National Industries for the Blind and the Army & Air Force Exchange Service Join Forces to Enhance Service to Customers

NIB President and CEO Kevin A. Lynch and Exchange Director/CEO Tom A. Shull Sign Joint Statement of Guiding Principles

October 3, 2012, ALEXANDRIA, VA – National Industries for the Blind (NIB) and the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (Exchange) signed a joint statement of guiding principles during a special ceremony at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.

NIB and the Exchange formalized their commitment to identifying and pursuing business opportunities that are mutually beneficial for both organizations. Kevin A. Lynch, President and CEO of NIB, and Tom A. Shull, Director/CEO of the Exchange, signed the agreement.

“This agreement formalizes what has already been a strong business relationship between NIB and the Exchange,” says Lynch. “Together, we can continue to provide quality goods and services, and at the same time, create more jobs for people who are blind.”

Despite continued gains in employment, 70 percent of working-age Americans who are blind are not employed. NIB’s mission is to create, sustain, and improve employment opportunities for people who are blind.

The agreement stipulates that NIB and the Exchange will each designate a senior management official to serve as a liaison between the two organizations, and mutually agree on annual goals and objectives.

“A dual mission to deliver quality goods and services to America’s military and generate earnings that support critical morale, welfare and recreation programs requires the Exchange to actively partner with organizations and businesses for the benefit of Soldiers and Airmen,” said Shull. “In all 50 states, five U.S. territories and more than 30 countries, the Exchange and its business partners bring a needed taste of home to military families, wherever they are called to serve.”

NIB and the Exchange have historically collaborated in the areas of retail products, services, and operational supplies for the AbilityOne® Program, a federal program that creates employment opportunities for people who are blind or severely disabled.


About National Industries for the Blind
NIB is a nonprofit organization focused on enhancing the opportunities for economic and personal independence of people who are blind, primarily through creating, sustaining and improving employment. NIB and its network of 90 associated nonprofit agencies nationwide serve as the largest employer for people who are blind by the sale of SKILCRAFT® and other products and services through the AbilityOne Program, established by the Javits-Wagner-O’Day Act. For more information, visit

About the Army and Air Force Exchange Service
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint non-appropriated fund instrumentality of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff. The Exchange has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with quality merchandise and services at competitively low prices and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military morale, welfare and recreation programs. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit

Mike Johnson