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Release No: 584-96
October 11, 1996


The Department of Defense will honor 18 disabled employees and three DoD Components for their achievements at the 16th Annual Department of Defense Disability Awards Ceremony on Oct. 15, at 3 p.m. in the Pentagon Auditorium, Room 5A1070.

Since 1945, October has been designated National Disability Employment Awareness Month. President Clinton extended the tradition this year. The Oct. 15, ceremony will highlight the achievements of DoD employees with disabilities accomplishments and the organizations which support employment of people with disabilities.

This year's theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month is Ability for Hire. There will be ceremonies and exhibits at DoD installations worldwide in celebration of this special observance.

Former Congressman Tony Coelho will deliver the keynote address. Coelho serves as the chairman of the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. He is also chairman and chief executive officer of Coelho Associates, a New York investment consulting and brokerage firm, and of ETC, the Washington-based education, training, and communications subsidiary of Tele-Communications, Inc.

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Management Policy Frederick Pang, will make opening remarks and present the awards for outstanding employee with disabilities and for organizations with outstanding affirmative action programs. William E. Leftwich III, deputy assistant secretary of Defense of Equal Opportunity will make closing remarks.

Award recipients were selected by their organizations from among thousands of employees worldwide. This year's recipients are:

James M. Barrier, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Michelle M. Bartkowiak, National Guard Bureau

Tova M. Bedolla, Defense Contract Audit Agency

Jonathon Beranek, Army and Air Force Exchange Service

Cynthia A. Borges, Department of the Navy

Karen A. Cole, Department of the Army

Ann Cook, National Imagery and Mapping Agency

Gary R. Day, National Security Agency

Patricia S. Ganzzermiller, Defense Investigative Service

Mary Lynn Goblirsch, Department of the Air Force

Michael W. Gomoluh, Defense Commissary Agency

John Dennis Graham, Defense Finance and Accounting Service

Colette Lewis, Defense Intelligence Agency

Wanda B. McCallum, Department of Defense Education Activity

James P. O'Harra, Defense Logistics Agency

Barbara Ann Sidawy, Office of the Secretary of Defense/

Washington Headquarters Services

Thomas W. Stumm, Defense Information Systems Agency

Patricia M. Zimmet, On-Site Inspection Agency

The Components to be honored for achievement in employing people with disabilities are:

The Department of the Army, Best Military Department for 1996.

The Defense Logistics Agency, Best Mid-Size Component for 1996

The Defense Investigative Service, Best Small Component for 1996

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