INARF was proud to honor seven exemplary individuals at the 2013 INARF Annual Awards Luncheon on March 13. The INARF Annual Awards Luncheon has been an Association tradition for many years. This annual opportunity enables INARF members to recognize significant contributions and outstanding efforts of individuals and community partners committed to improving the lives of individuals with disabilities.
Former INARF CEO Jim Hammond was recognized for over 30 years of service to INARF with a Distinguished Service Award. In honor of Jim's accomplishments, the Chairman's Award was renamed the James M. Hammond III Executive Leadership Award in recognition of his dedication to INARF and disability service providers across Indiana.
Jon Faith, a DSP for Rauch, Inc., was recognized with the Keystone Award for outstanding service by a Direct Support Professional. Jon began work at Rauch after college graduation and quickly earned the reputation for going above and beyond to serve Rauch clients. His work with one young client contributed to the accomplishment of key goals, including completing high school and being active in the community. Through Jon's dedication and support, the client was able to accomplish these goals and even began participating in a day program in anticipation of transition into adult services. In the midst of transition, the client's mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
She trusted Jon to help her through the process of finding a supported living placement for her son. For the first few months in the new placement, Jon provided transportation to and from the day program to provide much-needed stability in the client's life. The client's mother passed away four months after placement, knowing that her son was supported by Jon and the Rauch community.
Juli Paini and the Office of Disability Affairs of the City of Indianapolis were recognized with the Partnership Award, honoring individuals, businesses or clubs that make significant contributions to improve the lives of people with disabilities and the agencies serving them. The Office of Disability Affairs is dedicated to improving accessibility for Hoosiers with disabilities, going beyond the traditional concept of physical accessibility and emphasizing employment and community involvement for people off all abilities. Juli is Mayor Ballard's first resource for issues facing citizens with disabilities, and her hard work resulted in Indianapolis being named as a Disability Friendly City by the National Organization on Disability.
William LaCour received the Justin Dart Personal Achievement Award, earned by an individual who has participated in services through an INARF member agency and who has maximized higher skills and abilities to achieve chosen goals. William receives services through Noble of Indiana, where his participation in the Community Employment Service resulted in a twenty year career with Bright Ideas, an Indianapolis business specializing in promotional products. As a result of the confidence he gained on the job, William now lives independently with his wife just down the street from work, and jokes that Bright Ideas would be lost without him. Bright Ideas President Matt Middaugh sums it up this way: "We gave William a place to come in. He earned a place to stay."
Jane Wear, CEO of Cardinal Services and an INARF Board Member, received the first-ever James M. Hammond III Executive Leadership Award in recognition of her outstanding leadership in the human service industry. Jane began her career at Cardinal Services as a vocational evaluator, rising through the ranks to lead the agency, which touches the lives of 2,700 people across five counties with a staff of 500. Her passion for human services led her to tackle tough issues including affordable and accessible housing for people with disabilities, nutrition and services for women and children, and employment for people with disabilities. To ensure that the work done today flourishes tomorrow, she raised the bar for fundraising efforts, resulting in more than 200% growth in the agency's endowment and an eight-fold increase in annual donations. Jane is also active in the local Chamber of Commerce, United Way Board, and numerous other community organizations.