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News Release
Businesses, community members honored for their commitment to individuals with developmental/intellectual disabilities - 11/05/18

Vancouver, Wash. – On Oct. 3, 2018, the Clark County Developmental Disabilities Advisory Board, the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, New Seasons Market, Umpqua Bank, SEH America, and the Vancouver Business Journal hosted the 18th annual celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The event honors Clark County’s employees with developmental disabilities, their employers, employment agencies, and citizens who provide outstanding service.

The event took place at The Heathman Lodge and Jonathan Chase, an Autism advocate, consultant and author was the keynote spearker. The event was emceed by Kelly Love of Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center, and featured speakers: Vancouver Mayor Anne Mcenerny-Ogle, Clark County Councilor Julie Olson, and Chair of the Clark County Developmental Disabilities Advisory Board, Walt Gordon. Throughout the program, several videos were shown to introduce award categories. These videos featured a combination of 2017 award winners and others making an impact in Clark County supported employment.  

The event was recorded by Clark Vancouver TV and can be viewed at https://www.cvtv.org/vid_link/27091.

This year’s award winners are:

Public Employer of the Year – C-Tran. This is the second time C-Tran has been honored as a leader in hiring people with disabilities. The Maintenance Department has a long history of working with supported employees and currently employs four people who have worked for the company ranging from 5 to 25 years and work between 30-40 hours per week.

Private Employer of the YearAndersen Dairy. Andersen Dairy was founded more than 50 years ago and currently employs more than 150 employees. They set the standard for the successful integration of employees with disabilities in their business. They work hard to build their awareness and understanding of the contributions, experiences, and skills that employees with disabilities bring and value the diversity of their employees and their perspectives. They were nominated by three different people, all echoing the theme that this local business believes in and supports all their employees.

Employee of the YearCharles Hardy Jr. Since 2013, Charles has become an essential member of his team, boosting morale and enabling the Old Spaghetti Factory to better serve its customers. He began in maintenance, but after his supervisors saw him excel in everything they gave him, his tasks expanded to include food prep and portioning in the kitchen.

Charles is often recognized for his strong work ethic and the clear pride he shows in his work. He assists his coworkers with their tasks and is an avid proponent of teamwork. His determination and attitude are contagious to those around him, and he sets an outstanding example for others to follow.

David Hanawalt Service AwardShawn Cavanaugh, Employment Specialist at Keys to Advancement. Shawn is described as someone who excels in developing positive relationships by building trust with her customers, families, support staff and the businesses she interfaces with. She is dedicated to supporting her customers to succeed on their employment paths and continually encourages her customers to be independent and pursue new adventures.

Her employer stated that they are “grateful to have someone as knowledgeable, compassionate, and caring as her.” She continually exceeds all expectations and represents what an excellent employment consultant should be, not just because of her dedication to her customers, but for a desire to make life better for her co-workers and people she interacts with on a daily basis.

Dennis Campbell Outstanding Service AwardTeresa Pritchard, Supervisor of S.E.H America Managed Services. She was nominated by her peers because of her ability to lead by example. Many describe her as an amazing role model and supervisor with a great sense of humor and high level of professionalism. She is known for her keen mind and endless quest for relevant knowledge. Her nomination included testimonials collected from more than 20 people who know and work with her.

Outstanding Public Servant Award Clark County Council Chair Marc Boldt. Councilor Boldt has committed to a life of service to his community. His contributions reflect the belief that we can make a difference in peoples’ lives. Whether it is serving as a 4H leader, state legislator, county councilor or youth leader in his church, he has chosen to serve, and we are better because of his commitment.

The 2018 nominees are:
Employer of the Year: 24 Hour Fitness – The Palms, Candlewood Suites, McCord's Toyota, Nektar Juice Bar, Parr Lumber and YMCA Child Development Center

Employee of the Year: Kahneetah Brown, Paul Brown, Sherry Chamberlin, Stephanie Chase, Sean Dinsmore, Ben Fisher, Hadley Park, Donnie Sellers, Jennifer Stephens

The David Hanawalt Service Award: Teresa Pritchard, Debbie Thompson

The Dennis Campbell Outstanding Service Award: Rosemary Cowan, Holly Shaw

Congratulations to all!

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