Change Makers: A Podcast from APH

Gary Retires!

December 17, 2020 American Printing House Episode 20
Change Makers: A Podcast from APH
Gary Retires!
Chapters
Change Makers: A Podcast from APH
Gary Retires!
Dec 17, 2020 Episode 20
American Printing House

Gary Mudd, VP of Government and Community Affairs is retiring!  If you ask anyone at APH, they’ll tell you, Gary is at the heart of what we do. He has been integral to supporting everything from the APH Museum and InSights Arts Competition, to the National Prison Braille Program and NIMAC Resources Services team, but most notably, he will be remembered for his advocacy. On this episode of Change Makers, Mike Hudson, APH Museum Director, will interview Gary and find out what's next. After that, Mike will talk to Sara Brown, Public Relations Manager about his time working alongside Gary.

Show Notes Transcript

Gary Mudd, VP of Government and Community Affairs is retiring!  If you ask anyone at APH, they’ll tell you, Gary is at the heart of what we do. He has been integral to supporting everything from the APH Museum and InSights Arts Competition, to the National Prison Braille Program and NIMAC Resources Services team, but most notably, he will be remembered for his advocacy. On this episode of Change Makers, Mike Hudson, APH Museum Director, will interview Gary and find out what's next. After that, Mike will talk to Sara Brown, Public Relations Manager about his time working alongside Gary.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to change makers, a podcast from APH. We're talking to people from around the world who are creating positive change in the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired. Here's your host.

Speaker 2:

Welcome back to change makers . My name is Sarah and today is bittersweet. After 34 years at APH Gary mud , vice president government and community affairs is retiring. Gary spent much of his time in Washington meeting with politicians and representatives from the department of education and showing them why APH and the products and services we offer are so important. In this episode of Changemakers Gary's longtime colleague, APH museum director, Mike Hudson sits down with Gary talk , talking , reflect about his childhood, his work at APH, his hopes for APH in what he's looking forward to in retirement. After that, I'll talk to Mike about his thoughts on Gary's impact.

Speaker 1:

So Gary, why don't you tell us a little bit about where you grew up and where you went to school?

Speaker 3:

Oh my, okay. I grew up on a farm in central Kentucky, a small, very small Berg . Oh , Fredericks down in , uh, the, on the Nelson in Washington County line. I went to school early on at the little parochial school in that town , um, Berg . And then whenever I went blind at age 12, finally , uh, started out in 11 at several operations and then was totally blind at 12. I came to the Kentucky school for the blind and , uh, graduated high school from there. Uh , then I went to the university of Louisville and the university of Kentucky.

Speaker 1:

So , uh , you get out of college at where else have you worked at , uh, prior to coming to APH?

Speaker 3:

Are you talking about all my jobs or no , all

Speaker 1:

Your jobs prior to coming to APH,

Speaker 3:

I started working at age 16 at the industries for the blind. At that time, it was called that Kentucky industries for the blind. I put together whiskey, decanter tops. Um, back in the day, I don't even know whether they do this anymore or not. The manufacturers bourbon manufacturers would have the cantors that would , uh , be specially designed for holidays or whatever. And they had a top that I would assemble the cork and the washers that was piecemeal a work. I got paid the gross, and then I spent a whole day selling light bulbs . I own that was a short-lived career. I knew that I didn't want to do that the rest of my life. Yeah . And then I , uh , went back to the Kentucky industries for a brief time , uh , to do some more of that, the bottle of wash bottle we cantors . And then I got a job , um, in between my junior and senior year of college at w H a S and w a N Z radio producing commercials and the assistant music director for WHS , because at the time they played music, this was in 1979, 80 in that timeframe. And I worked for them for four years. And , um , then that was about the time that the Bingham's who owned the stations, who owned a newspaper in town, the courier journal, they sold their businesses. And , um, and I , I always kid, but , um , it's true. I think I was part of that sale. I was laid off after that. And then I went back to school, finished my degree, looked for a job for two years on instantly . And , uh , then I came to ADH 1986.

Speaker 1:

So how did you, how did you end up at APH who interviewed you and what job did you apply for?

Speaker 3:

I, again, I'm kidding, but I am serious as well. I think I aggravated Carson Nolan into a position here where I suddenly was Carson was the president at that time. And I hadn't met him probably 10 years before this, on an airplane by accident going. I was going to , um, get my first guide dog when I was in college. And he was going to a conference in New York city. We sat beside one another. I don't know whether that was accidental or on purpose. Uh, and I've introduced myself, talked to him for the whole flight. And then 10 years later, I came to him requesting to be considered for a position at APH. And it took about probably six months of us going back and forth. And he finally said yes and hired me. And , uh, that's when it started in October of , uh , 1986. What

Speaker 1:

Was your first day like Gary?

