IFB Beat – Week of March 13, 2023

Quick Links:

News to Know
Important Update from Dan Kelly
On-Site Help for IFB Solutions Profit-Sharing Plan
Winston-Salem YMCA Camp Hanes Opportunity
What’s Happening on the Floor

Programs and Services
Winston-Salem Red Cross Blood Drive
VIPS 2 Minute Table Topics
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

Community Connections

HR and Opportunities – Job Postings

Support Group Zoom Meeting Links

News to Know

Update from Dan Kelly, President and CEO

Over the past few months, I have conducted several meetings with key IFB leaders focused on short-term strategy for our business as a whole. We conducted a SWOT analysis (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity & Threat) to best define our critical focus over the next 7 months (to the end of FY23) as well as the next 19 months (to the end of FY24).

Our business portfolio has been shaped by external factors we have no or limited control over, like Covid, troop draw-down, inflationary pressure, changes in VA contracting, etc. It’s also shaped by decisions we’ve made directly, though extremely carefully, like closing optical operations and other non-profitable production lines.

With our new portfolio, two foundational Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) have emerged:

  1. Ratio: return to and maintain 75% direct-labor blind work hours
  2. Profitability: operate cashflow positive, meaning more money is coming in than going out at any given point

While Ratio and Profitability are simple words to remember, we all know the challenge is developing and sticking to corrective paths. To do so, we have established the following 5 Key Strategies for the balance of FY23:

  1. Clean Financials: Post-D365 implementation is our single largest pain point. To ensure our ability to meet ratio and operate cashflow positive, we must ensure the data we are presented with for making decisions is solid and accurate.
  2. Data Integrity: To support #1, we must ensure processes and procedures are in place to validate data going into D365. Better data means better (and faster) decision-making.
  3. Textiles Optimization: We will review all textile business lines for profitability and execute on all price actions available to offset rising costs, improve efficiencies. Clean financials, and data integrity, both explained above, are critical to this process. Our LeanIT pilot on t-shirts and coming soon to ACS will help inform our understanding of efficiencies and throughput. Textile optimization is a major effort in becoming cashflow positive. In some instances, we may determine certain individual textile products are no longer a good fit for IFB (for example, we stopped making the bandolier in 2022).
  4. HR Recruitment and Retention: We have a more than 12% gap in workforce needed to manage our current absenteeism rate; keeping positions filled is vital to fulfill customer commitments and meet revenue forecasts.
  5. Base Supply Centers: We will develop a sales strategy that meets the evolving BSC environment, leveraging our organizational structure with a centralized sales team.

To fuel activity and leadership inside these strategies, my executive team and I have made the following staff changes, promotions and title updates.

Human Resources – Led by Jason Moser, CFO

Important update: Laura True is no longer with IFB Solutions. We’d like to thank her for her many years of service and important contributions to our organization. Luyann Ledesma and Kelly Speas will lead human resources for our organization.

  1. Luyann Ledesma will take responsibility for general human resources, employee relations, benefits and payroll activities. Her tenacity, a deep passion to see our mission succeed, fluency in Spanish and a strong knowledge of the innerworkings of each business unit will serve our entire employee base well in her new responsibilities. This change is foundational to the support of all 5 Key Strategies for improving Ratio and Retention. She will report directly to Jason Moser, and reporting to Luyann are Brenda Livingston, Senior Human Resources Generalist, Ciara Frenette, Benefits Administrator, and Cheryl Krest, Payroll Administrator II.
  2. Kelly Speas has assumed the new title of Director of Ratio and Recruitment. Kelly’s field operations and manufacturing responsibilities in our optical division have provided deep experience in complex recruiting initiatives and the factors that support and influence ratio. She will own the overall list of needed employees and direct recruitment efforts executed by the broader HR and operations teams. She will also lead ratio compliance and oversight and initiate strategies that focus on conversion opportunities, Paycom coding scrutiny, and the accuracy of data and reports. This new role for IFB Solutions directly supports the Key Initiative of HR Recruitment and Retention. Kelly reports directly to Jason Moser, and reporting to Kelly are Calvin Williams, Recruitment Manager, and Brent Burkholder, Human Resources Project Specialist and Recruiter.
  3. Calvin Williams has assumed the new title of Recruitment Manager. His prior experience in field operations management and customer service in our optical division have prepared him well for selling our mission, and open jobs, to individuals who are both sighted and blind. In collaboration with operations and the broader HR team, Calvin will develop strategic partnerships with entities that serve people who are blind and ensure IFB Solutions is top choice on where job-seekers are sent. Like Kelly, his new role is critical for the Key Initiative of HR Recruitment and Retention. He reports to Kelly Speas.

