Make an immediate difference in the life of a child with visual impairment.

VIPS Louisville

Board of Directors

Meet the people who are helping make a difference in Kentucky.

Our Louisville Board of Directors come from a wide-range of backgrounds to enable us to access a broad knowledge base.

Officers

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Mike Johnson
President

Biography
Mike and his wife, Caroline, live in Louisville with their three children. Their youngest child, Michael Patrick, has multiple special needs including a visual impairment. Michael Patrick was in the first graduating class of the VIPS preschool in 2009. This experience combined with the family services that their family had received forged their commitment to the VIPS organization. Mike & Caroline have served on the VIPS Board of Directors since 2009. He began serving as the board’s president in July of 2017. Mike continuously works to advance the mission of VIPS and advocate for the children and families that are affected by blindness and visual impairment.

Mike is the founder and President of Data Management Solutions in Louisville, KY. DMS offers custom software solutions to its customers in the automotive industry. Mike holds Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Louisville.

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Shari House
Vice President

Biography
Shari House is a 16 year veteran of the insurance profession and BB&T Insurance Services. As a dual-licensed professional, she oversees both the property & casualty and employee benefits relationships for many of her clients. Her success is the result of her passion for helping her clients achieve their maximum potential, building strategic partnerships and often becoming an integral member of their team. Her strong belief of the importance of being engaged in the community is reflected in her love for the VIPS organization.

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Andy Steinbach
Treasurer

Biography
Andy Steinbach is the Director of Global Risk Finance for Yum Brands, Inc. During his 15+ year career in the risk management and finance fields he has held positions in claims, loss prevention, corporate security, captive management and insurance placement. During the last 10 years, he has worked extensively in the international risk & insurance areas. In addition, Andy has oversight for global supply chain strategy and vendor counterparty risk. He is a frequent lecturer at industry conferences.

Yum Brands develops, operates, franchises, and licenses a system of restaurants under the KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell brands. There are ~ 42,000 restaurants in 130+ countries and territories in the Yum portfolio.

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William Jessee
Secretary

Biography
William Jessee went to the University of Louisville School of Law and earned a Juris Doctor in 1988. He also attended the University of Kentucky and received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. In 1982 Bill received his CPA Designation and now has over 20 years of experience in public accounting, focusing on tax and business planning, medical practice management, and estate preservation.

Bill is affiliated with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Kentucky Society of Certified Public Accountants, Kentucky Bar Association and the Louisville Bar Association.

Members

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Angela Beckett
Board Member

Biography
Angela Beckett is the founder of the THEMES Come True.

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Bob Belknap
Board Member

Bob Belknap is the Vice President of Development for the American Printing House for the Blind.  He received his BA from Western Kentucky University and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army.  After serving for 11 years, he moved back to Kentucky with his wife Miriam and two sons, Chris and Michael. Bob served as the Director of Operations for Burger King for 9 years.  For the last 15 years he has worked in the nonprofit arena as a fundraiser; working for Big Brothers Big Sisters, USA Cares and the American Printing House for the Blind. Bob is a Certified Grant Writer, Certified Fundraising Executive, and Certified Fundraising Manager.

He has served on the United Way Board of Hardin County, Leadership Hardin County, the Kentucky State Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service, Emmaus and Chrysalis Boards.  When not working, Bob enjoys old movies, spending time with his family, and traveling.

Bob currently resides in Louisville.

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Jerry Bizer
Board Member

Biography
Dr. Jerry Bizer graduated from Indiana University School of Optometry in June of 1971. He practiced optometry in Indiana and Kentucky until retiring in 1998. During his career, Dr. Bizer's practice grew from one location in Clarksville, Indiana, into Dr. Bizer's VisionWorld which encompassed 19 locations in 4 of the surrounding states. Dr. Bizer's Visionworld employed 66 doctors and over 600 ancillary personnel. Concurrently, he formed a partnership and was the managing partner for an early franchisee of Papa John's Pizza, building 28 locations in the Cleveland market which employed an additional 500 staff members.

After he retired, Dr. Bizer became affiliated with VIPS in 1999, helping to escort it from a small but noble enterprise into the world-class educational facility for visually impaired babies & young children that it is today. In 2007 Dr. Bizer was the capital campaign chairman as well as the building chairman for VIPS' 10,000 sq.ft. addition which is now the home to Kids Town and all of the VIPS classrooms.

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Missy Browning
Board Member

Biography
Missy Browning has been a mortgage lending professional for over 20 years. She is also a decent photographer and hopes to one day master the ukulele. Her son will graduate from VIPS in spring 2018.

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LeNee Carroll
Indiana Board President

Biography
LeNée Carroll is the Chief of Staff for the Indiana Senate Democrats. She has over 11 years in public policy analysis and administration, with a focus on child welfare issues. Ms. Carroll has a Master's Degree in Social Policy and Administration from Florida State University. She is serving her third year on the VIPS Board.

