IFB Beat – Week of May 8, 2023

A Message from the Editor

This week’s edition is packed with updates and information.

  • Dan Kelly shares about where IFB Solutions will be be transforming our business to be more in sync with where we see potential for job growth and product development.
  • Open enrollment for medical (core) benefits is coming soon.
  • Applications are now open for the 2023-2023 Academic Year Tina Bess and Daniel J. Boucher Scholarship opportunity.

And last, don’t forget to submit a photo for a chance to win a gift basket in the Philanthropy Team’s drawing!

Have a great week!

Anastasia Powell

IFB Solutions Communications Manager

apowell@ifbsolutions.org | 336-245-5698

Quick Links:

New this Week

Dan Kelly on Transforming our Business
What’s Happening on the Floor: Job Conversion in ACS
Mother’s Day Raffle from the Philanthropy 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

Your Benefit of the Week
Coming Soon: Company-Wide Open Enrollment for All Full-Time IFB Employees
The Tina Bess and Daniel J. Boucher Scholarship for the 2023-2024 Academic Year
Dress Code and Code of Ethics Policies Reminders
New Job Openings

Support Group Zoom Meeting Links


New this Week

Transforming Our Business: An Update from Dan Kelly, President and CEO

Headshot of Dan Kelly

In the past few weeks, we have announced significant changes to IFB Solutions. I want to put some context around why those changes are needed for the long-term success and growth of our organization.

First is our unrelenting commitment to being America’s leader in building life-changing opportunities for people who are blind.

Second is that our business is changing, and in order to create new employment opportunities for the 7 out of 10 Americans who are blind and not working, we must position our organization differently.

In the coming months and beyond, we will be transforming our business to be more in sync with where we see potential for job growth and product development. That transformation will focus on three primary areas:

  • The first directly ties with our recent announcements which is to consolidate our physical footprint to achieve production and operational efficiencies across our manufacturing lines and reduce overhead costs. This will make IFB more competitive in the marketplace while also making it easier for IFB employees who are blind to access our on-site support services like training, medical care, and transportation.
  • The second is to grow our workforce services professional staffing business led by Shannon Satterfield. Through partnerships like our recently announced opportunity with Maximus, we now have 45 people who are blind working in professional positions across the country and our goal is to grow this number to hundreds of jobs within the next three years. Importantly, these work-at-home jobs eliminate a key barrier to work – transportation – and also allow people who are blind to stay in their home communities with their families and support networks.
  • Our third area of focus is product development and how we sell our products in the digital marketplace like bscsource.com and through our Pinnacle Mercantile storefront on Amazon. As we found during the pandemic, IFB needs to continually assess and, if needed, reinvent the products we bring to market and also how we get those products to market. These efforts help drive job growth in our manufacturing, assembly and packaging operations which are great workforce entry points for many IFB employees.

Our goal for the future is for IFB Solutions to be a stronger organization than it is today, and that may take some difficult and bold decisions as we transition from the business, we’ve been in the past to the business we want to be for the future. I look forward to seeing what we achieve together!


Dan Kelly

IFB Solutions President and CEO


What’s Happening on the Floor: Job Conversion in ACS

Tim works at his sewing station

Timothy Jones, sewing machine operator in the ACS department, is not letting blindness stand in his way of contributing to the team! The Advanced Combat Shirt, or ACS, is manufactured in the Winston-Salem facility from material cut at the Asheville facility. IFB’s longstanding contract has produced thousands of these shirts for the Army. In the Winston-Salem facility, the 80-person team produces over 500 shirts a day, each containing sixty components.

Recently, the team supervised by Rikki Moosbrugger and supported by trainers Juanita Watts and Joann Dean has identified Timothy Jones as the very first blind employee IFB has had to successfully run a single needle machine to make collars in the ACS department. Tim just relocated from Morristown, TN to Winston-Salem. At the age of eight, he started losing his sight and went completely blind at the age of 13. Tim has proven if there is a will there is a way!

A great big thank you to IFB trainers for working diligently in converting jobs for people who are blind! Rikki and IFB trainers are incredibly proud of Tim. It’s awesome to see IFB’s core value of Mission Possible in action! Keep up the good work, Tim!


Mother’s Day Raffle from the Philanthropy Team

gift basket 2 gift basket 1

Mother’s Day is right around the corner! To celebrate, we would love to highlight any mother-daughter or mother-son employee duos we have here at IFB Solutions. If you’d like to be featured, please submit a photo along with names and job titles to apowell@ifbsolutions.org by noon on Thursday, May 11. Your submission enters your name into a drawing for a Mother’s Day basket! The winners and details of how to receive the basket will be announced at the end of day on Thursday, May 11.


