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Presenter Biography

Jim Platzer

Keynote Speaker


Jim Platzer is a former President of a distribution facility for a Fortune 500 company forced to an early retirement due to retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative condition that leads to blindness. After a challenging transition, Jim found Leader Dogs for the Blind, who matched him with a dog and trained them both to see the world in an entirely new way leading to a renewed sense of purpose.


Today, Jim is a keynote motivational speaker. His message? Your most important sense is your sense of purpose.


At his engagements, Jim transports you to the world he experiences each day. Through his true story and everyday experiences, Jim conveys a message of self-­empowerment and hopes that will change how you communicate inside and outside your organization.


Jim has built an impressive reputation in the business field as a sought after motivational speaker through his engagements with Audi, Lincoln, Purina, The Cheesecake Factory and others. His story is relatable and will invite you to exceed expectations and live your life with a driven perspective.


Meet our other presenters:




Mary K. Alexander, Learning Ally


Lauren Ayton, PhD, Bionic Eye Technologies


Benjamin Bakall, MD, PhD, University of Arizona, Phoenix


Shyamanga Borooah, PhD, University of California, San Diego


Shannon Boye, PhD, University of Florida


David Brint, Foundation Fighting Blindness


Martel Catalano, MBA, Beyond My Battle


Daniel C. Chung, DO, MA, Spark Therapeutics


Dennis Clegg, PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara


W. Halden Conner, PMD, Nacuity Pharmaceuticals


Gerald Cox, MD, PhD, Editas Medicine


Emmett Cunningham, Jr, MD, PhD, MPH , Clarus Funds


Stephen Daiger, PhD, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston


Erica Davis, PhD, Duke University


Jacque Duncan, MD, University of California, San Francisco


Neva Fairchild, Federation for the Blind


John Flannery, PhD, University of California, Berkeley


David Gamm, MD, PhD, University of Wisconsin­ Madison


Zack Gittlen, Outreach Coordinator for Guide Dogs of America


Vi Hau, MD, PhD, Outreach Coordinator for Guide Dogs of America


Mark Humayun, MD, University of Southern California


Richard Hunter, USABA Marathon National Championships


Maria Johnson, Girl Gone Blind


Ryan Jones, VFO Group


Christine Kay, MD, Vitreo Retinal Associates


Joe LaMountain, Reingold, Inc.


Brian Mansfield, PhD, Foundation Fighting Blindness


Michael McCaleb, PhD, Ionis Pharmaceuticals


Trevor McGill, PhD, Oregon Health and Science University


Jennifer Phillips, PhD, University of Oregon

Jim Platzer


Rebbie Radtke, San Diego Center for the Blind


Roxana Radu PhD, University of California, Los Angeles


Thomas Reh, PhD, University of Washington


Ben Shaberman, MA, MS, Foundation Fighting Blindness


Timothy Stout MD, PhD, MBA, Baylor College of Medicine


Ed Summers, Statistical Analysis Software Corporation


David Telander MD, PhD, Retinal Consultant Medical Group, Sacramento


Douglas Walker, The Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired


David Williams, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles


Jessie Wolinsky


Paul Yang, MD, PhD, Oregon Health & Science University


Benjamin Yerxa, PhD, Foundation Fighting Blindness


Marco Zarbin, MD, PhD, FACS, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School


Kelsey Zegar MS, CGC, InformedDNA

Visions 2018 logo
Picture of Jim Platzer
Visions Golf and Silver and Bronze partner logs - Shire, Spark, MeiraGTx, AGTC, Second Sight, and Vitrisa Therapeutics
Visions platinum partner - Aria

Foundation Fighting Blindness

7168 Columbia Gateway Drive, Suite 100

Columbia, MD 21046 | (800) 683­5555

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