Cala Estes, Director of Candidate Services
Start Date: 2019
Cala Estes will primarily help out with candidate recruitment, onboarding, and volunteer management! She brings three years of federal human resources experience to BIT along with her dedication to customer service. She has a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Cala also brings a strong knowledge of assistive technology training and accessibility guidelines to the table. As a screen reader user, she has first-hand experience of problem-solving accessibility challenges in the workplace.
Mike Hess, Executive Director
Start Date: 2013
Mike brings more than two decades of blindness experience, leadership, and thoughtfulness to the mission. As the token blind guy in private Fortune 500 companies, Mike experienced just what it takes to build organizations through people, processes, and tools. Mike managed seven-and eight-figureprojects throughout his careerand states it is because of his blindness, not despite his blindness, that he became a six-figure engineer. Even though Mike had great success in his corporate career, he always had the notion of leaving his thumbprint on humanity. Thus, he left corporate America to begin the mission at Blind Institute of Technology.
Natalie Suzanne Hess, Chief Connections Officer
Start Date: 2013
Natalie Suzanne Hess has spent her life giving back. She went to school to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. She has spent multiple years giving back to the elderly and volunteering at school for all three of her children. Support for the Blind Institute of Technology comes naturally to her, as she is passionate about helping the blind and visually impaired community. As Chief Connections Officer, she maintains relationships on both client and candidate sides of the organization
Ethan Twisdale, Chief Accessibility Officer
Start Date: 2018
Ethan is BIT's Chief Accessibility Officer, and the Director of the BIT Academy. He has an extensive background in education and technology, including software development, data analysis, public education, and private instructional workshops. He received a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Northern Colorado, and a master's degree in mathematics from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. He is also a qualified Google Cloud Platform Developer, and a certified Salesforce Administrator. He has helped shape and design mathematics courses at the university level, as well as client-facing instructional technology workshops and certification courses for private industry. Ethan brings his knowledge and experiences to BIT and to the Academy, spearheading our efforts to grow BIT into a world-class resource for all things accessibility.
Cara Beasley, Director of Professional Services
Start Date: 2019
Cara Beasley is our Director of Professional Services. She comes to BIT with a tech background in web development and an interesting foray into advocacy within the UN Climate Change arena for vulnerable populations. She received a bachelor's degree in Business Information Technology from Rogers State University and a master's degree in Nonprofit Management from Regis University in Denver, CO.
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction