IFB Beat – Week of October 30, 2023

A Message from the Editor

IFB Solutions is in the news: Spectrum News helps us wrap up the celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Veterans, last call, please report your Veteran status so we can include you. Mark your calendars for the November general assembly (see info below) and the kickoff of IFB’s annual Staff Giving Campaign. All don’t forget to pull out your costumes for a little IFB Halloween fun!

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week!

Anastasia Powell

IFB Solutions Communications Manager

apowell@ifbsolutions.org | 336-245-5698

Quick Links:

New this Week

Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)
IFB Solutions Annual Staff Giving Campaign
Former Little Rock Facility Employees Make Winston-Salem Their New Home!
Reminder: Halloween Activities: October 31
Winston-Salem Facility Veteran’s Day Details
Winston-Salem General Assembly Monday, November 6
Asheville Facility: Pictures from Last Week’s Hot Dog Benefit
See what S.E.E. is Doing
Adult Support Group Meetings
CLVC Item of the Week

From Our Community

Insider Corner

HR and Opportunities

Reminder: Benefit Update Effective 11/1/23
IFB Annual Performance Reviews Close November 19
IFB Benefit of the Month
New Job Openings

Support Group Zoom Meeting Links


New this Week

Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)

Spectrum News shares how IFB is providing jobs with the help of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Transformational Grant awarded by the City of Winston-Salem. Watch here: https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nc/charlotte/news/2023/10/19/ifb-solutions-blind-grant-

Observed each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month celebrates the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities past and present and showcases supportive, inclusive employment policies and practices that benefit employers and employees. The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has chosen “Advancing Access and Equity” as the theme for NDEAM 2023. NDEAM en Española. The workplace is an important part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month and IFB Solutions remains steadfast in its mission to provide employment opportunities, training and support services for people who are blind or visually impaired.


IFB Solutions Annual Staff Giving Campaign

Each year, IFB Solutions employees are invited to give philanthropically to support the programs and services offered to individuals who are blind. While these funds support many activities, they especially help ensure our after school programs and camps for kids run smoothly and remain free of charge as well as enabling our Community Low Vision Centers to provide training and support for individuals new to visual impairment. IFB has a goal to raise just over $1.5 million this year, and our employees, alongside their family and friends, make up a vital part of these contributions.

Image of lunch cooler with "I Donated"The annual Staff Giving Campaign for 2024 will kick off on November 1, 2023. Here are some details about the upcoming campaign:

  • If you have an IFB email address, you’ll receive two optional calendar invites to attend a Zoom meeting to learn more about the specific areas of our mission your gifts will support.
  • These sessions are December 5 at 10 a.m. and December 7 at 1 p.m. Each session will contain the same information, so if you plan to join, just accept the best fit and decline the other As always, everyone is invited to participate in Staff Campaign sessions, but giving is not mandatory.
  • For employees who work at our Winston-Salem Facility, you’re invited to attend an in-person session in the TAD’s Room that will last approximately 15 minutes. These sessions will occur between November 13 and 15; supervisors will receive a separate email with the meeting schedules to share with employees.
  • For employees who work in our Asheville Facility, you’re invited to a general assembly session on November 29 at 10am.

For those that decide to donate, you can contribute in the following ways:

  • Payroll deduction: fill out and sign a payroll deduction form before December 8, 2023
  • Cash or check: give directly to Tatiana Russell or Naomi Venable (make checks out to IFB Solutions)
  • Online at https://ifbsolutions.org/donate/

All donors who contribute $20 or more will receive a customized lunch bag and be entered into a drawing for a chance to win gift baskets donated by a generous donor.

THANK YOU for supporting job training, employment, transportation, support groups, and programs for IFB employees and communities throughout North Carolina.

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

Little Rock Employees make Winston-Salem their new home!

Let’s welcome John Huitt and Howard Johnson to the team.

Welcome new employees: John Huitt, Sewing Machine Operator, Winston-Salem Facility

John Huitt started with IFB Solutions, Little Rock on September 28, 2015. He relocated to Winston-Salem on September 27, 2023. He works under the direction of Vickie Keaton as a sewing machine operator in the IWOL department.

Welcome new employees: Howard Johnson, Sewing Machine Operator, Winston-Salem Facility

Howard Johnson started with IFB Solutions, Little Rock on November 16, 2015. He relocated to Winston-Salem on September 18, 2023. He works under the direction of Vickie Keaton as a sewing machine operator in the IWOL department.

Reminder: Halloween Activities October 31

Halloween is right around the corner, and we invite all interested employees at each location to dress up and have a little fun!

On October 31, the Winston-Salem facility will have a costume contest, parade, and various treats for all employees to grab. Categories for the costume contest are:

  • Scariest
  • Most Creative
  • Funniest
  • Best Group
  • Best Overall

On October 31, the Asheville facility will have a Halloween Parade at 8:30 AM and all employees will enjoy candy bags and cookies during breaks after the parade.

Please reach out to a team member of HR if you have any questions.


Winston-Salem Facility Veterans Day Details

The Winston-Salem Facility will honor veterans on Monday, November 6 at 3:15pm during our General Assembly (note, the date was chosen due to Veteran’s Day falling on a Saturday this year). 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. Programs instructor Charity Hampton and the recognition of our veterans. As we honor our veterans, all employees will remain at their workstations.

