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Papalia Named Executive Director of Alabama Industries for the Blind

  Jeff Papalia smiles to camera while wearing a suit.Mr. Jeff Papalia has been named Executive Director of Alabama Industries for the Blind (AIB), a component of Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind.

“It is a privilege to hold the position of Executive Director at Alabama Industries for the Blind. Over the last two decades, I've been dedicated to advancing the mission to support individuals who are blind. Leading an agency and utilizing my skills, training, and background to directly impact the lives of those we serve has always been my passion,” said Papalia. “The commitment to employing individuals with blindness, deafness, and other disabilities is unparalleled at AIB and the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind. I look forward to leading this agency into the future, contributing to its improvement, supporting our dedicated staff, and positively impacting the well-being of all individuals associated with AIB.”

Most recently Papalia served as the Vice President of Textile Operations for Bestwork Industries for the Blind in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. At Bestwork, Mr. Papalia oversaw all aspects of the organization’s largest business line, resulting in growing sales of the NIB-affiliated not-for-profit agency.  He was also responsible for business development, manufacturing, production, budgets and blind employment growth. In his first two years, Mr. Papalia added three new textile products to the Federal Procurement List resulting in blind work year growth of 20 Blind Work Years.

“Mr. Papalia is bringing a wealth of experience to AIB; including over twenty years of experience in Federal Government procurement – which includes over ten years as Program Manager overseeing all areas of textile production and contracting for the textile division of National Industries for the Blind,” said Dennis Gilliam, Ed.D., President, Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind. “I look forward to AIB’s continued forward progress and growth.”

Papalia is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science, now known as Thomas Jefferson University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Apparel Management. He is certified in Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt, and Federal Contracting Basics 2.0; and is a graduate of the NIB Management – Leading the Way program. Papalia also currently serves as the past Chairman of the ATA (Advanced Textiles Association) Military Division. He also served as the NIB TAG (Textile Apparel Group) Co-Chair as an NIB and NAEPB Representative.