By: Duane Blankenship | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: June 2008
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa Award Recipients (L to R): Nellie Jefferson, Gloria Dialectic, Tony Rivera, Scott Drobinko and David Roach.
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa recently celebrated its successes of 2007 at the Annual Awards Luncheon at Southern Hills Marriott in Tulsa. The huge dining hall was filled to near-capacity with more than 700 Goodwill supporters and participants.
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa provides employment opportunities and career development services for people with barriers to employment. It accepts donations of usable clothing and household items and sells these items in its eight retail stores. Revenue from the sale of donated goods helps fund Goodwill’s job training and employment programs.
John Shearing, Goodwill chairman, welcomed everyone to the event. Next, David Oliver, Goodwill of Tulsa president, introduced Mistress of Ceremonies Chera Kimiko, news anchor of FOX23. The Rev. Herbert D. Edmondson III, pastor of Morningstar Baptist Church, gave the invocation. Goodwill Industries of Tulsa then proudly recognized its seven award winners and extended their congratulations.
Professional of the Year winner Tony Rivera is a member of Goodwill’s Business Advisory Council. He has taken an active role in mock-interview exercises with clients who are preparing for a real-world job search. Tony is an ambassador to the community, educates others about the mission of Goodwill, and opens doors to employment for graduates from various Goodwill training programs.
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa President David Oliver listens as Scott Drobinko, Goodwill Employee of the Year, delivers his acceptance speech.
Graduate of the Year David Roach is dedicated to his work. He rises at 4 a.m. each day and is ready to clock in by 5:29 a.m. Tulsa Promenade Mall hired David over a year ago and with the help and encouragement of his job coach, he has steadily increased his capabilities and confidence as a maintenance team member.
OSU Medical Center/Sodexo was named Employer of the Year. Its partnership with Goodwill started eight years ago with five workers and a confidential document shredder. Today, it has grown to 33 Goodwill-supervised jobs encompassing a variety of tasks, including upkeep of the center’s public restrooms, parking garage and grounds. This employer has made a difference by providing dozens of jobs for individuals who otherwise might never have experienced the satisfaction of productive employment.
The Community Partner award was accepted by Gloria Dialectic of the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless. Every day, nearly 450 men, women and children in distress seek refuge and care at Tulsa’s only daytime shelter for the homeless. Here they find help for pressing needs, in addition to referrals that put many on the path to community resources, permanent housing and self-sufficiency. The center coordinates with Goodwill’s TulsaWORKS program to provide services for those needing jobs, many of whom face workplace barriers of mental illness or developmental or physical disabilities.
Nellie Jefferson was awarded Achiever of the Year. After spending 38 years with one employer, the prospect of starting over was a little scary. Following an earlier-than-planned retirement, Nellie worked up her courage and did the hardest thing a proud, hard-working woman could do – she asked for help. Nellie found it in a Goodwill call center training program, which equipped her with computer and telecommunications skills. Through mock interviews and networking help, she found her way to a job she loves at Capital One.
Scott Drobinko was named Employee of the Year. It’s hard to tell which is bigger – Scott’s smile or his heart. Both leave a lasting impression on those who come to the Goodwill Donation Center at 81st and Yale, where Scott has served as a donation attendant for more than six years through Goodwill’s supported employment program. He takes great pride in his work and has agreed to help promote Goodwill as a media ambassador.
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa has provided 81 years of service to our community. Congratulations to each of the award recipients.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.