Message from the CEO

Browse a collection of messages from Chicago Lighthouse President and CEO Dr. Janet Szlyk on what is happening around The Lighthouse.

Focusing on Access and Inclusion

from the 2018 Annual Report
President/CEO Dr. Janet Szlyk and Chairman of the Board Gary Rich pose in front of a painted Lighthouse sculpture with several young children, many who are disabled

The year 2018 marked an unprecedented moment of outreach for our organization, as The Lighthouse’s message of access and inclusion for people with disabilities reached millions through a landmark public art display.
Artists from all walks of life answered our call to create Lighthouses on the Mag Mile™.The exhibition featured more than 50 six-foot-tall lighthouse sculptures, each uniquely embellished with powerful expressions of persistence, empowerment and joy. Visionary businesses and organizations also demonstrated their commitment to access and inclusion by sponsoring the exhibition.
Throughout the summer, countless Chicagoans, tourists, and social media followers engaged with the exhibition and with our community. Soon, our message of inclusivity resonated around the globe, sparked by national and international media coverage of the exhibition.
Here at The Lighthouse, we felt more love than we could have ever imagined.
It’s in this spirit that we write this love letter back—an appreciation and a celebration of those who dare to imagine new possibilities.
In our 2018 Annual Report, we’re proud to showcase the accomplishments of those we serve, as well as of those who sustain us. We hope you’ll share the joy we feel as we convey their stories.
In 2018, we also felt profound sadness as we said goodbye to two longtime board members and donors who generously supported our mission for many years: Beatrice Cummings Mayer, who helped build the bustling Senior Center that bears her name, and Walter Nathan, whose many efforts included helping us by using his business and merchandising insights to advance our Industries’ products.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Mrs. Mayer and Mr. Nathan for their friendship and their unwavering support.
They not only imagined a better life for people who are blind, visually impaired, disabled and Veterans. They made it a reality.
In their honor, we ask that as you read about how The Lighthouse changes lives, imagine how you, too, can be a beacon of change. Then consider the many ways you can take action, whether it’s as a donor, a volunteer or a friend who helps fulfill our mission.
On behalf of our team and our entire community, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.


Janet P. Szlyk, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer

Low Vision Research Laboratory

Research & Publications by Dr. Szlyk

Interviews with Dr. Szlyk

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