Letter From Douglas A. Yeager
Chairman of the Board of Directors
The Lighthouse of Houston once again served a pivotal role in transforming the lives of the blind and visually impaired in our community. This past year was a time of big change and ongoing expansion. In 2018 our health services division expanded, as we began accepting third party insurance reimbursement for our low vision, behavioral health and diabetes education services and instituted a series of well-attended health seminars – the first two on diabetes and cancer prevention. And, our Lighthouse Choir has become a new avenue of achievement for its talented singers, as they performed at a record number of venues this year. We even initiated a wine tasting event for our clients.
The biggest change of the year, however, was the retirement of Lighthouse President Gibson M. "Gib" DuTerroil, who will continue to serve as Executive Director of the Lighthouse Foundation for the next few months. Shelagh Moran, formerly Vice President and COO of the Lighthouse, will succeed Gib as President.
It is difficult to overstate the impact that Gib DuTerroil has had on this organization during his 40-year tenure here. His no-limits outlook on what could be achieved and his openness to new ideas and technology have made the Lighthouse a national leader in providing services to blind and visually impaired individuals.
I could provide a page-long list of his contributions, including social and educational programs for children and teens, career and technology training programs for teenagers and adults, health and activity programs for the elderly, and construction projects that have greatly expanded the physical footprint of the Lighthouse campus. But his main contribution is that visual impairment no longer
means what it did 40 years ago. With new technology and adaptive aids came expanded employment opportunities, and the Lighthouse has led the way in seizing on these opportunities to make sure no one – regardless of education or financial background – is limited in life by lack of sight.
The unwavering support of the Lighthouse Board of Directors is a testament to Gib as well. It is rooted in a deep respect for his vision, commitment and accomplishments.
We are very fortunate to have Shelagh step in as President. Her experience and ability, demonstrated repeatedly in her 37 years at the Lighthouse, will make for a seamless transition. She has already contributed greatly to our organization –overseeing the daily operation and direction of the Lighthouse’s nationally recognized programming, developing multiple family-centered programs, establishing innovative programming such as the Multi-Care Center for elderly blind persons and the first nationally recognized Diabetes Education program for the blind and visually impaired.
I, for one, am looking forward to what’s next as we move into different areas of service, increase our focus on both mental and physical health issues, and continue to demonstrate that The Lighthouse of Houston is here for blind and visually impaired people of all ages and from all walks of life.