Finance – Led by Jason Moser, CFO

  1. Natalya Pochkhidze has been promoted to Director of Accounting. She will oversee margin and cost analysis, accounts receivable, corporate compliance, audit, taxes, fixed assets and all financial reporting. Her tenacity and determination have served IFB well in the implementation of our D365 ERP platform, and she will be integral to our Key Strategy of Clean Financials. Natalya reports directly to Jason Moser, and reporting to Natalya are Amy Poole, Senior Financial Analyst, Robin Raymond, Staff Accountant, Tasha Thompson, Invoicing Specialist, Gabrielle Buie, Accounts Receivable Collections Specialist, and Demarious Bowens, Credit Collection Clerk.
  2. Kenya Belle has been promoted to Financial Systems Manager. In addition to overseeing accounts payable, she is leading initiatives that document and communicate all financial policies and procedures. Her gift for organizing and clarifying information will be crucial in her support of the Key Strategy of Data Integrity. Kenya reports directly to Jason Moser, and reporting to Kenya are Karen Burnette, Accounts Payable Specialist, and Deanna Williams, Accounts Payable Specialist.
  3. Gail Britt has been promoted to Treasury Manager. Gail will oversee accounts receivable, cashflow and weekly cash forecasts in addition to an important focus on standardizing cash reconciliation. Her deep knowledge of IFB’s suppliers and product lines paired with her attention to detail make her a prime contributor to the Key Strategy of Textile Optimization. Gail reports directly to Jason Moser.

IT and Ecommerce – Led by Vasudha Rangapathy, VP of IT and Ecommerce

  1. Bobby Billings has been promoted to Senior Manager, IT Systems Infrastructure. Bobby has been an asset to IFB Solutions since he joined in 2008. With his hard work and dedication, he truly represents IFB’s core values. His out of the box thinking brings creative solutions to a very complex business environment. Bobby’s diverse responsibilities will have him engaged with all 5 of the Key Strategies for improving Ratio and Profitability. Bobby reports directly to Vasudha Rangapathy, and reporting to Bobby are Mike Mote, Manager of Accessibility and Workforce Development, and Rodney Hicks, IT System Administrator.
  2. Shashank Muttineni has been promoted to Senior Manager, ERP and E-Commerce. Shashank started as a Software Engineer I and has helped with various software integrations. He was also instrumental in leading the ERP implementation efforts successfully. Shashank has done an amazing job in growing Ecommerce sales and ensuring the smooth day to day operations. While Shashank’s skillset and responsibilities have him supporting many aspects of the 5 Key Strategies for improving Ratio and Profitability, he will be most closely aligned with the success of Clean Financials, Data Integrity, and BSC Sales. Shashank reports directly to Vasudha Rangapathy, and reporting to Shashank are Lisa Faircloth, bscsource.com Ecommerce Customer Service Manager, and Justin Baker, Software Developer.
  3. Rodney Owens has been promoted to Senior Security Engineer. Rodney has done an outstanding job planning and creating responses to the ever-changing digital threat landscape. Rodney deploys best practices to keep IFB’s infrastructure and data safe and secure from threats. Rodney will be leading our new Information Security Committee in maintaining our Business Continuity Plan and ensuring confidential information is kept safe throughout all facets of IFB Solutions. He will support all aspects of the 5 Key Strategies for improving Ratio and Profitability. Rodney reports directly to Vasudha Rangapathy.

