Recognized for Selfless Service to People with Developmental Disabilities

Since 1997, Regional Center of Orange County, a private, nonprofit organization contracted by the State of California to coordinate lifelong services and support for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, hosts an annual event called the Spotlight Awards. The Spotlight Awards recognize and honor people and organizations who stand out as role models of selfless service and dedicated advocacy in working with people with developmental disabilities. The honorees are nominated by Regional Center staff, colleagues, and community members. This year marked the 20th Annual Spotlight Awards, a special milestone for the annual celebration.

Goodwill of Orange County’s Community-Based Services, Supported Employment and Habilitation Programs were honored to receive the “2017 Provider of the Year” Spotlight Award. Goodwill of Orange County’s President and CEO Frank Talarico, Vice President of Human Services Kathy Copeland, and Senior Director Richard Adams were on hand to accept the major award.

Also honored as Spotlight Award recipients were Goodwill Job Coach Elizabeth Martinez and Goodwill Employer First American. Elizabeth received the “2017 Direct Support Professional” award for her work with a Supported Employment Group at First American. First American’s Executive Chef, Dore Sommer and Vice President of Operations Frank LaBlanc accepted the “2017 Employer of the Year” award. Elizabeth accepted her award alongside the program participants she supports and their families. Chef Dore and Frank LeBlanc celebrated the First American Employer of the Year Award with the Supported Employment participants and staff.

Goodwill Board Members Jody Hudson, Betty Appleton, and Jacob Gonzales, along will many staff members and program participants, attended the awards ceremony and enjoyed a special evening of dinner and dancing!

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