Phoebe Wood is Principal of CompaniesWood, a firm that specializes in advising and investing in early stage companies. She has made over three dozen direct investments in early stage companies.
Ms. Wood was the Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer of Brown-Forman Corporation before her retirement from that company in 2008. She had responsibility for corporate development, controller, treasury, investor relations, tax, information technology, and internal audit departments. Prior to that, she spent almost 24 years at Atlantic Richfield Company (now BP) in financial management. She lived in England for five years during her tenure at ARCO.
Ms. Wood is a member of the Board of Directors of Invesco, Ltd., Leggett & Platt, Inc., Pioneer Natural Resources Co., and PPL Corporation. She currently chairs two nominating and governance committees and two audit committees. She also previously served on the boards of Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc. and OshKosh B’Gosh, Inc.
Ms. Wood is a Trustee of The Gheens Foundation and is chairman of the American Printing House for the Blind. She is a Trustee emerita of Smith College. She has an MBA from UCLA and was named one of 100 Inspirational Alumni of the Anderson School of Management. She is a member of Women Corporate Directors and The Committee of 200, an invitation-only membership organization of the world’s most successful women business leaders. She was recently chosen as one of 100 national business leaders who make up Bizwomen’s Inaugural Women to Watch list, named to the NACD Directorship 100 for 2018, and to the Junior Achievement Kentuckiana Hall of Fame. She is the co-founder of WOC & WWAR (Women of Color and White Women Against Racism.)
She has two daughters and lives in Louisville, Kentucky.
Board Vice Chair
Bart Perkins is the Managing Partner of Leverage Partners, which helps organizations address their IT challenges. Typical engagements include: formulating a global IT strategy, reducing IT costs, evaluating outsourcing decisions, developing business cases, and ranking proposed projects in priority sequence. Mr. Perkins has over 25 years of experience leading IT efforts in a variety of industries including hospitality, retail, consumer products, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, health care, and financial services.
Mr. Perkins was the CIO of YUM! Brands and earlier the CIO of Dole Food Company. He began his career at Nolan Norton & Co. and became a Partner in KPMG Peat Marwick when Nolan Norton was acquired. Mr. Perkins currently sits on the boards of i360 Technologies and the University of Louisville Computer Engineering Department. He speaks at a variety of industry events and is a Computerworld columnist. He is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and the University of Virginia.
Dr. Craig Meador
President / CEO
Dr. Craig Meador was announced as President of the American Printing House for the Blind in December, 2015. Dr. Meador is a former teacher and educational leader for children who are blind and visually impaired. Before assuming the presidency, Dr. Meador served as APH’s Vice President of Educational Services and Product Development from May, 2015 to December, 2015.
Dr. Meador came to Louisville and APH from the state of Washington where he was employed as the Director of Outreach Services/State Vision Consultant. In that position, he served as the Washington State Department of Public Instruction’s APH Ex Officio Trustee and as a member of the APH Educational Products Advisory Committee (EPAC). Prior to that, he was Principal of the Washington State School for the Blind and he had served the state school for 24 years, beginning as a teacher. Dr. Meador earned an undergraduate degree from Western Oregon State University, a master’s degree in Special Education from Portland State University and, in 2015, an educational doctorate degree from Washington State University.
Dr. Charles Barr
Dr. Charles Barr has been a faculty member at the University of Louisville since 1983. He is the Arthur and Virginia Keeney Professor of Ophthalmology and Director of Retina Service, with expertise in age-related Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy, Retina Diseases, and Retinal Detachment.
Dr. Barr graduated cum laude from Princeton University with an AB degree and received his MD from Johns Hopkins. He has taught dozens of courses, received numerous research grants, been a guest lecturer at national and international universities and hospitals, and authored and co-authored more than one-hundred publications. He has served in a leadership role with many professional and community organizations. He recently served on the Macula Society’s executive committee and on the Board of Governors for the JB Speed Art Museum. He is the current president of The Retina Society.
Angie McDonald Evans is Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Community Affairs for LG&E and KU Energy. In this role, Ms. Evans is responsible for leading community engagement and investments, key corporate responsibility programs and grant-making processes. For over twenty-five years, Ms. Evans has held leadership positions in both the public and private sectors, including serving as Vice President of Community Leadership at the Community Foundation of Louisville, Director of Planned Giving at the University of Louisville , Vice President and Private Banker at National City (now PNC), and as Special Assistant to Louisville mayor David L. Armstrong and as the Director of Affirmative Action.
