Welcome to LCVI

The Lions Center for the Visually Impaired preserves vision, fosters independence and enhances the quality of life for adults in the East Bay who are blind or at risk for vision loss and serves as a trusted source of information and expertise on blindness in the community.

Are you losing your sight? Are you worried about a friend or family member who shows signs of vision loss? We’re here to help.

The Lions Center for the Visually Impaired offers services focused on early detection and intervention in order to prevent or slow vision loss from age-related eye disease. We also give older adults in the East Bay the tools and skills they need to maintain their health, independence and quality of life despite vision loss.

Our Executive Board of Directors

Group of people at a table

President – Charles “Duke” Dunham

In 1925 Helen Keller implored the Lions to become knights of the blind and here we are today. As a member of the Ambrose-Pittsburg Lions Club it made sense to become involved in LCVI. I can’t think of a better way to help our community. LCVI is continually working to find new ways to improve the lives of the visually impaired people that we come in contact with.

First Vice President – Bill Ridle

I was born in Denver Colorado in 1948.  After graduating from High School, I joined the US Marines and the next fours years served in Vietnam followed by Alaska.  After the service I became a police officer and then a detective.

I joined Crockett Lions Club in 1992 and became interested in helping and working with the visually impaired.  Over the last 25 years I have had a connection with the Lions Center for the Visually Impaired (Diablo Valley Lions Blind Center), whether it was serving as House and Grounds, a board member or preparing meals for the visually impaired clients.

Second Vice President – Stuart “Stu” Griffin

Member of Richmond Pinole Lions Club since 2005. I have held the offices of Club President and Director. Held the office of District Zone Chairman. I am a past president of the Lions Center for the Visually Impaired. I have provided my personnel service to the community and Lions organizations. My commitment to helping others is not limited to those who are sight impaired but also those with other disabilities. Using my construction skills. I have been involved with the LCVI renovation, Rebuilding Richmond, and remodeling cabins for the California Wilderness Camp (a camp for Hearing Impaired Youth).

Secretary – Linda Wagner-Griffin

My involvement with the Lions Center for the Visually Impaired began in the mid 1980’s serving as a club representative. And then being asked to serve on the board, chairing many committees and then president.

My background is in automotive. I have owned my own business and have worked at the corporate and dealership levels in a managerial position.  With my background, I bring to the board management, financial and organizational skills. I have been involved in organizing and implementing board campaigns, fund raisers and golf tournaments.

Vision is an important part of my interests and serve on the boards of several foundations promoting eye health care to those in need. Serving on the board gives me the opportunity to further my commitment to increasing the quality of life for those with vision issues.

Treasurer – Calvin “Skip” Zehnder

I have been a Lion for over 35 years and held various offices including District Governor of District 4-C3 in 2018-2019. I am a retired accountant. My hobbies are reading, boating and bowling.  I have always been a supporter of Lions Center for the Visually Impaired/LCVI and when I was asked to run for Treasurer I was happy to do so.

Directors (3 Year)

Sue Langhorst 

I am married with 2 children and 3 grandchildren, I am also a retired teacher.  At home I enjoy knitting, baking, and some crafts.

I have been a Lion for about 20 years.  I’ve been treasurer and president of our club and Zone Chair and Administrative Assistant for the district.  Student Speakers are my passion.  I’ve served as District Chair.  I am a Director of the Student Speaker Foundation.

I have supported LCVI through the years and felt it was time for me to be more active in my support.  Being a Board member lets me do this.

Francis Shipilov

I have been a Lion since 2017, and my passion is vision screening for school children.  When I am not doing Lions work, you can find me on the golf course.

Audrey Nieman

I am Audrey Nieman, a retired Middle School English teacher. I am a member of Richmond-Pinole Lions Club where I have been a member since 2000, serving as president, treasurer, and currently as secretary. I am also a Life member of Soroptimist International of Richmond, and I have been a member since 1980 serving as president, secretary, and currently as treasurer. I enjoy Ham Radio and belong to two local clubs. I work as a volunteer for the St. Vincent de Paul distributing food twice a week, and I am Conference Secretary. I also volunteer with Writer Coach Connection assisting Middle and High School students with their writing and composition skills. I enjoy reading, scrapbooking, and genealogy.

Directors (2 Year)

Paula Robinson 

I am a person who enjoys helping people in need.

My interests are in bowling, and watching sports.

I became a Board Member for I believe in and want to help maintain the goals of the LCVI center.

Mac Coates

Mac was born on June 20, 1950, in Los Angeles.  When Mac was in second grade, he was placed in classes for children with limited eyesight.  He graduated from Manual Arts High School on January of 1969.  He found a job with the May Company Department Store in February of 1969 as a Cook.  Unfortunately, with the increasing loss of his vision, Mac had to leave his job in October of 1978.

Mac became a member of the Blind in Los Angeles and learned how to live as a Blind individual.  He was also a member of Junior Blind for 25 years and President for 12 years of Junior Active Blind Inc.  Mac moved to Pittsburg in 2008 and became a client first and then a Board member of the Lions Center for the Visually Impaired (LCVI) and found a new life.

Mac went on to serve as Charter President of the Lions Club, President of LCVI Board, and last year Zone Chair for District 4-C3 and is currently a member of the Crockett Lions Club.

Phillis Neitling

I am a retired Federal employee, and a retired Hospital Volunteer Director.  I became a board member because I believe in the mission of the Lions Center for the Visually Impaired/LCVI, and I like helping those in need.

Directors (1 Year)

Barbara Chambers

I retired 10 years ago as the Contra Costa County Asst. Clerk Recorder after 31 years of service.  I still go back and help with the primary and general elections.  I have been a Martinez Lion since 1988 and part of the new Martinez Lady Lions Club (formally the Martinez Lioness Club) since 2011.  I have served as President of the Lions Center for the Visually Impaired/LCVI and been a member of the Board of Directors for over 20 years. Although Lions Clubs offer many service opportunities, LCVI is my favorite.  Not only have I learned so much about sight and the visually Impaired community, I have met the most wonderful people (clients, supporters, LCVI team) who have enriched my life.

Linda Barbara

I am currently serving as 1st Vice District Governor for Lions International, and serve as a member of Byron Delta Lions Club .  I am retired from the work force having spend a 20 year career in semiconductor technology.  I now spend my time golfing, spending time with my family and doing volunteer work.

Dennis “Denny” Grotrian

Retired Lawyer and educator; active in Lions activities at the Club, District, State, National, and International level, and serving as a Board member to support the mission and work of LCVI.

Ben Barrientos

Coming Soon

Lions District 4C3 Governor – James Varghese

I am currently serving as the 4-C3 District Governor which serves the communities in Alameda and Contra Costa County.

I am passionate about serving others in my community regardless of the need. I have been involved with a medical mission to Nepal where eye examinations were performed, eye glasses or surgeries were provided. Additional, basic medical and dental services were provided.

I am retired from United Airlines.

Our Team

Board of Directors
Yolanda Braxton, PsyD – Executive Director
TBA – Vision Screening EDP Coordinator
Vicki McDaniel – Orientation & Access Manager
Marilou Bautista – Vision Health Outreach Specialist
Richard Grange – Activities & Marketing Coordinator
TBA – Office Coordinator

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