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Last year, despite challenges from the pandemic we still served over 700 children. We need your help to continue our critical work to make a difference in the lives of children with vision loss!

We need our VIPS supporters help more than ever during this uniquely challenging time with the gift of a new donation or pledge, or continuing your existing your support. If you are not a monthly donor--now would be a great time to initiate a monthly gift. The families we serve depend on our teachers and we depend on you to help us in our critical mission to provide early intervention to every child with blindness or low vision.

Learn more about how VIPS is moving forward with our services in spite of COVID-19.

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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Wm. Nathan Holladay
President

Biography
Wm. Nathan Holladay is Vice President and Wealth Advisor at Old National Bank. 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 Old National Bank professionals to understand the client’s complete financial picture and create customized solutions to help achieve their goals. Mr. Holladay holds an Associates Degree in Business Administration from Saint Catharine College, a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Management from Samford University and is an Accredited Wealth Management Advisor from the College of Financial Planning. Nathan is an active member of the community as he currently serves on the board of directors for Visually Impaired Preschool Services, the Louisville Theatrical Association (Louisville Broadway Series) and the Louisville chapter of the Samford University Alumni Board. Mr. Holladay is a 2021 honoree of Louisville Business First Forty under 40 and a graduate of the Leadership Louisville class of 2021. Nathan and his wife, Holly reside in Louisville Kentucky with their 12 year old twin children.

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Mike Johnson
Vice 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.

Taylor Gehring

Taylor Gehring
Secretary

Biography
Taylor Gehring lives in Louisville with her husband, Ryan, and two young children. Her youngest child has a visual impairment, among other special needs. Taylor has worked for GE Appliances for 15 years, with a focus on sales. She attended Indiana University for undergraduate study, and University of Colorado for her post-graduate MBA. She is active in various volunteer groups at GEA, and also serves on the Emerging Tocqueville Leadership Committee for Metro United Way. Taylor is passionate about advocating for her son, who has multiple special needs. She was the keynote speaker for the VIPS gala in May of 2020, sharing Wells’ story and the wonderful work that VIPS has done to contribute to his visual improvements, development and ability to thrive in a school setting.

John Anders

John Anders
Treasurer

John Anders retired from PNC Bank in 2018 as Executive Vice President Territory Executive after 30 years of service. Anders held positions in retail management, business development, credit underwriting and customer relationship management. Leadership roles within the US market place in commercial as well as small business banking was his primary focus over the past 18 years. Anders first joined the VIPS board in 1998 and is a past Board President.

Members

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Jennifer Arington
Board Member

Biography

Aaron Benson

Aaron Benson
Board Member

Aaron Benson is the Plant Environmental Control Engineer at Ford Motor Company/Louisville Assembly Plant. As a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager, he ensures the day-to-day compliance and sustainability targets are met at LAP. Aaron received a Bachelor of Science in Geography with focus on Environmental Studies from Western KY University in 2000 and has held positions in consulting, service, and manufacturing. Aaron and his wife, Heather, have two sons that both attended VIPS as part of its sighted peer program.

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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.

Jelisa Chatman

Jelisa Chatman
Board Member

Whether it’s reporting the news, writing press releases, or speaking to the public, Jelisa has always had an unwavering commitment to assisting others using effective and accurate communication.

As Public Information and Open Records Coordinator for Louisville Metro Housing Authority, Jelisa collaborates with the agency’s staff and stakeholders to coordinate LMHA’s public relations activities and communication strategies. Before her time with LMHA, Jelisa worked in radio broadcasting and has been recognized by the Kentucky Associated Press and Morning Show Boot Camp for her work as a news reporter and radio personality.

Jelisa is a proud Western Kentucky Hilltopper. In late 2021, she earned her Master of Business Administration degree from Webster University.

Jelisa and her husband, Johnny, have lived in Louisville since 2017. Their two pit bull mixes, Baxter and Boone, make the rules around their home. A typical Saturday involves a morning hike at Jefferson Memorial Forest and beers from Holsopple Brewing.

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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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Alejandro Franco
Board Member

Family man, mentor, and Chief Information Officer of the American Printing House (APH), an organization dedicated to breaking down barriers to access for people with visual impairments, Alejandro Franco is a force of nature in the most pleasant of ways. Whether it’s creating and managing brilliant technical strategies, watching a mentee develop new skills, or trying to replicate his mother’s authentic Mexican recipes for his wife Miriam and his two college-age daughters, Alejandro is all in for all the right reasons. In addition to leading the transformation of APH’s new AAA accessible website, he routinely transforms strategy into impactful solutions in order to help enhance APH’s ability to break down barriers to accessibility wherever they arise.

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Paul Frazier
Board Member

Biography
Paul is a VIPS graduate who is a first-hand testimony of the importance of the services provided at VIPS. He is currently the Head of Sales at Cliff Cherry Machine Company. He is married with one son. He enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf, and is an avid University of Louisville fan.

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Karen Geraci
Board Member

Biography

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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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Emily Krauser
Indiana Board President

Biography
Emily Krauser is the Director of Community Programs for the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. In her position she oversees the state’s poverty alleviation funding, working with a network of Community Action Agencies and others to provide community services, energy assistance, individual development accounts, and home weatherization. She holds a Master’s Degree from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

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Donna Brostek Lee
Board Member

Biography
Dr. Donna Brostek Lee is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education, and Counselor Education at the University of Kentucky (UK). She oversees the Visual Impairment Program and has a background as a Teacher of the Visually Impaired and Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Specialist. Dr. Lee received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Western Michigan University, followed by her doctoral degree from the University of Louisville.

Dr. Lee is deeply committed to improving educational services for children who are blind and visually impaired in Kentucky. She established the Teacher Preparation Program in Visual Impairments, which began at UK in 2013, and the O&M program in 2020. While working on her doctoral degree, Dr. Lee worked as an early interventionist for VIPS. She is proud to continue to support VIPS' mission as a past Central Kentucky VIPS board member and current board member.

Dr. Lee has been happily married to her husband, Brian, since 2008. Their son, Charlie, was born in 2013, and most recently Benny (a Beagle/Blue Heeler pandemic pup) joined the family in November of 2020.
 

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Virren Malhotra
Indiana Advisory Board President

Biography

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Ellen Prizant
Board Member

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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 25 years. He has long been involved in the support of our community's non-profit organizations and is in his third term as a VIPS board member.

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.

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Glen E. Stuckel
Honorary 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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