Goodwill Employee of Distinction Luncheon Recognizes 69 Honorees

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AKRON, Ohio — Sept. 5, 2019 — Goodwill Industries serving Summit, Portage, Medina, Ashland and Richland Counties recognized 69 outstanding employees in our community at its 18th Annual Employee of Distinction Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, Sept. 4.  The event provides employers a cost-effective way to publicly recognize outstanding employees. This year 27 area organizations nominated employees for the top honor of receiving the Employee of Distinction Award. 

Nominations for the Employee of Distinction Award are reviewed based on quality of work, dedication to the business, and extraordinary efforts with the honor going to the top five honorees with the highest average rankings. Congratulations to the 2019 Employee of Distinction Award Winners:

2019 Employee of Distinction Award Winners: Front row left to right: Beatrice Flett, Jennifer Case, Sally Dean and Mike Smeltz. Back row left to right: Victoria Broeker, Maggie Wooten, Neil Burt, Laura Walker and Chad Kelly.
  • Jennifer Case, children’s house teacher, Hudson Montessori School:
    Jennifer is an expert in the Montessori teaching philosophy.  She is uniquely skilled at helping each child substantially grow socially, emotionally and academically.

  • Sally Dean, school-based therapist, Child Guidance & Family Solutions:
    Sally works very hard to get students in need connected to services.  She has either connected or worked with nearly 60 clients this past school year.

  • Beatrice Flett, 30 Days to Family specialist, Summit County Children Services:
    Beatrice does an amazing job engaging with families and children. She is complimented repeatedly by community partners on her willingness to go the extra mile to ensure children can maintain contact with family.

  • Hattie Larlham Employment Services Team: The team is dedicated to helping people with developmental disabilities find work they can enjoy and that will help them to grow personally and professionally. 
    • Elizabeth Apazeller, discovery coordinator and benefits analyst
    • James “Andy” Beckett, job development, coordinator
    • Victoria Broeker, caseload assistant
    • Neil Burt, employment services manager and benefits analyst
    • Grace Ebner, job development coordinator
    • Emily Gardner, job development coordinator
    • Jennifer Gray, job development coordinator
    • Chad Kelly, business relations manager
    • Angela Norvell, job development coordinator
    • Craig Pittman, job development coordinator
    • Laura Walker, director of employment services
    • Maggie Wooten, employment services manager

  • Mike Smeltz, information systems administrator, The Blick Center: Mike has figured out how to use almost every clinical software product they use. He does it with a smile and is quick to offer to train staff of all levels.

“We were impressed by all the honorees,” stated Event Chairs Chris Canova, Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates; Todd Caruthers, Superior Staffing; Kara Hanzie, Ohio Living Rockynol; Chrissy Myers, AUI; and Dana Wherley, Ohio Living Rockynol. “It is inspiring to see how many people go above and beyond daily for the organizations they serve.”   

Event Chairs front row: Kara Hanzie, Dana Wherley, Chrissy Myers. Back row: Chris Canova and Todd Caruthers.

During the event, all honorees received a certificate and gift commemorating their nomination. In addition, the top five winners were presented with a medal and additional gift cards and tickets. And Greta Johnson, assistant chief of staff and public information officer, County of Summit, gave the keynote address.

“All the honorees are role models in the community and Goodwill is pleased to help local employers showcase their top performers and shining stars,” said Nancy Ellis McClenaghan, president & CEO, Goodwill Industries serving Summit, Portage, Medina, Ashland and Richland Counties.