Speaker 3:

Oh, my , um, it's been too long to remember my first day, but yeah, I think I do remember Scott Blome was my immediate supervisor. He was in , uh , he was in doing marketing and communications at the time.

Speaker 1:

Scott hadn't been there, but a few years himself at that point,

Speaker 3:

Scott had only been there one year. And , um , so I was assistant marketing for , uh, for Scott and for Ralph McCracken . Most of what I did at first was , uh, communicate with ex-officio trustees. That was what I was responsible for doing and calling them, talking to them, emailing him , however, I could communicate with them.

Speaker 1:

Where are you educating them? Or, or, or was it more getting them to use their quota?

Speaker 3:

Um, I'm mostly talking to them about quota and there , even back then, there were many new ex officios who were just learning about what federal court it was, all of that.

Speaker 1:

Right. So you're constantly educating a new crop of , of young people.

Speaker 3:

Yes. Yeah. And being friends with the old ones,

Speaker 1:

You were the first vice president at APH who is blind or visually impaired.

Speaker 3:

I think that's true.

Speaker 1:

And , uh , I believe that you are the most senior member of APH staff who's bought a vision impaired. I mean, historically

Speaker 3:

Yes . Yes .

Speaker 1:

So how did that come about? How, how did you go from this guy that Carson basically fought off on Ralph to be in the vice-president?

Speaker 3:

Hmm . Well, I, you know, I, I guess lots of experience , um, you know, I was open to change and growing in , in whatever direction I needed to. Um, and this opportunity, I guess , um , in, let me start at the beginning of the biggest change, I suppose in the early nineties, there was , uh , an effort. I shouldn't say we had, we had a Congressman in Western Kentucky , uh, and I won't say his name , uh , who knew very little about us, but he was on the labor health and human services and education subcommittee . And he had notified us that we would likely look at a 40% reduction in our appropriation if we didn't hire more blind and visually impaired people.

Speaker 1:

Now, is that under pressure from consumer groups was receiving pressure. Yes, he was,

Speaker 3:

As it was. And so I had been to Washington several times with Tom Tinsley, who was the president of after 1989 to present to the labor health and human services and education subcommittee on the house stuff. And whenever we were notified of this possible reduction, we knew that it was probably time for us to be more active advocates in Washington up until then we were, we would generally go only when invited so that early nineties, I'm thinking 1992 , 1993, we began that effort to advocate in Washington without being invited, just making appointments.

Speaker 1:

What was that first visit like for you, Gary and was tuck with you?

Speaker 3:

Uh, no, that was another story, I guess. Um, whenever we decided that we would become advocates , um, I called Scott Marshall who worked for AFB. He was , uh , an attorney for AFA , the American foundation. Why at that time he was there , uh , lobbyist slash advocate policy person. Scott was a graduate of Harvard law school. I called him and said , uh , this is the situation. And he said, come to Washington, I'll spend a week with you, take you around, introduce you to people and teach you how to be an advocate. And , um , then he also said, by the way, you should come by yourself. That was difficult for me to go tell Tom Tinsley that I would be going to Washington by myself, but tuck agreed to that. He was, he was very willing for that to begin. And that's how I came about.

Speaker 1:

I know at one point you had the title of director of public affairs. Was that about that time that that came into being yes. Yeah.

Speaker 3:

And then the vice president position came around 2002.

Speaker 1:

So what do you remember whose office you went to the very first, you know, Congressman or Senator that you went to first?

Speaker 3:

I think I'm pretty sure that it was a Senator McConnell really.

Speaker 1:

Did you meet directly with Sarah McConnell? Yes.

Speaker 3:

Early on. And , um, but then I focused mostly , um , the, the sub committee members. Right. And I would always go to our own Kentucky delegation.

Speaker 1:

So what were the challenges for a , um, I mean, you were using a dog guide. Was that paperclip cliff ?