In addition to the APH board, Ms. Evans currently serves on the Centre College Board of Trustees and the board of directors for Actors Theatre, Bates Community Development Corporation, Community Foundation of Louisville, James Graham Brown Foundation and Women Influencing Louisville. Angie is a graduate of Leadership Louisville 2003, Ignite Louisville 2006, Bingham Fellows 2014, and a member of the Business First Forty Under 40 class of 2002.
She is a graduate of Centre College and received her Juris Doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law.
Jane Hardy is CEO and Chairman of Brinly-Hardy Co., a fifth-generation lawn and garden equipment manufacturing company based in Jeffersonville, Indiana. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from The Colorado College in 1984, she began her career at Brinly-Hardy Co. Ms. Hardy was named Vice-President of Sales and Marketing in 1991, and succeeded her father, James E. Hardy III, as President of the company upon his retirement. In 2010 Ms. Hardy graduated from the Harvard Business School’s Presidents’ Program in Leadership.
Brinly-Hardy Co. has been a leader in the design, manufacture, and sale of residential and commercial lawn equipment for more than 180 years. Customers include Deere & Co.,The Home Depot, Lowe’s Companies and many more. Brinly-Hardy is a certified Women Owned Business Enterprise.
Ms. Hardy served as the first woman Chairman of APH from 2017 through 2019. She has served on the board of directors of the Louisville Science Center, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and The Fairmont Fund. She is a member of the local and international Young Presidents Organization where she has served in multiple roles including serving as Chair of the Bluegrass Gold Chapter, Chair of the Women’s International Network and member of the International Networks Committee.
Judge David Holton II
Jefferson District Court Judge David L. Holton II was appointed to the bench in 2008. In 2010, he was elected to a four year term on the Jefferson District Court Bench where he presides over both criminal and civil cases. Prior, he was an accomplished private practice attorney with experience in family, civil, and criminal law and served as a prosecutor in the Jefferson County Attorney’s office. He is the first Kentucky judge who is blind.
Judge Holton received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Morehead State University and his Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the University of Kentucky College of Law. He has served on several boards and commissions, including the Seven County Services Board of Directors, the Kentucky Council on Higher Education, Morehead State University Board of Regents, and the Kentucky Community Service Commission. He and his wife Stephanie are the proud parents of two sons, Brooks and Max.
Dr. Marjorie Kaiser
Dr. Marjorie Kaiser served as superintendent of the South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired for 34 years, with additional responsibility for South Dakota School for the Deaf. She retired in May of 2020.
As superintendent, Dr. Kaiser served as Ex Officio Trustee for the American Printing House for the Blind and attended annual meetings. She also served on several committees beginning with the old Publications Committee and ending with the Educational Services Advisory Committee.
Dr. Kaiser began her career teaching high school English, and later took courses in visual impairment and American Sign Language. She earned a bachelor’s degree in teaching from St. Cloud State University (Minnesota), a master’s in educational administration from Northern State University (South Dakota) and a doctorate in educational administration from the University of South Dakota.
Dr. Julie Lee
Dr. Julie Lee is a well-known and distinguished ophthalmologist, chosen by her peers as one of Louisville’s top doctors in 2005, 2008, and 2011. She received her medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia, and was appointed a Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School. She completed her residency in Ophthalmology at the University of Louisville Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, where she currently serves on the clinical faculty, in addition to her private practice of general ophthalmology in Louisville.
Dr. Lee is an active member of many professional societies, including: the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Medical Association, Kentucky Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (currently president-elect), Kentucky Medical Association, and the Louisville Academy of Ophthalmology (former president). She has published articles in professional journals, such as the Journal of Ocular Pharmacology.
Among her many civic activities, Dr. Lee has served on the Board of Directors and the Medical Advisory Board of Visually Impaired Preschool Services, as well as serving on the Board of Directors of Prevent Blindness Kentucky.
