2018 Annual Awards Banquet

image description

At Goodwill’s 2018 Annual Celebration Awards Banquet, we celebrated the lives changed in communities across Kansas as we recognized outstanding program participants, board members, staff and community leaders for their accomplishments. Find out more about our award recipients below.

Featured Awards

Anthony Oyler – Goodwill Achiever of the Year

When Anthony came to Goodwill’s Skills Development Adult Day Program, he worked with trained staff to create a person-centered support plan with goals to help guide his job skills and social development. At first, he lacked focus and motivation to work and had many socially inappropriate behaviors. He had a lot of work to do to prepare for a job in the community, but he was up for the task.

Working in a structured environment was key to Anthony’s personal growth. His maturity, flexibility and focus improved along with his motivation to work.

As his confidence grew, Anthony spoke more clearly, controlled his emotions and acted more professionally. He became known for his strength and ability to see a job through to the end.

Adina Simon – Goodwill Community Employee of the Year

After five years at a job she enjoyed, Adina Simon was laid off due to downsizing. The loss of her job left her feeling devestated and hopeless. She felt her drive start to slip and let self-doubt creep in.

To keep her skills sharp and boost her self-esteem, Adina enrolled in Goodwill’s Skills Development Adult Day Program where people with disabilities develop job skills with the help of trained staff. She worked with a Goodwill Employment Training Specialist (ETS) and soon landed a job at Parsnipity Café and LumpiaPalooza food truck, based in the heart of Wichita.

Michael Sharlow – NexStep Scholar of the Year

Not many people knew that Michael Sharlow didn’t graduate from high school. He managed a warehouse for a national furniture chain in Wichita. When it closed and he was laid off, he was offered the opportunity to transfer out of state. Michael had about 20 years of experience in the industry, working his way up from furniture repair to management. He didn’t want to move away from family though, and that left him in a little bit of a predicament. What to do now?

As he was job searching, he saw an ad for the NexStep Alliance GED program, a partnership between Goodwill and WSU Tech. He enrolled at NexStep and the Accelerating Opportunity program to get on the fast track to a career in aviation. While he studied for the GED exams, he also took courses through WSU Tech to earn a certification in composites fabrication.

Staff Awards

Mark Lewis, Marie Mareda Outstanding Employee of the Year

Mark Lewis joined Goodwill in 2014 as the Director of IT, a position that was new to Goodwill since IT services had been outsourced for many years. There was a lot to be done to make sure we were operating efficiently at the home office and in the 18 stores across the state. At the retail level, several large and almost immediate changes took place – significant upgrades were made to servers and how credit cards were processed, both to provide customers better security at the time of purchase. In addition, he has continued to support all of the

departments at Goodwill. One major project has been the migration from a paper system for the human resources department, to a paperless, cloud-based platform. Mark has spent countless hours helping departments streamline processes like encrypting HIPPA protected messages, securing domain names, and more, which in 2016 earned him a promotion as the vice president of information technology, a position that was new at Goodwill. Mark came to work at Goodwill because he wanted a job where he knew he made a difference in the lives of others. He continues to do so, and truly exemplifies the mission of Goodwill every day.

Chadra Hill, Marie Mareda Outstanding Employee of the Year

Chadra Hill works tirelessly with an all-star staff to make sure each person is reaching their potential in their work. She oversees the Participant Advisory Council – a board of the employees, so they feel empowered to give feedback in the workplace. In addition, she plans regular meetings of the “job club” where employees with disabilities learn valuable skills – sometimes about how to improve in the workplace, and sometimes geared to how to improve skills for independent living. When the Mobile Crew began, she was part of organizing the staff and participants to make a community employment experience possible for the clients. And, most recently, she has been involved in the development of the Explores club, the alternative day program that allows clients to participate in customer service and social development. Chadra was named the 2017 Direct Support Professional of the Year by the Arc of Sedgwick County for her work. She, and her staff, deal with the ups and downs of adults with disabilities and work hard to be helpful without enabling behaviors .

Store of the Year: Garden City

Goodwill’s Garden City store experienced a 14% increase in total sales over last year, while increasing net revenues more than 20%. This team is driven to improve the customer experience, and after several operational improvements to their sales floor this past year, they made their mark by showing their customers how much they are valued – and it showed with huge gains. The positive attitudes towards making changes translated into higher sales and an improved experiences for the customers and donors.

Manager of the Year: Lila Earle, Garden City

Lila Earle has been a Goodwill store manager for 6 years and has always been dedicated to the Goodwill mission and the customer experience. She is a strong leader who is able to achieve great success, even while leading a team with varied employment barriers. Top it all off with the fact that there was tremendous growth in sales during the past year, and you will see why she is our store manager of the year.



Special Achievement Awards

Rookie of the Year: Vazia Marshall

The Rookie of the Year award goes to a newcomer who has performed above expectations during their first year of work. Vazia Marshall has been an excellent addition to the organizational employment team. She has really come out of her shell and is a highly sought-after employee. She has mastered most of the work skills, is pleasant to work with, and is a good role model for her peers.

Most Dependable Employee of the Year: Chris Tiger

Chris Tiger comes into work every day and tries very hard to have a positive, ready to get the job done attitude. He never turns down a job and will volunteer to help staff when others have refused, and has trained his peers on janitorial duties.

Most Improved Employee of the Year: Samantha Henderson

Samantha Henderson has shown tremendous growth during the past year. She has improved her work ethic and attitude, and has also greatly reduced the number of aggressive behaviors both to herself and others and has made vast improvements in accepting redirection.

Best Team Player: Troy Adelgren

Troy Adelgren works to support their peers and staff everyday. He is proficient in every contract area and is often sought out by staff to assist with special projects due to his enthusiasm about working willingness to try any job and work with new people. He gets along well with everyone, has a great sense of humor, and is a huge help to staff no matter what job he is doing.

Most Enthusiastic Employee: Charles Dryer

Anyone who has met Charles can attest to his friendly, enthusiastic attitude. He attacks each new job skill with gusto and a “get it done right the first time” attitude. When he sees one of his peers accomplish a task, he is quick to congratulate them and encourage them to go even further.  He greets each staff member in the morning and is quick with a smile or compliment to bring cheer to those around him.

Ms. Congeniality: Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams is a friendly and congenial person.  She gets along with everyone and is quick with a smile and a friendly word. Always ready to work, no matter the job, her positive attitude is infectious and all of her peers enjoy working with her.


Premier Sponsor: Bank of America
Reception Sponsor: USI Insurance Services
Video Sponsor: Method Productions
Award Sponsors: Capitol Federal, SJCF Architecture, Westar Energy
Speaker Sponsor: Spirit Aerosystems

Additional Support:
AGH CPAs & Advisors, Dondlinger Construction, ifg Office Furniture, Intrust Bank, KOCH, KWCH 12, MidAmerican Credit Union, Textron Aviation, Wawzysko Family, WSU Tech