View a PDF version with photos here.


Contact: Anastasia Powell, M 336-456-9824

IFB Solutions Honors Local Employee of the Year, The Winston-Salem Foundation and Community Leader Tom Serrin for Contributions to Non-Profit’s Success

Winston-Salem, NC (May 25, 2022)—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. Several honorees were from the Winston-Salem area.

“During the past two years of operating during a global pandemic our employees, board members and community partners have gone to extraordinary lengths in helping us continue to live out our mission of providing employment, training and services for people who are blind,” said IFB Solutions CEO David Horton. “This year’s award ceremony was especially meaningful as an opportunity to recognize and thank them in person for all that they continue to do for our organization. I’m humbled and inspired by their unselfish service and commitment to IFB Solutions.”

Luis Quiles of Winston-Salem named overall IFB Solutions Employee of the Year. Luis, who was born with ocular histoplasmosis, began his career at the IFB operations in Puerto Rico. After several years, he decided to move to Winston-Salem for additional upward mobility opportunities. He currently works in the role of Lead Shipper for IFB’s optical department. Luis obtained a degree in Business Administration from DeVry College. He is a proficient Spanish/English translator, is active in the community and has many interests, including being a member of the IFB Solutions bowling team.

Melissa Tuttle named IFB Solutions Career Achiever of the Year. Growing up with low vision caused by nystagmus and cataracts, Melissa focused on her education and a future career. After graduating from Western Carolina University with a major in Computer Information Systems, she worked for several years before joining IFB Solutions in 2011. Today, Melissa is a member of IFB’s Supply Chain team and is known for her savvy computer skills and attention to detail.

Tom Serrin 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. It recognizes the individual or group who has helped solidify a future for IFB Solutions and, more importantly, create opportunities for people who are blind. IFB’s mission is personal to Tom. He served in the U.S. Marines and has lived with a vision impairment since adulthood. He has been a member of IFB’s Board of Directors since 2015 and is passionate about sharing how philanthropic support to IFB directly impacts the lives of thousands of people who are blind or visually impaired. Tom is the inaugural chair of IFB’s Development and Awareness Committee working to raise additional dollars to expand funding for IFB’s community programs and low-vision services.

The Winston-Salem Foundation named IFB Solutions Partner of the Year. For more than a century, The Winston-Salem Foundation has partnered with individuals and organizations to improve the quality of life in Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, and beyond. Through generous funding from the Foundation, IFB has been able to expand its job training programs, purchase and implement new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software and expand its S.E.E. Program for school-age children.

IFB Solutions is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1936 as Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind, and it 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 has manufacturing operations in Winston-Salem, N.C., Asheville, N.C., and Little Rock, Ark., in addition to nearly 20 tactical gear and office supply Base Supply Center stores. Primary business activities include production of military tactical gear, prescription eyewear at the Twenty200 Optical Lab, products for home and business under the Pinnacle Mercantile Amazon storefront, and call center operations. 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. The IFB Community Low Vision Centers in North Carolina and in Little Rock, Ark., are open to the public.

# # #