This month, the Council welcomes new board member, Chip Kaufman. The resident of Middleton, Wisconsin looks forward to encouraging others and making a difference in the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired.
Chip learned of the Council after his cone rod dystrophy diagnosis. He participated in the low vision support group for a number of years, and found a like-minded community there.
“I found it inspiring to talk with others like me who are losing their vision and to encourage those who were having a rough time,” Chip says. “I could be living proof that their lives were not over and that vision loss was not the end. The ability to connect with others who are blind or visually impaired and to make a difference is what drew me to the Council board.”
Chip’s many years in sales and working with people give him an eagerness to learn more about the Council and the people involved. He hopes his sales experience can translate into fundraising and assisting in legislative advocacy efforts.
“I bring excitement and enthusiasm to the board,” Chip says. “I am interested in the legislative process and think I can assist the Council in that capacity. I am happy to help in any way I can be useful.”
Chip spent many years working in sales and is now retired. He rides his bike everywhere, year-round. He combines his love of cycling and his passion to improve research opportunities for the BVI community through fundraising for Cycle for Sight. Over the past few years, he and his wife led a cycling team and raised in excess of $20,000 for the McPherson Eye Research Institute through the event.
Each year, Chip takes a trip to a different city by himself to boost his confidence. He enjoys spending time with his two sons, who are in middle and high school.
Other board changes include the election of Rebecca Arrowood as first vice president and John Foulks as second vice president.
Kelsey Tiradani departed the board at the end of 2019. She is caring for her second new baby and returned to work as a teacher of the visually impaired in the Madison Metropolitan School District.
“I have made connections with people on the Board that I would not otherwise have had the opportunity to meet and learn from,” says Kelsey. “Building these relationships will allow for life long partnerships and collaboration to better serve individuals in our community who are living with vision loss.”
Thank you, Kelsey, for all you brought to the board and the Council. We appreciate you, and wish you the best in future endeavors.