This week Rick Hoskin, Chair of the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB) Board, has announced Sandra Budd’s decision to step down from her role as Blind Foundation Chief Executive.
Sandra has held her position at the Blind Foundation since 2007. Rick commended her leadership over this time, saying: “The Board of Directors is proud of the successes the Blind Foundation has been able to achieve with Sandra at the helm of this great organisation. We can all be confident that Sandra leaves the Foundation in very good heart and with a strong sense of optimism for the future.”
In a nod to her favourite phrase for new staff members, Sandra said: “I made ‘my best career decision’ when I welcomed the opportunity to undertake a major programme of change to modernise the Blind Foundation and build long term sustainability.
“I joined an organisation that is passionate about the work we do and full of amazing people and volunteers who want to make a difference every day in the lives of our clients. I have been privileged to lead this great organisation through a significant time in our history and together we have built something very special.”
During her time at the Blind Foundation, Sandra has striven to provide a life without limits for clients and led courageous initiatives including a pilot programme to reach the thousands of people with low vision who currently have little or no support. She has also developed an Eye Health Coalition to encourage New Zealanders to take care of their eyes.
With no challenge too small, Rick explained, “Sandra took the bold step of moving the Foundation to advocate for our people to be treated equally by campaigning for lasting social change. The goal is to ensure that New Zealand becomes truly accessible and fully inclusive for people who are blind or have low vision. Today we can look forward to the possibility of accessibility legislation being enacted.”
Sandra shares: “I am very positive about the future of the Blind Foundation. I know it will go from strength to strength and will continue to be a leader in the national and global disability sector, reaching more people and providing choice to our clients.
“It has been my pleasure to work with you over the past 12 years. My goal is to hand over a healthy, vibrant organisation to my successor.”
Sandra’s departure on 30 June 2019 is part of a planned succession process aligned with the conclusion of the Blind Foundation’s five year strategic plan. Recruitment for the Chief Executive position will begin shortly, to ensure a smooth changeover.