Q&A with Steve Tepper

Meet ACBVI’s new executive director

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What drew you to ACBVI?

First, it’s an amazing service that ACBVI provides. Second, I live with Type 1 diabetes and had what was supposed to be a relatively simple surgery to cauterize leaking blood vessels in my eye. But those were in my line of sight and I lost a portion of my vision. So, it’s a very personal mission as well.

In the next few months, where will you focus?

I’ll continue what the board, the staff, and Jim have built here – to bring that forward and amplify it. We’ll engage on a new strategic plan come the New Year. I’m hopeful we can increase our donor base, which is already great, and seek corporate sponsorships.   

What do you value as a leader?

Dissenting opinions help everybody learn and grow. I think if you surround yourself with people who say ‘yes’ you never get anywhere. 

Do you have an office memento that has special meaning to you? 

I helped bring a WWII-era rail car used in the Holocaust to Chandler, and the East Valley Jewish Community Center board made me a plaque. The real lesson of the Holocaust is “never forget, never again.” If we were able to learn the lessons from the past and apply them, imagine how much better our society would be.

When you’re not working, where can people find you?

I’m family focused. Both my kids are gymnasts, so pre-COVID I spent 20-25 hours at the gym with them. They’re just starting to go back now. I work on my laptop while they practice. None of my kids or their friends wants to drive, so I am an Uber. 

Fast Facts about Steve

Born: St. Louis, MO

Years active: 18 in executive roles

Education: Indiana, MS; Arizona, BS

Family: Wife Karen & 2 daughters

Hobbies: Running & cycling

Motto: “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”

About The Author

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Jon Williams

Jon Williams is the Fund Development Officer at ACBVI. He has over 25 years of professional non-profit experience in development, fundraising, volunteer and event management with national non-profits including the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association, and three member food banks in the Feeding America network, including his last position as Development Manager with United Food Bank in Mesa. Originally from South Bend, IN and a graduate of Ball State University, Jon has devoted his career in giving back to the community and providing assistance to those underserved populations needing help. A resident of Chandler, Jon enjoys the Arizona lifestyle along with traveling near and far, a great live concert or an exciting sports game!

Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired

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