Employment Immersion Staff Biographies

Marc Grossman – Employment Specialist

Even though he grew up in Southern California, Marc studied English and earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison without turning into a human popsicle. Later, Marc pursued an Executive Master’s degree in Business from San Francisco State University. Marc began his career in sales, and has also been a technical sourcer in Silicon Valley. He also has experience as an assistive technology trainer. He is an advanced screen reader user, highly interested in the use of technology by blind and visually impaired people, and consults with tech companies to ensure their products and services are accessible. When not working, Marc likes to adventure around San Francisco with his wife and kids, sample ice cream, or swim in the chilly waters of San Francisco Bay. Marc has conquered the famous “Escape from Alcatraz” route a total of four times without having been eaten by a great white shark!

Wanda Pearson – Employment Immersion Coordinator

Employment Immersion graduate Wanda Pearson was born and raised in the East Bay Area and has spent 30 plus years on a progressive career path, which has included executive support and administration. She has worked for businesses of various sizes, from small startups to large corporations. While a student in the Employment Immersion Program, LightHouse CEO, Bryan Bashin, spoke to her class and told them, “You are not broken, you are beautiful”. With those words, Wanda set her goals to work at the LightHouse. She was hired onto the staff shortly after her graduation!

Wanda supports the EI Team administratively; she manages the database, processes plans and coordinates special events. Most importantly, she acts as a role model for incoming students.

Edward Wong – Employment Specialist

Ed Wong is a seasoned Recruitment Strategist with over 15 years of experience in recruiting, workforce development, career coaching, employer branding, sales, marketing and advertising in public and private sectors. As the former Citywide Recruiter for the City and County of San Francisco, Ed supported recruitment and outreach efforts for over 60 departments, developed and managed the Employing Persons with Disabilities program under Rule 115, which is now the ACE Program. He conducted recruitment and outreach for the SFFD diversity hiring initiative and conducted citywide career coaching and career workshops. Ed was also the former Recruiter for GSA, SFO and San Francisco Public Utilities (SFPUC). Earlier in his career, as a Key Account Executive, he was employee 100 at HotJobs.com, which was acquired by Yahoo!, where he ranked in the top ten national Key Account Executives for five consecutive years.

Ed is excited to join LightHouse and looks forward to supporting people who are blind or visually impaired to find gainful employment to live the life they want to become self-reliant.  

Kate Williams – Manager, Employment Immersion Program

Kate Williams has over 30 years of experience on both sides of the human resources sector. She worked in executive recruitment and corporate human resources for 20 years before transitioning to workforce development and career coaching in the nonprofit world. Kate served in HR Generalist and Recruiter capacities for ten years with Allergan Pharmaceuticals, receiving special commendation for recruitment and retention of minority employees. She continued her career as an Executive Recruiter before developing career coaching and employment workshops for people who are blind or have low vision. She has founded two employment programs for blind jobseekers. In 2014, Ms. Williams was awarded a prestigious Purpose Prize for her work designing and leading the Employment Immersion program at LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, where she continues to lead as the Employment Manager. Kate serves on the San Francisco Mayor’s Disability Council, the National Federation of the Blind’s National Employment Committee, and is a member of the board of the Northern California Human Resources Association. Kate is an innovative and dedicated leader; her passion is supporting blind jobseekers and helping them secure employment in the competitive job market.

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