Winston-Salem facility veterans who registered their status with HR will be provided lunch in TAD’s Room from 11:30-12:30. Questions? Connect with Anastasia Powell at apowell@ifbsolutions.org.


Winston-Salem Facility General Assembly

There will be a General Assembly meeting held on the manufacturing floor on Monday, November 6at 3:15 pm. We’re looking forward to presenting employee of the month awards for August, September and October as well as honoring our Veterans and remarks from Dan Kelly, President, and CEO.

Supervisors, please be sure to shut down all equipment, fans and other things that contribute to noise on the manufacturing floor promptly at 3:15. If your workspace is not close to the central offices (outside Pedro Rojas and Edward Sykes’ doors), please move closer to ensure you can hear. Any office administration working in the building, your presence will be appreciated.


Asheville Facility: Hot Dog Benefit for NC Division of Services for the Deaf + Services for the Blind

Asheville employees enjoy hotdogs on the covered patio        Asheville employees enjoy hot dogs in the parking lot

On Tuesday, October 24 the NC Division of Services for the Deaf along with Services for the Blind hosted a Hot Dog Benefit Lunch at the Asheville facility and all employees were invited to participate. All proceeds were donated to State Employees Combined Campaign to benefit Dogs for the Deaf and BEGINNINGS For Parents of Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. The partnership was great and a big hit with employees.


See what S.E.E. is Doing

S.E.E. students on a Ferris ride

What a wonderful day at the NC State Fair! From riding the Ferris wheel to having a snack of fried Snicker bar, the S.E.E. kids enjoyed the fair in Raleigh. The decided favorite was driving the bumper cars. It was the perfect weather for walking acres of fun.


Adult Support Group Meetings:

NFB Support Group – Fundraiser

The NFB support group will have roasted (in the shell) peanuts for sale through the end of November. All bags of peanuts are $4 per bag. Proceeds will support a Christmas social for our S.E.E. students. If you would like to purchase a bag, please reach out to NFB president Angela Hanes.

Upcoming Support Group Meetings

  • Wednesday, November 1, RP support group meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room.


CLVC Item of the Week:

Braille Coloring Book - Animals

Braille Coloring Animal Book for $21.95. Check out the Drawing and Coloring Book! Feel the images, enjoy drawing, learn the shapes of objects and animals by touch.

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. Reach out to her at fharding@ifbsolutions.org

Programs department Kim Shoffner represents IFB at the Marty Hartman Race for Independence

Kim behind her S.E.E. Programs informational table.

Kim Shoffner had a vendor table at the Marty Hartman Race for Independence on Saturday, October 14. Participants in the race could walk, run, or roll the 5K course to honor the life of Marty Hartman – a true advocate for adaptive sports and a can-do attitude. From the singing of the National Anthem to crossing the finish line, racers were cheered on by vendors, volunteers, and the staff of Solutions for Independence and the mayor’s Council on Persons with Disabilities. Sixty-three racers and their helpers braved the rain to help raise awareness and funding for adaptive sports in our area.


HR & Opportunities

Reminder: Benefit Update Effective 11/1/2023

We are excited to remind employees that are enrolled in IFB’s dental and/or vision plan that, effective 11/1/2023, your new carrier is Guardian Insurance! You will receive your new dental/vision cards at the address on file no later than 11/10/2023. If you or your dependent(s) have a dental or vision appointment scheduled before you receive your new ID card, please contact Ciara Frenette to provide proof of coverage.

NOTE: Guardian is replacing MetLife for all the below plans.

  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Voluntary Life Insurance
  • Short Term Disability
  • Critical Illness
  • Accident

Reminder: IFB Annual Performance Reviews Close Sunday, November 19

IFB Annual Performance Reviews will be made available through your Paycom Employee Self-Service portal on Monday October 23rd. Please log into your portal and complete your employee self-assessment as soon as possible. **NOTE: Self reviews will close out on November 10th 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. Managers/Supervisors must have ALL employee reviews completed in Paycom by Sunday, November 19th.

All hourly performance reviews will be handled by appropriate Supervisors accordingly.

Thank you in advance and feel free to contact Brenda Livingston at 336-245-5694 or blivingston@ifbsolutions.org if you have any questions.

IFB Benefit of the Month

Reach IFB Solutions Benefits Supervisor Ciara Frenette at cfrenette@ifbsolutions.org.

Guardian Oral Health Rewards Program: Regular visits to the dentist can help prevent and detect the early signs of serious diseases. That’s why Guardian’s Maximum Rollover Oral Health Rewards Program encourages and rewards members who visit the dentist, by rolling over part of your unused annual maximum into a Maximum Rollover Account (MRA). This can be used in future years if your plan’s annual maximum is reached.

  • The Dental Low plan has an annual maximum benefit of $750.
  • The Dental High plan has an annual maximum benefit of $1500.

Need Assistance? Call the Guardian Helpline (888) 600-1600, weekdays 8:00 AM to 8:30 PM, EST. Refer to your member ID (social security number) and your plan number: 00056230.

Guardian’s Early Smiles Benefit:

Preventive, Basic, and Major services are covered at 100% for children ages 12 and under if the child sees an in-network dentist.

  • No deductible will apply
  • No waiting periods apply if the child sees an in-network dentist.
  • Frequency limitations and plan provisions apply


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
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)