Shreveport, LA (July 21, 2022) – Brian Patchett, a leading advocate for providing greater access to services, employment and independence for people with disabilities, has been named President & CEO of Louisiana Association for the Blind (L.A.B.), an organization that improves the quality of life for people who are visually impaired through training, services and employment in Northwest Louisiana.
For more than 25 years, Patchett has been a leader in the field of health and social services, building organizations that deliver employment and rehabilitation services for people with visual and other disabilities and working closely with leaders at the national level to strengthen service organizations in the U.S. and around the world.
In his role as L.A.B.’s President & CEO, Patchett will enhance L.A.B.’s commitment to serving the community as a person-first employer, keeping visually impaired employees at the forefront, and growing its manufacturing and services business lines through revenue diversification.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am excited to welcome Brian Patchett as the new President & CEO of Louisiana Association for the Blind,” said Dr. Chris Kevil, Chairman of the L.A.B. Board of Directors. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership skills from his experience in executive roles with national organizations, as well as a passion for helping to improve the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired. Brian will not only be a great leader for L.A.B. in continuing to strengthen and grow the important work this organization does, but also a wonderful addition to our community.”
Most recently, Patchett served as President & CEO of North Central Sight Services, which provides programs and services for people in Pennsylvania who are blind or visually impaired and industry and distribution through the National Industries for the Blind AbilityOne Program, a federal initiative to help people who are blind find employment with nonprofit agencies that sell products and/or services to the U.S. government. As President & CEO, he was actively engaged in growing the organization’s sight industries and services, and expanding community impact and charitable giving, leading to greater choice and independence for people with visual disabilities.
Previously, he was President & CEO of Easterseals Nevada where he built statewide sustainable health programs and services such as early intervention, therapy clinics, home-based services, respite care, assistive technology, autism treatment, adult day programs, employment services, education services, and veterans’ services. Under his leadership, Easterseals Nevada significantly increased its acquisition of federal, state, county, municipal and foundation contracts and grants, taking it from a $3.5 million to $14 million organization.
“I am thoroughly excited to be joining Louisiana Association for the Blind and look forward to helping people with visual disabilities become more independent,” said Patchett.
Currently, Patchett serves as Co-Chair of the national Vision Serve Alliance’s Public Policy Committee, is a member of the Board of Directors of both Unique Source and the Roads to Freedom Center for Independent Living in PA, and a member of the Lycoming County, PA Diversability Committee.
Though Patchett has worked for many years on behalf of people with disabilities, his experience is far more personal. At the age of seven, he became visually impaired and had to learn to navigate life in new ways. He went on to graduate from Utah State University with Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Liberal Arts and earned Master’s degrees in Public Administration and Rehabilitation Counseling from Syracuse University.
Patchett will assume his responsibilities as President & CEO of L.A.B. on August 15, 2022.
Louisiana Association for the Blind engaged Kittleman & Associates to conduct a search for its new President & CEO. Kittleman & Associates is a national executive search firm that specializes in the recruitment of CEOs for tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, public charities and philanthropic organizations. Kittleman recruits leaders for the entire nonprofit sector including agencies that serve people with differing abilities, advocacy and educational organizations, and foundations. For more information visit www.kittlemansearch.com.
Louisiana Association for the Blind (L.A.B.) has been shining a light for people with visual impairments through training, services and employment since 1927. Founded by the Lions Clubs as Shreveport Association for the Blind, L.A.B. has evolved from its original operation – training and employing the blind to make and sell brooms – to a multidimensional powerhouse for those with visual impairments.
Today, L.A.B. offers vision evaluations, children’s programs, independent living skills instruction, job training and employment placement through its Community Services division. An affiliate of National Industries for the Blind, L.A.B. participates in the AbilityOne® Program. L.A.B.’s direct labor workforce is made up of 80% visually impaired employees. For more information, visit www.lablind.com.