Yung Nguyen is the founder and President of IVS LLC, a company that develops and markets accessible voting technology for blind and visually-impaired persons to vote independently and privately. Its flagship product is a paper ballot marking system, which allows voters to listen to the audio ballot and use a telephone-style keypad to choose candidates or answer ballot questions.
Before starting IVS, Yung co-founded Appriss, Inc., which created the VINE system (Victim Notification and Verification Everyday). VINE automatically telephones crime victims when their offenders are released or escape from custody. This victim notification system currently serves over 80% of correctional facilities in the United States.
Yung has been involved with many non-profit organizations. He is currently serving on the Boards of Directors of Lac Viet Academy, the Tri An Foundation, and the Vietnamese Community of Louisville. Yung came to America in 1981 as a refugee from Vietnam and has been living in Louisville since then. He graduated from the University of Louisville with a Master of Engineering in Computer Engineering and a Master of Arts in Mathematics.
Yung and his wife, Vu, have three children––Han, 24; Thuy-Vy, 21; and Tuan, 18.
W. Barrett Nichols
W. Barrett Nichols founded BSG Financial, LLC in 2000 and serves as its Chief Executive Officer. Focusing on small and medium-sized financial institutions, the company provides technology and support services that help banks manage information and operate more efficiently and profitably.
Previously, Mr. Nichols spent 20 years in corporate lending and retail banking at PNC, rising to Executive Vice President. In that role, he successfully merged its Indiana acquisitions into one bank, where he served as President, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of PNC Indiana. Upon leaving PNC, Mr. Nichols helped found Mesa Food Products, located in Louisville, Kentucky. He served as President and Chief Executive Officer until the sale of Mesa to ConAgra.
Mr. Nichols served as the Chairman of the Community Foundation of Louisville. He serves or served as a Board Member and Officer in several civic and charitable groups, including: J. Graham Brown Foundation, Metro United Way, Dare to Care Food Bank, Kentucky Derby Museum, the Fund for the Arts, and the Greater Louisville Project. Mr. Nichols graduated from Hampden-Sydney College and attended Indiana University’s Executive Program Graduate School of Business.
Russell Shaffer is Director – Brand Strategy, Outreach and Benchmarking in the Office of Global Culture, Diversity & Inclusion at Walmart, and reports directly to the Chief Culture, Diversity & Inclusion Officer. He and his team have responsibility for visual and messaging strategy; executive and enterprise communication; and strategic relationships related to the company’s global culture, diversity and inclusion initiatives. He joined Walmart in 2006 and has held roles managing global internal communications and benefits communications. In a previous role as Senior Manager – Constituent Relations, Russell managed Walmart’s corporate strategy and stakeholder outreach for the people with disabilities and aging constituencies.
His career as a professional communicator spans more than 15 years and includes roles in advertising, corporate communications, marketing, print journalism and public relations. Russell has held positions at May Department Stores, The Timken Company and The Ohio Optometric Association, and began his work experience as a teenager paying his way through school as an hourly associate at Walmart and Sam’s Club locations in Michigan and Ohio.
Russell was elected Chair of the Board of Trustees for the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) in November 2017 after joining the AFB Board in October 2015. AFB also named him its 2015 Stephen Garff Marriott award recipient in recognition of his professional achievement and service as a person who is blind or low vision. He has previously served two terms as Chair of Walmart’s Advocates for Disability Awareness and Education (ADAE) resource group, and has been a board member of Sources for Community Independent Living in Fayetteville, Ark. since 2012. His service has included positions on the U.S. Business Leadership Network’s (USBLN) Corporate Advisory Board, the Disability Equality Index (DEI) Advisory Committee and the National Council on Independent Living’s (NCIL) Corporate Development Council. In April 2018, Russell traveled to China to serve as a private sector disability employment expert as part of a U.S. State Department delegation engaging in bilateral discussions with the China Disabled Persons Federation.
Russell is an honors graduate of Malone University in Canton, Ohio, and holds a bachelor of arts degree in business administration and communication arts. He resides in Rogers, Ark. with his wife, Jessica, and their children, Sophia and Brady. His perspectives on disability advocacy and inclusion are informed by his experiences with retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic, degenerative eye disease that was diagnosed when Russell was 10 years old and led to his legal blindness by his late 20s.