Marketing and Development – Led by Seth Anderson

  1. Tatiana Russell has been promoted to Grants and Development Manager. She has supported every aspect of development and philanthropy activity in her time at IFB Solutions, and this new role focuses her activity on identifying and applying for grants relevant to IFB’s business activity as well as recordkeeping and reporting. Several of the 5 Key Strategies for improving Ratio and Profitability require significant expense in training, support and capital outlay, and her work will directly support the funding for all 5. Tatiana reports to Ksenia Richards and reporting to Tatiana is Naomi Venable, Development Support Professional.
  2. Anastasia Powell has assumed the new title of Communications Manager. Anastasia has been in informal and formal communications roles at IFB Solutions for many years, and with this title change, takes official responsibility for internal and external communications strategy and execution. In addition to creating an annual communications plan, Anastasia works with media and other external partners to ensure IFB is consistently sharing effective and accurate information about our organization and our mission. She publishes The Beat weekly newsletter and supports the executive team, human resources, safety and senior management in sharing out critical information to employees. Her role supports each of the 5 Key Strategies for improving Ratio and Profitability. She reports directly to Seth Anderson.

With these changes, IFB Solutions is taking significant steps to ensure our 5 Key Strategies for improving Ratio and Profitability have the necessary resources. Please join me in congratulating and encouraging these folks as they enter into their new roles.


Dan Kelly


Updates to IFB Solutions Profit-Sharing Plan

UPDATE: support from Newport Retirement will be on-site in Asheville on March 20 and in Winston-Salem on March 21. Jason Moser will be on-site in Little Rock on March 22.

View the original update here: https://ifbsolutions.org/ifb-beat-week-of-march-6-2023/#one-a

IMPORTANT: Please take note of frequently asked questions below. Also, the most effective way to learn about Newport Retirement through FirstCitizens is their customer service line: 844-749-9981

Plan participants can call 844-749-9981 to get a real time balance of their Profit-Sharing account!


Do I need to create my account?
No, this is entirely optional. If you don’t wish to login, you can use the customer service number to inquire about your account.

What can the customer service line tell me?
They will give you real time balance and your current vesting percentage.

How do I change my Profit-Sharing Plan beneficiary?
You can do this from the online portal or call the customer service line to update/change your beneficiaries.

If I retire or separate from IFB, how do I request my distribution of my Profit-Sharing funds?
You will call the customer service line to let them know you have separated from IFB and want to request a withdrawal.

How will I get my money once I request distribution through Newport/First Citizens?
You can roll your funds over into an IRA or other retirement account or request a cash withdrawal. If you request a cash withdrawal, they will mail your check to your address on file.

How quickly will I receive my funds once requested?
This will be mailed to you within 5-10 days once you’ve requested your withdrawal from Newport/First Citizens.

Important note: This plan doesn’t allow any withdrawals prior to your separation from IFB Solutions.

Questions? Contact Ciara Frenette at cfrenette@ifbsolutions.org or 336-245-5644.


Winston-Salem YMCA Camp Hanes Opportunity

boy jumps off blob into lake at camp hanes

A generous donor to IFB Solutions is again fully sponsoring kids of our employees to attend one week of the traditional residential or day camp at the YMCA Camp Hanes (camphanes.org) this summer! The Camp is located on 400 acres at the base of the Sauratown Mountain in King just 30 minutes north of Winston-Salem. From archery to hiking, alpine wall to zip-lining, swimming to kayaking, your kids are sure to learn new skills and make lifelong friends in a safe environment.


Eligibility Criteria:

  • Campers must be 6 years of age or be attending the 1st grade in the fall of 2023, all the way up to age 15 AND
  • Children or grandchildren of full or part-time IFB employees who are past their first 90 days of service OR
  • Children or grandchildren of IFB Solutions contract employees who have been working for IFB through one of our contract labor partners for at least 12 months

Please note: IFB Solutions is only facilitating the scholarships; if you have specific questions about the camp, call them directly at 336-983-3131. IFB Solutions cannot provide transportation to and from the camp.

