Remembering Michelle Machado

Earlier this month, we received the heartbreaking news that our board president, Michelle Machado, passed away in a car accident.

Michelle Machado wearing a black blazer and patterned blouse. She is smiling and posing in front of a colorful background.

Michelle Machado

I personally knew Michelle for more than 10 years. She was a dynamic and positive person, and her dedication to Society for the Blind was so evident. Michelle was always willing to represent Society at community events, and she did not shy away from fundraising. She served as our board president since 2021, and she was a gracious and vibrant member who led by example. With her expertise in finance and business, she helped Society successfully acquire another nonprofit that resulted in our thriving Braille Production and Training Program.

Michelle’s passing leaves an enormous hole at Society for the Blind, in our community at large and especially in her beautiful family.  While we mourn her passing, we are ever more committed to the work of Society for the Blind for which she had so much passion.

Bill Carter was elected by the board of directors to serve as our new president. As a past president of our board and someone who has been integral to our growth and expansion over many years, Bill brings continuity of experience and leadership as we grieve and work to move our programs forward.

During this month, we honor the contributions of Black Americans, including members of our staff whose contributions have greatly improved the lives of people living with low vision and blindness. Our Black Americans Senior Support group continues to thrive under the leadership of our staff member Deb Pendleton.

February also is Low Vision Awareness Month, and I am proud to share that we are partnering with the Community Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Stockton to bring our low vision clinic services to people in the Stockton-Modesto area. We will have more on this exciting new partnership in our March newsletter.

We know Michelle would be so very proud of the work we are doing, and that helps us move forward. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your continued support that enables people living with low vision and blindness to discover, develop and achieve their full potential.