Belinda Moore, President/CEO of Bestwork Industries for the Blind, Inc. retires and the Board of Directors appoints strategic operations executive Jon Katz as President/CEO, effective July 15, 2021.
Bestwork Industries provides training and employment for people who are blind or visually impaired. It is an essential supplier of textiles, clothing, apparel and various commodities to the U.S. military, General Services Administration, State of New Jersey and commercial businesses. Moore began her work at Bestwork in 1991. Under her leadership, Bestwork has become a successful, mission-based social enterprise that has received national awards for employment growth. Moore says, “Creating jobs and impacting the lives of people who are blind has been my absolute motivation.” Bestwork’s operations have grown from a 5,000 square foot facility with 18 employees to 120 blind and sighted employees from Philadelphia and throughout Southern New Jersey working within a 50,000 square foot training and employment facility. Drawing on her Master’s degree in Social Work Administration, Policy and Planning, one of Moore’s greatest contributions has been her ability to draw out the talents in others. She has led her management team to generate innovations in quality, systems, operations, financial decision making, and employee engagement.
“Belinda’s leadership is treasured and will be missed,” says Jack Shaw, Chairman of the Bestwork Industries’ Board of Directors. “As we enter our fifth decade of service, we poignantly bid farewell to Belinda who has been the President/CEO for three of those decades. She has been the guiding force driving Bestwork through good times and difficult times without ever taking her eye off the goal – jobs for people who are blind or visually impaired. Most recently, her inspired care for both our team members and customers led us through the pandemic – one of the greatest crises we have ever faced – with steadiness and creativity.”
Moore stands out to her colleagues at the national level as an active and valued contributor to the network of agencies that participate in the AbilityOne® Program. “Belinda’s dedication and commitment to our mission of creating employment opportunities for people who are blind has been truly remarkable,” said Kevin Lynch, president and CEO of National Industries for the Blind (NIB), the nation’s largest employment resource for people who are blind. “In addition to being a champion in the community, Belinda’s made immeasurable contributions to our mission nationally while serving on several boards, including NIB’s board of directors. We wish her all the best as she starts the next chapter of her life.”
Bestwork’s connections to NIB will remain strong. Jon Katz is stepping down from his position as Vice President, Business Development for NIB to assume the role as the new President/CEO at Bestwork. “Jon’s program knowledge in growing employment opportunities for people who are blind and his management experience will be significant factors in successfully assuming his new role.” said Lynch. “We are fortunate Jon has chosen to lead one of our associated agencies and look forward to working with him to fulfill our missions.”
Katz joins Bestwork Industries with an extensive background in entrepreneurial leadership. With a focus on Department of Defense/Federal Civilian Markets, Jon led the business development, channel sales, and military resale division at NIB for four years. Mostly recently, in his VP capacity, Katz provided Advisory & Administrative Assistance Services to Georgia Industries for the Blind, inspiring a transformation of that organization. Katz’s work at NIB has enabled him to gain insights into the more than 100 associated nonprofit agencies based in 39 states at more than 250 locations.
Looking back on his honorable service as a Veteran and Commissioned Officer in the United States Marine Corps, Katz is a passionate advocate of Bestwork’s mission and activities. Katz says, “I pledge my commitment to the Bestwork mission of being a ‘Best in Class’ rehabilitation enterprise by improving the quality of life for people who are blind by providing training and employment opportunities in a supportive work environment.” He is eager to lead Bestwork in gaining entry into new market spaces with new lines of business that are replicable, scalable and readily adaptable and accessible for people who are blind, including but not limited to the AbilityOne® Program. Shaw expressed his enthusiasm for leading the Board in working in partnership with Katz. “We welcome Jon and are poised to support him in taking Bestwork into the next period of its history.”
Moore will provide consulting services, working in collaboration with Katz to ensure a seamless transition over the next several months. Bestwork Industries’ President/CEO search was conducted by the Diversified Search Group. Forbes magazine recently ranked the firm number six out of 250 executive search firms in the United States.