By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Other | Issue: June 2009
Goodwill Industries and over 700 guests at the awards luncheon recognized Iran McGinnis, Achiever of the Year.
Employees, clients, board members, community leaders, and other friends of Goodwill Industries of Tulsa joined in the annual awards banquet on May 4 at Southern Hills Mariott Hotel to honor the year’s most outstanding employees and business partners. Each award recipient had the opportunity to explain to the audience how the programs and employment services of Goodwill had changed their lives.
Congratulations to Tulsa Area Human Resources Association for receiving the Community Partner Award; to Rachella Bressler, Professional of the Year; and to U.S. Security Associates, recipient of the Employer of the Year Award.
Achiever of the Year winner was Iran McGinnis. Iran eagerly accepted the chance to expand his skills with customer service training at Goodwill. He wanted a job that would allow him to encourage and support people on the road to recovery from addiction– a road he had traveled years earlier. Goodwill helped Iran find a job at 12 & 12 rehab center, where he works with a dedication that quickly earned him the trust of his employer and a promotion.
Gary Healy was the recipient of the Perseverance Award. Having worked since he was 16, Gary was devastated to find himself unemployed and unable to support his family due to a health issue. The ice storm of ’07 led to the Healys residing in a tent at Keystone Lake, where they lived for five months. But Gary didn’t give up. He enrolled in Goodwill’s Private Security Training program, earned his Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) certificate, and landed a security job. Gary plans to continue achieving his goals in the field of law enforcement.
Floyd Topper, Goodwill Industries of Tulsa Employee of the Year, was honored at the organization’s annual awards banquet on May 4, 2009.
Graduate of the Year honors went to Josh Tripp. Whenever Josh’s coworkers at the Tulsa SPCA have a cat that needs bathing, they know whom to call. Josh has an amazing way with animals and can actually calm a frantic feline facing a watery dip. But, it’s the dogs he has a special love for. Josh says he cannot imagine a better job than the one Goodwill helped him prepare for and find. With the help of his Goodwill job coach, Josh has worked his way up from janitorial work at the SPCA to a position in the kennels, where he assists in every aspect of day-to-day care for his canine charges – whose tails tell him he’s doing a great job.
Floyd Topper received the Employee of the Year honor. People have walked all over Floyd’s work for the past 15 years. He takes great pride in maintaining beautiful floors at Goodwill and other area companies that contract with Goodwill for floor care. As the day ends for most of us, Floyd is just getting started with his cleaning, buffing and beautifying.
Goodwill Industries is a leader in employment, education, and training for people with barriers to employment. It might surprise you to know that more than $2 million in wages were earned in 2008 by individuals placed in jobs in the community through Goodwill Workforce Development programs. Proceeds from Goodwill’s donations and retail sales operations help fund these job training and employment programs. The public may contribute usable clothing and household items at Goodwill’s conveniently located donation centers. For the location of a center near you, go online to www.goodwilltulsa.org or call (918) 584-7291.
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.