The Foundation’s Board of Directors are passionate about improving the lives of blind and visually impaired individuals. They generously volunteer their time and expertise, bringing experience from a multitude of backgrounds, both professional and personal, to the Foundation’s mission. Our Board supports the Foundation in its efforts to effectively partner with grantee organizations to provide the tools and resources necessary for those they serve to live productive, independent lives. They also support the Foundation’s large print reading materials to ensure continued access to reading for individuals with low vision.
Matthew G. Krieger – Board Chair
Matthew Krieger is a technologist and executive with experience in IT, manufacturing and publishing. He is VP of Technology for Cober, Inc. and previously held senior IT leadership positions at Time, Inc. and Reader’s Digest Association. Matt is Chief Technology Officer and sits on the Leadership Team of the SCORE Fairfield County Connecticut chapter and is on the Southern Connecticut State University Computer Science Technical Advisory Committee. Matt is also President of the Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation non-profit, is on the advisory board of Cyber-Seniors and until recently served on the Advisory Board for the Baruch College Computer Center for Visually Impaired People, having been part of a team that successfully transitioned the Center to a new home. Matt is a frequent presenter on topics of business and technology. Matt is also creator of Whysper, a platform allowing the consumption of text content as high quality text to speech. Matt is a member of the Finance and Investment and Governance Committees.
James Deremeik – Vice Chair
Jim is a Certified Low Vision Therapist and member of the faculty of the Lions Low Vision Research and Rehabilitation Center at the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute. He holds a Master’s in Education from the University of Arkansas. Jim has served in a variety of leadership positions within AER (Assoc. for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired), including Chair of the Low Vision Rehab Division. He has won several awards for his leadership in the field and has published and lectured widely. Jim is the Vice Chair and a member of the Governance Committee.
Rob Hilliard – Secretary
Rob is a digital technology executive with extensive IT and business transformation leadership experience managing and implementing digital solutions for large enterprises and start-ups. He currently works as Chief Information Officer for Academic Partnerships in Dallas, TX. Rob holds an MBA from Babson College. He currently serves as the Secretary and is a member of the Finance and Investment Committee.
John Krieger – Treasurer
Mr. Krieger’s brings to the post a 35 year career in Financial and operations consulting, Starting with Coopers & Lybrand, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has Installed financial and performance measurement systems in many industries from banking and insurance to mining and manufacturing. His work includes acting as Financial Director a multi-company research program for the petroleum Industry that spanned five currencies on four continents. John holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hartford, and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
Donna is a direct marketing professional with global expertise. Experienced at developing and launching new businesses, marketing, and communications. She currently works as Chief of Staff, Data Governance at Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets. Donna holds an MBA in Marketing Management from Pace University and a Digital Marketing certification from NYU. Donna serves on the Audit Committee.
Janice is a non-profit professional with expertise in field operations and implementation of programs serving blind and visually impaired people. As a recent retiree from the NYS Commission for the Blind, Janice continues to follow issues and technological advances in services for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Janice has an MPA in Non-Profit Management from Pace University. Janice currently serves as Chair of the Governance Committee. Janice is a 2018 recipient of the Matthew P. Sapolin Visionary Award for making an outstanding and long-lasting contribution to the advancement, well-being and full participation of people who are blind or visually impaired in all aspects of life in NYC.
Barry is an accounting professional with a concentration in tax compliance management, oversight, and strategic planning optimizing tax efficiencies in a global environment. A retiree from the Reader’s Digest Association, he served as V.P. of the Tax Department. Barry received a Master’s in International Relations from Columbia University, and holds an MS in Accounting from NYU. He currently serves as Chair of the Audit Committee.
Angela C. Winfield, Esq.
Angela is a diversity, equity and inclusion executive specializing in developing innovative solutions and strategic initiatives to diversify key constituencies and enhance organizational culture. Angela currently is the Associate Vice President for Inclusion and Workforce Diversity at Cornell University. She is also admitted to the New York bar and is Of Counsel with Barclay Damon in its higher education, labor and employment and Commercial Litigation practice groups. Angela earned her J.D. from Cornell Law School and her B.A. from Barnard College of Columbia University.
William F. O’Connell O.D.
Bill is a Optometrist currently working with Low Vision veterans at the Hudson Valley V.A. Previously he served as Director of Low Vision Services at the Westchester Lighthouse, SUNY Optometry, and Montefiore Medical Center.
He is a Diplomate in Low Vision of the American Academy of Optometry and past chair of the Low Vision Section and Diplomate program. He is a past board member and Chair of the NY State Board for Optometry. He has lectured internationally on Low Vision to doctors and residents in Optometry and Ophthalmology for more than 40 years.
The Foundation is currently transitioning its staff leadership.
Dianna Kelly-Naghizadeh – Grant Program Manager
Dianna manages the Foundation’s wide-ranging grant program including planning and implementation as well as compliance and grant reporting.