Goodwill Employee of Distinction Luncheon Recognizes Honorees


Seated from left to right is: Theresa Wilson, Judi Jacobs, Stacey Nolt.  Standing from left to right is: Tracey Hawkins and Jennifer M. Elsass.

Seated from left to right is: Theresa Wilson, Judi Jacobs, Stacey Nolt. Standing from left to right is: Tracey Hawkins and Jennifer M. Elsass.

 AKRON, Ohio — Sept. 4, 2014 — Goodwill Industries serving Summit, Portage, Medina, Ashland and Richland Counties yesterday recognized 56 outstanding employees in our community at its 13th Annual Employee of Distinction Awards Luncheon. The event provides employers a cost-effective way to publicly recognize outstanding employees. This year 21 area organizations nominated employees for the top honor of receiving the Employee of Distinction Award.

Nominations for the Employee of Distinction Award are reviewed based on quality of work, dedication to the business, and extraordinary efforts with the honor going to the top five individuals with the highest average rankings. Congratulations to the 2014 Employee of Distinction Award Winners:


  • Jennifer M. Elsass, senior manager, assurance and advisory services
    Bober Markey Fedorovich She is an experienced and proven leader in her field, she also dedicates her time to firm recruitment and training, mentoring her co-workers and supporting her community.
  • Tracey Hawkins, community rehabilitation specialist
    Community Support Services, Inc.
    She has distinguished herself as a superior worker in her department. She exhibits a very high performance level in serving the clients on her caseload.
  • Judi Jacobs, employment specialist
    Summit DD
    She has dedicated her life to enable individuals with developmental disabilities to work, live and learn as equal citizens in their communities.
  • Stacey Nolt, development specialist
    Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio
    She is a talented, hard-working, upbeat and entrepreneurial employee who is passionate about Junior Achievement’s mission and accomplishing any task placed before her.
  • Theresa Wilson, event coordinator/executive assistant
    Her personal touch affects people in such a positive way, not only within the office, but also with various organizations that she has become involved.

“We were impressed by all the honorees,” stated Event Co-chairs Mary Ann Roach, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, and Maureen Van Duser, community volunteer leader, both in Akron. “It truly was a diverse group of shining stars and each had their own story about contributing to their organization’s success by going above and beyond.”

During the event, all honorees received a certificate commemorating their nomination and two free tickets to a performance at the historic Akron Civic Theatre. In addition, the top five winners were given an engraved crystal plaque from Shulan’s of Fairlawn as well as a certificate for two tickets to an upcoming women’s basketball game at The University of Akron.

“We are truly inspired by the honorees,” said Nancy Ellis McClenaghan president & CEO, Goodwill Industries serving Summit, Portage, Medina, Ashland and Richland Counties. “They are role models and Goodwill is pleased to help local employers showcase their top-performers and shining stars.”

2014 Employee of Distinction Honorees & Award Winners

  • Jenna Allen, integrated community employment manager, Hattie Larlham Community Services
  • Danya Bailey, benefits community rehabilitation specialist, Community Support Services, Inc.
  • Steve Bitecofer, IT coordinator, Area 51 Data Solutions
  • Ron Boldry, automotive technology teacher, Ellet High School, The Akron Public Schools
  • Lora Brown, executive assistant, InfoCision Management Corporation
  • Lisa A. Callahan, admissions specialist, Child Guidance & Family Solutions
  • Deborah Collier, administrative assistant/wellness coordinator, Rockynol Retirement Community
  • Crystal Dunivant, CPST trainer, Community Support Services, Inc.
  • Nathan Edge, manager, Hattie’s Gardens, Hattie Larlham Community Services
  • Jennifer M. Elsass, senior manager – assurance and advisory services, Bober Markey Fedorovich*Winner
  • Beth Endres, LPCC-S, outpatient therapist, Child Guidance & Family Solutions
  • Alison First, education coordinator, The Summit County Historical Society of Akron, Ohio
  • Felita Grice, product architect, client support group, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations
  • Tracey Hawkins, community rehabilitation specialist, Community Support Services, Inc. *Winner


  • Housing Choice Voucher Program Team, Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority
  • Debby Barry, deputy director of operations
  • Amanda Baston, certification specialist I
  • Thomas Baugher, housing inspector
  • Robin Boso, certification specialist II
  • Jonathan Bott, certification specialist I
  • Kyra Brown, secretary
  • Angela Collins, project coordinator
  • Amy Crytzer, certification specialist II
  • Tracy Dean, certification specialist I
  • Rinaldo Finsley, certification specialist I
  • Melissa Haskins, certification specialist I
  • Marie Johnson, certification specialist II
  • Elizabeth Kaisk, account specialist
  • Allison Manson, project coordinator
  • Lindsay Mellor, housing choice voucher program manager
  • Christyne Mullins, contract & leasing supervisor
  • Shela Oberlin, certification specialist I
  • Shary Page, continued assistance supervisor
  • Kathy Patton, housing quality standards supervisor
  • Amy Polk, housing inspector
  • Joanna Rist, inspection scheduler
  • Samira Salihovic, certification specialist I
  • LaQuinta Sojourner, certification specialist I
  • William Stockdale, housing inspector
  • Raymond Trillet, housing inspector
  • Fawn Yancy-Bridges, certification specialist I


  •  Judi Jacobs, employment specialist, Summit DD*Winner
  • Melissa Kaminsky, community impact, United Way of Summit County
  • Gary Lewis, specification systems specialist, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations
  • Sarfaraz Mohammad, systems administrator, Mature Services, Inc.
  • Gordana Nikolic, community rehabilitation specialist, Community Support Services, Inc.
  • Stacey Nolt, development specialist, Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio*Winner
  • Brittany Paliswat, volunteer/outreach coordinator, Battered Women’s Shelter
  • Mary Safron, senior billing specialist, Child Guidance & Family Solutions
  • Bob Seiler, financial center manager A.V.P., Fifth Third Bank
  • Mandy Smart, ACT CRS, Community Support Services, Inc.
  • Phil Steinberg, principal, Braun & Steidl Architects
  • Sam Terrell, operator, City Scrap & Salvage
  • Delchine Thomas, records/eligibility verification specialist, Mature Services, Inc.
  • Greg VanFossen, community rehabilitation specialist, Community Support Services, Inc.
  • Candi Wensinger, administrative assistant/receptionist, BCG & Company
  • Theresa Wilson, event coordinator/executive assistant, SS&G*Winner

For more information on the Employee of Distinction Luncheon or to be added to the mailing list for next year, contact Tracy Keenan at 330-786-2573 or

About Goodwill Industries Serving Summit, Portage, Medina, Ashland & Richland Counties
The Goodwill Industries of Akron, Ohio, Inc., is a not-for-profit corporation that helps individuals prepare for, find and retain employment. Operating in the five-county region of Summit, Portage, Medina, Ashland & Richland, the agency was established in 1927. It is a private, independent organization, operating as an affiliate member of Goodwill Industries International, and a United Way agency in Summit County. Goodwill helps to directly strengthen the region’s workforce through its employment programs and indirectly through the net proceeds from its retail outlets and industrial services division. For more information about GIA, visit or call 800-989-8428.



Jennifer Bako
(330) 786-2519