Vista Center empowers individuals who are blind or visually impaired to embrace life to the fullest through evaluation, counseling, education, and training.

Our Story

Vista Center is the premier service provider for people who are blind or have low vision from ages 3 to 103, offering a complete range of rehabilitative services to residents of the Bay Area and beyond.

A man's bluish green eye up close

Palo Alto Society for the Blind opened in 1936 as a home open to anyone in Palo Alto living with blindness or visual impairment.


With a shift over the years from residential services to fostering independent living, the name changed to Peninsula Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired in 1970, with a final name change in 2005 to Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Since 2001, Vista has been the only provider of services in San Benito County, an area previously unserved. Doran Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Santa Cruz merged with Vista Center in 2007 and in 2018, Santa Clara Valley Blind Center (SCVBC) in San Jose joined the team.


Such growth has greatly increased our capacity to serve thousands of clients with a robust array of geographically centered services and classes, in complement to our existing itinerant services model.

IMPACT

Financial Strength

Decades of strong leadership, careful financial management and a commitment to a solid investment strategy has built a legacy of stability and efficiency.

Leadership Team

Vista staff members are key to mission delivery, bringing a wide array of
professional experience and a genuine desire to improve the lives of others.

Karae Lisle
Chief Executive Officer
Sharon Hudson
Chief Operating Officer, Director of Vista Center San Jose
Laura Bajuk
Chief Development Officer
Bethany Small
Senior Director of Programs
Alice Turner
Director of Corporate and Community Relations
Patrice Maginnis
Interim Director of Vista Center Santa Cruz
Sean Cameron
Chief Information Officer (virtual)
Marty Cunnie
Chief Financial Officer (virtual)
Board of Directors

Vista board members contribute valuable expertise to fulfill our mission,
reaching into the many communities we serve, so that all voices are heard.

Meaux Costello
Wealth Advisor, Buckingham Strategic Wealth
Joan Desmond
Journalist
Mike Freitas
CEO, Freitas + Freitas
John Giddings
Adjunct Professor, Santa Clara University
Susan Glass
Retired, English Professor, West Valley Community College
John Glass
Board Chair, Vista Center
Katie Hogan
Learning Specialist & SSD Coordinator, Bellarmine College Preparatory
John Hufferd
Consultant, Hufferd Enterprises
Karae Lisle
CEO, Vista Center
Patrice Maginnis
Retired Professor, UC Santa Cruz
Roberto Manduchi
Professor, UC Santa Cruz
Bill Miklos
Chair, Finance Committee
Retired, Lockheed-Martin
Dan Moskowitz
Partner, Third Point Ventures
Marquise Murphy
Principal, Marquise Real Estate Partners
Mike Plesha
Principal Consultant, Expense Reduction Analysts
Steven Sanislo
Clinical Professor, Stanford University
Bob Stewart
CEO, Yardam Technologies
Christy Halderman Tall
Associate Director of Development and Alumni Communications, UC Santa Cruz
Ashley Tuan
Ophthalmic Product Development Professional
Advisory & Ad Hoc Committees

Community leaders and emeritus board members serve in many roles to advance the work of Vista Center, individually and on ad hoc committees coordinating events and special initiatives.

Interested in volunteering your expertise?

Help those with vision
loss lead better lives.

Join Vista Center’s dedicated team of volunteers and learn
how you can get involved with the community!