2017 Celebration of Excellence Awards Event
Congratulations to this year’s winners!
Self-Advocate of the Year
- Matthew Higgs-For succeeding at the difficult task of transitioning from being a young man in school to an adult in employment. Matthew works as an assistant service technician for Win Kelly of Clarksville.
- Laura Kutcher-For achieving new skills and embracing new challenges with a positive spirit. After 58 years of living with her family, Laura recently moved into a new home with housemates.
- Matthew Plantz-For his commitment and leadership in supporting people with disabilities. Matthew is a former president of People Power and often speaks on behalf of people with disabilities before elected officials, faith communities and others.
- Mynyawn Redd-For her tireless efforts to educate and improve herself. Mynyawn is a teacher’s assistant at The Little Lighthouse Childcare in Ellicott City, where she is working to develop a sign language program for the staff and students.
Excellence in Employment
- Home Depot Ellicott City-For its practice of identifying appropriate positions for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and giving them training and the opportunity to grow in their jobs.
- Mobern Lighting-Both Mobern Lighting and General Manager Bob Claire for creating a culture that encourages inclusivity and for encouraging other businesses to do the same.
- Wegmans Columbia-For seeking applicants of all abilities before its store opened. One of the original hires has been there ever since.
- Zips Dry Cleaners-For its multicultural workforce which includes people with different abilities who are provided the training and support needed to succeed.
Excellence in Professional Services
- Caitlin Long, Coordinator of Community Services, Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration. Recognized for being an “outside-of-the-box thinker” who uses all her resources to assist others.
- Harry H. Witzke Family Funeral Home-For handling services in a thoughtful and dignified manner and being supportive of all people, regardless of income.
- Sarah Hammond, Case Manager, Trellis Services. Honored for her ingenuity and creativity in helping assure individuals with developmental disabilities achieve a full, active and inclusive community life.
Excellence in Public Service
- Laura Howell, Executive Director of the Maryland Association of Community Services. Recognized for her tireless efforts lobbying legislators in the state of Maryland on behalf of people with disabilities.
2017 President’s Award
- Ed Wilson is a long time volunteer, fundraiser, advocate and leader of the organization. Wilson joined the board of The Arc in 2008 and distinguished himself on the Governmental Affairs Committee, where he has served ever since. He has also served as secretary, vice president and president of the board and served on the search committee that selected current Executive Director Cindy Parr. Wilson is Vice President of Association Sales for Constellation. We honor Ed Wilson for making a significant and lasting impact upon The Arc of Howard County and improving the lives of hundreds, maybe thousands, of people through his service and leadership.
Volunteers of the Year
- Tim Haynes & Joseph Faulkner-For interviewing people served by The Arc to ensure they are receiving the most meaningful experience that can be obtained for them.
Employees of the Year
- Project SEARCH Team - Barbara Moyer and Tina Lewis-For their outstanding work with Project SEARCH and their commitment to the program and the intern’s success.
The Amanda and Jill Dean Award for Outstanding Direct Support Professionals-To Be Announced
This new award will be awarded annually in the fall during Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week and will include a $1,000 cash gift. This fall’s winner will be recognized at the 2018 Celebration of Excellence Event.