Media contact: Melinda Johnson, Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues & Employment, 509-482-3854

–Six public and private employers were honored today for their exemplary work recruiting, hiring, retaining and promoting people with disabilities.

Washington’s Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues & Employment (GCDE) and the Washington State Business Leadership Network organized the 25th Annual Governor’s Employer Awards ceremony to recognize state employers. It was held this year at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond.

“Our award winners excel at using the diverse skills and abilities in the disability community, driving innovation and strengthening their businesses,” said Mandeep Kaundal, Governor’s Committee chairman. “They’re role models for the entire state.”

Winners of the 2017 Governor’s Employer Awards Program are:

  • Seattle Children’s
  • Bridgeways
  • City of Seattle Supported Employment Program
  • Northwest Trophy & Awards, Woodinville
  • Port Angeles Safeway
  • Seattle Mariners

Washington businesses, agencies, organizations and individuals submitted the nominations. A panel of GCDE members, business representatives and previous award recipients selected this year’s honorees.

The committee also honored Mark Adreon for his commitment to people with disabilities. Adreon, ‎program and partnership development specialist with the Department of Services for the Blind, received the Governor’s Trophy in Memory of Carolyn Blair Brown. This award is the highest honor given to someone with a disability who has significantly empowered people with disabilities in Washington.

The Direct Support Professional Award — a lifetime achievement award — went to Bonnie Sinclair. As staffing manager for Skils’kin in Spokane, Sinclair creates meaningful job opportunities for workers with developmental disabilities.

The GCDE advises the governor, Legislature, state agencies and other policy makers on issues important to people with disabilities.

For interviews with the award winners and photos from the Oct. 31 ceremony, contact Melinda Johnson. For more information about the GCDE, contact Executive Secretary Toby Olson at 360-902-9489.