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Terri Connolly
Board Member

Biography
Terri Connolly holds a Masters degree in Deaf-Blind/Multiple Disabilities Special Education from Boston College and Teacher of the Deaf-Blind certificate from Perkins School for the Blind. With over 30 years in the fields of early childhood education and developmental intervention as interventionist, consultant, instructor, trainer, program evaluator and engaged with many dear families (including VIPS), Ms. Connolly carries on her passion in retirement through her commitment to the Board.

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Alfonso N. Cornish
Board Member

Biography
Alfonso N. Cornish, system vice president learning and organizational development/chief learning officer, has been with Norton Healthcare since March 2006. He is responsible for the leadership of Norton University. Norton University is responsible for the staff, physician, leadership and executive development programs as well as e-learning offerings. In addition, he is responsible for media services, career and succession planning as well as the diversity and inclusion initiatives.

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Joseph P. Donohue
Board Member

Biography
Joe Donohue serves as the General Counsel of the Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), which is the state agency responsible for the supervision of the financial services industry and the numerous financial institutions, securities firms and professionals operating in Kentucky. Before joining DFI, Joe was a Partner in the Louisville law office of Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, and also previously practiced in the Pittsburgh office of Jones Day. He has extensive experience in the area of commercial law and general civil and complex commercial litigation. He resides in St. Matthews with his wife Jill and three sons.

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Dr. Ashima Gupta
Board Member

Biography
Dr. Ashima Gupta practices ophthalmology with her father and brother at Kumar Eye Institute in the south end of Louisville. She specializes in pediatric eye care and adult strabismus. After completing college at the University of Louisville, she moved to Washington, DC for medical school and to complete her training in ophthalmology at George Washington University. She is fellowship trained in pediatric ophthalmology from Northwestern in Chicago. She returned to Louisville in 2013 after spending an additional 7 years as director of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Adult Strabismus at the State University of New York at Downstate. She shares a board seat with her husband, Paresh Gupta. They have twin daughters, Anya and Anisa. She was introduced to VIPS shortly after her move and is honored to be a part of this life-changing organization.

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Paresh Gupta
Board Member

Biography
Paresh Gupta is a research pharmacist that has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for the past twenty plus years. He received his doctorate in pharmacy at Rutgers University with a focus on pharmacokinetics and renal medicine. He first worked in Research and Development at Abbott Laboratories working on various medicinal formulations. Since then he has moved onto Regulatory Affairs working as a liaison for the pharma company and communicating directly with the FDA in getting drugs through the approval process, and insuring product quality and compliance with government standards. In his free time, he enjoys tennis, exercising, and spending quality time with his family and friends. Paresh shares a board seat with his wife, Ashima, and has enjoyed the experience and contributing to such a worthy cause.

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Bonnie Helm
Board Member

Bonita Helm is a Louisville, KY based UPS Brokerage Manager. She has been with the company for 29 years. She directs all business strategies that drive profitable financial results. Bonita develops customer relationships by implementing quality metrics and continued accountability. Helm has improved compliance rates across the entire US. She ensures standard operating procedures are implemented to measure consistent, on time, accurate service. Bonita oversees a staff of 900 employees in the West Division of the US brokerage territory.

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Wm. Nathan Holladay
Board Member

Biography
Wm. Nathan Holladay is Vice President and Relationship Strategist at PNC Wealth Management. Mr. Holladay serves as the primary point of contact for the delivery of many Wealth Management services to his clients. He works with a team of PNC professionals to understand the client’s complete financial picture and create customized solutions to help the client achieve their goals. Mr. Holladay holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Management from Samford University with a minor in Marketing. Mr. Holladay is an active member of the community as he currently serves on the board of directors for Visually Impaired Preschool Services and the Louisville Theatrical Association (Louisville Broadway Series).

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Christy Johnson
Board Member

Biography
Christy Johnson is the Vice President of North American Marketing for Papa John's International and oversees all regional field marketing functions and digital activations across the US and Canada markets. The VP drives strategic direction for the Field Marketing team and leads the development of local activation programs and key marketing initiatives.

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Misty Jones
Board Member

Biography
Misty Jones is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Specialist in Louisville, Kentucky. She graduated with honors in 2002.

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Todd Kraus
Board Member

Biography
Todd Kraus is a finance professional with 26 years of experience with Ford Motor Company. He is currently responsible for financial management and internal control of a $1 Billion cost base in labor, overhead and launch at Ford’s Louisville Kentucky Truck Plant. Kentucky Truck is the single largest revenue producing plant for Ford Motor Company generating approximately $5 Billion in profit on production of Ford Super Duty trucks and Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs. The Ford plant employs 8,400 hourly and 300 salary personnel and is a very active force in the community serving as a corporate sponsor working closely with several non-profit organizations throughout the state of Kentucky. Mr. Kraus has an MBA from the Wehle School of Business at Canisius College of Buffalo, NY. He is happily married and the proud father of four children. He has a nephew (JJ) with Down syndrome and strongly believes that every child, regardless of limitations, has God given talents and abilities that will richly enhance the lives of those they work with and those they share their lives with.

