William Robinson Named New Director of the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons

Media Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280
Email: mediainfo@michigan.gov

September 8, 2016 - Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) Director Shelly Edgerton today named William Robinson, a nationally recognized leader in services for the blind, as the new director of the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP). Robinson’s appointment follows a thorough national search process. He replaces retiring BSBP Director Edward Rodgers.

“Bill’s passion and record of instituting a culture of continuous quality improvement, customer focus, and streamlining processes within national organizations makes him uniquely qualified to lead our bureau dedicated to serving Michigan’s blind citizens,” said Edgerton. “These are the core values of LARA and we are thrilled to have him join our team.”

As director of BSBP, Robinson will be responsible for the state agency that provides vocational rehabilitation, independent living and employment training services available to Michigan’s 200,000 blind and visually impaired citizens. He will oversee operations of BSBP’s Training Center in Kalamazoo, the Braille and Talking Book Library in Lansing, and seven offices located throughout the state that administer a wide range of services including BSBP’s Business Enterprise Program, services for youth and seniors, and deaf blind services.

"I am very pleased and honored to serve the blind and visually impaired in the state of Michigan,” said Robinson. “Loss of visual acuity or blindness should never result in a lesser quality of life or opportunity for those willing to embrace their strengths and pursue their goals."

Robinson, a certified public accountant (CPA), most recently served as president/CEO of the National Accreditation Council for Blind and Low Vision Services since 2012. Prior to becoming visually impaired as a result of a hunting accident in 2001, Robinson was the chief financial officer of National Linen Service, a division of National Service Industries. Robinson received vision rehabilitation services from the Center for the Visually Impaired in Atlanta, GA. He holds a BS in business administration, with a major in accounting from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“On behalf of the commission, I want to warmly welcome incoming BSBP Director Bill Robinson to Michigan,” said Commission for Blind Persons Chair Lylas G. Mogk, M.D. “The commissioners look forward to his insightful and inspirational leadership, and to collaborating with him and BSBP in their important work of promoting the best interests of, and providing optimal services to, Michigan residents who are blind or visually impaired.”

Robinson replaces Edward Rodgers, a former LARA administrative law judge, who has served as BSBP director since 2012.

“I want to commend Ed for an exemplary career and thank him for his dedication and professionalism serving the citizens of Michigan,” said Edgerton. “His expertise and experience will be greatly missed. I wish Ed all the best for a long and happy retirement.”

Robinson will assume his duties on September 26, 2016.