This June we bid bon voyage to five retiring IN-SIGHT employees who combined have provided over ninety three years of service to the agency and the people we serve.
Dr. Donna Gavin, one of the part-time optometrists in our low vision clinic, retired after thirteen years with the agency. Dr. Gavin, having reached normal retirement age and with her first grandchild recently born, is looking forward to being able to spend more quality time with her family. Dr. Gavin also recently retired from a practice she worked at in Fall River, MA.
During her time with IN-SIGHT Dr. Gavin worked with thousands of patients, helping them to learn how to maximize their remaining vision through the use of magnifiers, lighting, and tints.
Raymond Pontbriant, Valentino Barichello, Linda Brown, and Bob Sheldon collectively have worked for IN-SIGHT for almost eighty years! These four members of our chair caning staff have helped thousands of customers over the years to refurbish their furniture by weaving new seats and backs.
The chair caning shop opened in 1925 as the first program of the Rhode Island Association for the Blind as a way to provide employment for people with visual impairments.
With the four program staff now all at or beyond normal retirement age, and with furniture now becoming a more disposable commodity that people throw away at the end of its useful life rather than having it repaired, the time was right for the program to come to an end.
Bob and Linda plan to spend more time with their families and catch up with stuff around their homes during their retirement. Ray plans to stay busy at a day program that is offered by another nonprofit agency. Val will continue to occasionally cane chairs at his home for a small group of longtime customers, which will allow him to set his own hours and workload.
We wish all of our retiring staff nothing but the best and many years of happiness and well deserved rest!