Goodwill Employee of Distinction Award Program Recognizes 55 Honorees

AKRON, Ohio — Sept. 9, 2022 — Goodwill Industries serving Summit, Portage, Medina, Ashland and Richland Counties recognized outstanding employees in our community during its 21st Annual Employee of Distinction Awards Program on Sept. 7. The event provides employers a cost-effective way to publicly recognize outstanding employees. This year 55 employees were nominated for 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 nominations with the highest average rankings. Congratulations to the 2022 Employee of Distinction Award Winners:

Elaine Bowen, RD, nutrition services manager, Hattie Larlham
Elaine has a superb work ethic. This has resulted in high quality care and commitment for persons served and those that she supervises.
Community Support Services, Homeless Outreach Team
   – Zach Brown, team member
   – Jennifer Canfield, team member
   – Tina Clark, team member
   – Michael Harhager, team member
   – Stephanie Hylton, team member
   – Annaliese Russell, team member
   – Carl Slaton, team member
   – Kay Wirth, team member
The Homeless Outreach Team conducted in-person, face-to-face contact with our homeless clients and kept the dayroom open every single day of the pandemic.
Cheryl Richards, office coordinator, Barberton Office, Child Guidance & Family Solutions
Cheryl is always willing to step up to help anywhere she is needed, especially with training new staff and being a part of process improvements.
Adam Sharpless, maintenance worker, The Blick Center
Adam’s kindness, work ethic, patience and commitment is second to none. He knows how important his job is and he does what he can to make sure our operations run smoothly.
Richie Stefan, store crew member, Speedway Mogadore
Richie knows almost every customer by name and asks how their family is doing – and he knows the family members by name. He always has a nice word to say.

“It was inspiring to see how many people go above and beyond daily for the organizations they serve“, stated Event Chairs Pamela Crombie, Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates; and Chrissy Myers, AUI. “We were truly impressed by all the honorees!”

All honorees received a certificate and gift commemorating their nomination. In addition, the top winners received a medal and additional gift cards. The keynote address during the event was provided by Christine Fowler-Mack, superintendent, Akron Public Schools.

2022 Employee of Distinction Honorees

  • Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority Diversity Committee
    • Jason Colon
    • Clyde Elkins
    • Mike Gerzeny
    • Trent Gill
    • Melissa Haskins
    • Yvette Mahone
    • Amy Marsteller
    • Jenny Mehen
    • Crystal Neloms
    • Matt Odeh
    • Shary Page
    • Kathy Patton
    • Kevin Stone
    • Darrin Toney
    • Tammy Zents
  • Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank Major Gifts Team
    • Jo Dangel, major gifts officer
    • Debbie Hagarty, estate & planned giving officer
  • Rainy Boucher, sr. human resources generalist, Child Guidance & Family Solutions
  • Jada Garrison, UX- front end developer-accessibility specialist, Innovative Global Vision
  • Jon Hall, school van driver, Hudson Montessori School
  • Jackie Harvey, habilitation manager, Hattie Larlham Center for Children with Disabilities
  • Hattie Larlham Addventures Day Program Team
    • William “Brooks” Schuman, manager
    • Brenda Gardner, activity leader
    • Laura Gregory, quality manager
    • Kimberly Haywood, activity leader
  • Christine Justiss, division teacher of the year, Akron Public Schools
  • Christine Kovacich, bookstore supervisor, Northeast Ohio Medical University
  • Stacie Lockett, forensic assertive community rehabilitation specialist, Community Support Services
  • Sarah Lupsor, assistant vice president, financial center manager, Fifth Third Bank
  • Robin McNichol, executive assistant, Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority
  • Tiffany Mealy, career specialist, Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates
  • Tracy Pittinger, respiratory therapist, Hattie Larlham
  • Amanda Rearick, manager, school-based services, Child Guidance & Family Solutions
  • LoriLee Stein, chief financial officer, Community Support Services
  • Alissa Strickland, career specialist, Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates
  • Summit County Children Services Independent Living Unit Team
    • Sara Woolridge, supervisor
    • Cheyenne Boyd, caseworker
    • Jeannie Cargill, caseworker
    • Jennifer Cranston, caseworker
    • Patrice Henderson, caseworker
  • Maria Urick, insurance specialist, AUI
  • Michael Wiandt, admissions specialist, IBH Addiction Recovery
  • Danny Wyszynski, manager IT, Brennan, Manna & Diamond

Event Sponsors
Thank you to the event sponsors – Gold:  Clarity HR, Sonya & Tom Presper; Silver: Britton Gallagher; Eric & Nan McClenaghan; PNC Financial Services Group; W3 Financial Group; Bronze: Bober Markey Fedorovich; Brennan, Manna & Diamond; Fifth Third Bank; Marc Servodio CFP®, AIF® – Vita Advisors, LLC; Copper: S.A. Comunale; Honoree Sponsor: Doug Klein; Innovative Global Vision; Gold Program Partner: Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority; Hattie Larlham; Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro’s Department of Job and Family Services; Silver Program Partner: The Blick Center; Child Guidance & Family Solutions; Community Support Services; IBH Addiction Recovery; Summit County Children Services; Diamond Patron: Jennifer & Justin Bako; David & Kathleen Bucci; Dr. Pleas R. Chambers III; Chuck & Debbie Ducey; Bill & Mary Glaeser; William & Susan Hanlon; Danielle Kimmell; Platinum Patron: Charles & Leslie Zonfa; Gold Patron: Chip Clupper; Laura Judge; Mary Anne & C. Allen Nichols; Diane & Derek Smith; Patron: Michelle Mulhern; Media: akronlife; WAKR/WONE/WQMX/WNWV; In-Kind: Akron Civic Theatre; Akron Zoo; AUI; Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates; The Peanut Shoppe.

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. Goodwill helps to directly strengthen the region’s workforce through its employment programs and indirectly through the net proceeds from its retail outlets and business services division. For more information about GIA, visit or call 800-989-8428.

Contact: Jolene Gordon
(330) 786-2519