Beyond Vision

2021-2022 Annual Report Text

Beyond Vision

2021-2022 Annual Report


President’s Message

Volunteer Board of Directors


Groundbreaking Events

Meet Jennifer and Rebecca

Our Employees of the Year


Shot in the Dark

Philanthropy at Work

Diversified Social Enterprise


President’s Message
I’m reminded of the Charles Dickens quote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Beyond Vision’s government business was significantly reduced due to the pandemic and many government employees continuing to work remotely. Supply chain challenges also continue to cause delays in our ability to fulfill certain products for the government. Our staff has worked tirelessly to overcome these challenges to best serve our customers and our mission. Many companies folded under these pressures. I’m happy to say that Beyond Vision is coming out of the pandemic strong.

It’s not hyperbole to describe 2022 as a ‘seminal’ year for Beyond Vision. After several years of work, our dream is becoming a reality. Beyond Vision has a new home. The West Allis campus is called the VisABILITY Center.

Simultaneous to completing the construction, we raised about 60% of the capital cost via New Market Tax Credits, a grant from the state of Wisconsin, and our capital campaign. We can’t thank our many generous donors enough, you made our dream come true.

It’s just a building, right? Oh no. The VisABILITY Center is much more than just a new building for Beyond Vision. Our new home will be transformational for people who are blind in Wisconsin. We now have twice the square footage, providing room for growth for the foreseeable future.

It features state-of-the-art universal design, optimizing way-finding accessibility for those with low or no usable sight.

Part of our dream is that the VisABILITY Center will also be a place for more collaboration and potential colocation with the other non-profit service providers to people with vision loss.

We hope to leverage this facility, optimized for people who are legally blind, to maximize the potential for individuals affected by vision loss. Through collaboration and leveraging the VisABILITY Center campus, everyone’s operational cost can be reduced, and services maximized to better support the blindness community in Wisconsin.

Our plan for continued growth is working. We’ve already taken on work for the government and commercial customers, which has translated into more job opportunities, career advancements and financial stability.

Beyond Vision is a great place to work…a great place to learn and a great place to earn. We use the metaphor that “Beyond Vision is a ‘runway’, a place to land and a place to take off in your career.” We provide a competitive and integrated employment environment in which people with vision loss work side-by-side with normally sighted counterparts, earning the same competitive wages and with equal opportunity for career advancement.

The new VisABILITY Center campus will provide the infrastructure for us to fulfill our vision to “Enrich the lives of Americans who are blind…through the dignity of work valued by customers and the community.” Indeed “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” The future is bright.

Jim Kerlin, President & CEO
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Volunteer Board of Directors

Jeffrey Alan Peil, Chairman

Thomas E. Arenberg,

Accenture (Retired)

Shawn Duffy,

C.P.A. Controller, WTC Machinery

John Emanuel

Senior Counsel, Husch Blackwell LLP (Retired)

William Hughes, Chairman Emeritus

USAFR (Retired)

Attorney, Partner, Husch Blackwell LLP

Eric D. Isbister, Secretary

CEO, GenMet Corporation

James Kerlin

President & CEO, Beyond Vision

Gen. Paul E. Lima (ret.)

President, St. Johns Northwestern Military Academies

Burton Metz

Vice President, Wangard Partners

Tom O’Connell

CEO, Tank Holding Corp./Snyder Industries



CEO, City on a Hill


Mississippi Industries for the Blind (Retired)


53% Mission Ratio

138 Employees

73 Employees who are visually impaired

64 Employees who are sighted

Blind Paid Working Hours 97,707

Mission Direct Hours 95.5%

Revenue $40,041,000

Our Vision

Enrich the lives of Americans who are blind…

through the dignity of work valued by customers and the community.

Our Mission

Grow by being a valued partner to customers, suppliers, and the community while operating as a fiscally responsible enterprise.

Groundbreaking Events
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October 1st, 2021

Bringing together our friends, supporters, employees, advocates, and construction team was a major step in starting the building process.

All the design and planning were done. The kick-off of this project represented more than a a commitment to a new space. Construction meant the future we had envisioned was becoming a reality.

