Goodwill Manasota honors supporters during Ambassador Recognition Luncheon

Event recognizes community volunteers, nonprofit and business partners who contribute to Goodwill's success

Published Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Goodwill Ambassador of the Year award winnersSARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – In recognition of April as National Volunteer Month and as a prelude to the upcoming Goodwill Week observance the first week of May, Goodwill Manasota held its Ambassador Recognition Luncheon. This event recognizes those who make a commitment to share the mission of Goodwill with the greater community by volunteering at events, speaking on the organization’s behalf, creating new fundraisers, and introducing their friends, family and colleagues to Goodwill.

Numerous volunteers were honored for their contributions, including individuals, local businesses, nonprofits and media outlets, and vendors who go over and above in service to the organization. The luncheon, which featured the warm and humorous banter of Goodwill Foundation vice president Veronica Brandon Miller and director of community outreach Rick Hughes, was sponsored by Bouchard Insurance.

“We feel there is no better way to wind down our event season than to recognize the many ways our corporate partners and individual donors and volunteers contribute to our success,” said Goodwill Manasota vice president Veronica Brandon Miller. “Our Ambassadors recognize and understand the importance of what we do to give people a hand up and get them on their way to self-sufficiency; we could not succeed in our mission of changing lives through the power of work without their commitment, passion and generosity.”

Some of the Goodwill Manasota major award winners included: Karen Cadou, Volunteer of the Year; Adams and Reese, LLP, Business of the Year; Children’s World Uniform and Supply, Community Partner of the Year; Cool Today, Community Sponsor of the Year; SNN Local News, Media Sponsor of the Year; and Meals on Wheels Plus, Nonprofit Partner of the Year.

The luncheon also served to launch the “BE COOL” campaign, a partnership of Goodwill, the Florida Center for Early Childhood and Cool Today. The goal of this effort is to raise awareness of the mission and urgent needs of the two nonprofits in order to maximize fundraising opportunities during the 2016 Giving Challenge, which takes place this year from noon-noon, September 20-21.

To learn more about the Goodwill Ambassador program, call (941) 355-2721.

Complete list of winners:

Karen Cadou –Volunteer of the Year
Adams and Reese, LLP – Business of the Year
Children’s World Uniform and Supply – Community Partner of the Year
Cool Today – Community Sponsor of the Year
SNN – Media Sponsor of the Year
Meals on Wheels Plus – Nonprofit Partner of the Year
Bouchard Insurance – Supporter of the Year
Veteran Air – Rising Star of the Year
Barb McSweeney – Jewel of the Year
Brent Greeno – Community Connector of the Year
Canada Med Services – Wellness Partner of the Year
Danny Bilyeu – Veterans Advocate of the Year
Darrell Turner – Caring CEO of the Year
Fred Lopez – All around Good Guy of the Year
Janet Arena – Community Superstar of the Year
Junk King – Green Partner of the Year
Margi Dawson – Community Spirit of the Year
Stanley and Lisa Eding – Co-Chairs of the Year
Lulu & Maverick, 92.1 – Community Champions of the Year
Robin Moch – Wellness Champion of the Year
Rosa Payson – Good Neighbor of the Year
Sharon Kunkel – Media Guru of the Year
Sir Speedy – Community Printer of the Year
Stella McDaniel – Spirit of Giving of the Year
SunTrust – Educational Partner of the Year
Susan Neaves – Ray of Sunshine of the Year
Bill Robertson – Veterans Advocate of the Year
Susan Miller – Philanthropic Supporter of the Year
Joseph Wharton – Unsung Hero of the Year

About Goodwill Manasota

Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2015, Goodwill Manasota served 22,739 people, placed 961 people in jobs and assisted 358 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $81.3 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted 41 million pounds out of the landfill. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota in essence belongs to this community, and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit