Press Releases


11.5.21 – Dominion Energy Awards ABVI Grant

9.17.21 – ABVI Celebrates It’s 85th Birthday

8.13.2021 – Patrick Family Foundation Awards ABVI $10,000 Grant

6.14.21 – ABVI Hosts a COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic for Adults with Visual Impairments

5.12.21 – J M Smith Awards ABVI $12,500 Grant


7.31.20 – Dominion Energy Awards ABVI $5,000 Grant 

7.27.20 – Yaschik Foundation Awards ABVI $5,000 Grant

7.23.20 – ABVI Announces New Executive Committee and Board Members for FYE 2021

6.18.20 – Volvo Supports ABVI with $5,500 Grant

5.1.20 – ABVI Expands Virtual and Online Training Opportunities 

4.2.20 ABVI Launches Virtual Vision Rehabilitation Training

3.12.20 – J M Smith Foundation Awards 25,000 to ABVI

2.21.20 – Noir 2020 Raises $246,00 


11.28.19 – Volvo Grants $7,500 to ABVI 

11.11.19 – CCF Open Grants

10.28.19 – Sisters Charity Foundation Grant

10.18.19 – ABVI Announces Second Tri-County Location

8.2.19 – Roper St. Francis Physicians’ Endowment Grant

4.11.19 – ABVI Announces New Staff

1.14.19 – ABVI Announces New Name and Expanded Services


11.21.18 – Sisters of Charity Foundation of SC

10.29.18 – Noir 2019 Tickets on Sale on 11.1.18

10.16.18 – Charleston Charitable Foundation

9.10.18 – Charleston County Grant

8.15.18 – Mark Elliott Motley Foundation

8.8.18 – Joanna Foundation

7.10.18 – Yaschik Foundation Grant Award

2.8.18 – J M Smith Foundation Supports Six Vision Clinics


11.23.17 – Charleston County Invests in Focus on Children Program

11.10.17 – Mark Elliot Motley Foundation Supports ABVI Vision Clinics

7.19.17 – ABVI Announces New Officers for Fiscal Year 2017-2018

7.14.17 Yaschik Foundation Grant to Support Foucs on Children Program

6.8.17 – ABVI Receives Darby Family Endowment Grant

3.19.17 – ABVI Awarded the 2017 Nonprofit Excellence Award


Who We Are

Board of Directors

Joe Waring, Chair

Chief Financial Officer, Evening Post Industries

Kristen Gayeski Tinkler, OD, Vice Chair 

Optometrist at MUSC Storm Eye Institute

Samuel R. Clawson, Jr., Secretary

Partner and Co-Founder, Clawson, Fargnoli & Utsey, LLC

Thomas M. Smythe, Treasurer 

Financial Planner, Jacobs, Coolidge & Company, LLC

Robert M. Baldwin, CPA, Immediate Past Chair 

Managing Member, Baldwin and Associates, LLC

Hon. Karl L. Brady, Jr. 

Charleston City Councilmember, District 5 

R. Griffin Brame, Jr., MD 

Ophthalmologist, Carolina EyeCare Physicians, LLC

Carol S. Clement 

Controller, Clement, Crawford and Thornhill, Inc. 

Ronald L. Coleman, MSW 

Retired Director of Community Services for Maryland DDA Region (Developmental Disability Administration)

James F. Hill III, OD, FAAO 

Optometrist, MUSC Storm Eye Institute 

John C. Kulze III, MD

Ophthalmologist, Eye Center of Charleston

Tricia Leyte-Vidal

Training Manager, Everstream Analytics 

Marshall G. McClure

Vice President, Tax, E. I., du Pont de Nemours and Company, Retired 

George B. Smythe

Senior Vice President, Mortgage Loan Officer, SouthState Bank 

Sean M. Wilson

Attorney, Law Office of Sean M. Wilson, LLC 

Col. B. Karl Jantzen, Member Emeritus

Retired US Army Major and Asset Manager 




Advancement Committee

During the Spring of 2013, ABVI created an Advancement Committee comprised of motivated and talented young adults. The group was formed to help promote and raise awareness of the Association and its programs, to help recruit volunteers, to fundraise and to educate a younger generation about the Association and Charleston’s Tri-County community of blind and visually impaired individuals.

Ellen N. Hassell, Chair  
Business Development Officer, Synovus Trust Company


William H. Adams 
IT Consultant
Kate A. Brady 
Physical Therapist, MUSC
Alyssa Glazener
Employee Communications Coordinator, Ingevity
Maggie C. Harken
Credit Analyst, The Bank of South Carolina
Henry R. Laurens
Realtor Associate, Carriage Properties
Lauren E. Morgan
Human Resources Administrator, Anderson Insurance Associates, LLC
Kayley Seawright 
Aeromechanics Structural Analysis Engineer, Boeing
Jenkins H. Wilson
Associate, Halio & Halio Law Firm

Our Team

Photo Description: The full ABVI staff is pictured above. From left to right, Amy Asper, Ruthie Harman, Bryson Young, Amy Harris, Mark Carmichael, Courtney Plotner, Kimberly Taylor, Brooks Harken, Susan Lucas, Anne Reid and Samantha McGovern.

Anne Reid

Chief Development Officer


Bryson Young

Chief Advancement Officer


Brooks Harken

Chief Programs Officer


Courtney Plotner

President and Chief Executive Officer

Ryan Locklear

Manager of Occupational Therapy Services

Tanya Wofford



Kimberly Taylor

Administrative Assistant


Samantha McGovern

Own Your Life Program Manager


Ruthie Harman

Client Services Specialist

Sidney Thomson

Development and Marketing Coordinator