GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – January 30, 2020 – West Michigan Works! recognized 10 area services workers with The 2019 Beverly A. Drake Essential Service Awards. Honorees are hardworking individuals in service positions who go above and beyond. The honorees were recognized at The Economic Club of Grand Rapids’ January meeting at the JW Marriott and were each given a $100 Meijer gift card.
“These 10 hardworking individuals perform their jobs with passion and enthusiasm, improving the lives of the people around them, one interaction at a time,” said Mark Bergsma, chair of the West Michigan Works! Workforce Development Board. “Many of these workers are on the front line or behind the scenes. However, their contributions allow our community and economy to thrive and they deserve to be celebrated.”
Essential Service Awards categories include hospitality, retail, healthcare, transportation, government, food service, general labor, childcare, nonprofit and custodial, housekeeping or groundskeeper.
2019 Essential Service Award Honorees
Mitch Adams, lead teacher, All for Kids CDC
James Greenland, cook, Spectrum Health
Anna Coronado, laundry/public area/inspector, Hampton Inn Holland
Amelia Lopez, community health worker, Health Net of West Michigan
David DeLeon, bus driver chauffeur II, Hope Network Transportation
Vickie Rick, sales clerk, Fabulous Finds
Ruth Evitts, laundry, Metron of Belding
Amber Garner, materials management/customer service, Michigan Spring and Stamping
Fernando Villagomez, lead operator, Nova Steel USA
“We all have a passion to make this world a better place and you can do it one person at a time,” said Martha Torreson, recreational therapy assistant, Brookcrest Rehab & Life Center.
Employers and the community at large submit nominations. Winners are chosen by a committee of the West Michigan Works! Workforce Development Board. Essential Service Award winners display pride in their job, a positive attitude, a strong work ethic and habits, punctuality and complete work on-time.
About West Michigan Works!
West Michigan Works! provides a network of employment and training programs and services for employers, employees, and job seekers in Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Montcalm, Muskegon and Ottawa Counties. The goal of programming and services is to create a sustained workforce with the required skills to maintain and enhance the economy of West Michigan. For more information, visit westmiworks.org.
2019 Essential Service Award Honorees
Below are excerpts for each of the Essential Service Award honorees’ nominations forms.
Mitch Adams, lead teacher, All for Kids CDC, 9 years
Mitch is incredible with the children; he shows that it is ok to cry, to have feelings and to be just who you are. He is a rare find to begin with, and he has stayed even though the days are long, the job is exhausting and the pay is not what we wish it could be.
James Greenland, cook, Spectrum Health, 18
James immerses himself into each plate that he prepares. He is committed to consistently providing an exceptional experience through food to our patients, families and employees. James’ focus is on making people happy through his culinary talents. He is an asset to Spectrum Health.
Anna Coronado, laundry/public area/inspector, Hampton Inn Holland, 3 years
Anna is always excited to interact with guests and assist them, however it is needed. She wants to do anything she can to ensure a great stay. She truly has an amazing attitude and work ethic. I honestly don’t know what we would have done without her over these past three years.
Amelia Lopez, community health worker, Health Net of West Michigan, 11 years
As a Community Health Worker, Amelia functions as a front-line public health worker and trusted member of our community. Amelia has built such strong relationships with her clients. Many will call her back—not because they need services, but just because they want to say hello.
David DeLeon, bus driver chauffeur II, Hope Network Transportation, 3 years
David is the essence of what we want in a Wheels to Work driver. Whenever we are in a pinch for coverage of a route or training a new driver, he is always there for us! David is highly thought of by his peers, the riders he transports and the companies to which he delivers these precious riders.
Vickie Rick, sales clerk, Fabulous Finds, 5 years
Vickie got to know her customers and what they were looking for so she could keep an eye out for them. She was always looking for ways to help her customers and show them special ways to decorate or make something out of nothing.
Ruth Evitts, laundry, Metron of Belding, 18 years
Ruth truly puts the meaning behind dedication. She puts her heart and soul into her job. You can always count on Ruth to show up and give her all for our older adults every day. Our 111 residents absolutely adore her. Ruth is a true testament of a great work ethic and superior customer service.
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Martha Torreson, recreational therapy assistant, Brookcrest Rehab & Life Center, 15 years
Martha is very keen on understanding what makes each resident “tick” to help them attend the program and participate as independently as possible. She has endless amounts of love for each of the residents. Quite often, if Martha isn’t working, we hear, “Where is Martha?”
Amber Garner, materials management/customer service, Michigan Spring and Stamping, 8 years
Amber is organized, thorough and her attention to detail is phenomenal. We know that if we give a project to her, it will get done right and on time. It is very rare to find someone with her work ethic and morals. She is truly an amazing individual.
Fernando Villagomez, lead operator, Nova Steel USA, 3 years
Since hiring Fernando as a machine operator, he has worked his way into a critical part of our Nova Steel USA team. He is basically responsible for all of the day-to-day tasks on our shop floor. I cannot express enough how vital Fernando is to our operations.