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Vista Center Executive Director Retires After 24 Years (Vista Center)

For Immediate Release
October 19, 2018

Sharon Hudson
Vista Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired
650-858-0202 ext. 111
shudson@vistacenter.org

After 24 Years, Pam Brandin Executive Director of
Vista Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired to Retire

Palo Alto, CA – October 19, 2018 – Vista Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired announced today that Pam Brandin Executive Director will retire from her position after 24 years of dedicated service effective December 31, 2018.

Brandin has been the Executive Director of Vista Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired since 1994. Prior to that, she served for 10 years on the Vintage Affaire organizing committee (a premier wine and gourmet food auction) that benefits Vista Center.
Under Brandin’s leadership, Vista Center has grown from a small, relatively simple agency – that served several hundred blind or visually impaired individuals in two counties, to a much larger, more robust and more complex organization – one that is highly regarded in Northern California and nationwide. 

In 2007, Brandin shepherded Vista Center’s merger with the Doran Center in Santa Cruz and most recently oversaw Vista Center’s acquisition of Santa Clara Valley Blind Center, which will be final at the end of October.  

Vista Center now works with more than 3000 individuals and their families each year throughout San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties. Brandin worked with Stanford on the long-term 25 year lease of Vista Center’s Palo Alto headquarters, for easy accessibility via public transportation.

“It has been my great pleasure to work side by side all these years with a highly skilled and deeply caring team of staff and board members whose commitment to Vista Center, its mission and its clients is remarkable and inspiring,” says Brandin. “I have also had the privilege of getting to know so many– clients, volunteers, donors, other professionals and community partners.”

“How close are we to human cloning? I hope quite close,” says Vista Center client and donor Dinesh Desai. “The only way to turn around many stagnant non-profits is to have Pam Brandin clones at their helm.”

Mark O’Boyle, Vista Center board president says, “The Vista Center Board expresses its tremendous gratitude to Brandin for her years of service, vision and leadership.  Vista Center would not be near the organization it is today, were it not for her 24 years of deep compassion, dedicated focus and unwavering commitment to Vista Center’s mission, clients, staff and volunteers.  We, as the Vista Center Board, celebrate Pam’s successes and anticipate many more to come in the future as we continue to build on her multitude of accomplishments.  The Vista Center Board wishes her all the best in her retirement and thanks her for all she has done to make a difference in the lives of the blind and visually impaired.”

A search committee of current and past Vista Center Board members and staff leaders is in the final process of hiring a new Executive Director to carry on our tradition of excellence and service and an announcement will be shared in the upcoming weeks.
 “I look forward with excitement to watching Vista Center continue growing and thriving under a new leader who will bring a different perspective and life experience to the job while keeping our unique mission and values close to his or her heart,” says Brandin. “As long as there are individuals with visual impairments and blindness, Vista Center will continue to be essential in providing the tools necessary to access a society created for those with sight – making the larger community stronger, more diverse, and more inclusive.”

About Vista Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired
Vista Center is headquartered in Palo Alto, with a branch in Santa Cruz and acquiring one in San Jose at the end October. Vista Center serves over 3,000 people a year. For over 80 years, Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired has served individuals in Santa Clara, San Mateo, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties. Vista Center empowers individuals who are blind or visually impaired to embrace life to the fullest through evaluation, counseling, education and training.

Vista Center was founded in 1936. The legendary Lucie Stern was the first major benefactor of the Palo Alto Society for the Blind, when she purchased a home at 533 Forest Avenue for its use. Since then Vista Center was incorporated in 1945, the name has been changed to Vista Center and due to generous landlords over the years several relocations have happened from 411 Addison Avenue, 2435 Faber Place, 4151 Middlefield Road, 2470 El Camino Real, 3200 Hillview Avenue. Vista Center has secured its home for the next 23 years at 2500 El Camino Real. 

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Images Available:  Executive Director, Vista Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired, Pam Brandin

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“Vista Center: Preparing Students for the Future” (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

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A Day of Braille, Competition and Fun (San Jose Mercury News)

Shared Visions client newsletter

Shared Visions focuses on programs and services for the blind and visually impaired. It is published three times a year and distributed to over 1500 Vista Center clients.

Shared Visions Summer 2018 (Word) | Shared Visions Summer 2018 (pdf)

News & Press Archive