Goodwill honors supporters during Ambassador Recognition Luncheon

Annual event presented as part of ‘Goodwill Week’ programming

Published Monday, May 21, 2018

SARASOTA, FL – Goodwill Manasota held its sixth annual Ambassador Recognition Luncheon on May 11 at Michael’s On East. 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.


A crowd of over 200 watched as more than 30 awards were presented, honoring individuals, local businesses, nonprofits, and vendors who go over and above in service to the organization. The event opened with the emcee, Goodwill vice president Veronica Brandon Miller, acknowledging everyone for their support and the more than 10,000 hours that the volunteers contributed this past year. 


“When I started the Goodwill Ambassador program seven years ago, I had no idea of the magnitude of what these volunteers could accomplish for our organization,” said Miller. “Our Ambassadors 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.”


The top award, Ambassador of the Year, went for the first time to two honorees: Michele Penn and Thomas Wiltsie. Community Partner of the Year went to iHeart Media. Business Partner of the Year was presented to Nancy’s Bar-B-Q. Partnership of the Year went to Meals on Wheels Plus. Veteran Advocates of the Year went to Kevin Henault of Veteran Air Conditioning and advocate and generous donor Burton “Skip” Sack.


Other winners were: Community Super Stars – Janet Arena, Marilyn Billib and Sharon Kunkel; Community Champion – Children’s World; Social Change Champion – Jacqueline Moore; Champion Co-Chairs – Brent Greeno and Ryan Inskeep; Top Supporters – Cindy Christo Brown, Trish McConnell and Laurel Corriveau; Good Neighbor Champions – Rosenda Calloway and June Braithwaite; Collaboration of the Year – Jo Rita Stevens and Healthy Start Coalition; Media Partner of the Year – WSRQ; Wellness Partner of the Year – Canada Med Services; and Spirit of Goodwill - Cliff Roles.


The organization also honored the shining stars and celebrities of the 2018 Goodwill marketing campaign, “Thanks! I got it at Goodwill”: Bill Ames, Marcel Bauduin, Lee-En Chung, Steve and Katarina Garcia, Ashley McConnell, Stella McDaniel Tim Schalch and Megan Baers, and Jackie Simmons.


Since its beginnings in 2011, the Goodwill Ambassador program has attracted nearly 10,000 participants and grown into a successful partnership that connects volunteers to the philanthropic community. To learn more about the Goodwill Ambassador program, call (941) 355-2721.


PHOTO ID: Goodwill Manasota vice president (far left) Veronica Brandon Miller and president and CEO (far left) Bob Rosinsky with Goodwill’s Ambassadors of the Year, Thomas Wiltsie and Michele Penn

Photo by Cliff Roles


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 2017, Goodwill Manasota served 11,672 people, placed 555 people in jobs, assisted 360 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce, and provided 19,540 hours of on-the-clock training for its employees. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $92.1 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted more than 41 million pounds out of the landfill. 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