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Portrait photo of Karae Lisle


Accomplished Executive to be New Leader of Health & Social Services Non-Profit

Palo Alto, CA – January 16, 2019 – Vista Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired – a leading nonprofit provider of evaluation, counseling, education and training of blind and visually impaired clients – announced today that Karae Lisle is the new Executive Director of the organization.

Lisle is taking the reins as Vista Center’s Executive Director, Pam Brandin retires after an incredibly successful tenure with Vista Center. Under Brandin’s leadership Vista Center grew from a small, relatively simple agency – that served several hundreds of visually impaired individuals, to a much larger, more robust and more complex organization – that is highly regarded in Northern California and nationwide.

Lisle is an accomplished executive with extensive private sector and non-profit leadership experience overseeing, finance, operations, client services and revenue generation. As CEO of Shelter Network, she led the merger of two leading service providers for homeless clients, to create an $18M nonprofit providing 1000 beds (nightly), throughout Silicon Valley. Through her leadership, Life Moves was a successful merger, serving more individuals, families, and veterans supported by significantly increased financial strength.

“Karae’s experience with mergers and organizational growth is just the right skillset for Vista Center, following our recent merger with the Santa Clara Valley Blind Center.” stated Vista Center Board President, Marc O’Boyle. “She is a true nonprofit leader, with the right balance of tenacious advocacy, client compassion, and dedication to development/donor growth.”

Lisle said, “It is a privilege to lead this organization that has such a respected nonprofit tradition, a breadth and strength of programs, and recent geographic service expansion. Following the renown nonprofit leader, Pam Brandin, is an honor, and she and I both sincerely believe that Vista Center is poised for the next phase of success. I welcome the demanding fund-raising objectives on the horizon and the opportunity to support and strengthen our organization in collaboration with the dedicated staff and Board of Directors.”

Karae’s professional career began in the high tech industry working for the Burroughs Corporation.  Working in emerging growth and Fortune 500 companies in strategy, marketing sales, and consulting during her tenure, she also taught for several years as an Adjunct Professor at University of San Francisco and San Jose State University. Lisle’s pivot to nonprofits began in 2007 when she became the Chief Marketing Officer for the Computer History Museum.

She went on to become CEO of LifeMoves and then CEO of PVI, stewarding Meals on Wheels and an Alzheimer’s Day Care center. Recently as a consultant, Lisle engaged with StartUpBootCamp, tenK Institute and My Digital TAT2. She is active on many Boards, and currently serves as the Chair of BOD for Mercado Global, President of Harvard Business School Tech Alumni, and Co-Chairs the Thrive Alliance CEO Leadership Luncheons.

After earning a BS in Management Information Systems, in 1998, Karae earned an MBA from the Harvard Business School, and recently completed the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.