See what S.E.E. is Doing

Drew with his butterfuly

Drew, a former student helped the S.E.E. After School Winston kids make a butterfly with Wiki sticks outline, school glue inside, and painted with Jell-O powder of 4 flavors. We could smell the flavors to determine the colors on the beautiful butterfly wings.

Adult Support Group Meetings:

  • Monday, May 8 NFB meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room.
  • Tuesday, May 9 Transportation support group meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room.
  • Wednesday, May 10 Blind Ambitions support group meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room.


CLVC Item of the Week:

Jumbo Timer w/ 1.4" Digit Display

Jumbo Timer w/ 1.4″ Digit Display – $16.99

Ultra slim timer features 1.4″ digits for easy display. Timer can count up or down up to 99 minutes and 59 seconds. Can stand or hang with magnet.

CLVC May Item of the Month:

Image of Heated Foot Massager by Moshi

Heated Foot Massager by Moshi – $39.95

The Massage Boot with warmer function will stimulate blood circulation and eliminate fatigue. In addition, the heating option provides soothing warmth for your feet. 3 vibration modes provide multiple massaging options, and the speed can be increased for higher effectiveness.

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


From our Community

Insider Corner

This section is edited by Faith Harding.

Hello, IFB Family.

Busy workdays? A relaxer is overdue. Ensure to take time after work, sit in nature or on your porch, listen to birds and drink your favorite beverage to decompress. Perhaps you’d enjoy the fishing tournament below. If nature is not your thing, find a comfortable quiet place where you can sit. Close your eyes and take slow deep breaths through your nose. Slowly exhale through your mouth and let your body relax. Whatever your choice, scheduling consistent time to relax your mind, body, and spirit is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

What is something you’d like to see in this section? Contact me at FHarding@ifbsolutions.org.


Do you know about the NC VIP Fishing Tournament?

The NC Lions VIP Fishing Tournament attracts over 500 blind and visually impaired people, along with their guests, ages 12 to 91 to the Outer Banks annually. The tournament, which is held each October, draws people from throughout North Carolina. It is the largest gathering of blind and visually impaired people all over the state. This social event and fishing tournament, is a favorite of the blind and visually impaired community. You don’t have to know how to fish or even like fishing to attend. Volunteers are provided to assist you with the fishing if desired. The event includes accommodations, meals, seminars, dances, entertainment, local destination tours, and fishing. The dates this year are October 16-18, 2023, and the fee is $100 for Visually impaired or blind participants. Applications are available now at:

NC Lions VIP fishing Tournament


MHACC’s Compeer Program: Mental wellness starts with friendship

Compeer matches adults living with a mental health diagnosis with compassionate community volunteers who provide one-to-one supportive friendship and mentoring relationships to offset the social isolation and loneliness that can accompany mental illness. Interested? Check them out at Mental Health America of Central Carolinas – Compeer – Charlotte, NC (mhaofcc.org)

Or call 704-519-233


HR & Opportunities

Your Benefit of the Week

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

IFB offers access to WorkLife Services providing comprehensive support for everyday work and life concerns that can have a significant impact on physical and emotional health.

  • Legal – A 30-minute consultation per issue by phone or in an attorney’s local office.
  • Financial – Phone access to financial counselors to answer questions or schedule a 60- minute counseling session per issue for bankruptcy, establishing savings goals, and finding resources for home ownership, college funding, or retirement planning.
  • Childcare – Assistance with locating childcare, parenting, adoption, and education resources.
  • Eldercare – Guidance on locating elder care resources ranging from skilled nursing facilities to local programs.
  • Life Transitions – Support to participants experiencing significant life transitions through telephonic consultation.

You can call LifeWorks any time, 24/7, to speak with a caring, professional consultant who can help you!

English – 877-234-5151

Spanish – 888-732-9020


Coming Soon: Company-Wide Open Enrollment for All Full-Time IFB Employees

Company-wide open enrollment for all full time IFB employees will begin Monday, May 15th and run through Friday, May 26th. Your attention is especially important this year as we have significant carrier changes. Be on the lookout this week for information on how to schedule a phone appointment with a benefit coach for enrollment assistance.

This enrollment will capture the following benefits:

  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Voluntary Life
  • Short Term Disability
  • Critical Illness
  • Accident coverage

Participation for employees is required through Paycom (including declining coverage). Additional information will come this week!


