IFB Beat – Week of October 23, 2022

News to Know

In the News: Grant helps make transportation easier for employees at IFB Solutions

View Fox8 News story here: https://myfox8.com/community-foundation/grant-helps-make-transportation-easier-for-employees-at-ifb-solutions/

Winston-Salem Facility employees Art Saunders and Teresa Norway share about transportation challenges facing people who are blind, and how through the incredible generosity of donors and organizations like the Winston Salem Foundation, getting to and from work is made a little easier.

Winston-Salem Cafeteria Update

Since our announcement of Canteen Markets at the beginning of October, we’ve received many questions from employees. A huge thanks to employees who have contributed to this process, from completing surveys last fall to sharing input as recent as last week. The following information hopefully addresses the majority of questions, based on the information we know at this time. We are striving to be as transparent and quick to share information as possible; please expect additional updates in the coming weeks.

The Canteen Market at IFB Solutions will feature a variety of heat-and-eat breakfast biscuits and burritos, lunch and dinner entrees and sides, fresh sandwiches, salads, and fruit and packaged snacks like candy bars and chips. It will include a large variety of sodas, juices, and coffees. Canteen creates the mix of food based on three factors: what is popular in our area, what is available in the supply chain, and what people are buying well at IFB. The third factor takes about 3 months to settle; during that time we’ll have the opportunity to try a variety of options. An IFB Solutions cafeteria staff person will be on hand to help employees who are blind and low vision with selecting products.

Canteen is still working on the menu that will be in place when it launches. Supply chain challenges are dictating some product selection. For example, turkey deli meat is currently in short supply, so while Canteen would typically have a roast turkey sandwich with lettuce and tomato on sliced wheat bread, for the first few months of 2023 they may have roast chicken instead. Another example is Canteen typically has Sunkist brand fruit flavored sodas, but due to availability may have Crush brand for a period of time. Since Canteen plans menus a week in advance, there is time for update to be communicated weekly in The Beat.

In our next update, we plan to share the core menu items we expect to be available January 3, along with pricing. Note that Canteen sets the pricing, and IFB Solutions is going to cover 20% of the pre-tax cost. For now, here’s some example menu items:

  • Breakfast biscuits and breakfast burritos/wraps
  • Sandwiches and salads
  • Refrigerated grab-and-go items like hard boiled eggs, yogurt, and dips paired with crackers and chips
  • Frozen items from brands like Hot Pockets, Lean Cuisine and Hungry Man
  • Full selection of packaged drinks like juices, sodas, coffees and waters
  • Full selection of packaged snacks like chips, crackers and candy
  • And much more

The Canteen Market will be open 24/7; it will never be closed. The entire selection will be available at all times; if you want to purchase lunch during your morning break, it will be available. If you want a snack before your ride home, the market will be stocked and ready for you to grab anything you want.

Canteen is responsible for keeping up with stock and replenishing multiple times per week (potentially daily, depending on demand). They have proven expertise with ensuring freshness of their products, along with keeping popular items in-stock. This is one of the reasons we selected them as operator.

A full-time IFB Solutions employee will support the day-to-day needs of the market operations, including:
– Aiding low vision and blind employees with product selection and check-out
– Maintaining order and organization of the selection above and beyond Canteen’s stocking procedures to ensure consistency in product placement
– Maintaining cleanliness of cafeteria seating area, including wiping tables, cleaning floors, sanitizing microwaves, and stocking napkins and other consumables

The Canteen Market at IFB Solutions is will be two markets in one, with two identical lines. The self-serve setup of freezer units (for frozen meals and snacks), refrigerator units (for drinks, cold sandwiches and snacks, salads and other heat and eat options), and shelving units (for fruit, chips, candy and other non-refrigerated items) will be duplicated, with a check-out on each end. This allows for two simultaneous lines to move during the busy break and lunch times. An additional check-out unit will be installed for those needing help due to visual impairment. We’ll be providing diagrams and details on opportunities to have a short tour of the space in future updates.

In phase 1, January 3 (the day we return to work after the New Year’s Holiday) until approximately the end of January, the dual set-up will be in the main cafeteria room. This is until the space that currently houses Mike’s Café kitchen and serving line is fully vacated and renovated. Once that is complete, the dual set-up will move into the kitchen area. We will be addressing traffic flow in future updates.

The current microwave availability in the cafeteria is 8, and our intent is to expand to at least 10 with a setup that is further spread out to minimize congestion. The 2 microwaves in the breakroom on the plant floor will remain, and 2 microwaves will be added to the area right inside the employee entrance (currently occupied by the vending machines). IFB Solutions cafeteria staff will regularly service the microwaves, frequently cleaning on a daily basis and ensuring all are continuously operational.

NEXT UPDATE: In our next update, we hope to share an itemized menu with pricing, along with explicit details on the payment system.


Meet our new hires!

