West Herr Automotive’s Scott and Kathy Bieler Receive This Year’s Socially Responsible Partner of the Year Award from VIA: Visually Impaired Advancement

Staff who is visually impaired handing Scott Bieler the Social Responsibility Award.
Ray, the education and development coordinator, handed the Socially Responsible Partner of the Year award to Scott Bieler, CEO of West Herr.

Buffalo, NY – On November 3rd, The West Herr Automotive Group and Scott Bieler received VIA: Visually Impaired Advancement’s second annual Socially Responsible Partner of the Year award. The award was presented in recognition of their noteworthy contributions to VIA’s mission of assisting blind and visually impaired people in achieving their fullest level of independence. VIA thanks Scott and the West Herr Automotive Group for working together to expand VIA’s reach, which will provide services to more visually impaired people.  

“We are honored Mr. Bieler recognizes the impact that our services have on the independence of people who are blind,” says Tammy Owen, President & CEO of VIA. “We are very grateful he wants to help us help more people.” 

This year, Scott toured VIA’s facilities and met many of our staff who are visually impaired. Following his visit, he pledged $150,000 for a television commercial campaign, the first in VIA’s history since the rebranding from Olmsted Center for Sight. He facilitated further donations from WGRZ and WIVB to match his contributions to the campaign, which has led to a greater awareness of VIA’s services and the blind and visually impaired community in WNY.  

“Since our rebrand in late 2019, VIA has worked hard on outreach and marketing approaches, but struggled with our limited budget for advertisement,” says Samantha Burfiend, Director of Marketing and Communications of VIA. “West Herr has created a great brand partnership with VIA and created an opportunity for the community to get to know us. We have already seen the effects of new inquiries and community recognition.” 

Scott and his wife Kathy were the honorary chairpersons of this year’s Dining in the Dark, where he spoke on the importance of our services and helped make the event a tremendous success. West Herr was also VIA’s Illuminating Sponsor and gave additional funding support throughout the night.  

Scott Bieler at VIA's Dining in the Dark wearing a blindfold.
Scott Bieler at VIA’s Dining in the Dark wearing a blindfold.

Scott Bieler is an Orchard Park native and President & CEO of West Herr Automotive Group since 1997. He has been with the company since 1975, when he started as a salesperson. West Herr employs over 2,500 people and has grown to be the 17th largest auto group in the country. 

Through the Scott Bieler Family Foundation, Scott and Kathy have made leadership gifts to Mercy Hospital, the Rural Outreach Center, and the Jericho Road Community Health Center.  

VIA: Visually Impaired Advancement is incredibly grateful for the support that Scott and West Herr have shown this year and are proud to award them as our Socially Responsible Partner of the Year. 

Visually Impaired Advancement’s Socially Responsible Partner of the Year Award is presented to the outstanding business partner who:  

  • Recognizes the capabilities and employment contributions of people who are blind or visually impaired.  
  • Promotes a positive impact on the community and the mission of VIA – “To help people who are blind or visually impaired achieve their highest level of independence.” 




About VIA – There is no denying a diagnosis with vision changes or visual loss can present challenges. However, it does not change who you are, what you believe, or what you want to accomplish.  

For over 100 years, VIA: Visually Impaired Advancement has provided rehabilitation and social services to individuals in Western New York who are visually impaired. We pride ourselves on being a comprehensive resource for people experiencing vision loss or who are legally blind to help them adapt to new ways of independence. Our team of vision professionals will customize services to help you manage vision loss at any age.  

To learn more, visit viawny.org. 

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