Community leader and local philanthropist Lisa Hussman was presented the President’s Award at The Arc of Howard County’s annual Celebration of Excellence. Hussman, who is a member of the Board of Directors, was honored for her leadership and generosity by President Douglas Erdman. Erdman noted that Hussman targets her philanthropy to help individuals with developmental disabilities enjoy “healthy and participatory lives in their communities.”
The Celebration of Excellence Awards recognize self-advocates, businesses, professionals, educators, volunteers and other community members who help support The Arc in its mission of “achieving full community life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”
William “Bill” Wedeking was presented the Self Advocate of the Year award for his volunteer work at Grassroots, his participation in a job preparedness program at Howard Community College and for his efforts to reduce his dependence upon others.
Nancy Bond was named Volunteer of the Year, for her service as silent auction chair for The Arc’s signature Chocolate Ball and as chair of Wines & Steins, as well as for volunteering at many other fundraising events for The Arc.
House manager Tom Waldron, who has worked for The Arc for nearly 20 years, was named Employee of the Year. Waldron was praised by Executive Director Carol A. Beatty, who said, “We appreciate your longevity, your person-centered approach to your job and your effective advocacy.”
Excellence in Employment awards were presented to Dave Michaels, Operations Manager of Canada Dry; Kevin Dolan, Manager of Race Pace Bicycles; Edgar Zuniga, Dietary Manager at Harmony Hall Assisted Living Facility; and Howard Heuberger of Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. All four were cited for their inclusive hiring and for serving as models for other employers.
Excellence in Professional Services awards were made to “outstanding doctor” Kiran Parikh, MD, who has performed surgery on several individuals supported by The Arc, and to Parmar Family and Cosmetic Surgery members Dr. Rashmi Parmar and Evelyn Bayles, who were cited for their “caring, compassionate and dignified way of treating a patient with developmental disabilities.”
Howard County’s past ADA/Disabilities Services Coordinator Joyce Lehrer was presented the Excellence in Public Service award for her 14 years of service on behalf of the county’s citizens with disabilities.
A team of 25 Howard High School educators was presented the Excellence in Education award for “supporting full inclusion of a 17 year old student” at the school and for “fully engaging the family in their team.”