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Matt McMahan
Board Member

Biography
Matt McMahan is an attorney with broad experience as in-house counsel with specialized training in records and information management, business continuity planning, crisis planning, and communications. Mr. McMahan obtained his law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School and has worked for Texas Roadhouse for more than 10 years. He lives in Louisville, Kentucky, is married, and has four children. He is serving his first term on the board.

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Dan Robbins
Board Member

Biography
Dan Robbins currently holds the position of Manager, Analytics Optimization at Brown-Forman where he is responsible for utilizing the tools and capabilities of advanced analytics and data science to improve financial analytics and reporting, and support global revenue management strategy. Mr. Robbins holds undergraduate degrees in International Economics & French from the University of Kentucky, a Master of Public Policy degree in Policy Analysis from Vanderbilt University, and a Master of Science degree in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University. In his spare time, he enjoys playing guitar, watching Premiere League football, and spending time with his wife, son and dog. Mr. Robbins serves as Chair of the VIPS IT Committee.

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Mark Stiebling
Board Member

Biography
Mark Stiebling is an advertising creative director. Over the course of his career, he has worked with international, national and regional clients, on some of the nation's most notable business and consumer brands. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati, College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, Mr. Steibling has been an agency principal and creative director for over 20 years. He has long been involved in the support of our community's non-profit organizations and is in his second term as a VIPS board member.

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Glen E. Stuckel
Board Member

Biography
Glen Stuckel is the representative to the VIPS Board from Kosair Charities. He is an award-winning Builder/Remodeler with over 40 years experience and winner of numerous awards from the local, state, and national home building industry. He has received countless awards over the span of his career including a Lifetime Achievement Award, and his most coveted award is as an “Honored Graduate of Washington University, St. Louis School of Engineering”.  Mr. Stuckel also serves as the Louisville Metro Councilman from the 17th District and resides in Indian Springs.

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John Talbott
Board Member

Biography
John Talbott is a managing partner in the land use law firm of Bardenwerper Talbott & Roberts, PLLC. His practice concentrates in the area of commercial real estate development as it relates to zoning, contracts, and real estate financing. He is currently involved in the development of the soccer stadium, as well as many other large and small developments in the community. He is married to Jill and has three children, one of whom is a VIPS graduate.

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Trey Zoeller
Board Member

Biography
Trey Zoeller is the founder and master blender of Jefferson's Bourbon. Trey is responsible for Jefferson’s marketing and promotional activities. Trey is based in Kentucky where his family has been active in the bourbon industry for several generations.

Founding and Honorary Board Members

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Sharon Bensinger
Founding Board Member

Biography
Sharon is the Founder of VIPS, and served as Executive Director from 1985 until retiring in 2009. Prior to VIPS, Sharon worked in the Research Department in the area of Early Childhood Blindness at the American Printing House for the Blind in Louisville. Sharon received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Louisville. She is married, with 4 children, and 4 grandchildren. Now that she is retired, if she isn’t volunteering, she and her husband love traveling the US and abroad.

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Patrick Henry Hughes
Honorary Board Member

Biography
Patrick Henry Hughes is a remarkable young man who was born without eyes and without the ability to fully straighten his arms and legs, making him unable to walk. Additionally, two steel rods were surgically attached to Patrick’s spine to correct scoliosis.

Despite circumstances that may seem overwhelming, Patrick has overcome these physical issues to excel as a musician, student, performer and public speaker. Patrick started playing the piano at the age of only nine months and also plays the trumpet and sings. He even participated in the University of Louisville Marching Band for five seasons with help from his father, Patrick John Hughes, who tirelessly maneuvered his wheel chair through the formations with the other 220+ members of the Cardinal Marching Band. Patrick was usually a straight ‘A’ student, having received only 3 ‘B’s’ during his entire primary/secondary educational experience and graduated from U of L magna cum laude. Patrick was a Spanish language major and speaks Spanish fluently. Patrick was also one of the very first children served by VIPS.

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Gary Mudd
Honorary Board Member

Biography
Gary Mudd is the Vice President of Public Affairs at the American Printing House for the Blind. He working at APH in 1986 in the Marketing Department. He later worked in Customer Relations and traveled throughout the country providing product training to teachers for the PocketBraille. In 1992, he became the director of Public Affairs and, in 2000, was promoted to the newly created position of Vice President of Public Affairs, overseeing both government and public relations efforts, as well as the APH Museum. Mr. Mudd lost his sight at the age of twelve.