Speaker 3:

Yes, I was. It was he's cliff. Yeah , I was, I was scared. I , um, I grew to appreciate people in Washington. Uh, up until that point, I had little contact with politics policy , uh, with people in DC. Um, and I was pretty skeptical of the whole political scene at the time I grew to respect and , uh, the members up there, I really do. I think most are there for the right reasons. And the staff, people who work for the senators and representatives are very serious policy people . So I , I, I learned to respect all that as I became more involved with people in DC, but I was scared for it . I really was. I , I, but I also realize now that there are no different than we are, right. They try to make the best decisions with the best information they can get. And that's what we tried to get.

Speaker 1:

Did you ever get lost in any of those office buildings?

Speaker 3:

Oh, yes . Got lost. Lots of times. Um, you know, I spent probably the first few times mostly being lost , uh , because in order to get around successfully, you got to know good directions. And , um, I, I had to learn some of those directions. Um , that's how I've met. Um, gosh, people that I had not met, but had grown up like Ted Kennedy. First time I met him was when , uh, I was crossing the street in front of the Supreme court, going to the Senate building. And , uh, I guess, and this is happens a lot. Yes. Whenever you're blind, visually impaired, when you have a cane or a dog people assume you're not sure where you're going. Well, I, I was pretty sure that day he, but he put his arm around me and said, where are you going to the Russell building? And he said , well, I'm going there too. So anyway, I offered to be my guide and that's kind of how I first met him. It wasn't the only time I met him, but it was

Speaker 4:

Right. But you didn't even really need a guide that didn't at the time, there were plenty of times that you did. So what year was that first visit , uh , that you, that you

Speaker 3:

Alone alone? I think it was 1993.

Speaker 4:

And when was the last time that you physically had went to Washington?

Speaker 3:

Uh , in February, right before COVID

Speaker 4:

So February of 2020. So for 27 years, you've been traveling to , uh, to Washington on behalf of the American printing house for the blind. What was your goal in , in meeting with, with , uh, congressmen and representatives and senators

Speaker 3:

To help them understand why we existed and how we used the funds, the appropriation that we get each year

Speaker 4:

Did the job change. Um , and I mean, in terms of your work in Washington, did it , did it change over those 27 years?

Speaker 3:

Not drastically, we would make , uh , minor changes. Basically. I started out with just asking for a 15 minute meeting that in those days was pretty easy to come by. Um, and then I would spend the 15 minutes talking about what I would just mention that , uh , the , uh, how we came about as an organization, what we were doing and how the education of a blind, visually impaired person should , uh, should look because we make the products. And , uh, as we, as it went on, we probably changed to incorporate more products , uh, into the discussion because I would just get an appointment. We take a product, I would give them information about who we are and what we do and talk about the products that we make, show a product, demonstrate it, and they would begin to open up and ask questions of most of the people that we talked to had no idea about , uh, educating with products. Um, and so they were pretty eager to learn. Most of them were, they would ask questions

Speaker 4:

During this time, you know, this, this whole, this whole , uh, in the last 27 years that you've been, you know, making the, you know, your, your course, you go several times a year. You've been going several times a year.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Usually six to eight times a week or a year and spend a week here .

Speaker 4:

And that that's incredible, Gary, really six to eight times a year to Washington. That's , that's pretty, I mean, that's an ambitious schedule. Um, and of course the federal appropriation through the act has grown dramatically , uh, during that time. Um, and, and also there's even been other initiatives , uh, out of, out of the house and the Senate that have raised our funding even more, but technology and this kind of thing. How would you assess your own impact on that funding increase? You think your visits made a difference?

Speaker 3:

I think they understood more about educating blind and visually impaired students than they ever. No . Yeah , but what's the impact. I have no idea. Um , you can measure it however you want to measure it, but yes, they, they do know more about us than they used to.

Speaker 4:

What stands out when you look back over your career at APH , um, what are you proud of stuff?

Speaker 3:

Um , well, I have to think about that a little bit, cause there's several things I'm proud. I'm proud of the work that, that we did in Washington. Um, I was around whenever the museum started and the hall of fame and our work with , um , prison, braille programs, I was around when insights started. So all of those things , um , I'm proud of because they've grown and developed and become part of ADH.

Speaker 4:

You had great relationships with the other members of , uh , the EEC , the executive committee. Um , Bob Brasher was a good friend of yours. Um, how , um, what, what stands out in terms of memorable moments of your work on the EDC ?

