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

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

Washington’s Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues & Employment (GCDE) and Disability: In Washington organized the 26th Annual Governor’s Employer Awards ceremony to recognize employers. It was held this year at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond.

Winners of the 2018 Governor’s Employer Awards Program are:

  • Cascade Public Media
  • Fred Meyer Store 122
  • Kulshan Brewing Company
  • Gigglechops Dog Wash
  • Educational Service District 123
  • City of Bellevue

“This year, Washingtonians nominated 22 employers and 8 individuals for these esteemed awards,” said Conrad Reynoldson, chairman of the GCDE awards subcommittee. “The success of our ceremony highlights that inclusion is not just the right thing to do; it also makes good business sense!"

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.

In addition to recognizing the employers listed above, the committee also honored Don Kay for his commitment to people with disabilities. Kay, who works at the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, 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 Paula Bouwer. As Manager of Deaf Services at Washington Vocational Services, Bouwer creates meaningful job opportunities for workers with 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. 17 ceremony, contact Melinda Johnson. For more information about the GCDE, contact Executive Secretary Toby Olson at 360-902-9489.


Follow GCDE on social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GovDisabilityCommitteeWA/