Perkins School for the Blind Adds Four to Board of Trustees

Jim Down and Stephen Pelletier join Massachusetts Governor's Office Appointees Katherine McGaugh and Jo Frances Meyer

Aerial photo of Perkins School for the Blind's campus
August 15, 2018

WATERTOWN, MA – August 15, 2018 – Perkins School for the Blind, the first school for the blind in the U.S. and the international leader in blindness education has added long-time Members of the Corporation Jim Down and Stephen Pelletier to its Board of Trustees, alongside Katherine McGaugh and Jo Frances Meyer, who was appointed by the Massachusetts Governor’s Office.

Prior to his retirement, Down was vice chairman of Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman), responsible for the overall direction and management of the firm. Over the course of his career, Down has been a senior advisor on strategic issues to a multitude of organizations including UPS, CSX/Seal-Land, AT&T, Agility, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Merck. Down will become chair of Perkins’ International Committee.

Pelletier is executive vice president and chief operating officer of Prudential’s U.S.-based businesses, comprising more than $1.3 trillion in assets under management as of June 30, 2018.  He is a very proud father of a Perkins graduate. Pelletier, who has been a member of the Audit Committee and Trust Board will join Perkins’ Education Committee.

McGaugh is senior vice president, senior counsel at Brown Brothers Harriman. Previously, she was vice president, senior counsel at State Street. McGaugh has also served as associate counsel for Goodwin Procter LLP.

Meyer joined the Boston Landmarks Orchestra as executive director in January 2015 after spending three and a half years serving as the director of development for Rockport Music. Before that, she spent almost seven years as the director of institutional giving and government relations at the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and 15 years practicing health care law and commercial litigation at Boston law firms, including Mintz Levin and Peabody & Brown (now Nixon Peabody). Meyer also serves as a Trustee of the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare.

Perkins’ Board of Trustees includes Stephanie C. Andrews, Kevin S. Bright, Frederic “Fred” M. Clifford, RoAnn Costin, Corinne Basler Grousbeck (Chair), Thomas Hehir, Raymond W. “Ray” Hepper, William H. “Bill” Hughes, Randy E. Kinard, Janet LaBreck, Philip L. Ladd, Huntington D. “Hunt” Lambert, Elena Matlack, Oswald “Oz” Mondejar, Vaithehi Muttulingam, Greg J. Pappas, Paul Perrault, Richard F. “Dick” Reilly, Steven A. Ringer, Michael Schnitman, Cynthia Stead and Katherine Chapman Stemberg.

“Perkins’ Board represents a diverse group of individuals within the community that embodies our vision to prepare children and young adults who are blind or deafblind with the education, confidence and skills they need to realize their potential,” said Perkins President and CEO Dave Power. “Down, Pelletier, McGaugh, and Meyer join a Board with an intellectual strength and distinctiveness which will continue to further Perkins’ mission of helping all students, here and around the world, become productive and engaged citizens.”

Perkins is a progressive, multi-faceted organization with a legacy of global leadership in blindness education and services for people who have visual impairment with multiple disabilities. Committed to both preparing its students for the world -- and the world for those students -- Perkins has served as a catalyst for innovation since its founding more than 180 years ago.

Perkins has recently launched multiple initiatives to address everyday problems faced by people who are blind, including its BlindWays 2.0 app to help those who are blind or visually impaired better access public transportation. This past January, Perkins partnered with Aira, becoming the first campus in the country to pilot the technology company’s remote sighted guide service. In April, the school held its first-ever hackathon, where more than 100 college students from across the country designed technology tools for people who are blind. In May, Perkins created a mock election on behalf of technology firm Clear Ballot to catch accessibility flaws in digital voting systems. This summer, Perkins hosted a talk on campus with the User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA) to highlight the moral imperative behind creating accessible technology and the broader benefits and opportunity to society and businesses.

“Perkins is committed to solving everyday problems by serving as the bridge between the blind population and the innovators of tomorrow,” said Power. “Everyone deserves equal access to the technology resources that serve our communities.”

Media Contact:

Craig Sender
craig.sender@perkins.org
P: 617-972-7478
C: 917-626-7152

Perkins School for the Blind

Since 1829, Perkins School for the Blind has been a leader in preparing students for the world and the world for our students. Today, Perkins’ works globally to foster accessibility with the goal that every person can learn to be as independent as possible and fulfill their unique potential. Learn more at Perkins.org.

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