your mammogram. To schedule an appointment contact Ciara Frenette in the benefits department at cfrenette@ifbsolutions.org.

Please note that the minimum age for a mammogram screening is 35 years of age recommended by the American College of Radiology. You will need to bring your insurance card (if applicable) and driver’s license or picture ID on the date-of-service and must have an active primary care provider. The mobile is for screening patients only. If you are experiencing problems (pain, lump, six-month follow-up, etc.), you will need to be seen at the Breast Clinic.


New Job Announcements

For all current openings, visit https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs?clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909

Accounts Payable/Receivables Manager

Education and work experience:

  • High School Diploma/ GED equivalent required.
  • Accounting or Business Management degree or equivalent experience preferred.
  • 5 years of Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable experience overall required.
  • 3 years of Accounting Management experience preferred.

External candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=78435&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909

Internal candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=78436&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909&jpt=ce8685cef740a6280b5fcb492b556fa5


Pricing Analyst – Winston-Salem Facility

Education and work experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Business, Finance, Economics, or a related field required. Equivalent years of experience may be substituted.
  • Minimum of 3 years’ experience in retail pricing analysis, preferably in a retail or e-commerce setting required.

External candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=78596&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909

Internal candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=78597&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909&jpt=ce8685cef740a6280b5fcb492b556fa5

For information about any employment opportunities with IFB Solutions please contact Brent Burkholder at bburkholder@ifbsolutions.org or X5611.


Zoom Meeting Links

Adult Support Groups Zoom

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

13126266799,99498078576# US

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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)