To Apply:

  • Obtain a paper registration form from your supervisor
  • Write a one-page essay by you as a parent or grandparent about why you would like your child or grandchild to join the camp this summer. This can be hand-written or typed send via email to the info below.
  • Write a statement or short essay by your child or grandchild about why they would like to attend.
  • Submit the camp registration form, parent/grandparent essay, and child/grandchild statement to Brent Burkholder by 12:00 PM Thursday, March 23. You can do this by placing it in his mailbox in the mailroom, or emailing it to him at bburkholder@ifbsolutions.org.

Selection and Notice:

  • Selection will be made on a first-come-first-served basis from applicants who provide complete information and documents. Up to 10 residential camp slots are available.
  • Camp scholarship winners will be selected by March 31, and announced shortly after.
  • All selected campers are asked to be ready to write a donor thank you card (to be provided by IFB) about the camp experience at the end of summer.

For Questions and Support:

  • IFB development and HR staff are available to assist employees who are blind with the application form if necessary.
  • If you have any questions, please contact Brent Burkholder at 336-245-5611 or bburkholder@ifbsolutions.org.


What’s Happening on the Floor

This is a new section to share activity and updates from the production floor. If you have news to share, or ideas for us to explore, please reach out to Anastasia Powell at apowell@ifbsolutions.org or 336-245-5698.

From Melinda Noah, Director of Corporate Quality: IFB Annual Internal International Standards Organization Audit Blitz

IFB Solutions: 2023 ISO 9001: 2015 Internal Audit Blitz is the standard that our quality system is certified to and it is coming to a department near you. ISO 9001 is the requirement standard of the ISO 9000 family of standards. It outlines the guidelines that an organization must follow in implementing and maintaining a quality management system. This includes conducting internal audits at regular intervals. Our ISO internal auditors will be hitting the floor at all locations for our 2023 “Department Audit Blitz” on Tuesday March 14th. Please help our auditors out in any way possible and be ready to tell them how your work supports quality and our customers. Thanks for your help and support during this exciting time in our year


Programs and Services

Winston-Salem Red Cross Blood Drive Hosted by AAA Committee

Scott Smith Giving Blood at Red Cross Donation Day

Raise your sleeve, and save a life!

Did you know?
Every 2 seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. Your donations assist with heart surgeries, revitalizing accident victims, organ transplant recipients, and patients needing lifesaving procedures. So, will you raise your sleeve and save a life?

When: April 12, 2023
Where: Tad’s Room (Winston-Salem)
Time: 10:00 am-2:30 pm, Contact your supervisor to set up an appointment to donate.
Admin contact: Shonn Redmond at sredmond@ifbsolutions.org or X5672


Winston-Salem VIPS 2 Minute Table Topics

Love to talk and voice your opinions? VIPS is hosting its first annual 2 Minute Table Topics competition April 4th at noon in Tad’s room. Open to all Winston employees, enter to speak for your chance to win cash prizes for first and second place winners.

What are 2 Minute Table Topics?
You will be asked a random question. There are no right or wrong responses, just your opinion. You have two minutes to provide an answer. However the catch is these answers are structured with an opening, body, and closing.

In order to compete, participants must attend one VIPS meeting for hands on experience answering Table Topics and sign up by March 21st.

Upcoming VIPS meeting Dates:
February 21, March 7, & March 21.

Contact Shonn Redmond or Chris Flynt in the Low Vision Center for more information. Light refreshments will be provided.


See what S.E.E. is doing!

Brandon and Drew with toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes standing in front of a counter with 6 cups of liquid each containing an egg

S.E.E. After School Winston learned about dental health with an egg experiment. We hard boiled 6 eggs and left them to soak overnight in a cup of milk, grape juice, tea, Coke, orange juice, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. We cleaned the shells with toothpaste and toothbrush to find out how easily each of these would come off our teeth. It was interesting to touch the shells to find out how the liquid affected the eggs before and after brushing.


Adult Support Group Meetings:

  • Monday, March 13 NFB meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room.
  • Tuesday, March 14 Transportation support group meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room.
  • Wednesday, March 15 Diabetic support group meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room.


