You don’t say

“What it really means is we’re able to continue our mission.”

Envision CEO John Marstall on the nonprofit winning the renewal of a five-year, $47 million contract to manufacture bags and keep vision-impaired people employed

Envision CEO is out after less than six months on the job


UPDATED — Less than six months after becoming Envision’s president and CEO, Frank Clepper is gone.

Former board member and interim CEO John Marstall says Clepper is “off pursuing some other personal activities.”

Marstall says he won’t discuss Clepper’s departure further because it’s a personnel matter.

“I really couldn’t respond.”

Clepper couldn’t be reached for comment.

Sedgwick County Commissioner Dave Unruh, who is vice chairman of Envision’s board, says Clepper’s departure is a setback.

“Well, it presents a little bit of a challenge for us, and obviously these changes create some turmoil and uncertainty,” he says. “But we have a great mission, and we have a lot of committed leadership to our mission, and I believe we’ll survive. But it is a challenge.”

In addition to serving the blind and low-vision community through services and education, Envision is the second-largest employer of blind and low-vision people nationally. Envision Industries has a number of production and distribution divisions.

Marstall is an accountant who just came off the Envision board, where he served for 13 years, including three as chairman.

“The board is real committed to finding a long-term, permanent, highly qualified CEO, so I’ve agreed to serve until that person can get on board.”

A source close to the situation says Clepper recently began a corporate restructuring. Marstall says he doesn’t know anything about that.

“I’ve been here two days, and I’m trying to learn what has been transpiring,” he says.

Unruh was aware Clepper had a restructuring plan.

“We hadn’t seen it yet, so that wasn’t a factor. Frank just wanted to experience other opportunities.”

Marstall says Envision is a “very solid operation.”

“We are financially strong and solvent.”

In spring 2011, longtime Envision CEO Linda Merrill-Parman announced her retirement due to health reasons.

Unruh says the board took its time replacing Merrill-Parman, but it won’t now.

“I would like to move fairly quickly, so I think we need to get it in gear and get after it.”