Director of Communications and Marketing
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October was National Disability Employment Awareness Month, NDEAM. Congress implemented this national recognition of people with differing abilities in 1945 as a way to educate and celebrate their many and varied contributions on-the-job. This year's theme is “Inclusion Works.”
Throughout the month, we celebrated NDEAM by hosting a "Luncheon with the CEO" at three contract sites that exemplify some of our greatest examples of an inclusive workforce: the USDA George Washington Carver Center, Naval Research Lab and Washington Navy Yard. During each luncheon, we recognized our employees for all of their hard work and presented an award to the ‘longest standing’ Melwood employee at each event.
George Washington Carver Center
On Friday, October 7th, Cari DeSantis hosted our first luncheon at the USDA George Washington Carver Center (GWCC). Crews of 28 employees are responsible for the landscaping, custodial services and maintenance of the facility that spans across 55 acres of land. We recognized Victorino Garcia as the Longest Standing Employee at GWCC.
Hired in 1998, Victorino set the standard for excellence early on. Today, Victorino is the GWCC Site Supervisor for Landscape. He is a hard worker, never complains and is extremely patient. We wish him all the best as he continues his career at GWCC.
Naval Research Lab
Currently, a team of 73 employees at the Naval Research Lab (NRL) provides custodial services and also stages, transports, sorts and processes all recyclable materials in accordance with Federal and state recycling guidelines. On October 14th, Melwood employees gathered in the Friedman Room at NRL for a special lunch to celebrate the team’s hard work and success. During the event, Melwood’s General Counsel, Larysa Kautz, presented Gloria Harper with the Longest Standing Employee award.
Gloria Harper started working for Melwood in September of 1982. Over the course of her 35-year career, Gloria has proven her dedication to Melwood’s mission day in and day out. The love she has for her job is evident through all of her hard work and customer service. When needed, she is there to lend a helping hand or provide additional support. Gloria is an inspiration for us all and an asset to everyone at the Naval Research Lab.
Washington Navy Yard
We closed out the month-long NDEAM celebration with a luncheon at the Washington Navy Yard on October 21st. After a special blessing by one of the 79 employees at the Navy Yard, Project Manager Loretta Coles, presented Zachary Hewlin with the Longest Standing Employee award.
Mr. Hewlin joined the Melwood/Washington Navy Yard team in November of 1994. In just a few short months, Mr. Hewlin set the standard of leadership and inspired many of his fellow coworkers. His contribution to the team is prominent every day by his ability to find a simple solution to any complex problem or assignment. When given a task, Mr. Hewlin takes on the responsibility to see the task through to completion. He truly exemplifies Melwood’s former theme “Growing Together.” We thank Mr. Hewlin for all of his hard work, efforts and the enthusiasm he displays andrecognize him as a great contributor and asset to Melwood.