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Letter from the CEO: Honoring our Employees in the Nation’s Capital

At IBVI, we do everything in our power to support and uplift all of our employees, especially those who are blind or visually impaired. It’s always a special moment to assist and witness our blind and visually impaired employees achieve tasks or personal growth that they might have never considered possible for themselves before working at IBVI. And it’s even more special to be in a crowd of hundreds, celebrating those accomplishments at the national level.

Back in mid-October, a group of IBVI team members flew out to Washington D.C. to connect with other agencies, attend workshops, showcase new products, and above all else, honor and recognize the blind and visually impaired employees nationwide who are going above and beyond in their respective fields.

Recognition Done Right

From October 9-13, I and 14 other IBVI employees attended the NIB/NAEPB Training Conference and Expo in Washington D.C. It’s an event our team looks forward to every year and is often the only time we have the chance to talk with some of our vendors, partners, and customers face-to-face. It’s a warm and exciting industry reunion, filled with networking, industry news, and prestigious keynote speakers. But the week is topped off with one of the most anticipated events of the year – The Employee of the Year Awards Banquet.

After a fulfilling week of reconnecting with old friends and making new acquaintances, the NIB/NAEPB Training Conference and Expo ended as it always does; with The Employee of the Year Awards Banquet, bringing recognition to the people who are most deserving. Everyone in attendance is dressed to the nines, including employees from agencies across the nation, federal legislators, the president of NIB, and the 70+ award winners accompanied by their friends and family.

IBVI’s 2023 Employee of the Year Winners: Sean Phipps and Justin Greenwood

Our two honorees this year were none other than Sean Phipps and Justin Greenwood, both of whom were recognized at The Employee of the Year Awards Banquet this year.

Sean Phipps, who has been with IBVI for five years, was presented with the Milton J. Samuelson Career Achievement Award, presented to people who are blind who are either employed in an NIB associated nonprofit agency in a professional or supervisory position below the senior management level, or who have utilized their training and experience to seek and achieve in competitive employment outside NIB’s nationwide network of associated agencies. I couldn’t be happier for Sean, as he’s one of our biggest morale boosters. Sean is also an outstanding speaker and is someone that really understands accessibility of technology and can help find the right technologies to assist other people around him.

Justin Greenwood, who has worked at IBVI for ten years, was presented with the Peter J. Salmon Employee of the Year Award, bestowed upon workers who are blind and currently employed in a direct labor manufacturing or service operation in an NIB associated nonprofit agency. Justin is also incredibly worthy of his nomination, and for the longest time has been a source of joy for everyone he interacts with. He’s best known on the production floor for his iconic catchphrase “teamwork makes the dream work”, shouting it out with a smile, always at the perfect time whenever there’s a lull or lack of energy.

Amplifying Acknowledgments

At IBVI we’re reminded daily of how capable and resilient our employees are through their incredible work and unwavering determination. Whether it’s acknowledged through a promotion, award, or positive affirmation of a job well done, we believe it’s paramount to show appreciation consistently. It doesn’t matter if an employee has been with us for a week or for a decade—each position is essential in cultivating a positive culture and ensuring things run smoothly.

We believe that all businesses (ourselves included) should always continue looking for more ways to express gratitude to employees for their time, effort and dedication. So once more, congratulations to both Justin and Sean for their incredible work and for always doing their best to uplift those around them, IBVI is truly lucky to have you.

To learn more about our other incredible employees, keep an eye out for our Employee Spotlight blogs, and read our most recent installment if you haven’t already featuring Customer Service Operations Manager, Daniel Jones.


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