Speaker 3:

Oh, well that would be one. Um , Bob fresher, Nancy lace , well , and myself started the Kentucky prison braille program at the Kentucky institution for women in Peewee Valley. I lived near there. I happened to know the warden at the , uh , KCI w because I worked with her husband and w H S radio and Bob and I used to ride by, on our tandem bike , uh, many times. Uh, and we talk about, wouldn't it be nice to start a program? Um , and so the three of us worked on that and started the prison braille program in 2000. And then we started the prison braille network, which was a network , uh , all the prisons throughout the country who were, who had, or were interested in starting a prison braille program , because we found out that , uh, by nature prisons are pretty isolated. And the program in Indiana didn't necessarily know much about the program in California. So the network reached out and organized that. So we reached out to the different prison, various problems around the country, pull them together and have had a , uh, a forum , uh, adjacent to our annual meeting each year, since then this year, of course it was virtual

Speaker 4:

And it has prison, braille , uh, any it's it's is , uh , the prison braille programs contribution to , uh , transcription for textbooks. Is that, has that been significant? Is that significant? Yes.

Speaker 3:

Yes, it has. Because quick history here , um, in the 1950s, through the 1950s and much of the sixties , um , most students who were blind or visually impaired went to residential schools and APH had an publications committee made up of , uh , ex-officio trustees who would come in and recommend book titles, book , series, or us to produce each year that worked pretty well through the sixties, and then began to change when the laws changed, students began to go to their neighborhood schools to where now 90% go to their local school districts. And as a consequence, or as a result of that, there are many more book titles needed today. Back in the fifties and sixties, we would make a few titles book series and make many copies of that book. And they would be distributed throughout the country to the different residential schools today. It's just the opposite. There are many more titles than we could ever produce. So , um , the prison rail programs around the country have grown and taking on much of that , uh, braille production responsibilities. So we work with them and we also do our own so together, hopefully we cover most of the braille needs. And from textbook standpoint, throughout the country,

Speaker 4:

What made you decide that now was the time to retire?

Speaker 3:

Well, I'm 68. That was, that was one role or one part of the decision. I think , um, there , the major thing probably is that whenever we had to go virtual, because of COVID that I would, I did not feel that I could be effective with a computer screen in a virtual meeting because my, my, my , uh, the way I operated in Washington was sitting across the table or the side of a member in DC. I would put a product in their hand. I would talk about braille. I would talk about the product and education, and it became a conversation. Um, I don't think I could be effective in a virtual presentation, and that played a big role in my decisions your time .

Speaker 4:

So another casualty of COVID-19,

Speaker 3:

So

Speaker 4:

Obviously, I mean, you deserve , uh , I mean, it's, you're, you're worthy of, of , of so much congratulations and yeah, it's , you know, everybody looks forward to retirement. What are you looking forward to in retirement?

Speaker 3:

Oh my gosh . Lots of things. Um, you know, I, I love to exercise. I love to read, I tandem bike ride still. Uh , since I was 16 , um, I would like to go, my wife is a, has been a member of a book club for about 20, 25 years. I've always been a little envious of that. And I like to read a lot more, most of my reading has been for my profession or APH, and I would like to start reading some of the, I like non-fiction historical fiction. I'm not a big scifi fan, although I would probably read some, but , um , that, you know, those in travel some , um, hopefully someday I've traveled a lot with APH and seen many of the things I would like to see, but I'd like to travel with my wife and kids and grandkids, and do more of that together.

Speaker 1:

What are you going to miss the most about APH people ?

Speaker 3:

Yeah , the people , um, I, you know , uh , this company is, is in a lot of ways I've grown up and it's been a part of my family. And I think , um, that working together makes it so , um, I've been here going on 35 years now and , and the people I have worked with and , and , uh, hired you work alongside people on, on things that are important and you , uh, you learn to love the people you work with. So it's the people.

Speaker 1:

What are you leaving undone ? What work is there out there that, that still needs to be done?

Speaker 3:

Oh, my, well, for sure, advocacy in Washington, because people are always changing their personalities, the people who roll onto the committee and roll off the committee , uh, the labor health and human services and education sub-committees . Um, so it's , uh , it's an , it's not a revolving door because a lot of people stay there for a good while, but all the ways there are new people to talk with and to , and , uh, and , and talk about policy in Washington. So that's, that's one of the things I think , um, is still undone. Um, braille rail's important to me. Uh , I had to learn braille when I was 12. All of my textbooks at that time came from the American printing house for the blind. We get questions always about is braille relevant today. And I even got that question in Washington quite a bit, you know, I've , I'm I kid when I say it, but I'm mostly serious that I think braille will go away just a little while after print debts . Um, and then it gives me a chance to explain, because people who are blind or visually impaired use every means they can to gain information. I use a computer with speech, a screen reader. I use braille to read, I use audio books, and I believe most people , um , who are blind or visually impaired use all of those methods for learning and information, recreation, whatever any means you can, you can work with. And I think grail is relevant and I hope it stays relevant because it is literacy for a braille reader anyway, a blind person , uh , uh, because if you don't know how to, well, you learn much more quickly with braille when it comes to spelling, sentence structure, paragraph structure, just literacy and math courses, hugely important. Whenever you can put your fingers on formulas and mathematical equations, things like that, and tactile graphics, tactile graphics are hugely important. And one of the things well, tackle graphics and braille just go together. So those things are still let them down. I think even though more people know about it today, we need to reinforce that every chance we can . So,

