WICHITA — The fixer is back.
Michael Monteferrante, the turnaround specialist who first came to Wichita in 2003 as CEO of Optima Bus, is returning as the new president and CEO of Envision.
"It's a nonprofit, and we didn't know if someone with as entrepreneurial spirit as Michael has would want to make the leap to the nonprofit world," says Sam Williams, chairman of Envision's board.
"This opportunity I'm looking at completely different than I have at previous opportunities of employment," Monteferrante says. "I can't be more excited than to take all the things I've learned over the years and apply it to a company that helps people."
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In addition to serving the blind and low-vision community through services and education, Envision is the second-largest employer of blind and low-vision people nationally. Envision Industries has a number of production and distribution divisions.
"I've always been extremely passionate about the mission of Envision," Monteferrante says.
He still remembers his first tour of the Envision plant on Water Street years ago.
"I could not tell who was blind and who wasn't, and I just said, 'Wow. I want to be a part of this. This is one of the most inspirational plant tours I've had.'"
Monteferrante sees bigger things for Envision, though.
"While it has grown – it's grown tremendously over the years – I believe that the boundaries of growth for the mission of Envision ... are endless," he says. "I've always felt that the mission at Envision could be more than a Wichita-based, Kansas-based situation."