VISIONS 2020 Speakers
The VISIONS Team is working hard to secure some of the world's best researchers and clinicians in the field of retinal diseases to speak at VISIONS 2020. As we secure them, we’ll post them to this page along with a brief bio on their experience, so check back often!
Paul P. Karos
Keynote Speaker -- Friday Luncheon
Paul Karos has had a successful 35 + year career on Wall Street. He ran hedge fund portfolios for 13 years at his own firm Aplos Advisors, Whitebox Advisors, and Millennium Partners. He was President of Piper Jaffray’s Investment Banking and Equities Division where he led the firm to become a national investment banking player. Earlier in his career, he was Managing Director of CS First Boston, where he was named the number one-ranked airline analyst in the world for five straight years.
For many years he has been involved in a variety of ministries in the Orthodox Church. He has been the Retreat Leader for several men’s, youth, young adult and family camp retreats across the country. He is a bible study leader for the Minnesota Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry Team. He conducts pre-marital counseling with and on behalf of priests as a trained Prepare and Enrich counselor. As of June 2018, Mr. Karos founded Matrona Ministries, a lay Orthodox Christian ministry which performs coaching one-on-one, parish retreats, and Orthodox Christian life assessments. Mr. Karos earned his Master of Arts in Applied Orthodox Theology through the University of Balamand, Lebanon and a BS of Business Administration from the University of Minnesota.
He gives numerous motivational presentations to business and school groups as well.
Mr. Karos is married to his wife, Cindy and has three children. He has been legally blind since his teen years, and is now 99% blind.
Keynote Speaker -- Closing Session
Bill Barkeley graduated from the University of Southern California in 1984 with a degree in Business Administration. Bill was Director, Sales and Marketing before retiring from a Fortune 500 company after 25 years with leadership positions in Seattle, San Francisco and Grand Rapids. Bill currently travels the world as a deaf-blind adventurer and public speaker/storyteller to share his life journey with progressive hearing and vision loss.
Bill is one of 15,000 – 20,000 people in the United States and 100,000 people in the world with Usher’s Syndrome. Usher’s Syndrome is disease that robs people of both their hearing and vision over time. Bill lost 85% of his hearing from birth and in his late teens/early 20’s began to experience night blindness and vision loss. Usher’s Syndrome is progressive and there are no known treatments or cures.
As a deaf-blind advocate, Bill is active in community service. He works with the Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired (A.B.V.I. – past president), Hearing Loss Association of America (local and national level), University of Michigan Metro Health (board chair), Foundation Fighting Blindness (local and national level) and No Barriers USA (board member).
In 2008, Bill completed a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa as a project on assistive technology for the deaf-blind. He has been featured on local, regional, national and international media such as Good Morning America, WOODTV 8, The Grand Rapids Press, National Public Radio (NPR), Faith Magazine; Hear The World, Hearing Loss Association of American (magazine) and Sierra Club Radio. A film documentary by Josh Levine, Walk Your Own Path – Bill Barkeley’s climb of Mount Kilimanjaro was released to the adventure film circuit. The climb was covered in Outside Magazine (July 2008).