Celebrated Veteran, Double-Amputee, & Athlete
Melwood is celebrating 54 years of leadership in advocating for and empowering people with differing abilities to transform their own lives through unique opportunities to work and play in the community.You're invited to participate in an evening of inspiration and excitement as we honor outstanding leaders who are positively impacting the lives of people with differing abilities in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
6:30 - 9:00 pm
Reception, Awards Program, and Celebration
MGM National Harbor
101 MGM National Avenue
Oxon Hill, MD 20745
Benefiting Melwood’s programs and services
The Ability Awards honor outstanding individuals, community leaders, corporations and other institutions who share Melwood’s vision of a world where people with differing abilities are fully included. The Awards Benefit will also recognize exceptional Melwood and Linden Resources employees for their dedication to the organization.
Celebrated Veteran, Double-Amputee, & Athlete
Three-time Emmy Award-winning Journalist
George Washington University Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute, Washington, D.C.
Accepting on behalf of CVSHealth, National
Advisor, Workforce Initiatives - Pharmacy Services
President & CEO, Linden Resources, Arlington Va.
Owner, Don's Café, Hyattsville, Md.
*To ensure your sponsorship benefits are included in print materials, please submit ad content by noon, Friday, December 1.
Contact: Marchesa Whittington
(One sponsorship available). Introduction (3 minute presentation) and opportunity to present an Award. Prominent recognition at the event. Company logo or name on event stage. Full-page ad in event program (full color ad). Logo represented on event website, printed promotional and e-marketing materials. Reserved table at the event. Ten (10) complimentary tickets to attend the event.
Opportunity to present an Award or introduce a speaker. Prominent recognition at the event. Company logo or name on event stage. Full-page ad in event program (full color ad). Logo represented on event website. Reserved table at the event. Ten (10) complimentary tickets to attend the event.
Opportunity to present an Award or introduce a speaker. Company logo or name on event stage. Half-page ad space in event program (full color ad). Logo represented on event website. Reserved table at the event. Eight (8) complimentary tickets to attend the event.
Recognition by event speakers from the podium. Company logo or name on event stage. Quarter-page ad space in event program (full color ad). Logo represented on event website. Six (6) complimentary tickets to attend the event.
Company logo or name on event stage. Quarter-page ad space in event program (full color ad). Logo represented on event website. Four (4) complimentary tickets to attend the event.
Recognition in event program. Logo represented on event website. Two (2) complimentary tickets to attend the event
Recognition in event program. Two (2) complimentary tickets to attend the event.
A native of Loudon County, Virginia, double-amputee and Marine Corps veteran Rob Jones is a source of inspiration to many. He recently captured the nation's attention for running 31 marathons in 31 cities in 31 consecutive days - on prosthetic legs. Rob's "Month of Marathons" journey culminated on Veterans Day with a run that ended on the National Mall. Previously, he completed a 5,000+ mile cycling expedition across America, raising awareness and $126,000 for charities that serve injured veterans. In 2008, Rob was deployed to Iraq and then to Afghanistan in 2010, where he was wounded in action, resulting in the amputation of both his legs. His resilient spirit and determination laid the foundation for overcoming challenges like learning to walk and ride a bike again, and taking up rowing. This strong resolve also propelled Rob to win the Final Paralympic Qualification Regatta in Belgrade and capture a bronze medal in the 2012 Paralympics. In addition, Rob and his rowing partner took fourth place in the 2013 World Rowing Championships. Since receiving an honorable discharge in 2011, Rob has committed himself to raising awareness for veterans and others with differing abilities.
Peggy Fox is a three-time Emmy award-winning multi-media journalist who reports and anchors the news for WUSA9, a CBS affiliate in Washington, DC. Peggy has covered several major news events over the past two decades, including the Virginia Tech shootings, 9/11, Washington's sniper shootings, the Oklahoma City Bombing, the Panama Invasion, and the last four Presidential elections. Peggy has been honored with numerous community awards, including the 2007 Fairfax Partnership for Youth, Y-SAD, Youth Suicide and Depression Award for her stories on mental illness. She was also honored in 2007 by Justice for Children for Outstanding Reporting on Child Abuse and Domestic Violence, and she was given a Certificate of Achievement by the Fairfax County Commission for Women for superior efforts in furthering the cause of women in media. She received an Emmy Award for a series she completed on her brother-in-law who is recovering from a brain injury suffered in the Iraq war, and another for her investigative report that prompted three local governments to remove playground equipment covered with lead paint. Peggy is a native of Virginia and received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Virginia Tech.
