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Meet Our Board of Directors

Richard Burden Richard Burden - President and Chairman of the Board is an AIRSLA founding member and original Chief Engineer. He has been a broadcast engineer for 70 years and was instrumental in bringing FM Stereo to the public. He is also known as the father of the Travelers Information Service which provides information to motorists at airports, highways, national parks and communities. He is a fellow in both the Audio Engineering Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers and was honored by the Audio Engineering Society on its 50th anniversary as one of 25 internationally known engineers who contributed significantly to the science of audio during that period. He was also honored by the Society of Broadcast Engineers over a 55-year period with its Lifetime Achievement Award. He records most of our lectures and special events.
Jesse Wolinsky Jesse Wolinsky - our Vice President, is a 27 year old preschool teacher living in Los Angeles. She was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa at the age of 7, and is passionate about empowering people of the visually impaired community. She began volunteering for the Foundation Fighting Blindness when at the age of 14 and since has raised more than $100,000 for blindness research. She speaks at several of their events in Southern California, and created a social support group for young visually impaired adults. "Coming to terms with losing my sight has been a constant struggle, but I've found peace of mind by embracing my condition and inspiring others to do the same. I've learned that you can't always control what happens to you in life, but you can control how you feel about it, and I choose to let my circumstances lift me up instead of hinder me. I am incredibly honored to be the Vice President of AIRSLA, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for this remarkable organization."
Mike Anderson Mike Anderson - our Secretary, is a Southern California native and 1979 graduate of the University of Southern California. He has worked in financial services since 1987, specializing in disability, life insurance and retirement planning.
Fred D. Wolinsky Fred D. Wolinsky - our Treasurer, is a life coach who aids those with diabetes. He earned a BS from Wharton School of Business and an MBA from USC. After 20 years as a CPA, he established a firm specializing in auditing on behalf of recording artists, record producers, song writers and actors. Fred has been extensively involved in the American Diabetes Association where he has received the National Youth Award. In addition to serving on boards of the American Diabetes Association and Diabetes Research Institute, Fred is involved with the Foundation Fighting Blindness where he has helped organize the Los Angeles Vision Walk.
Dr. Bill Takeshita Dr. Bill Takeshita - is an optometrist who specializes in low vision rehabilitation. He is presently a clinical faculty staff doctor at the M.B. Ketchum University College of Optometry. He is also a consultant to the Braille Institute's Child Development program in Los Angeles. Dr. Takeshita is a member of the board of directors for AIRSLA, the Therapeutic Living Center for the Blind, Council of Citizens with Low Vision International, and the Institute for Families. He edited the book "Insights into low vision" and hosts numerous podcasts on low vision for the AIRSLA."
Christine Chaikin Christine Chaikin - Is the founder and managing director of Insightful Publications, a company specializing in resource handbooks for the blind and visually impaired. You can connect with Insightful Publications here, or follow its Facebook, Twitter, or Linked In pages. She is also past board member of the Council of Citizens with Low Vision International, volunteer advisor and advocate to parents of blind and visually impaired students; helping them navigate their way through the school system.
Racquel Decipeda Racquel Decipeda - earned her Bachelor's degree in Human Services and Management from the University of Phoenix. She had been diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa and also has moderate bilateral hearing loss, but had never let her disability stop her from living a full, productive, and independent life. Her passion is to work with blind people like herself and other people with disabilities. She is currently employed as a call center representative with 3660 Marketing. Racquel is the Co-founder, Secretary and Chief Administrative Director of Hearts For Sight, a non-profit 501c(3) organization whose mission is to break down barriers to health and fitness that restrict the blind and visually impaired, so that they may pursue physical, mental, and emotional wellness. She is also a member of the San Fernando Valley chapter of the National Federation of the Blind. She also serves as the Trip Coordinator for The Achievers, Disabled Sports of Orange County.
Vanna Rapeti Vanna Rapeti - is a philanthropist at heart, as recognized by the George W. Bush administration with the Lifetime Philanthropy Award. She's a graduate of the USC Executive MBA program; has worked with McDonald's doing marketing for both corporate-owned and franchisee-owned stores; had her own marketing consulting business; and has been involved in all aspects of real estate: acquisition, rehab, financing and property management. She was twice nominated as the Business Woman of the Year by the Los Angeles Business Journal. She became legally blind in 2013, and has been working to bring about awareness of issues involving the legally blind and low vision communities.

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