Contact: Nicole Ducouer, M 304-685-2393

Winston-Salem, NC (May 25, 2021)—IFB Solutions, the largest employer of people who are blind in the U.S., recently recognized its Employees of the Year, partners and volunteers who play a vital role in the nonprofit’s mission of employment, training, and services.

Diana Soto of Winston-Salem named overall IFB Solutions Employee of the Year. Diana, who is from Puerto Rico, works as a sewing machine operator in IFB’s Winston-Salem manufacturing facility. With IFB since 2018, she volunteers as a translator during company-wide events, teaches English to Spanish-speaking employees, and is a writer for IFB’s company newsletter. During the Covid pandemic, she volunteered at IFB’s Tracy’s Little Red Schoolhouse to help care for employees’ children when school was closed and no childcare was available, allowing several Spanish-speaking employees to come to work and earn a paycheck.

Headshot photo of Diana-Marie

Jason Denton named IFB Solutions Asheville Employee of the Year. Jason exemplifies “Mission Possible,” an IFB core value—jumping in to help whenever a job comes his way. A sewing machine operator in the Fuel Handler Coverall department, he joined IFB in 2017. Since then, Jason has worked on several production lines, including t-shirts, belts and paper. He focuses on doing quality work and spreads that work ethic among his peers.  Jason has Retinitis Pigmentosa; he has night blindness and has lost peripheral vision but doesn’t let that slow him down. He loves doing improv and stand-up comedy.

Terrail Richardson named IFB Solutions Little Rock Employee of the Year. Terrail joined IFB in 2015 and has worked in every department in the Little Rock facility. He’s earned promotions three times since joining IFB and currently sets collars in t-shirts which is a difficult job for sighted employees let alone for someone who is visually impaired. Terrail’s positive, upbeat attitude makes him the perfect person to participate in IFB’s Buddy Program helping new employees who are blind become familiar with the facility.

Joseph Rehmatullah of Asheville named IFB Solutions Indirect Labor Career Achiever of the Year. Joseph is completely blind and works in the Asheville facility as an Assistive Technology Trainer. He has earned four master’s degrees and previously owned a language and computer center in Pakistan. Starting in IFB’s Contract Cutting department in 2013, Joseph also worked in sewing and Impulse Merchandise. He began teaching computer skills to co-workers, then broadened to teach children across North Carolina who are blind to use technology through IFB’s S.E.E. program.

Shawn Sims of Little Rock named IFB Solutions Delmer Wall Outstanding Service Award. Shawn started at IFB in 2011 as a sleeve machine operator in t-shirts, then was promoted to production assistance and supervisor. She now supervises two departments setting goals focused on quality and process. She is vital to IFB’s Covid-19 safety protocols, assisting in health screenings and helping the medical staff. Shawn, who is sighted, also rallies the team to help fellow employees in need.

Charlie Pine honored with Kathryn Garner Volunteer of the Year award. This award recognizes someone who gives personal time to raise funds, enhance programs and services and raise awareness to support IFB’s mission. Charlie has served on IFB’s Asheville Advisory Council since 2009, including chairing the council from 2011-2014. He also served on the IFB Solutions Board of Directors. In 2010, Charlie played a major role in IFB’s capital campaign, helping raise nearly $1 million to build a Community Low Vision Center at the Asheville facility along with a multi-purpose room, cafeteria and more. He’s a strong advocate for IFB, leading tours, bringing in new Advisory Council members, and introducing customers to the Community Low Vision Center.

Mark Doughton honored as IFB Solutions Commodore Funderburk Visionary Award recipient.  This award is named for the late Commodore Funderburk who was blind, deaf and mute and worked for IFB for 40 years without missing a day. Mark is a long-time member of the IFB Solutions Board of Directors and served as Board Chair. He also was as a member of the IFB Solutions Foundation Board and has played an integral role in IFB’s fundraising efforts including growing community awareness and helping IFB pursue a number of grant opportunities. A dedicated philanthropist, Mark is president of the Stephen Doughton, Jr. Foundation for Leukemia Research (named after his son who is in remission) raising more than $100,000 for research.


Milliken and Company named IFB Solutions Partner of the Year. Milliken is a research, design and manufacturing company founded in 1865. The company has partnered with IFB Solutions since 2008 and sponsors the annual IFB Solutions golf tournament, shares business acumen with IFB leadership and provides constant philanthropic support. A long-time advocate for IFB’s mission of jobs, training and services, Milliken has helped secure employment opportunities for people who are blind in N.C. and across the country.

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IFB Solutions is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1936 that provides employment, training and services for people who are blind or visually impaired. As the largest employer of people who are blind in the United States, IFB operates manufacturing facilities in Winston-Salem, N.C., Asheville, N.C., and Little Rock, Ark., in addition to operating nearly 20 office supply stores across the country and producing mattresses. IFB produces eyewear under its Twenty200 brand at its Winston-Salem lab and operates a retail location in Winston-Salem. IFB Solutions funds employee training and services as well as community programs through grants and private donations, making possible summer camps, afterschool programs and activities for children who are blind, and Community Low Vision services through its low-vision Centers across North Carolina and in Little Rock, Ark.