Harford County Celebrates Employment of Citizens with Differing Abilities

Pictured L-R Back Row: Christian Miele, Deputy Secretary, Maryland Department of Disabilities; Mike Schwindinger, Aberdeen IronBirds, Medium Employer of the Year, Rachel Harbin, Manager, Harford County Office of Disability Services; Derreck Autry, Aberdeen IronBirds, Medium Employer of the Year; Tracy Newell, Bed Bath & Beyond, Large Employer of the Year; Ashley Owings, Bray & Em Boutique, Small Employer of the Year; Matt Button, Baltimore Sun, Media Award; Kristy Breslin, WJZ-TV; Barry Glassman, Harford County Executive; Mary Hastler, Harford County Public Library, Accessibility Award; Amber Shrodes, Director, Harford County Department of Community Services; Chad Shrodes, Harford County Council. Front Row Seated L-R: Quinton Robbins, Employee of the Year; Maureen Henson, Volunteer of the Year; Nancy Brugh, Ruth Helen Thompson Memorial Award for Community Services; Sylva Green, Employee Award of Merit; Darryus McDaniel, Student Worker of the Year; Austin Woods, Student Worker Award of Merit

Celebrating the employment of citizens with disabilities, Harford County’s Office of Disability Services and Commission on Disabilities honored several individuals and organizations at their annual Employment Recognition Luncheon on October 12 at the Richlin Ballroom in Edgewood.

More than 90guests attended this inspiring event honoring employees with disabilities who have exhibited exceptional ability and determination in the workplace. The event also recognizes employers, families, friends, and organizations that are changing attitudes about people with disabilities in the workforce.

Harford County holds this event in October of each year to coincide with National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This year the theme was “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation,” which emphasizes that people with disabilities make up a vital part of the equation in our workforce, and by recognizing this, there is true inclusivity.

Keynote speaker Tom D’eri, co-founder and chief operating officer of Rising Tide Car Wash in Florida, spoke of creating a company whose philosophy is inclusive.

“Everyone is capable; everyone is high potential,” D’eri said. Over 80 percent of his employees have autism, and his model focuses on high clarity so that employees truly thrive in their jobs.

Awards were presented to the following individuals and organizations for their outstanding achievements and support of those with differing abilities for 2022:

  • Large Employer of the Year Award: Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Medium Employer of the Year Award: The Aberdeen IronBirds
  • Small Employer of the Year Award: Bray & Em Boutique
  • Employee of the Year Award: Quinton Robbins, employed by Sephora
  • Student Worker of the Year Award: Darryus McDaniel, employed by Harford County Public Schools’ Food and Nutrition program
  • Volunteer of the Year Award: Maureen Henson
  • Accessibility Award: Harford County Public Library
  • Media Award: Matt Button, staff photographer for the Baltimore Sun
  • The Ruth Helen Thompson Community Service Award: Nancy Brugh

Awards of Merit include the Employee Award of Merit, given to Sylva Green, employed by United Souvenir & Apparel, and the Student Worker Award of Merit, given to Austin Woods, employed by Harford County Public Schools’ Food and Nutrition program.

“This is a special celebration of our diverse workforce in Harford County,” County Executive Barry Glassman said, “and I’m proud to recognize the skills and contributions of employees with differing abilities and the employers who value them as team members.”

A photo gallery of this year’s event is available at: https://www.harfordcountymd.gov/3367/Disability-Employment-Awards

The Harford County Office of Disability Services and its partners offer an array of programs to connect businesses with motivated, dependable staff, and to connect employees with disabilities to on-the-job training, modification and technology assistance. For more information, please contact Rachel Harbin, manager of the Office of Disability Services at [email protected] or 410-638-3373.

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