Presented by Lauren Branch, NewView Oklahoma
“I respectfully nominate Sharon Giovinazzo for this year’s Roxanne Mayros Champion Award. I believe Sharon embodies the spirit of this award. I have known Sharon since her days as an employee of Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Utica, New York and have watched the significant impact she has made across our field over the years. There is no greater evidence of this than what she has accomplished in her current position as CEO of World Services for the Blind.
Sharon was hired as the CEO at a time when the viability of the organization was in question due to both financial issues and lack of stable leadership. Sharon was the 5th CEO in a period of 4 years and took the position knowing that she was going to need to dig in and turn the organization around quickly or the organization would not survive. Sharon recognized that failure was not an option and has worked to build a solid team, rebuilding WSB’s name and reputation as a leader in blindness services. She has developed national relationships that have allowed WSB to develop and adapt programs to better meet the needs of their clients, customers, and community.
Today, 3 years later, WSB is growing and thriving under Sharon’s leadership. Not only have they revamped their programs, developed new revenue streams, and increased services for people who are blind, they are also embarking on a capital campaign to renovate their facilities and are well on their way to meeting their goal.
In addition, Sharon has proactively worked to bring their programs to other areas of the country via collaborative relationships with other agencies such as NewView. She has been willing to share their expertise and programming so that we can build and enhance our programs here in Oklahoma. She is creative and innovative and continues to focus her efforts on doing everything in her power to improve the lives of all people who are blind one person at a time.”
Lauren Branch, President/CEO