With their generosity, continual encouragement and introductions to community leaders, members of our Board of Directors and the Capital Campaign Cabinet led us to make great headway in our fundraising efforts over the past few years.Your support made this possible. Thank you.
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As construction neared completion, our team of Ambassadors began testing navigation to ensure accessibility. The team of cane and guide dog users helped prepare coworkers for the big move.
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Meet Jennifer and Rebecca


y background is in blindness skills training. I was working as the admissions coordinator for a blindness training center when I heard about the opportunity to join the Beyond Vision team as the Talent acquisition Coordinator. I was eager to challenge myself to work with blind and sighted applicants to fill positions with qualified candidates. I worked as the Talent Acquisition Coordinator for over a year and learned a great deal during this time. I gained confidence from the trust and high expectations of my abilities shown to me by my supervisor and coworkers. I participated in a leadership program and learned to see myself as a potential leader. I also learned about networking and challenging myself to seek out new opportunities.

When Rebecca told me of her decision to attend law school, I decided that this was the perfect opportunity for me to challenge myself with a new role. I interviewed for the position and was excited to be promoted to the role of HR Generalist. I am now learning my new role and continuing to challenge myself as I also mentor others. I am excited for future opportunities at Beyond vision and for being a part of a company which values all its employees for their important contributions.

-Jennifer Wenzel



Before joining Beyond Vision, Rebecca was working as a mental health and substance abuse counselor. While the career was fulfilling, she wanted to challenge herself to something more. During her time as HR Generalist at Beyond Vision, she had a significant impact on many of her co-workers. And Beyond Vision had a significant impact on her. Rebecca’s dream of becoming a lawyer had always seemed unattainable. The confidence she built working at Beyond Vision make her take the chance. She is now attending law school in Boston.

“I am very thankful to companies like Beyond Vision for helping me gain valuable skills to go on and pursue my dreams. IN the past 2.5 years my blindness skills and confidence have improved significantly.” -Rebecca Arrowood

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Our Employees of the Year


Administrative Assistant

“Keep your head up. No matter how hard life can get, think positive.”



Assembly & Packaging

“I just like Beyond Vision.”


Megan S.

Customer Care Specialist

“I love being able to break down misconceptions about what being blind/disabled means and what we can do. ”

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Doors Open Milwaukee, September 25th, 2021

Held each Fall, this event brings the community together and gives visitors an unexpected glimpse into businesses and buildings in the area. Beyond Vision hosted our last Doors Open Milwaukee visit to the State Street location. We look forward to welcoming everyone to the VisABILITY Center for the 2023 tour.

White Cane Day, October 15th, 2021

Reckless driving has been a top safety priority across the nation. Beyond Vision employees took the time to focus on pedestrian safety. Most significantly, reminding everyone the white cane represents safety and should be respected by drivers. This advocacy effort drew media attention and helped expand the awareness of reckless driving in Wisconsin.


Learn more about past and upcoming events on our website:

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Shot in the Dark 2021

A unique golf outing that takes place in the dark. The event also helps us connect with our supporters in a fun, relaxed environment. Held annually.


Sponsors: Presenting Sponsor: Essendant

Eagle Sponsor: Wipfli

Birdie Sponsors: Eric Schumann, HD Supply, Capital Investment Services, Crown Matting Technologies, Robertson Ryan & Associates, Legacy Capital Partners Inc.

Putting Green: Federal Resources, 3M, Dawes, National Business Furniture, Belleville, Visiontron

Hole Sponsors: ATC, Argus Technical Services, Briggs & Stratton, Buy-Rite Distributors, Duffy Grain, GenMet, Husch Blackwell, Moore Construction, National Exchange Bank

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Philanthropy at Work

Did you know that 7 out of every 10 adults who are blind are not employed? Support we receive from the philanthropic community drives our mission forward and makes this social enterprise WORK.

On the surface, we may look like any other company providing machining, assembly, and call center services. Dig deeper and you will find that these mission driven business units serve a greater purpose. As a social enterprise, we provide our customers with quality products and services at a competitive price, while creating meaningful and sustainable employment opportunities for people who are blind.

Your support is the difference maker when comparing us to our for-profit competitors. More than half of Beyond Vision’s workforce is blind or visually impaired. Philanthropy provides our staff with individualized job skills training, coaching, adaptive fixtures, accessible technology and more. Philanthropy gives our staff upward mobility and makes our mission possible.

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Diversified Social Enterprise

Beyond Vision operates on business success. As a competitive organization, we focus on offering the services people need. By driving business, we drive our mission and create more career opportunities for people who are blind.