2019 Employee of Distinction Honorees & Award Winners

  • Dennis Babb, deputy director, information technology – tech support services, County of Summit
  • Abbey Blake, career specialist, Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates
  • Regan Blayney, IT department/service desk manager, Metisentry
  • Bober Markey Fedorovich Administrative Team
    • Allison Dickey, executive assistant
    • Shani Diggs, file clerk
    • Cheri Mancini, executive assistant
    • Stefanie Marusiak, administrative director
    • Cheryl Myers, administrative team lead
    • Roxanne Owens, administrative tax processor
    • Correne Pauli, executive assistant
    • Susan Russo, receptionist
    • Beverly Sherrard, administrative & office assistant
  • Beth Ann Brigadier, career specialist, Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates
  • Jennifer Case, children’s house teacher, Hudson Montessori School
  • Annette Cooper, executive secretary, Novus Clinic Total Eye Care
  • Corporate Technologies Group Client Support Group
    • Jennifer Bowser, client service representative
    • Sherri Homrock, client service representative
    • Julie Rule, client service representative
    • Chrisy Sutliff, client service representative
  • Joan Davidson, community relations manager, Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority
  • Brenda Davis, administrative assistant, Child Guidance & Family Solutions
  • Sally Dean, school-based therapist, Child Guidance & Family Solutions
  • Claudia Denaro, HR manager, VANTAGE Aging
  • Lisa Dolan, outreach coordinator, Summit County Child Support Enforcement Agency
  • Jessica Edwards, job coach, Hattie Larlham
  • Beatrice Flett, 30 Days to Family specialist, Summit County Children Services
  • Carolyn French, career specialist, Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates
  • Don Gordon, executive director, Cascade Locks Park Association
  • Khadijah Grant, home health aide, VANTAGE Aging
  • Hattie Larlham Employment Services Team
    • Elizabeth Apazeller, discovery coordinator and benefits analyst
    • James “Andy” Beckett, job development, coordinator
    • Victoria Broeker, caseload assistant
    • Neil Burt, employment services manager and benefits analyst
    • Grace Ebner, job development coordinator
    • Emily Gardner, job development coordinator
    • Jennifer Gray, job development coordinator
    • Chad Kelly, business relations manager
    • Angela Norvell, job development coordinator
    • Craig Pittman, job development coordinator
    • Laura Walker, director of employment services
    • Maggie Wooten, employment services manager
  • LaTonya Hill, intensive probation officer, Summit County Juvenile Court
  • Laurie Householder, Spanish teacher, Hudson Montessori School
  • Impel Wealth Management Team
    • Leslie Campanini, director of first impressions
    • Marie Christman, client service specialist
    • Karen Johnson, senior client service specialist
    • Sarah Montgomery, client service specialist
  • Alyce Jennings, director of development, Summit County Community Partnership
  • Amy Johnston, state tested nurse aide, Ohio Living Rockynol
  • Dave Krzeminski, mason/concrete worker, Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority
  • Michelle Lazor, director of admissions and alumni relations, Hudson Montessori School
  • Angela Lowery, director, financial empowerment, United Way of Summit County
  • Lee Mace, receptionist, Kastner Westman & Wilkins, LLC
  • Jennifer Matas, school psychologist, Hudson Montessori School
  • Tim Michael, lead order selector, Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank
  • Marybeth Moore, medical records specialist, Child Guidance & Family Solutions
  • Joseph Nicolino, social studies teacher and athletic director Kenmore-Garfield High School, Akron Public Schools
  • Josephine Oanes Van-Pelt, cook, Ohio Living Rockynol
  • Gina Peplow, career specialist, Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates
  • Kaye Rowe, operations manager/controller, Summit Education Initiative
  • Charity Saffell, accountant-financial statements, County of Summit ADM Board
  • Karen Sersic, membership advantage relationship manager, Fifth Third Bank
  • Tara Shockley, commercial account manager, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
  • Yolanda Shropshire, billing specialist, VANTAGE Aging
  • Mike Smeltz, information systems administrator, The Blick Center
  • Jennie Strubel, food service supervisor, VANTAGE Aging
  • Michael Van Voorhis, assistant vice president, Fifth Third Bank
  • Ron Whitmer, operations manager, Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates
  • Keesha Wilson-Law, community rehabilitation specialist, Community Support Services

Event Sponsors
Thank you to the event sponsors – Platinum: AUI; and OMNOVA Solutions Foundation; Silver: Britton Gallagher; Eric & Nan McClenaghan; PNC Financial Services Group; and W3 Wealth Management; Bronze: Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.; Bober Markey Fedorovich; Campbell Construction Inc.; Fifth Third Bank; Navigator Management Partners; and Roetzel & Andress; Copper: Crain, Langner & Co.; S.A. Comunale Co., Inc.; and Marc Servodio, SS&G Wealth Management; Table: David Bucci, Chuck Ducey, Impel Wealth Management; and Superior Staffing; Gold Program Partner: Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority; Greater Akron Chamber; Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates; Ohio Living Rockynol; and Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro’s Department of Job and Family Services; Silver Program Partner: Akron Public Schools; The Blick Center; Child Guidance & Family Solutions; Community Support Services; Summit County Children Services and VANTAGE Aging; Bronze Program Partner: Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank; County of Summit ADM Board; and Project Learn of Summit County. Diamond Patron: Jennifer & Justin Bako; David & Kathleen Bucci; Bill & Mary Glaeser; Danielle J. Kimmell, CPA; and Kimberly & Greg Morton; Gold Patron: Chip Clupper; Patron: Brad Gilbo; Dr. Mary Beth Kluge; The Lefton Group, LLC; Lynn & Bambi Miller; Mary Anne & C. Allen Nichols; and Bob Pacanovsky – Black Tie Experience; Honoree Sponsor: First National Bank; Media: akronlife and WAKR/WONE/WQMX/WNWV; In-Kind: Akron Civic Theatre; Akron Zoo; AUI; Greater Akron Chamber; Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates; and Superior Staffing.

About Goodwill Industries Serving Summit, Portage, Medina, Ashland & Richland Counties
The Goodwill Industries of Akron, Ohio, Inc., is a not-for-profit corporation that helps individuals prepare for, find and retain employment. Operating in the five-county region of Summit, Portage, Medina, Ashland & Richland, the agency was established in 1927. It is a private, independent organization, operating as an affiliate member of Goodwill Industries International. Goodwill helps to directly strengthen the region’s workforce through its employment programs and indirectly through the net proceeds from its retail outlets and business services division. For more information about GIA, visit www.goodwillakron.org or call 800-989-8428.    

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Contact:  Jennifer Bako, (330) 786-2519, jbako@goodwillakron.org

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