Speaker 4:

So if I gathered together , uh , all the new TVRS they're out there in the schools , just about ready to graduate, if I could get them into a room with you sitting in the middle, what would you tell them?

Speaker 3:

I , goodness, well, their work is important. Uh, I'm uh, I love people who have chosen this career because it's not easy. It's not easy to be a teacher. It's not easy to be a teacher of the visually impaired and ONM instructor. It's not easy to keep up with the changes that are going on in the education of a blind and visually impaired student . Um, I , um, there were work is hugely important because we all need to be advocates for what we do. And I think TBIs, OEMs , ex-officio trustees are the best advocates we can find. And , um, and it's important. It's important work because it has such an impact on the student . Cause you know, I, I mentioned this to people the time in Washington that as much as 80 to 90% of learning has some visual component. And when you don't have that, it becomes even more important to learn in different ways. And that's what we have to do. And those teachers and ex officios and administrators are very important piece of that education.

Speaker 1:

Let's go back , uh, and put you in a time machine and you get to walk in on your first day and sit down and talk to yourself. What do you tell yourself? Wow. What would you tell that young Gary mud ,

Speaker 3:

Um , not too different than I would tell anybody. You've got to be flexible. You've got to be prepared to take advantage of opportunities. I had no idea whenever I came here, what I would be doing or whether I would even be here that long, because there are just so many job , um, jobs out there anymore. It's very unusual for someone to stay in one place for as long as I've stayed here. But I think part of it is because I haven't been flexible. I have been eager to take on different things. Um, the advocacy in Washington, I I'm, again, I would never have known that at the beginning. So be flexible, take advantage , uh , to take advantage of opportunities. And , um, that's, that's the two biggest things I would, I would say to myself,

Speaker 1:

You think he would have listened?

Speaker 3:

I would probably not, But , uh, I'm glad I had the opportunities I've had that's for sure.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So what do you think you've learned from being a vice president ? Because that's a totally different role, right? I mean, it's, you know, it's one thing when you're going to Washington all by yourself, but this whole vice-president thing you've had to supervise people and, and , uh, I , and , and so on.

Speaker 3:

I think the biggest thing that I've learned being a vice president is to hire good people, listen to them and get out of the way. And hopefully you've hired experts who know more about the topic than I do. And I try to listen to them and clear the path for anything they think is worthwhile working. Um, that's, that's been hard of what I've learned is vice-president and to have a, I guess, a bigger microphone to speak to the things I think are important. So those, those are the things that we have learned . Thank you so much for your time, Gary. Thanks, Carrie . We appreciate it. We'll talk to you later. All right. So thank you, Mike.

Speaker 2:

Now Mike's back to tell me about his experience. Working with Gary. Gary was a bit shy and talking about himself. So Mike, who has worked at APH for 15 years is here to tell us just how big of an impact Gary has made on APH. What's it like working with Gary

Speaker 4:

Three is , um, you know, as he mentioned in his interview, Gary hires, good people and then gets out of their way. And so he is the perfect boss. Um, he doesn't suffer fools , um, very likely. So, you know, you, you , uh, you as , but as long as you do good work and , uh, and , uh, you , you don't , uh, you make sure that he knows everything that he needs to know in, in dealing with , uh , other leaders here at APH. Gary is the perfect boss. I love working with Gary. I love working for Gary. I'm going to miss Gary . Greg ,

Speaker 2:

What is your favorite story with Gary?

