Fayette County Board of DD held their second-annual Business Awards Night on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at South Side Church of Christ, Family Life Center.
The evening began with FCBDD board member, Mark Heiny, welcoming all in attendance, including; agency partners, area business professionals, employees, their families, and other distinguished guests. Mark shared that with October being National Disability Employment Awareness month, there is not a better time to recognize the partnerships between employers and employees. Mark also conveyed what competitive employment means. Competitive employment is full or part-time work in the competitive labor market in which salary is at or above minimum wage, and the benefit package is the same as offered to employees who do not have disabilities.
Lori Moore, business director at FCBDD introduced the Business Advisory Team, who were responsible for the evening’s events. Those included: Sue Thomas, St. Catherine’s and Court House Manor; Amy Mick, Kroger; Beth Blair, Yusa; Joyce Myer and Serana Huddleson, Stage Distribution; Joy Stanforth, Fayette County Transportation; Cindy Fraley, Lowe’s Distribution; Steve Reeve’s, Frisch’s; Chris Shepard, Fayette Progressive Industries; Lydia Krawzenski, Forward Air; and Betty Reisinger, FCBDD.
Following the meal catered by The Willow, keynote speaker, Joyce Myer, addressed the audience concerning the benefits of hiring a person with a disability. She spoke of how those who employ people with disabilities are in the business of “giving chances, improving lives, helping them to learn new skills, become independent, and giving them opportunities to learn, grow and succeed.” Joyce stated, “I can confidently say, from everyone involved at Stage, being part of this program has been a most rewarding experience. We are proud to offer opportunities to those in the program as they are hired, trained, and grow with our company.”
She also made mention that the adult clients are carefully matched with open positions in her company. “Betty Reisinger from FCBDD and Chris Shepard from Fayette Progressive Industries work closely with their staff, many times performing the jobs alongside of them to ensure that they are comfortable and understand the expectations of the position. They relay questions or concerns to managers, supervisors and trainers as they work together for successful integration of their clients into our existing workforce. They help establish work habits and best practices for optimum success with our company.”
Joyce then mentioned two associates. She said how they have matured and grown because of their employment with Stage. They have made new friends, learned new skills and become great productive associates. One can operate a forklift, and uses the company radios to communicate with other employees on the job. He has been awarded the Associate of the Month for his helpful attitude. Both associates have positive attitudes, which have rubbed off on the other employees they work with.
Jan Cobb, FCBDD nurse and EI specialist, was the emcee for the remainder of the evening where businesses and employees alike were presented certificates of appreciation and/or awards. Businesses receiving the Creating Opportunity awards were: Home Depot, Pettit’s BP and the Starting Gate. This award is set aside for those who have recently hired people with disabilities.
The Committed to Opportunity award was presented to Stage Distribution. This award is given to those companies with commitment to integrating people with disabilities into their workforce.
The Yusa Corporation received the Outstanding Partnership award, in recognition of 26 years with the Fayette County Board of DD.
Kyler Thornburg, Charles Cadamy, Ethan Cowman, Chad Richards, Eddie Hartshorn, Ron Greer, Donnie Butcher, and Becky Crabtree each received an award for one or more years of employment. These years ranged from one year to 20 years of service.
Volunteer sites and summer youth sites were also recognized for their partnerships with FCBDD. These sites included: Court House Manor, Commission on Aging, Fayette County Humane Society, Signature Healthcare, The Well at Sunnyside, Doug Marine Motors, Life Pregnancy, The Club at Quail Run, Peebles, and McDonald’s. Through these businesses, students and adults received volunteer, internships, and summer youth work experiences.
Fayette County Board of DD would like to thank each business, company and individual who employs people with disabilities. We would also like to thank The Willow, South Side Church of Christ, Channel 3, David Woolever, and Harry Wright for videotaping the evening’s activities. Please check out www.fayettedd.com for pictures and the videos from the Second Annual Business Awards night.
To learn more about partnering with Fayette County Board of DD or becoming part of the Business Advisory Team, please contact Betty Reisinger, community resource director, at 740-335-7453, ext. 222.