The Tina Bess and Daniel J. Boucher Scholarship for the 2023-2024 Academic Year

IFB offers its employees two scholarships to further their post-secondary education. The Tina Bess Scholarship and Daniel J. Boucher scholarship are offered to our employees and direct dependents to continue their education in accredited universities or colleges and is described below. There is a formal process that individuals must follow to be considered for a scholarship also described below:

1. The Tina Bess Scholarship is for blind, visually impaired, or sighted employees – who are full-time, are in good standing and have completed 1 year of service. Tina Bess was employed at IFB for 30 years as a Production Assistant. She was recognized as the 2001 Career Achiever and twice honored as the employee of the year. Tina was best remembered by her peers as a mentor, advisor, and friend. Tina did not allow her vision impairment to hold her back from being independent, instead using her circumstance to maintain a steadfast level of determination, perseverance, and courage. Countless employees during her time at IFB have told stories of Tina’s personal generosity, commitment, and loyalty to them and the organization. Tina’s excellence and inner-drive to perform was the priceless personal character contributor to all who came in contact with her.

2. The Daniel J. Boucher Scholarship is for blind, visually impaired, or sighted employees and their direct dependents – the employee must be full-time, in good standing and have completed 1 year of service. Mr. Boucher served as the IFB President from 1996-2008 prior to working in the role of Executive Chairman from 2008 through 2016. During his time as President, he led IFB through tremendous growth establishing new business lines including Optical, BSC store locations, and services, resulting in tremendous growth of blind employment nation-wide. This scholarship was established by a friend of Mr. Boucher’s to honor his legacy and provide opportunities for continued professional development for those Mr. Boucher worked with and held in the highest regard.

To be considered for either scholarship, each applicant must submit a completed application, an acceptance letter from the college or university, a copy of the student ID (front and back), and documentation of the tuition and associated costs.

The deadline for submitting applications and all supporting materials indicated above is Friday, June 9, 2023. Supporting materials should be submitted to Brent Burkholder at bburkholder@ifbsolutions.org. All applications should be completed at the following links:

Tina Bess Scholarship Application: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=SQbDxA4fmESiHhoGX06NHOYPKmJQb4VLrwA3jsZJq_NURE5WQVY4NlBFSlJQTExHRUNaNVJSNE9OQS4u

Daniel Boucher Scholarship Application: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=SQbDxA4fmESiHhoGX06NHOYPKmJQb4VLrwA3jsZJq_NUM1Y5RzFGQ0w3VlQ2UDFIQUROVlhQM1lLQS4u

Once all applications and supporting materials are received, the committee will consider each applicant for an award. If chosen, the recipient must show proof of class attendance and must complete all classes with at least a “C” to be considered for future funding. The amount of the scholarship awarded depends on tuition costs submitted, how many applicants are being considered for scholarships and funds being available in each scholarship fund.

For more information, please contact Brent Burkholder at 336-245-5611 or bburkholder@ifbsolutions.org.


IFB Solutions Dress Code and Code of Ethics

Please take note of the below reminders regarding IFB’s Dress Code and Code of Ethics policy. Keep all of these things in mind as you come to work each day and reach out to Brenda Livingston at blivingston@ifbsolutions.org or 336-245-5694 if you have any questions.

Dress Code Policy

Things that are not approved to wear on the plant floor and if seen may be requested to cover up or be sent home to change are:

  • Pants/shorts/skirts worn below the waistline.
  • Midriff/tank/halter tops
  • Spaghetti straps or low-cut blouses
  • See-through clothing that shows undergarments.
  • Short shorts/skirts/dresses; please make sure they are the appropriate length for work.

Code of Ethics

As an IFB employee, you are expected to follow all policies and procedures as well as report violations as they are noticed/occur. Speak up and follow the appropriate protocol of notifying your supervisor/manager and HR. IFB maintains a professional and harassment free workplace and the following behaviors are prohibited:

  • Unwelcome conduct (verbal, physical or visual)
  • Harassment of others to include sexual harassment.
  • Discrimination based on someone’s race, color, religion, sex, age, citizenship status, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other protected status.
  • Possession or use of illegal drugs or alcohol on campus
  • Inappropriate cellphone or email use


New Job Announcements

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

BSC Store Clerk – MacDill Air Force Base

Education and work experience:

  • High School Diploma
  • No prior experience required.

External candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=61797&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909

Internal candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=61798&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909&jpt=ce8685cef740a6280b5fcb492b556fa5


Production Assistant – Winston Salem

External candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=62142&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909

Internal candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=62143&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909&jpt=ce8685cef740a6280b5fcb492b556fa5

For more 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
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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)