Speaker 4:

Barry is a funny guy in a lot of ways. He is so passionate about education and rehabilitation for people that are blind and visually impaired. And I've learned everything I know about blindness , um , working at Gary side, he's, he's just , uh, a wonderful teacher. He's very passionate, but he has also got this skill that I have often lacked. Uh, Gary knows how to play the game. He knows how to, he knows when to push buttons and when not to push buttons, he knows when to fight and when not to fight and so many, many times, and he'll laugh about this too. If you were to ask him, I will come into his office, all tore up about some minor conflict that I've had somewhere in the, in the bureaucracy here at APH and ready to just, you know, burn the place the ground. And Gary will talk me down off, off of that ledge. He will give me constructive criticism, give me great advice. And I mean, that has just been replicated a million times that Gary knows Gary knows when to fight and when not to fight , um, to get the things that he needs done. And he is a passionate advocate. Um, and so he , he, he, he knows when it's, when, when it's time to go to the mat and when sometimes you just have to take your lumps and , uh, and get along to get along. And, and I think that's the thing about him that, that I , uh, I find most admirable. Um, he, he knows how to both be a passionate defender of the things that he cares about, but also not to not to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Speaker 2:

What are you going to miss most about working alongside Gary?

Speaker 4:

Well , um, you know, Gary has just an amazing, confident and yet humble leader. Um, he does not take himself too seriously. He loves to laugh. Um, the two of us, when we have our meetings every week , uh, spend half of the meeting laughing. Um, he , uh, recognizes the absurdity of the world. Um, and , uh, um, I'm going to miss him terribly. Uh, he's uh, he's just a friend , uh, as well as a coworker and his and my boss and , uh, he's the best. And , uh, everybody who's ever worked with him will tell you the same.

Speaker 2:

What do you wish for him in retirement?

Speaker 4:

I think he's going to be a terrible retiree. Uh, Gary is a worker. Um, he doesn't miss work work Mrs. Ham. And , uh, uh, I mean, I can't count the number of days where, you know, he doesn't call in sick. You know, the guy fought through K he's a cancer survivor. Uh, uh, I think on day one and a half of his retirement, he's gonna regret it.

Speaker 2:

And

Speaker 4:

He's gonna wonder what's going on over here. And he's going to get involved in something , um , doing good work for some other nonprofit . You watch it, won't take him long before he's volunteering somewhere. Uh, and , uh, and there are a lot of places out there that need somebody like Gary , um, as their spokesperson. And , uh , I'll , you watch it'll happen. He'll be a terrible retiree. He'll be driving his wife crazy. Uh, you, next thing you know, the whole place will be, you'll have everything organized and, and , uh , Susan will be so tired of Gary trying to supervise him that , uh, she will probably be, be hustling him back to APH. He'll be, he'll be over here begging for a job again, you watch maybe at the, of the end of the first week and the second week. That's, that's my prediction. Okay.

Speaker 2:

Is there anything else you want to say about Gary?

Speaker 4:

Um, yes. One thing , um, Gary underplays, how significant his work in Washington has been. Um, if you just look at the federal appropriation between 93, when, when he made his first visit and 2020, it has grown dramatically and has grown dramatically because Gary went into those offices just as he described and sat down and looked odd to us with our nation's highest leaders and convinced them that the work that we were doing here in Louisville was important, and that we were partners with them. And he always did it in such a, a humble and yet confident way. He's just an attractive person. And he was the pers perfect person for APH to hire as their, as their public spokesperson , um, the right guy at the right time. And , uh, um, I don't envy the task of whoever is hired to replace Gary to , to , to come in and do the job that Gary has done, because he has set an incredibly high bar and has made a true difference in the lives of children and adults who are blind or visually impaired here in the United States. And , uh, he will be the last person to toot his own horn. But without Gary, it's hard to say that APH would be in his , in his , in a solid of financial situation. As it finds itself today,

Speaker 2:

He is truly one in a million. We're going to miss them greatly. We are, we , we are happy for him to go to retire, but we want to be selfish and don't want him to leave. But

Speaker 4:

If, what if I could, if I could nail his foot to the ground in a closet, I would,

Speaker 2:

As we are going to miscarry, but we do . We wish him all the best in retirement and plenty of travels and reading and, and hopefully not driving his wife crazy.

Speaker 4:

That's right. That's right. Good luck, Susan .

Speaker 2:

This podcast is called change makers and Gary mud is just that from sitting down in front of lawmakers, to creating a program for incarcerated individuals to give back through transcribing braille, to braille tales, a book program partnership with Dolly Parton's imagination library. Gary is the epitome of a changemaker , and we wish him the absolute best in retirement. That's it for today's episode of Changemakers , be sure to look for ways you can be a changed me here this week.