CHICAGO – This morning, the ANCOR Foundation honored the recipients of its 2023 ANCOR Foundation awards in a ceremony at the 2023 ANCOR Annual Conference in Chicago. Included in the ceremony were the 2023 Community Builder Award and three new inductees into the Foundation’s Legacy Leaders Circle.
The recipient of the 2023 Community Builder Award is PCs for People, based in Saint Paul, Minn. Founded in 1998, PCs for People is a nonprofit organization centered on getting low-cost, recycled and refurbished computers, as well as affordable broadband internet, into the homes of people and organizations with low income. PCs for People was selected to receive the Community Builder Award for its inclusive hiring program for people with disabilities. For nearly ten years, PCs for People has partnered with local community-based disability service providers to create employment opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
In fact, PCs for People’s nomination letter indicated that over 30% of PCs for People staff in its St. Paul location are people with I/DD, who work in different departments across the organization, depending on their interests and skills. The letter goes on to say that there is no timeframe for employing people with I/DD, rather, this is part of the organization’s ongoing business model. This business model has continued to positively impact not only PCs for People but also the organization’s many employees with I/DD. PCs for People has proven time and time again that often, a person with I/DD is just the right fit for a job and sets an example for how to ensure that employees with I/DD are an integral and included part of an organization.
The ANCOR Foundation’s Community Builder Award was created in 2004 to recognize the exemplary initiatives of people, communities, community-based organizations and initiatives outside the ANCOR community that are contributing to the inclusion of people supported by ANCOR members. The Community Builder Award showcases outstanding achievements in the promotion of opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) by exemplifying best practices, fostering inclusion in the community and partnering across sectors.
Wednesday morning’s awards ceremony also honored three new inductees into the ANCOR Foundation’s Legacy Leaders Circle, including Dan Brown of Racker in Ithaca, N.Y.; Linda Plourde of Bayberry, Inc. in Napa, Calif.; and Tony Thomas of Welcome House in Westlake, Ohio.
Each member of the 2023 class of inductees into the Legacy Leaders was selected because of their outstanding contributions to the association, as well as to the broader mission of the association’s members to enable people with I/DD to live truly inclusive lives in the community. Given their service to the association in both formal and informal leadership roles, as well as their advocacy efforts at the local, state and federal levels, Brown, Plourde and Thomas exemplify what it means to lead an industry in service of the communities we support.
Established in 2010, the ANCOR Foundation’s Legacy Leaders Circle recognizes long-time members of ANCOR that have made significant contributions to the association and its mission of providing high-quality, long-term supports and services to people with I/DD. Following the formal induction of Brown, Plourde and Thomas, the Legacy Leaders Circle will include 112 individuals who have made substantial contributions to ANCOR and to the inclusion of people with I/DD.
“We continue to be humbled by the dedicated and outstanding work of these individuals and community partners we have the privilege of honoring in 2023,” said Gabrielle Sedor, director of the ANCOR Foundation. “Dan [Brown], Linda [Plourde] and Tony [Thomas] each, in their own way, have made an indelible and lasting impact on hundreds of individual lives, as well as entire communities, through their contributions to our field. At the same time, I am so excited to honor PCs for People and the difference this organization is making in St. Paul, Minn. to promote inclusive employment for people with and without disabilities. Through its mission, and the people it employs to carry out that mission, PCs for People is truly building strong communities through cross-sector partnerships and inclusion.”
To learn more about the ANCOR Foundation and its initiatives to honor exceptional leaders in the field of community-based I/DD services, please visit ancorfoundation.org.
About ANCOR & the ANCOR Foundation
For more than 50 years, the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ancor.org) has been a leading advocate for the critical role service providers play in enriching the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). As a national nonprofit trade association, ANCOR represents 2,000+ organizations employing more than a half-million professionals who together serve more than a million individuals with I/DD. As the 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm of ANCOR, the ANCOR Foundation exists to build and to honor exceptional leaders that cultivate truly inclusive communities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.