We are excited to share that former CEO of the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI) and Goodwill of the Finger Lakes, A. Gidget Hopf, Ed.D. will receive National Industries for the Blind’s (NIB) highest honor, the R.B. Irwin Award.
NIB, the nation’s largest employment resource for people who are blind, is honoring Gidget for her role in growing the ABVI and Goodwill of the Finger Lakes to employ more than 600 people in manufacturing, our contact center, food service, Vision Rehabilitation, and Goodwill retail.
One of Gidget’s earliest achievements was establishing a relationship with 3M Corporation, which secured a major contract for ABVI with the federal government to produce and distribute self-stick notes. Today, the agency produces 37 products using 3M materials.
Additional opportunities followed, including contracts for sewing of Coast Guard and Air Force uniforms, production of eco-friendly cleaning products, and a myriad of other products sold to New York State and federal government customers.
Gidget’s determination to create opportunities for her team members who are blind led to developing a call center more than 20 years ago. Started with just two people, the contact center currently employs some 80 individuals supporting a variety of commercial and governmental contracts.“
We are delighted to honor Gidget with this prestigious award,” said NIB President and CEO Kevin Lynch. “Over her career at ABVI, her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for the people she serves in the greater Rochester area has had a profound impact on their lives. Gidget truly embodies all that is best about our program.”
To learn more about ABVI and Goodwill of the Finger Lakes and how you can support our mission, visit www.goodwillfingerlakes.org.