My involvement with San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind grew through several intersects. I ran track in college, and eager to run any road race I could find, I stumbled across the "Lighting the Way" 5K. A great time! It's been a wonderful experience running this race since the late 2000s.

Professionally, my career has been in the development and manufacturing of medical devices. I was privileged to be the Director of Engineering for a local firm here. I led a close-knit team of curious and ambitious colleagues who always looked to improve and learn from others. We were working on a few projects that needed some creative solutions, and I thought it would be helpful for our team to see things from a new lens. So, I put together a benchmarking trip where we would study manufacturing plants from other industries.

There is always something new to learn when seeing an operation that's different from yours! I took my team to see what was happening at the Lighthouse. Mike Gilliam, the CEO at the time, and I formed a quick connection, and our teams were swapping insights and ideas instantly.

If you haven't toured the Lighthouse, gotten sweaty at the 5K, played a few holes at the charity golf scramble, if you've never experienced their amazing "Art in the Dark" annual event, you are missing out! You might find that your unimpaired vision gets radically improved when you "see" firsthand this fantastic organization.

About the author

Monica Hayes

Monica C. Hayes is an entrepreneur, engineer, and coach. She enjoys writing about leadership, process improvement and personal development. When not helping companies fix their processes, Monica can be found running, reading, or cooking. Monica can be reached at

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