From Harford County government:
The Harford County Commission on Disabilities will host its annual employment awards luncheon on Thursday, October 21, 2010 at noon at the Maryland Golf and Country Clubs in Bel Air. The keynote speaker will be Harford County resident Lester Harris. Also on the program is Secretary Catherine Raggio of the Maryland Department of Disabilities.
The luncheon’s main purpose is to “celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of people with disabilities who overcome obstacles in their pursuit of excellence,” according to Committee Co-Chair Niki Biggs. “Their accomplishments are especially significant as we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act this year,” she added.
“The Commission also uses the event to recognize contributions made by employers, families, friends and organizations to change attitudes about employees with disabilities in the workforce,” Biggs said. This year’s theme, announced by the U.S. Department of Labor, is “Talent had no boundaries: workforce diversity includes workers with disabilities.”
According to Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathleen Martinez, “The solutions and innovations applicable to the successful employment of workers with disabilities impact the entire workforce, including aging workers, at-risk youth, women, people of color, and unemployed and underemployed workers.
”Employee of the Year honors will go to Andrew Hart of the Weis Market in Havre de Grace. Awards of merit will be presented to Desmond Brown, Blake Chell, Larry Johnson, Matthew Rybczynski, and Adam Sheets.
The Rite-Aid Mid-Atlantic Customer Support Center will be recognized as Employer of the Year, while the Weis Market in Abingdon, the Bel Air Branch of the Harford County Library, Sears, and McDonalds on East Churchville Road will receive awards of merit.
The Student Worker of the Year Award will be presented to Desmond Gainey, who works at the Center for Health Promotion and Preventative Medicine at the Aberdeen Proving Ground; while an award of merit will go to Annie Baker for her volunteer service at the University of Maryland Extension Office in Harford County.
The Accessibility/Inclusion Award will be presented to Natalie Weeks of the Harford County Cultural Arts Board and Chassity Seymour of the Arc Northern Chesapeake Region’s inclusive recreation program. Kim Marchman of the Maryland State Department of Education will receive the Media Award.
The Ruth Helen Thompson Community Service Award will be presented to John and Faith Waitkus, owner/operators of American Auto Repair and Performance. Roxanne Gump of the Humane Society of Harford County will receive an award of merit in community service.
The Harford County Commission on Disabilities was established in 1995 to serve as the voice of the disability community in Harford County. Members are appointed by the County Executive, with the approval of the County Council.