Our People

Photo of Dennis Zehner

Dennis Zehner

Executive Director
Biography

Dennis Zehner has been our Executive Director since July 1, 2020. He served as our Director of Advancement from 2018-2020 and held the additional title of Associate Director from 2019-2020. Dennis has led creation of our 2018-2021 Strategic Plan, strengthened our Board of Directors, increased revenue in several categories, recreated our event portfolio, and fostered important new partnerships.

Dennis brings to his work 20 years of experience in the Lehigh Valley region’s nonprofit industry and an emotional connection with the agency’s mission because of obstacles encountered by his late paternal grandfather, who was legally blind throughout his life.

In his prior work with United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, the Literacy Center of the Lehigh Valley, and the Da Vinci Science Center, Dennis specialized in communications, creative promotions, news media relations, marketing, multi-platform content production, and fundraising as he advanced into roles of greater responsibility. During this tenure with the Da Vinci Science Center, he formed the organization’s public persona, co-created and produced its flagship Ice Cream Wars event, and helped the agency increase its public visitation and program participation by 73% over a five-year period.

Dennis also has led or contributed critically to additional mission-minded marketing, fundraising, and promotional efforts through his private company, EmpowerStar Enterprises. The most prominent of these projects is the What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? series of student video contests in Pennsylvania, for which he has been managed its online voting since 2014.

Dennis has a graduate certificate in Marketing Strategy from Cornell University and a degree in Journalism from Lehigh University. He also is accredited nationally as a Professional Certified Marketer by the American Marketing Association.

Photo of Linwood Gehris

Linwood Gehris

Board of Directors President
Biography

Linwood Gehris has been President of our Board of Directors since July 2017 and a member of the board since 2013.

Linwood has spent most of his professional career in the financial services industry. He is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor with Affiliated Financial Partners, where he has worked since 2012. He also was a Project Manager for Morris Black and Sons, Inc., from 2001-2013.

A lifelong Lehigh Valley resident, Linwood has been active with the Alburtis Lions Club for decades and was District Governor of Pennsylvania Lions District 14-K for 2012-2013. He also is a member of Zion Lehigh Lutheran Church, where he has served as a Sunday school teacher, council member, and council president.

Linwood has a degree in Business Administration and Management from Muhlenberg College.

Photo of Jennifer Pandolfo

Jennifer Pandolfo

Director of Services
Biography

Jennifer Pandolfo has been our Director of Services since April 2020. She is responsible for the development, execution, impact, and efficiency of all our services in the Lehigh Valley and Monroe County.

Jennifer was our Director of Monroe Operations from 2015-2020 and has 15 years of experience in the social services sector. She is a former Program Director and Acting Executive Director for the Boys & Girls Club of Morris County, N.J., for which she expanded services to two additional facilities, developed a new after-school program, and increased participation in all club programs. She also worked previously for Step By Step, Inc., as a support specialist for children with severe emotional and behavioral disorders.

Jennifer is Vice President of the Pocono Autism Society and Secretary of the InterAgency Council of Monroe County.

Jennifer has a degree in Community Psychology from Montclair State University and studied Social Work on a graduate level from New York University.

Photo of Christe Konopitski

Christe Konopitski

Director of Advancement
Biography

Christe Konopitski – a specialist in donor cultivation, promotions, branding, and digital influence – has been our Director of Advancement since Oct. 2020.

Christe has provided leadership and specialized skills to successful fundraising efforts in eastern Pennsylvania since 2014. As a board member for The Open Link – a multi-faceted social service agency in Pennsburg, PA – she oversaw efforts to recreate its 2020 gala as a two-week virtual campaign in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The re-imagined event generated greater net revenue than the organization’s in-person event in 2019. From 2015-2019, she raised nearly $1 million directing the annual fund for the Perkiomen School in Pennsburg, PA. From 2014-2016, she was on the marketing and development staff of the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia.

Christe earned a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Drexel University in 2020, and her research concentrated on trends and successful practices for individual giving. She also is a board member for AEquitas, a national nonprofit organization that promotes effective legal prosecution of gender-based violence and human trafficking cases.

Christe also has leveraged her love of fashion, work experiences with the Kendra Scott and Lilly Pulitzer brands, and social media skills to create an expanding community of followers through her own Classically Christe brand. In 2019, Lehigh Valley Style magazine named her one of its Women of Style.

Anthony Silvetti, O.D.

Anthony Silvetti, O.D.

Low Vision Care Clinician
Biography

Anthony Silvetti, O.D., has been our Low Vision Care Clinician since the consolidation of ABVI and VIABL in 2010. He had served in the same capacity with VIABL from 1996-2009.

Dr. Silvetti examines clients and patients at both our Lehigh Valley and Monroe campuses to identify methods and assistive tools that enhance their independence most and enable them to conduct the activities that are most important to them.

Dr. Silvetti also provides these specialized services for Northeast Sight Services in Exeter, PA, and practices for Houser Newman Associates in Tamaqua, PA. He has more than 30 years of experience and was trained at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and the Feinbloom Vision Rehabilitation Center in New York, N.Y.

Photo of an agency employee

Our Team

Personnel List

Dennis Zehner, Executive Director
Jennifer Pandolfo, Director of Services
Christe Konopitski, Director of Advancement
Ruth Weber, Finance and Personnel Manager
Nancy Cobb, Operations Manager
Rita Lang, Client Activities Manager
Anthony Silvetti, O.D., Low Vision Care Clinician

Teresa Pickett, Services Coordinator
Dianne Michels, Vision Rehabilitation Therapist
Yvette Quintero, Lead Client Caseworker
Karelis Dejesus, Client Caseworker
Ashley Okoloh, Client Caseworker
Nicole Hanson, Client Caseworker
Kim Williams, Lehigh Valley Low Vision Care Coordinator
Cheryl Miller, Monroe Low Vision Care Coordinator
Brian Schell, Lehigh Valley Transport Coordinator
Lisa Metcalf, Monroe Transport Coordinator
Richard Hubbs, Lehigh Valley Transport Driver
Noel Penaloza, Lehigh Valley Transport Driver
Les Schoenberger, Lehigh Valley Transport Driver
Kareem Harvey, Monroe Transport Driver
Byron Jackson, Monroe Transport Driver
Erica Vibert, Prevention Services Coordinator
Ruth Asmus, Lehigh Valley Prevention Specialist
Angela Hill, Monroe Prevention Specialist

Photo to represent the agency's Board of Directors

Agency Board of Directors

The Center for Vision Loss Board of Directors oversees our agency’s activities, holds fiduciary responsibility, and provides strategic direction to ensure fulfillment of our mission.

A stock photo that represents the endowment Board of Directors

Endowment Foundation Board of Directors

Our affiliated Center for Vision Loss Endowment Foundation was created in 1980 to facilitate funding opportunities based on best investment practices that ensure our agency’s sustainability.