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Meet Our Board of Directors

Richard Burden Richard Burden - our Board Chairman, is an AIRS founding member and former Chief Engineer. He has been a broadcast engineer for more than fifty years. He was instrumental in bringing FM stereo to the public and is one of only seven colleagues who have been given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Broadcast Engineers. He currently operates Burden & Associates, his own broadcast systems engineering firm.
Dr. Bill Takeshita Dr. Bill Takeshita - our Vice President, is an optometrist specializing in low vision. He is Chief of Optometry at CPS, Consulting Director of Low Vision Education at the Braille Institute, a member of the California Blindness Advisory Committee and Adjunct professor at the Southern California College of Optometry. He lectures extensively on low vision rehabilitation, vision and learning, and assistive technology for people with low vision. He has authored texts on vision rehabilitation and is editor of the book "Insights into Low Vision."
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.
Racquel Decipeda Racquel Decipeda - our Secretary, recently earned her B.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 SYB Automotive Group. Racquel is the vice President, Secretary and co-founder of Hearts for Sight Foundation, a startup nonprofit providing development services for the blind and visually impaired. She is also a member of the San Fernando Valley chapter of the National Federation of the Blind and chair of several important committees and is a member of the Parents-Professional Advisory group at the Therapeutic Living centers for the Blind.
Jack Caulfield Jack Caulfield - an engineer by training, served as project manager for the recently completed recording studio for LARRS. He spent thirty years with Rockwell International, the last fifteen in the corporate office in various capacities. Jack is legally blind. He retired in 2009 after spending ten years with a niche firm in the entertainment industry. He is currently active as the Volunteer Coordinator for AIRSLA.
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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