By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Other | Issue: June 2015
Goodwill Annual Awards Winners are (l-r): Achiever of the Year Mary Park, Graduate of the Year Kevin Anderson, awards presenter and emcee Kristen Dickerson/KTUL Evening News Anchor, and Employee of the Year Robert Mayfield.
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa provides work opportunities, job training and support services for people with disabilities or other employment barriers and envisions a community where all people have the training and opportunities they need to be successful in the workplace, regardless of the barriers to employment they must overcome. “In 2014,” says Goodwill President David Oliver, “our Community invested nearly $21 million in Goodwill, and Goodwill invested nearly $21 million back into the Community. The total economic impact of all Goodwill programs and operations was $93.9 million.”
On May 5, Goodwill Industries of Tulsa celebrated 2014 accomplishments at their Awards Luncheon Program at the Southern Hills Marriott Hotel with nearly 700 in attendance. The event was emceed by Kristen Dickerson, Evening News Anchor, KTUL.
Employee of the Year honors went to Robert Mayfield. Due to circumstances beyond his control, Robert found it difficult to get a good, stable job as he got older. This was frustrating and devastating for someone who longs to be busy. Robert was referred to Goodwill’s Contracts Division. During his nearly twenty years with Goodwill, Robert has mastered a wide variety of packaging and assembly jobs. His full-time employment has provided the stability, pride and self-sufficiency he sought. In addition to earning his way, Robert has developed a strong circle of friends that he never before had.
Kevin Anderson was the recipient of the Graduate of the Year Award. Throughout his early years, Kevin struggled with shyness. Nearing high school graduation, he still didn’t have the confidence needed to obtain a steady job. Kevin was directed to Goodwill’s training programs for students with special needs by his family. In 2012 he was enrolled in the Transition Services program. Kevin began coming out of his shell and became an attentive student and natural leader for other students. When attending community job shadow events, Kevin was inquisitive, curious, asked good questions and showed appreciation for the opportunity to explore the real-life working world. In 2013 he transitioned to Goodwill’s Supported Employment program and wrote his resume to apply for his first retail job. Target hired Kevin as a cart attendant in 2013 and within one year he was working independently, passed his driving test and purchased a car so he could drive himself to work. Kevin has also received the Goodwill Work Adjustment Success Award and the Governor’s Disability Employment Award of Excellence.
Mary Park received the Achiever of the Year award. Like most working moms, Mary’s stable job of 19 years helped provide for her family. Then suddenly she was told that her employer did not need her anymore. “Everything I was and everything I could be vanished into thin air,” said Mary. With her confidence shattered, she thought it would be impossible to find anyone who would give her a chance at employment and that learning new skills would be too difficult. After being guided to the Career Readiness and Employment Essential classes by TulsaWORKS, Mary learned computer basics, customer service and job preparation skills which gave her the confidence to search for a new job. Mary is now a full-time Billing Specialist with Pediatric Specialists of Tulsa and appreciates the help given her by Goodwill and TulsaWORKS.
Town & Country School was cited as the 2014 Community Partner. Town & Country is Oklahoma’s only accredited, non-public school specifically designed to meet the needs of students who have been diagnosed with learning differences and attention disorders (ADHD). Representing the School, Principal Shevaun Etier received the award.
Thanks again, Tulsa, for your faithful support in helping individuals overcome considerable challenges to meet their goals!
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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.