David Barnwell, president of A Brighter Path Foundation, and David Horton, president/CEO of Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind (IFB), were recently elected to leadership roles for the N.C. State Commission for the Blind. Barnwell will serve as the commission’s chairman, and Horton will serve as vice chairman. Members of the commission are appointed by the governor. The N.C. State Commission for the Blind works jointly with the N.C. State Rehabilitation Council to foster greater employment opportunities and independent living skills for people who are blind or visually impaired.
As president of A Brighter Path Foundation, IFB’s supporting organization, Barnwell oversees the funding of numerous statewide activities and training to build personal independence and job skills, including IFB Community Low Vision Centers in Winston-Salem, Asheville and Chapel Hill, and the Student Enrichment Experience (SEE) program for youth with programs in Winston-Salem and Asheville.
Horton has served as IFB’s executive director and now president/CEO for nearly a decade as the organization has grown to being the largest employer of people who are blind or visually impaired in the country. He is a strong advocate of IFB’s mission to provide employment, training and services for its employees and in the larger community.
“The N.C. State Commission for the Blind plays an important role in ensuring that all state agencies involved with serving people who are blind are aligned so that we maximize our resources and funding,” said Barnwell. “I’m looking forward to leading this group of talented and passionate advocates as we pursue innovative ways to enhance training, employment and quality of life opportunities statewide.”
Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind (IFB) 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 or visually impaired in the United States, IFB operates manufacturing facilities in Winston-Salem, N.C., Asheville, N.C., and Little Rock, Ark., in addition to more than 40 office supply stores and optical centers across the country. IFB also provides outreach through A Brighter Path Foundation, which operates Community Low Vision Centers across North Carolina and Tracy’s Little Red Schoolhouse based in Winston-Salem.