CAB’s long-time President, Richard C. Bosserman, has announced his retirement after a career spanning 54 years at the helm of the Cambria County Association for the Blind and Handicapped.
Mr. Bosserman first came to the Johnstown agency in 1967, and has guided the Association through dramatic expansion in both the services offered and the employment opportunities available for persons with blindness, vision loss or other disabilities.
Mr. Bosserman suffered loss of his vision in a hunting accident when he was a teen. Adjusting to that bitter experience taught him the importance of a life with meaningful work and self confidence. He has championed those values at the local agency whose mission is first and foremost to serve people with disabilities.
Contrary to the usual practice of charitable agencies appealing for public support and funding, throughout his tenure, Mr. Bosserman strove to make CCABH as financially self sufficient as possible through the sale of a variety of “CAB” products. At first it was food service kits, and later sewn items such as pajamas, laundry bags, and tablecloths. Today agency employees learn to manufacture high visibility safety items, such as vests, leggings, and sweatshirts.
In the mid 1970’s, CCABH branched out into the production of hooks and hangers for suspending electrical cables and air hoses in underground coal mines. Mr. Bosserman worked with his staff to design sturdy hooks and hangers that persons with disabilities could learn to manufacture.
The rest is history. CAB hooks and hangers are now made in a wide variety of sizes and configurations and are used worldwide, not only in underground mines and tunnels, but also throughout the electrical industry in utilities, municipal traffic cabling, in the pipeline and shipbuilding industries and now in the construction of solar power plants.
CCABH has two locations in Cambria County, and provides career opportunities and social engagement for hundreds of persons with disabilities, many of whom could not find meaningful employment elsewhere. Mr. Bosserman notes that none of this would be possible without the compassion, intelligence and creativity of CCABH’s professional staff.
Pictured above, Mr. Bosserman now assumes the title of President Emeritus. He is succeeded by his daughter, Tara L. Bosserman, who has worked at CCABH for 28 years. Ms.Bosserman, in her role as CAB’s new President/CEO, pledges to continue CCABH’s mission of offering employment opportunities, choice and service to all persons with disabilities.