Austin Lighthouse Names Rachel Aldaz Vice President, Human Resources
“A calling to serve the blind and visually impaired, in whatever capacity”
AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 30, 2020 Jim Meehan, president and CEO, Austin Lighthouse for the Blind, announced that Rachel Aldaz, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, has been selected as Vice President, Human Resources, effective November 30. She will oversee recruitment, hiring, employee relations, safety, and benefits for this not-for-profit organization.
The organization provides vocation training to assist blind Texans prepare for and obtain employment in a variety of business sectors. The Lighthouse employs nearly 500 employees, the majority of whom are blind, for warehousing and distribution and manufacturing efforts.
In addition to her expertise in human resources, “Aldaz’s sincere interest in developing people for successful careers vs. just hiring them into jobs, complements the mission of our organization,” says Meehan. “Additionally, she has a great deal of experience in organizational effectiveness and change management which will support our strategic planning initiatives.”
Among other priorities, Aldaz will support the organization’s outreach to the estimated 30,000 blind, deafblind and those with visual difficulties residing in the Austin area, who might not be aware of the Austin Lighthouse’s opportunities for them.
Aldaz enlisted in the United States Air Force immediately after graduating high school and served for 18 years before retiring in 1994. While serving in the Air Force, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland and earned a Master of Arts degree in Human Resources Development from Webster University in Missouri shortly after completing her career in the military. She has earned the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designation, the SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) and Change Management Specialist certifications.
She entered the civilian workforce after a brief retirement from the military and served in a variety of contract and full-time executive human resources roles at companies such as USAA San Antonio, Touchstone Communities, Goodwill Industries of San Antonio, and Harland Clarke Holdings, where she worked on two occasions.
Aldaz is a native of Winthrop, Arkansas. She and her husband, Marc, also an Air Force veteran, reside in San Antonio, where he serves on the board of the San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind, and where she is a Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteer.
Travis Association for the Blind (aka Austin Lighthouse), headquartered in Austin, Texas, has been serving the needs of the blind and visually impaired community of Travis County and surrounding areas since 1934. The Lighthouse’s mission is to enhance the opportunities for economic and personal independence of people who are blind or visually impaired by creating, sustaining and improving employment.