By Annalise Bezri
Being the "big" boss, his morning starts early. Waking up at first light putting on the light blue company shirt and a pair of tan colored dress pants is the normal routine. Oh, and you can't forget his completely black coffee and something to "scarf up" for breakfast.
You see him standing at the door, with briefcase in hand; listening for his ride to pull up in his narrow stone driveway. The drive from Collomsville to Reach Road in Williamsport is all but twenty minutes.
Shown is Robert Garrett, center, receiving the AbilityOne Campion award.
Finally, you find him navigating his way to the door of the company building.
The year is 1973, the first day on the job, and Robert Garrett is late! Being introduced to the company by his mother meant there may be a little bit of "wiggle room."
Being late the first day probably didn't leave a great impression, but he finally had a job and his future was in sight.
Garrett knew very little about North Central Sights Services on that first day of employment. All he knew were the basics of the company being a non-profit organization in Williamsport.
Garrett's job description was titled as an industry worker, and he would be putting together rubber mats and getting them ready for distribution. Not the best job for a college graduate, but "everyone starts somewhere."
Fortunately working in the factory part for North Central Sights Services was just a summer job. When Garrett's degree was transferred over to the company, he would then have the opportunity to become a caseworker.
Through the hard work and dedication shown over the summer of 1973 Garrett was promoted to a case worker.
A case worker job entails visiting visually impaired people at their homes. Like many case workers, his job was devoted to helping and teaching them how to cope with being visually impaired.
The main goal for a caseworker is to make the individual feel comfortable by being able to relate to their struggle. Such empathy is one of Garrett's remarkable talents.
Garrett was born into a life full of struggles. Growing up in a family with a blind mother and father wasn't easy, but then he also lost his sight at the age of five. Growing up, Garrett attended a residential school for the visually impaired in Philadelphia.
He lived there on the weekdays and have the pleasure of returning home on the weekends.
Adjusting to residing on his own at an early age was a difficult process. Yet, being away from home gave him a sense of independence that most children don't develop until a much later age.
It took years, but Garrett took his disability from a disability to an ability.
This man truly is a role model for the people he helps. Garrett shows fellow disabled men and women that there is a valuable life after losing your sight. He helped transform the lives of the people involved with North Central Sights - he made them feel human again.
Garrett not only had a love for the people with whom he worked, but he was in love with the company of North Central Sights Services itself.
The year was 1978, and Garrett was in charge of all the case workers - a position he was just in only a short five years before.
His success didn't stop there. When the current director was getting ready to make his final departure from the company in 1986, a man who had much influence on Garrett suggested him to the board of directors to review his resume and conduct an interview offering him the position of president and CEO. The job was never advertised in the Sun-Gazette, and the new man in charge was Robert Garrett.
The head position was given to a man who has truly started from the bottom and never let anyone or anything get in his way of what he desired for North Central Sights Services as well as himself.
As of 2013, Garrett has been with the company for 40 years, yet four decades isn't long enough for him.
There are no plans in sight for the retirement of the "big boss" just yet. However when the time does come for him, he plans to hand down his title to a worker as devoted and passionate to the job and the individuals as he is.