Tenant Spotlight: NWABA
Written by Bennett Williamson | November 29, 2022
The Northwest Association for Blind Athletes is an organization created to support individuals who are blind or visually impaired primarily through athletic programs. Billy Henry, founder, president, and CEO said, “Our mission is to provide life-changing opportunities through sport and physical activity to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.” The association aims to help those who are blind to feel included, be mentally and physically healthy, and to achieve goals in all areas of life. NWABA works with many partners to provide skills, tools, and resources in order to do this. The organization offers a variety of programs and services including sports programs, virtual workout programs, overnight sports camps, educational resources and courses, scholarships, and awareness efforts.
There are many ways to get involved with NWABA as they support those who are blind. To learn more about donation and volunteer opportunities at NWABA click here. In the coming months and years the team at NWABA intends to increase their impact across Idaho. This including plans to transition their Sports Adaptations Program to Boise in 2023 and to continue to scale ongoing programming across the state.
NWABA was founded in 2007 by Henry when he was 15 years old. The organization recently celebrated their 15th anniversary as an organization and 10th anniversary of providing services to individuals who are blind across Idaho. Henry is legally blind and founded NWABA because he wanted to participate in powerlifting with his friends. He said, “We wanted an opportunity to compete, to build a community as a team, and to show others what was possible.” NWABA has grown from serving six students in 2007 out of a garage, to delivering 2,000+ interactions through 600 events annually to the blind or visually impaired. Children, youth, and adults across Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington have attended these events.
When it comes to operating a business, Henry emphasized the importance of putting people first. He said, “Always keep the people that you are serving at the core of your organization. We always ask ourselves ‘What is best for our athletes?’” The organization’s growth and impact in the blind and visually impaired community supports the idea that a people-focused approach can create meaningful results.
NWABA moved into 1444 Entertainment, located in Boise, Idaho, in September of 2022. Prior to this, the space was renovated to fit the needs of the tenant. Along with an open floor plan, central location, and natural light, one of the unique elements that Henry mentioned is a huddle room that will be used to run virtual programs for people who are blind in different parts of the country.
Team members at Alturas Capital Partners were inspired by Henry’s mission and had the opportunity to support NWABA years prior to them becoming a tenant. Henry said, “Our team looks forward to many years of continued partnership,” sentiments that have been echoed by the Alturas Capital Partners team as well.