Celebrating Our Amazing Ambassadors

Posted by: Sam Valentin on Thursday, May 4, 2017
Volunteer of the Year

Last week we here at Goodwill Manasota held our annual Ambassador Recognition Luncheon and boy did we recognize our Ambassadors! In total there were almost fifty individuals, businesses, and organizations honored for their hard work and generosity in donating their time, skills, and resources to help further our mission of changing lives through the power of work. The luncheon was held at the ever fabulous Michael’s on East, and in addition to those who received awards, we had close to 300 Ambassadors there to cheer on their comrades and partake in the festivities.

Beyond being recognized and honored by Goodwill Manasota, some of our amazing Ambassadors even received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award! That’s right; we went presidential in our recognition!! For those of you who don’t know, a Presidential Volunteer Service Award is bestowed upon an individual, family, business, or organization in recognition and appreciation for “their commitment to strengthen our nation and communities through volunteer service.” There are different levels of the award based on how many volunteer hours have been completed, and we were thrilled to be able to present four Bronze awards, one Silver Award, three Gold awards, AND one Lifetime Achievement award.

Winners of the Bronze awards included Adams and Reese LLP and Youth Ambassadors, Brianna Moss, Drew Taylor, and Faith Holliday. Our Silver Presidential Volunteer Service award winner was Fred Lopez. Gold winners included Cynthia and Tim Holliday of Children’s World, Mary LeMay, and Ben Knisley. Our Lifetime Achievement award winner, with more than 10,000 hours of volunteer and community service, was none other than the lovely Jo Rita Stevens.


Children's World

Gold Presidential Volunteer Service Award Winners Tim and Cynthia Holliday of Children's World along with their daughter, Bronze Presidential Volunteer Service Award Winner, Faith Holliday
(Photo Credit Cliff Roles)


It’s definitely safe to say none of these individuals were expecting awards signed by the former President Barak Obama himself, but the level of commitment and dedication they have shown to Goodwill Manasota deserved nothing less! They weren’t the only ones who got recognized at our event though. Because we are so lucky to live in such an amazing and generous community, we were also able to honor a long list of Ambassadors for going Above and Beyond. Winners of this award were recognized from everything to teaching classes as part of our Good Neighbor Program to volunteering at events to sponsoring our Lunch and Learns and more!

Winners of our Above and Beyond award included Bouchard Insurance, Laurel Corriveau, Trish McConnell, Cindy Christo Brown, Stella McDaniel, Dr. Richard Wharton, Dr. Lou Bertha Wharton, Joseph Wharton, Lisa and Stanley Eding, Julie and MarcAnthony Roman, Canada Med Services, Sandy Conrad, Dan Austin, Thomas Wiltsie, Jennifer Matteo, Rosenda Calloway, Jane Nutter Johnson, Joann Fabec, Margi Dawson, Karen Cadou, Janet Arena, Jacqueline Moore, Lisa Berger, Rosa Payson, Mitch Helton, Lisa Kullman, Lisa Durand, Alexander Morin, Fawley Bryant Architecture, Nick Altier, and Peter Crowley.

Whew! That’s a lot of incredible people in one sentence!


Rosenda Calloway

Goodwill Manasota Above and Beyond Award Winner - Rosenda Calloway
(Photo Credit Cliff Roles)


There were two more awards presented before we wrapped up the celebration. The first was for our Community Partner of the Year and went to Meals on Wheels Plus – an organization that we are truly lucky to have in our local community. AND FINALLY, the most coveted award of them all, Volunteer of the Year, went to an individual who consistently volunteers her time, championed her company to become a donor, has recruited more than a dozen new Goodwill Ambassadors, and has even worked with companies who were going out of business to get them to donate their merchandise – Stella McDaniel!


Volunteer of the Year

Goodwill Manasota Volunteer of the Year - Stella McDaniel
(Photo Credit Cliff Roles)


Without amazing and generous Ambassadors like Stella (and really everyone else we honored) Goodwill Manasota would not be able to do nearly as much good in our community. So in case it isn’t already clear, thank you so much to everyone who serves as a Goodwill Ambassador. We wouldn’t be able to do our jobs without everything you do to help us and our community!




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