Every story has a beginning and so it was with ELI.
A casual breakfast conversation in Denver, Colorado in June, 2011. A blind man stimulated an idea for what was to become an aid and benefit for the blind. First a thought, then an idea which led to a concept and resulted in a product.
It was a typical day at a MORRIS ANIMAL FOUNDATION ANNUAL MEETING. Ron Klein attended meetings every year with his wife, Arlene, who served on the Board of Trustees. Before the meeting began, a room was set up with a Buffet breakfast for the Trustees and guests.
Good friends were made over the many years Arlene served the Foundation. One special friend was Dr. James A. Kutsch, Jr. (or Jim, as we called him), CEO of Seeing Eye in Morristown, New Jersey. He and Arlene were long-standing members on the Board of Trustees. Arlene and Ron always made it a point to spend quality time with Jim, a brilliant man with great vision. As Arlene and Ron entered the room, Jim was seated at a table with his beautiful Guide Dog at his side.
Arlene, as she always did, offered to fix a plate from the buffet table for Jim. Ron and Jim were chatting, but this day brought something different.
“Jim, what’s on your wish list? Ron asked.
“Ron, I would love to enter a room and know who is here, rather than someone having to tap me on the shoulder and telling me who they are.” Jim answered.
“Jim, let me think about that.” Ron replied.
Ron, being Ron didn’t allow any grass to grow under his feet. He was on a mission! In the typical “Ron Klein style” he worked feverishly to develop an apparatus for assisting visually impaired persons to identify persons and objects, and method for operation thereof.
Flow charts, Abstract, Narrative…..Patent US20130046541 IDENT-EYE-FIER
A Provisional Patent was granted August 19, 2011. Six (6) weeks after the conversation with Jim.
Because it was on Jim’s wish list and he was the impetus for Ron to be the “brainchild”, Ron did the following:
INVENTORS RONALD L. KLEIN JAMES A. KUTSCH, JR.
Thus, was the birth of ELI!!
August 3, 2012, Ron applied for a Utility Patent. Dollars were needed, developers had to be found. There were many hurdles to cross.
The project was put on hold, because of numerous extenuating circumstances. Life has a habit of getting in the way.
“We don’t meet people by accident. They are meant to cross our path for a reason.”
In the summer of 2015, Ron was inadvertently diverted. He was just finishing conducting a Mastermind group in San Diego. He was scheduled to be a speaker at a San Diego Event the next day. On very short notice, San Diego was changed to Austin, Texas. He grumbled as he changed his flight and absorbed the additional cost.
He is a man of his word!! What he says he will do, he does!! He arrived at the event in Austin June 17, 2015. He met Rick Gibson, who was attending the event. The rest is history!!!