Changes at CBA Vision Rehabilitation Services


Lisa Goodell, CBA’s long-standing Executive Director, has decided to take on new adventures. While the word retirement has been tossed around, Ms. Goodell is always working on a community project. Ms. Goodell served the Chautauqua and Cattaragus County communities for 13 years in her role as Executive Director of the CBA Vision Rehabilitation Services agency, also known as the Chautauqua Blind Association. She said, “Looking at celebrating 100 years of community service in the County, I feel thankful to have had the opportunity to work with Chautauqua Blind Association for almost thirteen years. Our success is based on the wonderful caring staff that provide services throughout all of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties. We were able to improve the Youth Vision Screening Program, so it now provides free vision screenings to more than 4000 children per year. We also developed the Sight for Success Program in 2018 and were proud to rename the program after a great, caring community supporter, Dr. Tim Grace this year. With the help of the staff and many Board Members we introduced Dining in the Dark to the community and were set to celebrate our tenth anniversary in 2020. As we wait to see what 2021 will offer, I look forward to working with several community funders to develop new opportunities to assist all non-profits providing services in our County. A huge “Thank You” to both the Board and staff of CBA for thirteen years of partnering and collaboration as we worked together towards a common goal of providing vision services to the community.”

Current Co-President Kelly Fiorella said, “Lisa has put the agency on a solid financial footing. She has built up the reserves for difficult times like the current pandemic and started our signature fundraiser, Dining in the Dark. With a generous Johnson Foundation grant she installed a technology room to educate those in our community that need assistance and she began vision screening services for children which have greatly expanded over the years. We are sorry to see her go, but excited for her new adventures.”

The CBA Board of Directors welcomed Joni Blackman as the new Executive Director in November. A longtime resident of the Jamestown area, Joni has over 30 years’ experience in leading and managing not-for-profit organizations. She served as executive director of the Fenton History Center for 14 years and COO at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History. Ms. Blackman led the Fenton History Center through many changes, expanding the campus, growing the annual budget, and building the volunteer corps. She brings her background in not-for-profit management which includes finance, fundraising, operations and both board and staff leadership skills to her new position. Ms. Blackman has served on many area nonprofit boards. She is currently the President of the Rotary Club of Jamestown and a member of the Board of Directors for the James Prendergast Library Association and Busti Historical Society. Joni is also a Community Writer for The Jamestown Gazette.

Speaking of her dedication and her new position, Blackman says, “not-for-profits provide necessary services and opportunities in all communities. From basic humanitarian needs such as food and shelter to cultural enrichment that make all lives better. I’m excited to use my skills to assist the very able staff at CBA Vision Rehabilitation Services as we work together to reach those in our service area that need vision rehabilitation information and services.”

The mission of CBA Vision Rehabilitation Services is to enable people with visual impairments to be active members of their community, provide education regarding vision loss and raise awareness of vision screening for children. CBA Vision Rehabilitation Services is partially funded by the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County.

For more information visit or call 716-664-6660.