Goodwill Employee of Distinction Luncheon Recognizes Honorees

AKRON, Ohio — Sept. 4, 2013 — Goodwill Industries today recognized 51 outstanding employees in our community at its 12th Annual Employee of Distinction Awards Luncheon.  The event provides employers a cost-effective way to publicly recognize outstanding employees. This year 25 area companies 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 2013 Employee of Distinction Award Winners:

  • Aretha (AJ) Brown, cognitive enhancement therapy administrator
    Community Support Services, Inc.
    Her passion and energy have nurtured the continual growth of the Cognitive Enhancement Therapy program (CET). CET can be described as “physical rehabilitation for the brain.” Without her it is doubtful this program would have continued at Community Support Services, let alone flourish. 
  •  Steve Case, senior clinical consultant – co-occurring disorders
    Child Guidance & Family Solutions
     He is never without the most engaging ‘grin’ – more than a smile- and infectious enthusiasm, every moment of every day. 
  •  Rodd T. Coker, vice president business development/community engagement
    White Hat Management
    He has a tireless work ethic and he continually displays his vast expertise and vision. He keeps his team striving for success and promotes your work to others. He expects excellence and demonstrates it every day. 
  • Diane Harold, senior coordinator/finance systems/info technology
    Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations
    She has the difficult task of supporting IT functions in three separate locations across the U.S.  Her unique ability to prioritize tasks and bring them to completion without a lot of direct supervision has made her a valuable employee to those she supports. 
  • Lamonte Wilborn, laborer
    City Scrap & Salvage
    He brings a winning attitude to work on a consistent basis.  He is punctual, dependable and constantly works to be better at his job on a daily basis.  Not only does he do his job, he helps others do their work as well. On top of all this, he most always wears an award-winning smile.  

“This was a great group of honorees,” stated Event Co-Chairs Randy Katz of City Scrap & Salvage and Mary Ann Roach, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, 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.

“We are truly inspired by the honorees,” said Nancy Ellis McClenaghan, Goodwill President & CEO. “They are wonderful role models and Goodwill is pleased to help local employers showcase their top-performers and shining stars.”

2013 Employee of Distinction Honorees & Award Winners

  • Paula Andrasko, continuing legal education director, Akron Bar Association
  • Kimberly Bridges, financial center manager, Fifth Third Bank
  • Aretha (AJ)  Brown, cognitive enhancement therapy administrator, Community Support Services, Inc. *Winner
  • Christopher Brown, administrative assistant to vp of programs, Akron Urban League
  • Katie Calvin, executive assistant, Kent Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Steve Case, senior clinical consultant – co-occurring disorders, Child Guidance & Family Solutions *Winner
  • Rodd T. Coker, vp business development/community engagement, White Hat Management *Winner
  • Pamela Crombie, career specialist, J.O.G. our WAY
  • Richard Eash, marketing & communications specialist, Mature Services, Inc.
  • Maggie Ford, chief academic officer, White Hat Management
  • Gavin Scott Salon team
  – Amanda   Blake, hair stylist
– Sara Brown, nail technician
– Kelly Burrows, hair stylist
– Colleen Crolley, massage therapist
– Rylee Distel, front desk coordinator
– Sarah Drope, hair stylist
– Shannon English, hair stylist/assistant development
– Cherie Evans, esthetician
– Kimberly Flannagin-Weiler, massage therapist
– Amy Francesconi, hair stylist
– Katie Guinan, hair stylist
– Carol Kesicke, front desk coordinator
– Sara Kinter, hair stylist
– Amber Lewis, hair stylist
– Kelsey Lurvey, front desk coordinator
– Anastassia Rasner, assistant
– Ashley Rhine, hair stylist/network educator
– Nicole Smith, lead front desk coordinator
– Tom Young, massage therapist
  •  Victoria Gordon, admission manager, Child Guidance & Family Solutions
  • Angie Hall, administrative assistant, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations
  • Diane Harold, senior coordinator/finance systems/info technology, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations *Winner
  • Amber Hyster, HR/operations assistant, BCG & Company/BCG Systems
  • Kaneesha Johnson,  case manager II, County of Summit Department of Job and Family Services (Job Center site)
  • Cynthia Lawson, chemical dependency billing and administrative assistant, Mature Services, Inc.
  • Larry Martell, director, procurement & facilities management, Child Guidance & Family Solutions
  • Mike McKinney, career specialist, J.O.G. our WAY
  • Rochelle Mitchell, career specialist,  J.O.G. our WAY
  • Amber Odom, Hattie’s Café & Gifts bakery manager, Hattie Larlham
  • Tarah Ray, executive assistant, InfoCision
  • Fran Rudell, administrative assistant, County of Summit Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADM) Board
  • Cathy Seitaridis, executive assistant, United Way of Summit County
  • Patricia (Patty) Slevey, clinical supervisor, chemical dependency services, Edwin Shaw Rehabilitation Institute Dobkins Center
  • Marilyn Snodgrass, vice president of commercial insurance, Amer Insurance
  • Mark Sterle, business development representative, Area 51
  • Melissa Wagner, assistant manager of outreach services, Wadsworth Public Library
  • Lora Walker, community rehabilitation specialist, Community Support Services, Inc.
  • Kathy Weisenhahn, purchasing buyer, White Hat Management
  • Lamonte Wilborn, laborer, City Scrap & Salvage *Winner
  • Missy Wright, registered service specialist, Portage County Board of Developmental Disabilities
  • Tim Zolyniak, music teacher, Akron Public Schools

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

Goodwill Industries of Akron 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, and Richland, the Akron-based 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 contract services division. For more information about GIA, visit or call 800-989-8428.



Contact:  Jennifer Bako
(330) 786-2519