IFB Beat – Week of March 4, 2024

A Message from the Editor

Greetings all!

Welcome to the first issue in March! Read all about the 2024 Career Achiever of the Year, employees of the month and don’t stop strolling there. You will also find fun YMCA Camp Hanes opportunities, and support group updates. If you missed the information about the Be My Eyes app, check it out here.

Last but not least, put on your thinking cap for The Beat Riddle of the Week: what is seen in the middle of March and April that can’t be seen at the beginning or end of either month? Stroll the Beat to find the answer.

Anastasia Powell

IFB Solutions Communications Manager

apowell@ifbsolutions.org | 336-245-5698

Quick Links:

New this Week

Congratulations to our 2024 Employee Award Winners!
Winston-Salem Facility YMCA Camp Hanes Opportunity
Congratulations to Winston-Salem Facility Employees of the Month for November, December, and January!
See what S.E.E. is Doing!
Adult Support Group Meetings
CLVC Item of the Week

From Our Community

Insider Corner

HR and Opportunities

March Benefit of the Month
New Job Openings

Support Group Zoom Meeting Links


Congratulations to our 2024 Employee Award Winners!

In the next few editions of the IFB Beat, we will be highlighting our 2024 Award Winners. This week we feature IFB Solutions overall Employee of the Year Joshua Denton. In the February 26 edition of the Beat, we highlighted Joshua Denton as IFB Overall Direct Labor Employee of the Year and this week we feature Ken Mullins, IFB Solutions 2024 Career Achiever of the Year. Read all about him and make sure to give him a great big congratulations!

Ken Mullins Headshot

Ken Mullins joined IFB Solutions in 2018. Exemplifying various qualities of a great leader and mentor, he quickly advanced in the company serving as an Optical Inventory Specialist, Optical Lab Supervisor, and production manager for optical operations. Ken moved to North Carolina to live with family After his vision decreased due to Macular Degeneration and Glaucoma. After a life changing visit to IFB’s Community Low Vision Center, he credits the team for encouraging him to apply for a position in the company. A graduate of North Carolina A&T State University with a B.S. degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering, Kenneth spent a decade working for GE Aviation holding various operational and leadership roles.

Welcoming a new challenge, Ken accepted an opportunity to provide required critical support for the Supply Chain department. Refusing to allow low vision to deter his progress, he exceeds new responsibilities as the Director of Merchandising. Ken has overcome numerous challenges in life and the workplace. However, his continuous actions demonstrate the phrase, “Accountability Starts with Me,” and his sincere personality expresses IFB Solutions’ core values of Business with a Heart and Commitment to Excellence.

During Ken’s leisure time, he enjoys assembling puzzles, volunteering with seniors, and working on home improvement projects. Ken states, “I am so grateful IFB included me in their vision to employ people who are blind, when no one else would.” We are incredibly pleased to name Ken Mullins as IFB Solutions 2024 Career Achiever of the Year!


Winston-Salem Facility YMCA Camp Hanes Opportunity

A generous donor to IFB Solutions is again fully sponsoring kids of our employees to attend one week of the traditional residential 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 2024, 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 sponsorships; 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:

  • Apply online and save your completed application as a PDF. Online applications are here: registration page. Simply select the week you wish your child or grandchild to attend.
  • 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.
  • 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 21. 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. Also, the funds are limited this year, and the cost of the camps has increased compared to the previous year. The overnight camp is $1010, and our day camp costs $405.
  • 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:

If you have any questions, please contact Brent Burkholder at 336-245-5611 or bburkholder@ifbsolutions.org


Congratulations to Winston-Salem Facility Employees of the Month for November, December, and January!

November Runner-up – Dennis Rothfuss (Helmet Pads Department)

  • He embodies IFB’s core value, Ethical to the Core and is dependable, organized, dedicated, and helpful to his colleagues.

November Winner – Paul Allen (Mattress Department)

  • He embodies IFB’s core value, Commitment to Excellence and comes to work every day eager to learn something new.

December Runner-up – Lisa Cranfill (Supply Chain Department)

  • She embodies IFB’s core value, Commitment to Excellence and takes great pride in her work and strives to do her best.

December Winner – Norris Sparks (Mattress Department)

  • He embodies IFB’s core value, Commitment to Excellence and is a team player, making sure the job is done right the first time.

January Runner-up – Alena Kadol (Clemmons DC)

  • She embodies IFB’s core value, Ethical to the Core and is very dependable and takes pride in her work.

January Winner – Karl Davenport (Markers Department)

  • He embodies IFB’s core value, Business with a Heart, and works hard and takes pride in the work that he produces.


See what S.E.E. is Doing!

S.E.E. students in the 360-camera booth all together and smiling

S.E.E. After School explored the “In Motion” room at the newly opened Kaleideum. We enjoyed having our pictures made in the 360 degree area, connecting circuits with metallic metal strips, making gears turn with interlocking pieces, building Lego cars then racing them down hill on a wooden track, spinning in a top-like chair, lifting up in a chair powered by pumping air with a lever, and so very much more. These hands-on experiences are in one room as a part of the re-imagined Kaleideum.


Adult Support Group Meetings:

Consider Visiting a Support Group Virtually or at IFB’s Winston-Salem Facility

Are you interested in talking with other people with similar experiences or learning about new research and resources to make life better for the blind/low vision population? Then come and join in the fun and knowledge sharing of our support groups.

  • If you work from home, join the support group that meets on March 19 at 7 PM via Zoom.
  • RP support group March 6 in Tad’s room at 12 PM
  • Sight Adjustment support group March 12 in Tad’s room at 12 PM
  • Diabetic support group – March 20 in Tad’s room at 12 PM
  • Have a guide dog or support dog? Meet with the Guide Dog support group March 25 in Tad’s room at 12 PM.
  • Contact Angela Haynes in the ACS department if you are interested in being a part of the Forsyth National Federation of the Blind meeting March 11 in Tad’s room at 12 PM.

Whatever you are experiencing, find a support group that is the right fit for you. Supporting these groups with attendance and participation will help ensure that they are here to meet our needs. There cannot be support group meetings without people.

Kim Shoffner
Manager of Programs

Upcoming Support Group Meetings

  • Monday, March 4 AAA Committee meeting from 12:00-1:00 in TADS Room
  • Wednesday, March 6 RP support group meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room

CLVC Item of the Week:

Talking indoor/outdoor thermometer, Dual Display

Talking Indoor/Outdoor Thermometer, Dual Display for $16.76. The talking thermometer has a large dual display that shows both the indoor and outdoor temperatures and announces them verbally at the push of a button.

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


The Beat Riddle

Thanks for strolling. You found the answer!

Question: What is seen in the middle of March and April that can’t be seen at the beginning or end of either month?
Answer: The letter “R.”


From Our Community

Insider Corner

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

Royal Curtain Drama Guild Presents “Life After Death”, by Kaila Gillespie

When: April 12 2024

Where: DoubleTree by Hilton on University Pkwy

Time: 7:00pm

Ticket Cost: $45

If interested contact Brenda Neal at 336-408-7646. Money needs to be paid on or before March 14.


HR & Opportunities

March Benefit of the Month

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

Why pay for COVID tests when you can get Free COVID-19 Tests?

Visit https://www.covid.gov/tools-and-resources/resources/tests to order 4 additional free FDA-authorized COVID-19 tests.

Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order 4 free at-⁠home tests. If you did not order 4 tests earlier in the fall, you can place two orders for a total of 8 tests.

Need help placing an order for your at-⁠home tests? Call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489).

New Job Announcements

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

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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Meeting ID: 994 9807 8576