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Portrait photo of Karae Lisle


Accomplished Executive to be New Leader of Health & Social Services Non-Profit

Palo Alto, CA – January 16, 2019 – Vista Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired – a leading nonprofit provider of evaluation, counseling, education and training of blind and visually impaired clients – announced today that Karae Lisle is the new Executive Director of the organization.

Lisle is taking the reins as Vista Center’s Executive Director, Pam Brandin retires after an incredibly successful tenure with Vista Center. Under Brandin’s leadership Vista Center grew from a small, relatively simple agency – that served several hundreds of visually impaired individuals, to a much larger, more robust and more complex organization – that is highly regarded in Northern California and nationwide.

Lisle is an accomplished executive with extensive private sector and non-profit leadership experience overseeing, finance, operations, client services and revenue generation. As CEO of Shelter Network, she led the merger of two leading service providers for homeless clients, to create an $18M nonprofit providing 1000 beds (nightly), throughout Silicon Valley. Through her leadership, Life Moves was a successful merger, serving more individuals, families, and veterans supported by significantly increased financial strength.

“Karae’s experience with mergers and organizational growth is just the right skillset for Vista Center, following our recent merger with the San Jose.” stated Vista Center Board President, Marc O’Boyle. “She is a true nonprofit leader, with the right balance of tenacious advocacy, client compassion, and dedication to development/donor growth.”

Lisle said, “It is an privilege to lead this organization that has such a respected nonprofit tradition, a breadth and strength of programs, and recent geographic service expansion. Following the renown nonprofit leader, Pam Brandin, is an honor, and she and I both sincerely believe that Vista Center is poised for the next phase of success. I welcome the demanding fund-raising objectives on the horizon and the opportunity to support and strengthen our organization in collaboration with the dedicated staff and Board of Directors.”

Karae’s professional career began in the high tech industry working for the Burroughs Corporation.  Working in emerging growth and Fortune 500 companies in strategy, marketing sales, and consulting during her tenure, she also taught for several years as an Adjunct Professor at University of San Francisco and San Jose State University. Lisle’s pivot to nonprofits began in 2007 when she became the Chief Marketing Officer for the Computer History Museum.

She went on to become CEO of LifeMoves and then CEO of PVI, stewarding Meals on Wheels and an Alzheimer’s Day Care center. Recently as a consultant, Lisle engaged with StartUpBootCamp, tenK Institute and My Digital TAT2. She is active on many Boards, and currently serves as the Chair of BOD for Mercado Global, President of Harvard Business School Tech Alumni, and Co-Chairs the Thrive Alliance CEO Leadership Luncheons.

After earning a BS in Management Information Systems, in 1998, Karae earned an MBA from the Harvard Business School, and recently completed the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.


Youth Group members each holding up signs of letters that spell "Thank You!"

Thank you to everybody that made a gift to our annual Fall Appeal! The generosity and support of the community is truly appreciated by the Vista Center staff and clients. From everybody at Vista Center, Happy New Year!


We believe that vision loss need not be a barrier to independence

Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired is the premier regional one-stop resource provider for vision loss and rehabilitation,  For more than 75 years,  Vista Center has offered a range of comprehensive services to empower clients to embrace life to the fullest through evaluation, counseling, education and training in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo and San Benito counties. 


Services offered:


"Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired is a crucial organization that affords individuals the opportunity to live an independent life.
Having grown up with two blind parents I have first hand knowledge of the life changing support Vista Center provides in assisting individuals suddenly faced with blindness."

Jim Plunkett, former Vista Center board member