2017 Research & Innovation Recipient
Nelson A. Carbonell, Chair of the George Washington University Board of Trustees, is an entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience. He has founded companies including Cysive, a software engineering services company he took public in 1999; Snowbird Capital, which provided equity and mezzanine debt to middle market companies; and Nelson Carbonell and Associates, which assists companies with strategy, financing, operations, and technology. Nelson has chaired several key committees of the George Washington University Board of Trustees, most notably, the committee that led the full Board to approve the construction of Science and Engineering Hall. He serves on the board of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges and is a former chairman of the Washington-Baltimore Young President's Organization, as well as a former member of YPO's International Board. Nelson also serves on several corporate boards. He is also co-founder of the Nelson and Michele Carbonell Family Foundation. The Foundation recently endowed the director position of the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute at the George Washington University. Nelson earned his bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the George Washington University graduating with distinction in 1985.
Michele Carbonell is a homemaker and mother of four children. Michele's son Dylan was diagnosed with Autism in 1996. Since then, Michele has dedicated herself to the treatment and education of her son while raising three other children. Michele has attended a wide array of conferences dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Prior to starting a family, Michele was a software engineer and project manager with Washington Consulting Group and CRW both providers of information technology and systems for the U.S. Government. Before attending business school, Michele was an engineer with Schlumberger in Paris, France. She served as a member of the board of the National Capital Chapter of Autism Speaks from 2008 to 2016 and chaired the board from 2012 to 2016. Michele serves on the board of Exceptional Minds Studio in Los Angeles, California. Exceptional Minds is a non-profit vocational school and working studio that prepares young adults on the autism spectrum for careers in digital animation and visual effects. Michele is also co-founder of the Nelson and Michele Carbonell Family Foundation. Michele holds a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Duke University and a Master of Business Administration from Georgetown University.
2017 Research & Innovation Recipient
Kevin Pelphrey, PhD, is the Carbonell Family Professor and Director of the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute (ANDI) at The George Washington University. Dr. Pelphrey completed his doctoral training in Child Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2001. He has held faculty positions at Duke, Carnegie Mellon University, and Yale universities. In 2016, he came to The George Washington University to help build ANDI. ANDI's vision is to optimize the lives of people living with autism while also helping to shape policy, public opinion, and social contexts to make the world a more inclusive and accepting place for people with autism and their families. Dr. Pelphrey is also the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Autism Center for Excellence-Multimodal Developmental Neurogenetics of Females with Autism Network. He is the recipient of an NIH Scientist Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health, a John Merck Scholars Award, the Microsoft Corporation's Breakthrough Award, and the American Psychological Association's Boyd McCandless Award for distinguished early career theoretical contributions to developmental psychology. Two of Dr. Pelphrey's five children are on the autism spectrum. As a father and advocate, he serves at the request of the Secretary of Health and Human Services as a public member of the Federal Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee.
2017 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
Linda Chandler, CEO of Linden Resources, is accustomed to breaking barriers. She was the first woman in her class at the University of North Carolina to earn a Master of Business Administration degree and the first woman recruited by North Carolina Bank (now Bank of America) for its management program. Linda attributes the success of her 30-year career to her deep caring for people. After spending a few years in corporate America, Linda transitioned into association management, holding executive positions at National Association of Manufacturers, American Society of Association Executives, and Goodwill Industries International. She views her position as CEO of Linden Resources, which she assumed in 2009, as her most important professional milestone. She had the opportunity to use her management skills and experience in service of a mission that she values deeply - increasing employment opportunities for people with differing abilities. Linda has served on several boards, including Goodwill of Greater Washington and the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. She is the current board chair for Bowen McCauley Dance Company and the incoming board chair for the Kiwanis Club of Arlington.
2017 Corporate Leadership Award Recipient
CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its 9,700 retail locations, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 90 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, expanding specialty pharmacy services, and a leading stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, the company enables people, businesses, and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes, and lowers overall health care costs. The company has created mock CVS Pharmacy locations, where individuals with differing abilities receive classroom and hands-on training in life and job skills. Individuals who complete the program qualify to apply for a position at CVS Pharmacy. Since its opening, 41 participants have completed the program and 11 have been hired for employment with CVS Pharmacy.
2017 Community Impact Award Recipient
Don Thompson is the owner and operator of Don's Café. Cooking is a way of life for Don - who is visually impaired. It was at the Maryland School for the Blind where he developed his passion for the culinary arts. Don is a graduate of Largo Senior High School, in Prince Georges County, Maryland, and he continued his education at Prince George's Community College. Through hard work and perseverance, Don has advanced in his career from washing dishes at a local restaurant to owning two businesses. At the age of 18, he formed Undersea World International, an organization designing golf courses, artificial lakes, theme parks, and zoo habitats around the world. Don passed the business on to his children and retired to return to his first love, the culinary arts. Don was considered eligible for the Randolph-Sheppard Program, a federal program that allows the visually disabled to own and operate cafeterias in federal buildings. In June 2015, Don opened Don's Café in the U.S. Department of Agriculture building in Riverdale, Maryland. He remains committed to hiring both differently abled and typically abled employees to help make his business a success.