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Second Sense - Beyond Vision Loss


Steven ZelnerSteven Zelner
Executive Director

Steven is Second Sense’s chief executive officer.  He oversees Second Sense’s programs, fundraising and administration with a goal of providing superior services to as many people with vision loss as possible.

“I am privileged to be part of this incredible organization as the executive director. I am extremely impressed by the board and staff’s dedication to the mission.  The staff treats each person’s needs individually, and that is one of the foundations of our success.  I am honored to be a part of this wonderful staff of dedicated professionals.”

Steven earned his degree from Syracuse University and has worked in the non-profit sector for 24 years.

Kathy AustinKathy Austin
Community Engagement Specialist

Kathy coordinates the marketing and community outreach for Second Sense services and assists in program development. She is the editor of our monthly client newsletter, Making Sense. As volunteer coordinator, she oversees over 35 Second Sense volunteers who assist in the delivery of Second Sense programs and services.

“It is tremendously rewarding to me to reach out to someone who is coming to grips with their vision loss and to be able to provide the support and encouragement that is sometimes hard to find.”

Kathy earned her Certification in Volunteer Administration in 2014. She coordinated Second Sense’s process to earn designation as a Service Enterprise organization — the first in Chicago.

Cody Froeter, CVRTCody Froeter, CVRT
Director of Programs, Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist

Cody Froeter is a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist. He meets with clients on an individual or small group basis at Second Sense or in the community. Cody works with clients in the areas of independent living skills and assistive technology.

“I truly enjoy the opportunities Second Sense has granted me to work with clients. I find it very rewarding to work collaboratively with clients to develop the skills they need to enjoy independence. My position not only allows me to meet with clients at Second Sense, but also to travel out into the community.  This allows me to meet my clients’ needs in the most effective means possible.”

Cody earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Monmouth College, a master’s degree in vision rehabilitation therapy, and received his certification in 2016.

Cheryl Megurdichian, Director of Development and CommunicationsCheryl Megurdichian, CFRE
Director of Development and Communications

Cheryl oversees the fund-raising and communications for Second Sense.  She enjoys matching the needs of our members with our donors’ desire to make the world a better place.

“Second Sense’s size allows me to have many opportunities I would miss at a larger organization.  I not only get to know the donors, I get to interact with all the great people we serve.  So, I can see the impact of my work on a daily basis — there is nothing more rewarding than that.”

Cheryl is a certified fund-raising executive, earning this designation from CFRE International in 2005.  She has a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing communication from DePaul University and a Master of Arts degree in clinical psychology from Roosevelt University.

Richard StauderRichard Stauder, CVRT, CATIS
Assistive Technology Instructor

Richard is a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist and a Certified Assistive Technology Instruction Specialist. He provides assistive technology training to our clients on a wide range of devices — from smart phones to PCs.

Richard earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Illinois State University in 2011. He went on to earn his Master’s Degree in Vision Rehabilitation Therapy from Northern Illinois University in 2020, as well as a Certificate in Graduate Studies as an Assistive Technology Instruction Specialist. He earned his certification as a Vision Rehabilitation Therapist in 2021 and as an Assistive Technology Instruction Specialist that same year.