Jennifer Guerard started with IFB on October 10th as a Machine Operator. She is working under the direction of Vicki Keaton in the T-shirt department. She relocated from Chattanooga, Tennessee and is excited to start her journey with IFB!

Alan Guerard started with IFB on October 10th as an Assembler/Packer. He is working under the direction of Tina Jolly in the Rags and Wipes department. He relocated from Chattanooga, Tennessee to start his journey with us alongside his mother!

Laura Kuhn joined IFB as the Marketing and Design Assistant on October 10th. She is working under the direction of Seth Anderson. We look forward to the talent that she will be contributing to the organization!


Retirement Announcement

Carl Corbitt, Little Rock Facility employee, retired on Friday, October 14 2022. He worked in several departments during his 14-year tenure and retired from the Textiles department. We wish him well on his new chapter in life!


Message from David Hampton Vice President of Human Resources

Dear IFB Solutions Family,

I will be leaving IFB Solutions effective December 30, 2022. I have been honored to serve as head of Human Resources since I joined IFB in 2010, and I’m excited to explore what’s next for me and my family. IFB has grown in incredible ways over the past decade, and I’m so proud to have been a part of IFB’s mission and community for the past 12 years.

Effective, December 1, 2022, Laura True will advance to Senior Director of Human Resources reporting to Jason Moser, Chief Financial Officer. She will have direct responsibility for all aspects of HR, including employee relations, benefits, recruitment, and performance management. Please join me in congratulating her on this promotion.

Angela Jordan, Director of Environmental Health and Safety, will join the operations team and report to Silas Martin, Chief Operation Officer.


David Hampton, Vice President of Human Resources, IFB Solutions


October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

In recognition of the significant role people with disabilities play in a diverse and inclusive American workforce, the theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) 2022 is “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation.” Observed annually in October, NDEAM celebrates the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities past and present and highlights supportive, inclusive employment policies and practices. Read the news release


IFB Solutions celebrates NDEAM!

Headshot of Melissa outside of the Winston-Salem Facility

Melissa Tuttle living the mission! AbilityOne Non-Profit Agencies are an integral part of the national security infrastructure, providing U.S. troops around the globe needed equipment and gear, as well as high performance, highly specialized clothing. Many AbilityOne organizations, like IFB Solutions whose manufacturing operations are all located in the United States, are an essential part of the U.S. Defense Industrial Base. Meet Melissa Tuttle career achiever and one of our supply chain experts. Growing up with low vision never slowed Melissa down. She lives with the mantra of adapt and move forward and does not let low vision define who she is.

Watch and be inspired: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2WvdjvBQ4g&t=14s


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Did you know? (Provided by the National Breast Cancer Foundation)
• 1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
• On average, every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States.
• There are over 3.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.

Attention Winston-Salem Employees:
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.

Attention Veterans!

Please report your Veteran Status to our HR department by Monday, October 31. We would like to honor all of our Veterans on Veteran’s Day. If we don’t have your name marked as a Veteran we can’t honor you! Please let HR know your status.


Winston-Salem Flu Shots

Flu shots have arrived! The Winston-Salem health clinic will be administering flu vaccines on Tuesday, October 25th & Wednesday, the 26th. Nurse Venessa will come to employee workstations and offices to administer. You must fill out a Flu Vaccine Consent Form to receive the vaccine, you can pick this up outside of the Benefits Administrator, Ciara Frenette’s office. If you need assistance contact your supervisor.

Winston-Salem Fall Festival Update

While last week we shared this under a the title “employee picnic”, this is a Fall Festival with activities throughout the day on Thursday, October 27. Get ready for fun, fall treats, prizes, karaoke, and a Halloween parade/costume contest!

The Halloween parade/costume contest will be on Thursday, October 27 at 10:30am on the plant floor. All employees participating will meet in the cafeteria at 10:15am for pictures and parade line up. There will be a variety of prizes given for the winners of the costume contest to include a certificate for 10 extra hours of PTO that will be added to the winners account.

Costume categories are:
• Best Disney Costume
• Most creative costume
• Best Group costume
• Funniest costume
• Best Guide dog costume
• Scariest costume
• Best Overall costume

Following the Halloween parade there will be an afternoon of fun at the fall festival from 3:30-5:30.

What to expect: Music, Karaoke, dancing, Fun Selfie Station, Door prizes and giveaways, tasty fall treats and drinks.
There will be eight slots available for Karaoke with songs that are no longer than 3.5 minutes. It will be first come, first serve so don’t delay! To sign up contact Brenda Livingston at blivingston@ifbsolutions.org or X5694.

We will also announce the winners of the Halloween Costume Contest at the party. We look forward to a fun time!!!


