Thank you Frances West!

Lowell Spinners Inspiration Night 2015 - Frances West with Erich Manser, Moe Kraft and Erich's daughter Grace.
Lowell Spinners Inspiration Night 2015 – Frances West with Erich Manser, Moe Kraft and Erich’s daughter Grace.

Today we say good bye to one of IBM’s finest. After 37 years, Frances West, IBM’s Chief Accessibility Officer, is retiring. We all thank Frances for her passionate work over the last 12+ years to bring accessibility from compliance to human experience and hyper-personalization that includes everyone; persons with disabilities, the aging demographic, foreign language speakers, those who think and learn differently and mobile workers. Yes, that’s just about all of us.

Personally I would like to thank Frances for teaching me to THINK differently. Every time you meet with Frances, your good work is rewarded with more work. Frances pushes you to deliver only your best. She asks, Why are we doing this? Who can we work with? What are they looking for? What is our message?

She has taught me that IBM is not a company that just sells products but a company of ideas. Worldwide IBM’s thought leadership and technical eminence are highly regarded by our customers, business partners, academia and greater technical community. We strive to deliver innovation that changes the world.

Enjoying layered cake from Flour Bakery in honor of Frances’ retirement.

Today we say good bye but I know it is only the beginning of Frances’ next chapter. With her energy, passion and perseverance, you cannot keep Frances down. I am excited to see what she does next. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said “… to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” Frances has changed many lives and made this world a better place for all. Thank you!

Congratulations on your retirement from IBM!