Position Description

Position Description

Braille Institute of America

(Southern California)

Title: Vice President of People and Culture

View Position Brochure Here


Braille Institute is a nonprofit organization that has been positively transforming the lives of those with vision loss for more than 100 years. Braille Institute offers a broad range of free programs, classes, and services to more than 20,000 children, youth and adults each year.

Braille Institute serves the community from seven centers, and hundreds of community outreach locations throughout Southern California with a full array of services: low vision consultations, technology training, daily living skills classes, arts & healthy living classes, orientation & mobility training, and library services. Braille Institute also hosts nationally recognized programs like Braille Challenge and Cane Quest

Braille Institute’s staff team (185 FTE) and volunteers are fully committed to the mission of Braille Institute. They have a passion to serve and are highly professional in their day-to-day responsibilities. More specifically, they provide an individualized range of services designed to meet a person’s specific visual challenges and personal goals. They strive to serve the whole person by meeting a range of physical, social, intellectual, and emotional needs. Many of Braille Institute’s students receive multiple services and there are no limits on age or length of service.

Since its founding in 1919 by J. Robert Atkinson, Braille Institute has remained highly focused on its singular mission. While the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020-2021 presented life-changing challenges, Braille Institute adapted programs for remote delivery and established the foundation for a new “hybrid” model of service of both in-person at its centers and remotely through online delivery. Extending its reach via digital online delivery is now a core strategy as the number of people who are blind or visually impaired is expected to double in the U.S. to eight million over the next two decades.

Braille Institute’s current annual operating budget is approximately $23 million with an endowment totaling approximately $220 million. 

For more information, please visit www.brailleinstitute.org.

THE OPPORTUNITY                                     

Braille Institute is well-positioned to benefit from a team-oriented and forward-thinking professional for this newly created position of Vice President of People & Culture. Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, Jim Kales, and working collaboratively with leadership and partners across the organization, the Vice President of People & Culture will help build upon the organization’s legacy and advance Braille Institute into its next 100 years as a best-practices-driven, model workplace evidenced by a culture of innovation, shared values and a client-centered approach.

The Vice President of People & Culture will be charged with reimagining Braille Institute’s people function, culture, structure and policies by driving key Human Resources (HR) best practices and initiatives, as well as providing strategic direction and leadership for the full scope of the HR function including human resources operations, talent acquisition, organizational development and learning, culture, internal communications, and diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) initiatives.  

The Vice President of People & Culture will develop and execute the HR strategy for the organization as part of the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) and will serve as a thought partner to the CEO along with the ELT, providing a framework and comprehensive plan for leadership, coaching, employee relations, talent acquisition, engagement, culture, compensation, organizational design and change, performance management, learning and development. The Vice President of People & Culture will also oversee the HR team, including the HR Director, and be responsible for leading, assessing, mentoring and supporting team members to ensure daily HR operations are handled timely and appropriately.

A collaborative team-builder, the Vice President of People & Culture will maintain a presence throughout Braille Institute’s footprint in Southern California, traveling regularly to its various locations as an evangelist for positive culture change, bringing people together to build strong, mutually beneficial and trusting relationships.

Key responsibilities will include but not be limited to:

Culture and Development

  • Develop relationships with the employees of Braille Institute and become a trusted resource who is sought for advice and counsel on HR, cultural, and organizational issues. Facilitate integration of diverse workgroups, cultures, and newly acquired assets.
  • Drive a culture that embodies Braille Institute’s values that reward, promote and encourage high performance throughout the organization.
  • Counsel, coach and guide managers and staff in addressing concerns and complaints to assure fair and equitable treatment.
  • Coach and mentor fellow colleagues/managers and develop leadership bench strength.
  • Mediate employee relations and performance issues and provide counsel to fellow managers on appropriate methods of performance management.
  • Role model Braille Institute’s core values and demonstrate leadership consistently with all members of the organization.


  • Proactively manage resource allocation and maintain a competitive approach to recruiting and assimilating high-potential talent. Advise on people programs and processes to enhance diversity and talent attraction, onboarding, professional development, retention, and succession planning.
  • Oversee compensation practices and ensure salary benchmarking and surveys are handled on a regular basis.
  • Develop HR initiatives and systems to support Performance Management, Talent Acquisition, Learning & Development, Engagement, Benefits, Rewards, Policy and Compliance.
  • Develop and implement key diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) initiatives.
  • Respond to the HR needs across the organization including HR support for the seven regional centers.
  • Oversee automation of HR related systems, protocols, capabilities, and upgrades.
  • Oversee organizational compliance with all federal, state, and local labor and employment law issues and requirements; anticipate and resolve litigation risks.


The Vice President of People & Culture will be an inclusive leader who approaches work with a growth mindset and keen emotional intelligence.  The ideal candidate will be a results-driven, agile, change agent with the commitment and confidence to assume a leadership role. An empathetic and engaging individual who listens well, the Vice President of People & Culture will be responsive, solutions-focused and results-oriented.

Preferred candidates will also demonstrate:

  • The ability to drive initiatives with limited resources and a roll-up your sleeves attitude to achieve desired results;
  • Unquestionable personal integrity, fairness and the credibility necessary to gain the trust and commitment of individuals at all levels of the organization; and
  • Demonstrated success at cultivating strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders and collaborating at all levels within the organization to achieve results.

Above all, the Vice President of People & Culture must be passionate about the mission of Braille Institute to positively transform the lives of those with vision loss, inspired by the challenges confronting the organization, and dedicated to achieving goals as a team.


Competitive candidates will have a track record of progressive human resources experience including a solid foundation in employee relations and providing leadership at the senior level.  

The following skills and experiences will be valued:

  • Demonstrated success in driving change and shaping an organization’s culture.
  • Project management experience, problem-solving skills relative to gathering, organizing, analyzing and presentation of data.
  • Demonstrated success in helping achieve diversity, equity and inclusion as organizational values.
  • Exceptional communications skills - written, verbal and interpersonal - and an ability to tailor communication style to diverse audiences.
  • Knowledge and practical application of HR disciplines including management and leadership development, organizational design, recruitment and compensation philosophies, performance management, employment and labor laws, and employee relations.
  • Current knowledge of emerging HR trends and practices.

While experience in a mission-driven, multifaceted nonprofit organization is preferred, professionals from nonprofit and for-profit environments with transferrable skills and a desire to make an impact are encouraged to apply.

Knowledge of current California labor laws is preferred.

A bachelor’s degree is required. A master’s degree in Human Resources, Organizational Development or a related field and/or SHRM-CP/SCP or PHR/SPHR certification is preferred.


The annual salary range for this position is $200,000 to $250,000 based on experience. A comprehensive and competitive benefits package will be provided. 

This is a full-time exempt position with the expectation of in-person work and regular travel to Braille Institute’s locations throughout Southern California, including to the Los Angeles Center where the Executive Leadership Team is currently based.

An equal opportunity employer (EEO), Braille Institute is committed to diversity and encourages applicants of all backgrounds and experiences to apply. Braille Institute does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, national origin, veteran status or any other basis covered by appropriate law. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit, and business need.


To apply for this position, visit www.morrisberger.com/searches.php

Morris & Berger
500 North Brand Boulevard, Suite 2150
Glendale, CA 91203-1923

1 (818) 507-1234