Programs and Services

Come Join the Winston-Salem Facility Red Cross Blood Drive

Hosted by the Winston-Salem AAA Committee

During the past two years, our local and nationwide Red Cross donations has been at an all-time low. 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: October 26, 2022
Where: Winston-Salem Tad’s Room
Time: 10:00am-2:30pm.
Manufacturing and optical contact your supervisor to set up an appointment to donate.

Admin contact Anastasia Powell at: APowell@ifbsolutions.org or Shonn Redmond at: SRedmond@ifbsolutions.org


See what S.E.E. is Doing!


S.E.E. kids of Winston After School played “roll a creature feature with Play Dough and tactile dice. They made a body and head for their monster. Each round, the monster or creature got a new body part in the amount that the dice landed on. This creature monster is Gleebop. He has 4 horns, 5 eyes, 4 arms, and one foot.


Adult Support Group Meetings:

  • Monday, October 24 Guide Dog support group meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room.
  • Tuesday, October 25 Glaucoma support group meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room.
  • Thursday, October 27 Blind Ambitions support group meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room.

Community Low Vision Center

CLVC Item of the Week:

Discover Talking Typing Teacher

Talking Typing Teacher – Standard – for $99.95

Discover Talking Typing Teacher, a revolutionary new typing program that’s ideal for the blind and visually impaired. At home or in the classroom, Talking Typing Teacher is the perfect software solution for anyone who wishes to learn how to type.


CLVC October Item of the Month:

Omni-Sense Push-On White Cane Tip Attachment

Omni-Sense Push-On White Cane Tip Attachment for $49.99 | Great features, including technology allowing fluid, 360-degree movement across a range of surfaces. Tough, durable polymer construction for extended wear, resting stand, non-corrosive, and easy 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

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.

Dark Room Ballet

Shared by Winter Robinson

Krishna Washburn is a blind dancer in New York City who teaches a free online ballet class for adults who are visually impaired. Her students come from around the world. They can’t see her, but they rely on her verbal descriptions of exercises and how to move their body into different shapes. Instead of a mirror, students use a strip of tape on the floor to orient them in space.
An article Krishna wrote, Breaking down Stereotypes About Blind Dancers, dispels the myth of dancers who are blind or low vision.
“Some people, even other disabled people, think that the aesthetic of the blind dancer is basically what a sighted dancer would do, just not as good,” Krishna shares. “This is a mistake that people make because of ableism. The ablest stereotype of the blind dancer is someone who has weak body awareness. A sighted dancer might just choose to copy what the teacher is doing visually. I have to make my movements with a deeper understanding of my skeletal anatomy, my neurological pulls, and my body’s physics. I feel there’s a very unhealthy narrative we teach to children that you have a disability so you’re going to have to overcome that disability and compensate in order to achieve what you want to achieve. That’s a terrible thing we teach our children. It doesn’t reflect reality.
If I’m starting with someone who has been prevented from knowing the basic facts about their body and their body’s capability, I’m giving them the opportunity to truly take ownership of their body and to know what it is and what it does and what it can do, and to not feel anxious about movement. I want them to feel happiness in movement and to feel freedom in movement and to not feel the weight of judgment of sighted people watching.”

No experience is necessary for Krishna Washburn’s introductory online class, which runs every Monday night. Visit The Dark Room Ballet, for articles, more information, and sign up.

Dancing is a beautiful form of self-expression. It takes a wonderful soul to run a business with a heart to share this valuable practice with individuals who are blind. Having understanding is everything. Share your stories, latest items, or thoughts with us at the email below.

Have a wonderful week!

Faith Harding
Editor of Insider Corner – IFB Beat

Community Connections

Congratulations to Kim Flanagan Winston-Salem Youth Program Coordinator!

Kim helps a S.E.E Program participant in the kitchen at Tracy's Little Red Schoolhouse

The Winston-Salem Mayor’s Council for Persons with Disabilities (WSMCPD) is celebrating its 75th year. In celebration of this momentous occasion and in celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, WSMCPD held its Annual Awards Ceremony on October 14, 2022 to recognize individuals, businesses, and organizations for their contributions on behalf of persons with disabilities.

Kim Flanagan Youth Program Coordinator in Winston-Salem at Tracy’s Little Red Schoolhouse received the MCPD 2022 Employee of the Year award. This award honors an individual with a disability who is recognized for his/her outstanding achievement in the workplace and for significant contributions that increase public awareness of individuals with disabilities. Kim’s work at the Little Red Schoolhouse provides opportunities for blind or visually impaired students in kindergarten through twelfth grade to learn and practice skills to help them become independent adults. Kim states, “Knowing I am helping students to achieve goals is satisfying and their joy is a great reward to me. Though I am blind, I plan to keep learning and growing, sharing my skills, and showing the present and next generations how to focus on their abilities. I am very blessed to have a family, home, and job I genuinely enjoy.”

Kim received a beautiful crystal plaque honoring her accomplishments and a room of applause for her amazing contributions to the blind community. Kim, thank you for all you do to make a difference!

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)