The Department of Defense presented awards today to four DoD organizations with outstanding affirmative action programs for people with disabilities and to 18 outstanding DoD civilian employees with disabilities. Host of the ceremony was Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel Readiness Bernard D. Rostker. The keynote speaker was Thomas C. Bryant Jr., director of TCB Corp. and a member of the District of Columbia Mayor's Committee for Persons with Disabilities.
Bryant, who has a visual impairment, serves as a nation-wide motivational speaker, panelist, and presenter at various national and local organizations, educational forums, government agencies, church groups, community and civic organizations and people with disabilities. He focuses on diversity, empowerment, entrepreneurship and issues related to people with disabilities and provides inspirational focus to "mend broken spirits and inspire dreams" to individuals from all walks of life.
The organizations recognized with this year's Secretary of Defense Trophies for Progress in Employing People with Disabilities were the Department of the Army, best military Department; the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, best mid-size component (organizations with 30,000 or more civilian employees); and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service and Office of Secretary of Defense/Washington Headquarters Services, tying for best small component (organizations with fewer than 30,000 civilian employees).
Individuals with disabilities receiving awards for outstanding performance were:
- Gretchen M. Buehler, Training Support Center, Department of the Army, Fort McCoy, Wisc.
- Teresa A. Bratcher, Fleet and Industrial Supply Center, Department of the Navy, San Diego, Calif.
- Susan L. Kunz, Headquarters, Air Mobility Command, Department of the Air Force, Belleville, Ill.
- Denise P. Michel, Human Resources Services Center, Washington Headquarters Services, Alexandria, Va.
- Kristine I. Groenenboom, Army and Air Force Exchange Service, Fort Gordon, Ga.
- Paula L. Smith, Central Computer Operations Facility, Defense Commissary Agency, Fort Lee, Va.
- Toni Jo Sabau, Raytheon Office, Defense Contract Audit Agency, Tucson, Ariz.
- Robert Dyson, Defense Contract Management Agency, Manassas, Va.
- Herbert Finkler, Defense Finance and Accounting Service - Europe, Vogelweh, Germany
- Penny L. DeFino, Defense Enterprise Computing Center, Defense Information Systems Agency, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio
- Nancy O'Hanlon, Defense Intelligence Agency, Washington, D.C.
- Marlene J. Tunkel, Defense Supply Center, Defense Logistics Agency, Philadelphia, Pa.
- May Ling Casillas, Dallas Field Office, Central Region, Defense Security Service, Irving, Texas
- Mui Shokouhi, Department of Defense Education Activity, Arlington, Va.
- Daniel J. Schreiner, National Imagery and Mapping Agency, Bethesda, Md.
- Harry P. McWee, Computer Resources Services Center, National Security Agency, Fort Meade, Md.
- Peter H. Brown, Office of the Inspector General, Arlington, Va.
- Anita M. Springs, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md.
In support of the national observance to promote employment of people with disabilities, the DoD designated October 2000 as Disability Employment Awareness Month throughout the Department. This year's observance theme, "Ability You Can Bank On," was established by the President's Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities. It hopes to encourage employers in both the public and private sector to tap into the 7.8 million working-age people with disabilities who are ready and able to be part of our nation's human resource capital.