Reaching Great Heights: a Community Conversation with Blind Entrepreneur, Adventurer and Philanthropist Randy Pierce

Randy Pierce, wearing a shirt and tie, sits on a grassy hill holding the harness of Swirl, a black Lab guide dog

On Wednesday, May 24 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern, Brian Switzer, author, deafblind athlete and Training & Program Specialist for Career Launch @ Perkins, will be chatting with Randy Pierce, founder of 2020 Vision Quest and CEO/President of Future In Sight, about embracing adventure – at work and in life – when you have a disability.

In addition to taking your questions, Brian and Randy will cover topics including:

  • Work, before and after blindness: insight into Randy’s journey from a career in engineering to entrepreneurship, including what it’s like to found, manage and run a large non-profit organization
  • The life of a blind adventurer: guidance for summiting mountains – both real and personal, hiking with a guide dog and running marathons
  • Advice from someone who’s been there: wisdom from Randy’s varied experience – in business, philanthropy, martial arts, publishing and more!

This conversation promises to be an informative, educational session for everyone from job seekers with disabilities and their allies to inclusion-focused employers.

Meet the speakers

Randy Pierce stands at a podium, presenting
Randy Pierce stands at a podium, presenting

Dr. Randy Pierce

Randy Pierce, President and CEO of Future In Sight, and previous founder and president of 2020 Vision Quest, is an entrepreneur, adventurer and philanthropist. A lifelong New Hampshire resident, he graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1988 with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and began his first career as a computer hardware design engineer.

Spare-time pursuits since college have included extensive experience in martial arts, hiking, bicycling, and running races.

Randy is also totally blind.

Always embodying the theme of “Achieve a Vision Beyond Your Sight,” Randy has continually forged ahead to experience an amazing variety of adventures and accomplishments — all part of the impactful story he’s here to share.

To list a few highlights, he’s won two National Marathon Championships, run in six consecutive Boston Marathons; has summited Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, trekked through the Andes in Peru, and climbed all 48 of the New Hampshire White Mountains’ 4,000-footers twice. He’s also competed in three Tough Mudder events, and in 2018 released his first book titled “See You at the Summit.”

Headshot of Brian Switzer

Brian Switzer

A high school math teacher earlier in his career, Switzer became interested in assistive technology after losing his own vision. Since, he has consulted with a number of fitness-minded tech firms like RunKeeper and Strava to make their digital applications more accessible.

Switzer is also an outspoken advocate for people with blindness, low vision and deafblindness. He sits on the Rehabilitation Council for the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind and the Advisory Council for DeafBlind Community Access Network.

He holds a graduate certificate in C.A.T.I.S. from University of Massachusetts at Boston and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Suffolk University.

He’s run marathons across the country from Boston to Alaska and is the author of three books: “Walk In My Shoes: An Anthology of Usher Syndrome,” “Walk In My Paws: An Anthology On Service Dogs,” and “Ankommen zwischen univeranderbarem und eigener entscheidung (Coming To Understand The Unchangeable).”

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