UTICA, N.Y. — The board of directors of Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CABVI) announced it has chosen Edward Welsh as its new president and CEO, effective Nov. 4.
Welsh previously led the CABVI board of directors for “several years,” and has been involved with various facets of the agency since 1994, CABVI said in a Tuesday news release.
Welsh will succeed current president and CEO Rudy D’Amico, who plans to retire.
CABVI, a Utica–based nonprofit, serves people who are blind or visually impaired.
“After seeking out many strong candidates across the country, we decided Ed was the best, most qualified choice for president and CEO,” Jim Turnbull, chair of the CABVI board of directors, said. “Ed’s longstanding knowledge about CABVI and rich relationship with both our team and our local community are unmatched. We are ecstatic to welcome him to this position.”
For the past 12 years, Welsh has served as AAA Northeast regional general manager in Utica. He plans to retire from the AAA at the end of the month, per a July 12 news article on the website of WKTV-TV in Utica.
Before becoming general manager, Welsh served as regional director of member services; marketing and public affairs for three years; and VP of operations, marketing, and public relations at AAA for nearly 15 years.
During his time at AAA, he was instrumental in furthering the expansion of AAA New York’s road service call center to Utica, an effort that brought more than 100 new jobs to the area, the release stated.
In addition to his role on the CABVI board of directors, Welsh is also a current board member for the Utica Tower Corporation, consultant/facilitator for Revolutionary Trails Council for the Boy Scouts of America in Utica, and board member/past chief for Engine 11 in Utica. Engine 11 is a nonprofit group with “friends and neighbors” of the Utica Fire Department, per its website.
CABVI believes Welsh’s expertise will be “advantageous” as it works on a three-tiered, multi-year capital effort.
The initiative includes construction of a 24,000-square-foot vision health and wellness center in Utica and renovations to CABVI’s Utica headquarters. It also includes the purchase and renovation of a CABVI Syracuse Industries facility in DeWitt and expanded employment opportunities for people with vision loss in Onondaga and surrounding counties.
CABVI’s vision rehabilitation programs provide for more than 1,800 people who are blind or visually impaired in Oneida, Herkimer, Madison, Fulton, Lewis, Montgomery, Jefferson, and northern Otsego counties. CABVI offers low-vision examinations, vision-rehabilitation therapy, orientation and mobility, instruction in the use of assistive-technology applications, employment training, adaptive sports and recreation, and social work.
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Photo credit: CABVI