President & Founder
Jeff Haddox is the President/CEO of Sight Savers America. In 1997, Haddox founded Sight Savers of Alabama with the goal of ensuring that every child in Alabama is able to achieve his or her best possible vision. Through Haddox’s leadership, Sight Savers has become a national model and is now the standard of children’s follow-up eye care. Sight Savers has grown to serve over 35,000 children annually with statewide programs in Alabama and Mississippi and services also provided in six other states.
Haddox has been recognized by state and national organizations for his leadership and for the impact of Sight Savers. In 2010, Haddox received the Robert G. Sherrill, Jr. M.D. Quality Award from the Alabama Quality Assurance Foundation (AQAF), which recognizes a senior Alabama health care leader who is a champion of quality. Sight Savers was awarded the EyeSight Foundation of Alabama’s Visionary Award, in recognition of Sight Savers’ success in bringing eye care to underserved children. In addition, Haddox received the Johnson & Johnson Community Health Care Crystal Award on behalf of Sight Savers.
In 1975, Haddox graduated from the University of Alabama in Huntsville with a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry. He attended Clemson University for his masters in mycology and then began his research career in the vision sciences at the Eye Foundation Hospital in Birmingham. From 1982-1999, Jeff served as Director of Brookwood Eye Research Laboratories. During this time, he authored and/or co-authored 41 articles that were published in scientific journals and received five U.S. and international patents on drugs designed to prevent inflammation. Until 2003, Haddox continued his career as a vision scientist as he also worked tirelessly to build a foundation for Sight Savers. Eventually, both became full-time jobs.
Haddox is Co-Founder of the Black Belt Eye Care Consortium and he currently serves on Governor Bentley’s Black Belt Commission. Previously, he was appointed as a Technical Advisor to Governor Bob Riley’s Black Belt Action Commission and served on the Health Advisory Council of the Alabama Rural Action Commission.
Chief Development Officer
Chad Nichols currently serves as the Chief Development Officer of Sight Savers America (SSA). He has previously served SSA in other leadership capacities including Chief Operating Officer as well as Vice President of the SSA KidCheck Plus program.
Before joining Sight Savers America in 2011, Chad worked for Governor Bob Riley for eight years and served in numerous leadership roles. He worked in the Policy Office, the Legislative Office, and led several special projects for the Governor. He served as Executive Director of Governor Bob Riley”s Alabama Rural Action Commission, an office established to improve health, education, and economic development throughout Alabama. He began the KidCheck school-based health screening program in 2008 and it was named Alabama's Most Innovative Program by the AUM Center for Government in 2009.
Chad was named Health Care Advocate of the Year in 2009 by the Birmingham Business Journal. In 2010, the Birmingham Business Journal selected him as one of Birmingham’s “Top 40 Under 40”. Chad received an award from the AUM Center for Government in 2006 for his work as a Public Manager.
He is a graduate of the Delta Regional Authority”s Leadership Institute and he served as Chairman of the Delta Regional Authority Leadership Network Board of Directors. Chad was the first President of the UAB School of Business Alumni Chapter and he was a Board Member for the UAB National Alumni Society’s Junior Board. He graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Finance and received a Masters in Business Administration from UAB.
VP, Low Vision Program
Margie Haddox is a founding member of Sight Savers America and its predecessor, Sight Savers of Alabama. From 1997 until 2002, Haddox helped to shape the policies and procedures for the Eye Care Services Department which has become the nationally recognized Sight Savers blue-ribbon standard for personal case management of children's eye care. Since 2002, she has directed the Low Vision Services Department, overseeing identification of hundreds of severely vision impaired children in medical and financial need of specialized care each year. She now serves as Vice President of the I Can See Now program, working to help vision-impaired children maximize their remaining sight with vision-assistive technology.
Chief Operating Officer
In her dual role as Director of the Children's Eye Care Network and Vice President of Finance and Administration, Gwen C. Hughes's responsibilities include managing eye care follow-up for approximately 30,000 children referred to Sight Savers America each year and overseeing fiscal and administrative operations. Before joining Sight Savers America in 2006, Gwen coordinated programs and operations at an Atlanta area public foundation. She has over 15 years experience in the nonprofit field. Gwen is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Director, Children's Vision & Health Screening Programs
As Director of the Children’s Vision and Health Screening programs, Jennifer oversees 40,000 screenings each year across three states. Jennifer attended Mississippi State University and holds a BS in Psychology, a minor in Business Administration and a MS ABT in Clinical Psychology. Jennifer is an alumni member of Alpha Chi and Psi Chi honor societies and has presented research at the Southeastern Psychological Conference, the Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy Conference and the Biennial Convention of the Honor Society of Nursing. Before joining Sight Savers America in 2011, Jennifer worked in a variety of clinical and educational settings and has 10 years of service in programmatic, grant writing and management roles at nonprofit organizations.