IFB Beat – Week of November 3, 2022

News to Know

Update on Optical Operations

Dear IFB Solutions employees,

We made the incredibly difficult announcement to our optical employees that the Twenty200 Optical Lab and all optical operations will shut down November 30, 2022.

This follows months of evaluating financial performance and options in our control to make optical operations a positive contributor to our blind work hours and our bottom line.

We are so grateful for our optical employees who have worked incredibly hard amidst the ups and downs of losing our court battle in 2019 to maintain IFB’s optical contracts with the VA and putting our focus on the non-government/commercial space. We’re asking them to stay on as needed while the business is wound down, approaching a full closure on November 30. Our HR team is partnering with all areas of our business to evaluate open positions and determine how to retain optical employees in other divisions.

Although optical operations have been part of IFB’s manufacturing portfolio since 2000, we have maintained a multi-faceted portfolio of products and services. Like any business, we are going to focus our energies and resources on those areas that best serve our mission. We plan to sell our optical equipment and transition the optical lab space to support other growing areas of our business.

Our FY23 revenue forecast excluding optical has solid growth projection within our remaining business lines. With over 100 job positions currently open, our organization is poised for growth well into the future.

As optical leaves IFB’s portfolio, what will remain is an important piece of IFB history is our longevity and success in making eyeglasses for veterans, their families, and communities across the US through independent eye care providers. During our 22-year tenure, IFB’s highly complex and technical optical operations helped break down many stereotypes of what individuals who are blind can accomplish. We are proud of our history and the hundreds of employees who were part of our optical operations over those many years.

It will take all of us to roll up this business well, not just operations and HR, but supply chain, IT, finance, communications and more. If you have immediate questions, please connect with your supervisor or a member of HR.


David Horton, President and CEO
Dan Kelly, Incoming President, and CEO

Veteran’s Day Celebration Details

WINSTON-SALEM FACILITY: We will be honoring our Veterans on Wednesday, November 9 at 5:00pm. The celebration will be held on the manufacturing floor with words from Dan Kelly followed by the singing of the national anthem by S.E.E. instructor Charity Hampton and the recognition of our veterans by Silas Martin. As we honor our veterans, all employees will remain at their workstations. Lunch will be provided for all veterans only in TADS Room from 11:30-12:30.

LITTLE ROCK FACILITY: We will be honoring our Veterans on Friday, November 11 at 8:30am. The celebration will kick off with a general assembly on the manufacturing floor with words from Darrell Hill followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and singing of the National Anthem. We will honor all veterans with an opportunity to speak. All veterans ONLY will be taken out to lunch.


2023 Employee Awards

IFB Solutions is excited to kick off our nomination process for the 2023 Employee of the Year, Career Achiever, and Delmer Wall Awards. The nomination process is manager/ mission driven and performance based. Managers will submit all nominations to Brent Burkholder by Wednesday November 30. We thank everyone for their hard work and dedication during these challenging times. So, stay tune as the new 2023 award winners are selected!


Winston-Salem Cafeteria Update

We are pleased to announce that Canteen will be installing a portion of the beverage and snack sections the week of November 14th! This will allow for training on the point of sale/checkout system ahead of the full setup ready January 3rd, 2023. Additional details, including more information on the payment system, is expected to be in next week’s The Beat.


Asheville Halloween Parade

Check out all the ghost and goblins having fun in Asheville!

Images of employees with their costumes

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.


Annual Staff Fundraising Campaign

The annual Staff Campaign 2023 presented by Salem Benefits Group kicks off on November 1, 2022. Here are some details about the upcoming Campaign.

All IFB email users will receive 2 calendar invites – one for November 29 at 10 a.m. and another one for November 30 at 3:30 p.m. inviting you to attend a Zoom session dedicated to Staff Campaign. Please accept only one calendar invitation for the session you want to attend. Please decline the other invitation. As always, everyone is invited to participate in staff campaign sessions, but giving is not mandatory.

• On November 9, all Winston-Salem employees who will be on-site are invited to attend a general assembly session on the production floor. The meeting will last 15-20 minutes.

• On November 17, all Little Rock employees who will be on-site are invited to attend a general assembly session on the production floor and learn more about the Staff Campaign.

• On December 1, all Asheville employees who will be on-site are invited to attend a general assembly session on the production floor.

All donors, who donate $20 or more will receive a water bottle sponsored by Salem Benefits Group (IFB’s benefits broker.)

o Supervisors: you will receive a separate email about help needed with filling out staff campaign donation forms.

• If you would like to support today, here’s how you can do that:
– Fill out and sign a payroll deduction form before December 5, 2022.
– Donate with cash or check.
– Donate online at https://ifbsolutions.org/donate/

Questions? Contact Tatiana Russell at trussell@ifbsolutions.org.

Thank you for supporting job training, employment, transportation, support groups, and programs for IFB employees and communities throughout North Carolina, Arkansas, and beyond!


