James R. Olsen

Portrait of Jim who never forgot his period of total blindness and remained sensitive to the needs of all visually impaired people.

James R. Olsen
December 1st 1942
February 13th, 2005
 
Donated by ACB of Minnesota, this plaque is dedicated  to the memory and spirit of James Olsen.
 
Jim was ACB's first hired financial manager and later ACB's Chief Financial Officer. He also served as one of the founders, Chief Financial Officer, and Executive Director of the American Council of the Blind Enterprises and Services, the most significant financial contributor to ACB each year.
 
Jim lost his vision due to the childhood onset of Type 1 diabetes. For some time, he became totally blind due to its complications. However, in the mid-1970s, laser surgeries allowed him to recover significant vision, although he remained legally blind. Jim never forgot his period of total blindness and remained sensitive to the needs of all visually impaired people.
 
With the loss of his vision, Jim also lost his job as an accountant. When he came back to work, it was our great fortune that he came to the American Council of the Blind, first as its volunteer treasurer, and later as our Chief Financial Officer.
 
Jim served ACB for over 27 years in many capacities and remains the longest-serving employee in our history. His vision of ACB and his belief in what ACB could become remained a hallmark of who Jim was and how he carried himself within our organization. His honesty, integrity and belief never wavered in the good times and the not-so-good.
 
Throughout his years of distinguished service to us, Jim introduced and involved his family with the organization as well. His wife Anna and daughters Sarah and Martha became an integral part of ACB's family.
 
We continue to be blessed with your spirit and your contribution to all of us. You have given us a standard of excellence to meet, thank you for helping make the American Council of the Blind what it is today.
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ACB Angel Memorial Tribute - James R. Olsen