Whether it’s a job in our Machine Shop or a call program in our Customer Care Center, we make customers our top priority. With the current labor shortages many businesses are struggling with, we have an experienced team of employees ready to take outsourced work from customers who need our help.

Many people love to learn about the innovations made to make our machining, assembly and packaging services work. Technology is key to our top quality call center services.

Never limiting ourselves, Beyond Vision continues to diversify. From our manufactured government products to military kitting, we never stop looking for growth opportunities. Because our growth creates more career paths for people with vision loss

Come for a tour to learn more about our program and products or refer a business you know that needs our services..
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Emily Adams

William H Alverson

Thomas & Diane Arenberg

Cliff & Janie Asmuth

Lukas Baumann

Scott Beglinger

Ruth Benben

Todd Bentley

Peter Benz

Matt Blankman

Elizabeth Borst

Brian Brieske

Kathryn Brown

Mark Brown

Mike Buettner

Rob & Wendy Buettner

Ronald & Janet Buettner

Cindy Buss

John Casper

Michael Chew

Emily Constantine

Geoffrey Cooper

Carrie Davidson

Duane Delaney

Donna Denneau

Tracey Dent

Craig Donze

Joan Duffy

Patrick Duffy

Ryan Duffy

Shawn Duffy

John Emanuel

Bernie Erenberger

John Eurich

Jake Feeley

John Feeley

Art Flater

David & Anne Frank

Bridget Fritz

Nate & Taegan Grunwald

Tom Hagen

Mike Harpster

Debra Heaton

Monique Hoth

Bill Hughes

Debbie Imus

Eric& Mary Isbister

Marissa Jablonski PhD

Dawn Jasper

Erica Jensen

Tom Kastory

Shawn & James Kerlin

Willie Kerlin

Bill King

Dave Kraninger

Mary LaPointe

Erin Larson

Paul Lima

Billy Macdonald

Barry Mandel

Burton Metz

Robert Mlynarek

Sharon Moody

Mike Moore

Paul & Cindy Muzzey

Neghan Neimon

Mike Nelson & Nancy Seidl Nelson

Cathleen Neubauer

Mike & Angela Newman

Brittany Nothem

Tom O’Connell

Pat O’Hara

Anthony Otto

Thomas Patzman

Jeff Peil

Angela & Luc Piessens

Mike Proctor

Kevin Riordan

Katie Robinson

James & Jennifer Roth

Bob Schroeder

Scott Schultz

Carl Schumacher

Eric & Jane Schumann

Art Serna

Lynn Sigfred

Bill Simser

Kirk Skaradzinski

Lindsay Smith

Tom Smith

Nate Suelflow

Kathryn Sullivan

Chris Urban

Aina Vilumsons

James & Yong Voigt

Jennifer Wenzel

Greg West

Terry Winarski

Robert Wittke

Richard Woods


1985 Bancorp of Wisconsin Community Foundation Inc.


  1. W. Asmuth Family Fund

Amazon Smiles

American Transmission Company

Bader Philanthropies, Inc.

Badger Meter Foundation

Bentley World-Packaging

Boerke Co.


Briggs & Stratton

Capital Investment Services

Catherine & Walter Lindsay Foundation

City of Milwaukee CDBG

Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region

Crown Matting Technologies

Cushman & Wakefield

Dan & Shelia Vaner Sanden Family Foundation

Dawes Rigging & Crane Rental

Elizabeth Elser Doolittle Charitable Trust

First Midwest Bank

Fresh Revenues

GenMet Corp

Dr. Harry J. Heeb Foundation

Husch Blackwell LLP

Infinity Benefit Solutions


Kiwanis Foundation

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation

Margaret Wiegand Trust

Mellita S. & Joan M. Pick Charitable Trust

Moore Construction Services

National Industries for the Blind

National Business Furniture

Network for Good

New Berlin Lions Club

Otto Bremer Trust

Patrick & Anna M. Cudahy Fund

PayPal Giving Fund

PNC Bank

Ritchie Engineering

Robertson Ryan & Associates

Thomas J. Reinhart Foundation


In memory of Lorraine G.

Ruth Benben

Your support of Beyond Vision provides more people who are blind with the dignity and independence of work. Whether your support comes by outsourcing work or through donations, you are changing lives. Thank you.
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