Programs and Services

Winston-Salem Employees – AAA Committee Update

The AAA Committee is excited to announce that the Executive Team will be participating in the BEEP (Blind Employment Engagement Project) starting November 1 and rotating through all departments by the end of August. BEEP is designed to promote further interaction and communication among all levels of employment in the WS location. This will be accomplished by executive and support staff performing tasks side-by-side with coworkers on IFB’s diverse manufacturing floor as well as involvement in services supported by programs. BEEP also promotes a better awareness of requirements of a special population and their understanding of the responsibilities of the executive and support staff.

To help raise the level of awareness, executives will be assigned to an operation while blindfolded or wearing eye disease simulator glasses. All operation and services related activities have been preselected with little or no learning curve involved. The Executive Team will start this program with Tina Jolly in the Vinyl department. Let us take this opportunity to engage with the Executive Team and help make this experience one to remember!


See what S.E.E. is Doing!

S.E.E. Student Meiko with her braille lego creation.

S.E.E. student Meiko helped make Spookley the square pumpkin with Braille Legos in S.E.E. After School Winston. Our story helped us remember that what is important is what is on the inside, not the outside. Spookley the square pumpkin stood strong in the gap of the broken fence when all the round pumpkins started rolling away in the storm.


Adult Support Group Meetings:

  • Tuesday, November 8 Transportation support group meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room.

Community Low Vision Center

CLVC Item of the Week:


Image of pocket large print address book

Pocket Large Print Address Book for $4.75. The Pocket Large Print Address Book is a spiral notebook with forty-nine sheets of white paper with black lines.
Large print. Large writing spaces. 4 1/4 x 5 1/2.


CLVC November Item of the Month:

Image of brailled playing cards

Giant Size Playing Cards (Braille on 1 Corner of Each Card) for $24.95.

If you’d like to get a durable deck of playing cards that will last forever, here they are! These Giant Size Playing Cards feature large-print Braille on one corner of each card, and the deck is coated with durable plastic which makes them so easy to care for and to clean.

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

Oryan Battis’ next single “Uber” has arrived. Check it out at: https://youtu.be/oC9TJlBmqEE

What’s new in Mac Ventura for VO users: Support for over 20 languages including eloquence. Built in status commands for Wi-Fi and battery levels rather than writing scripts. Usability for Private access tokens, Stage Manager, and system settings layout. Background sounds return and more. Want updates from a VoiceOver user prospective on all Apple products? Visit AppleVis.com and read about Changes in MacOS 13 Ventura.

What do you want to see in the Insider Corner? Send your ideas to FHarding@ifbsolutions.org.

Have a great week!


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

Hanes Brands Inc Community Product Sale, Your favorite brands such as Hanes, Champion and Bali all at amazing prices; 2 days only, Friday Nov. 11 from 12pm - 7pm; Sat Nov 12 from 8am - 3pm. YWCA, 1300 S. Main Street, Winston-Salem. Proceeds from the sale support the Winston-Salem YWCA. Free Parking, Cash or Credit/debit only; veterans go to the front of the line with military ID

Savvy shoppers – mark your calendars for the biggest HanesBrands Community Product Sale ever! Friday, November 11 from 12 noon – 7 p.m. and Saturday, November 12 from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Winston-Salem YWCA Wellness Center at 1300 South Main Street. Your favorite brands – Hanes, Champion, Bali and more – all at amazing prices for men, women, and youth. Plus, proceeds from the sale benefit the YWCA and its mission of empowering women and eliminating racism so your purchase is doing good in our community! In honor of Veteran’s Day, all active military and veterans can go to the front of the line to enter the sale. Details at www.ywcaws.org/news-events


HR & Opportunities

Update on Paycom Review Process

On October 24, 2022, your review process was made available through your Paycom Employee Self-Serve portal. Please log into your portal and complete your employee self-assessment as soon as possible. **NOTE: Self review will close out on November 11th and cannot be reopened.

Once you log into the review, you will notice that the process flow is the same as it was last year. When completing the review, comments are required to support ratings. Please refer to your easy-to-use instructions for more details.

Upon finishing your review, please be sure to type your name on the signature line and date the review and click “Final Approve” so your manager/supervisor can complete their portion of the review.

Brenda Livingston, Laura True and Mary Hunter will be working with managers and supervisors directly on completing hourly performance reviews and wage adjustments at their respective locations.

Thank you in advance for your assistance and feel free to contact Brenda Livingston or Laura True if you have any questions!


Open Positions

Customer Service Representative Alphapointe

Education and work experience:
• Highschool degree or equivalent with one or more college level credits or pass certifications
• Typing speed of 30 wpm with 95% accuracy.
• Two or more years experience in an entry-level customer service position.
• Proficient-to-intermediate PC skills (Word, Excel, Windows Explorer) and assistive technology (JAWS, Window Eyes, ZoomText), including demonstrated knowledge of folder structure/navigation, form navigation on the web, and table navigation in all contexts.
External candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=51448&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909
Internal candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=51449&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909&jpt=ce8685cef740a6280b5fcb492b556fa5

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)