President and CEO
Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Inc., Miami, FL
President of the Florida Heiken Children’s Vision Program, LLC
Virginia Jacko, sometimes referred to as a blind visionary in a sighted world, told her story in The Blind Visionary co-authored with Doug Eadie. She was a successful financial executive at Purdue University where she served as financial advisor to the President and Provost. Before her permanent appointment as President & CEO of Miami Lighthouse in 2005, Ms. Jacko served as a member of the Board of Directors, Treasurer, and Acting President and CEO. She also serves as President of the Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program, LLC a division of Miami Lighthouse.
Ms. Jacko has been able to apply her acumen in the financial, managerial and fundraising arena in her role as the executive leader of Miami Lighthouse. During her tenure, Miami Lighthouse has achieved a coveted four-star rating from Charity Navigator, now for the seventh consecutive year placing the organization among the top 2% of the 8,000 non-profits rated annually in the nation. Miami Lighthouse serves 24 times as many program participants than when Ms. Jacko became CEO, and donor contributions have tripled.
She is a regular guest lecturer at the Purdue University Krannert School of Business and other nonprofit organizations on topics such as board governance, non-profit accounting and accessible design for people with vision impairment.
Miami Lighthouse was the recipient of the 2015 Beacon Council Industry Award in the education category, was recognized as an organization whose work is distinguished by leadership, innovation and achievement in community health at the Florida Blue Foundation’s 2015 Sapphire Awards luncheon, received the 2014 Molina Health Care Community Champion Award and 2013 Most Valuable Non-Profit Award from Switchboard of Miami. Ms. Jacko was the recipient of the 2014 AXA Advisors Businesswoman of the Year, in the Public Service/Non Profit Professional category and was selected as the 2012 Distinguished Alumni by the Purdue University College of Health and Human Sciences.