Laylah VanBibber will take an early retirement to help care for her granddaughter, who has Asperger's syndrome.
Laylah VanBibber, director of marketing for PBI/Gordon Corp., Kansas City, Mo., has announced that she will be retiring from the industry June 1, 2011. VanBibber celebrated her 25th anniversary with the company February 6 of this year.
“Working in the turf and ornamental industry has been such fun,” VanBibber says. “There are so many great people in the industry; I have some wonderful memories to take with me.”
April Allenbrand, who has been with the company since April 2010, will be assuming VanBibber’s current marketing and communications responsibilities. Mary Ellen Scheib will remain the key contact for the turf and ornamental industry.
VanBibber’s early retirement will allow her to be more involved in her granddaughter’s care and treatment for bipolar disorder and Asperger’s syndrome. Currently, an average of one in 110 children in the United States suffer from autism spectrum disorders, including Asperger’s syndrome. About 13 percent of children in the U.S. have a disability, ranging from mild learning problems to disabilities that severely disrupt cognitive functions. Bipolar disorder, only recently identified in children, is the sixth leading cause of disability in the world.
“Support your local chapters of Autism Speaks, or any organization working with families dealing with these difficult neurological disorders,” VanBibber says. “I am so lucky to have worked for a company with a strong past and projected growth. I don’t know how I could manage with my granddaughter without the option to take this early retirement.
“It is difficult for me to imagine how my life will be without PBI/Gordon. After 25 years, this has become a home away from home and a great extended family with which I have met challenges and shared successes. I want to thank everyone at PBI/Gordon and in the industry for making the last 25 years a great experience and ‘a hell of a ride.'”