Community Low Vision Center

CLVC Item of the Week:

Digital Kitchen Scale for $25.95

If you’re looking for a brand new kitchen scale, whether you’re dieting, cooking, or portioning meals for your family or for the week, this Kitchen Scale is perfect for you! The bowl-shaped scale comes programmed with two units, up to 5000g or 176.37oz. It features a unit button, a tare (zero/reset) button, and a good-sized digital screen to display the weight readout.


CLVC February Item of the Month:

New Victor Reader 3 for $550.00. MTP Support (usable even if connected to PC)Better/Faster Wi-Fi connectivity (5ghz).
More audio formats supported (Zoom and more!). Bigger SD card support (up to 1tb). Revamped settings menu.
New shortcuts. Customizable voices (up to 2) directly on the device.


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


Insider Corner

Have a story, new article, app, or interesting fact you want to share. Email Faith Harding at fharding@ifbsolutions.org and we will post it.


Community Connections

Winston-Salem Adaptive Recreation and Gaming Expo

Where are all of our gamers and fitness enthusiasts? Join us at JDL Fast Track (2505 Empire Drive, Winston-Salem, 27103), on Saturday, March 25th from 10AM to 2PM

Come try a number of exciting sports like adaptive cycling, tennis, archery, kayaking, and gaming!

We’re also collaborating with the North Carolina Assistive Technology Program (NCATP), who will be introducing Adaptive Gaming at this event! All ages and abilities are welcome!

COVID boosters will be available thanks to the support of the Forsyth County Health Department. There will also be Vendors and a Food Truck available onsite!

You can register for this event at sicilnc.org.

Please call 336-767-7060 or email celia@sicilnc.org for any questions! We look forward to seeing everyone there! PLEASE spread the word!

*Thank you to JDL Fast Track, NCATP, WSSU, Forsyth County Health Department, Kimberley Park Tennis, Amtryke, Ambucs, Kernersville Parks and Rec, Winston Salem Parks and Rec, Ainsley’s Angels, IFB Solutions, Greensboro Parks and Rec, Camp Dogwood, Get Outdoors, and Wutyasay Food Truck for your partnership and willingness to be a part of this special event! We couldn’t do it without all of you!


HR & Opportunities – Job Openings

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

Senior Corporate Accountant – Winston Salem

Education and work experience:

  • Bachelors Degree in Accounting, Finance or related degree required
  • At least 4 years in accounting or related field required
  • At least 3 years managerial and operational accounting preferred
  • CPA and / or MBA preferred

External candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=57958&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909

Internal candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=57959&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909&jpt=ce8685cef740a6280b5fcb492b556fa5

In Line Inspector – Little Rock

Education and work experience:

  • High School graduate, GED or equivalent
  • 1-3 years quality inspection experience preferred in quality control/assurance.
  • ASQ (CQI or CQA) – Certified Quality Inspector/Auditor certification preferred.
  • Textile and apparel experience preferred.

External candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=57791&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909

Internal candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=57792&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909&jpt=ce8685cef740a6280b5fcb492b556fa5


Associate Trainer- Winston Salem

Education and work experience:

High School Diploma or GED equivalent

Minimum of 6 months sewing experience with excellent performance history.

Must have Machine Operator 4 experience.

External candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=57798&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909

Internal candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=57799&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909&jpt=ce8685cef740a6280b5fcb492b556fa5


Manufacturing and Cost Accountant

Education and work experience:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, Finance or related degree required.
  • Cost accounting experience preferred.
  • ERP system experience preferred.
  • Manufacturing experience preferred.
  • CPA and / or CMA track preferred.

External candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=57817&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909

Internal candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=57818&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909&jpt=ce8685cef740a6280b5fcb492b556fa5


For information about any employment opportunities with IFB Solutions please contact Brent Burkholder at bburkholder@ifbsolutions.org or 336-245-5611.


Zoom Meeting Links

Adult Support Groups Zoom

Meeting ID: 994 9807 8576
One tap mobile
+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)