TWIN FALLS — Magic Valley Rehabilitation Services Inc. presented several awards during its 44th annual meeting Sept. 27.
The awards recognized individuals and businesses whose efforts to support the training and employment of people with disabilities were exemplary during the past fiscal year. These included:
Travelers’ Oasis of Eden — Employer of the Year
Roger White — F. Dwain Pruitt Memorial Award for program participant
Peggy Doshier and Leah Hartmann, Idaho Department of Vocational Rehabilitation — Advocates of the Year
Glanbia — Contract Business of the Year
MVRS Executive Director John Bodden — Clarke I. Maddox Memorial Award as Employee of the Year
Bodden, who is retiring from the agency in December after 27 years, thanked the board, staff, participants and community members for their many contributions over the years.
“It’s been a privilege and an honor to have worked here,” he said in a statement. “I’ve made many friends over the years. I have no regrets. I’d do it all over again.”
Additionally, 18 members of the MVRS facility-based work crew were recognized as recipients of the annual safety award: Leonard Aranda, Diane Callen, Ron Donaldson, Miguel Galindo, Ross Hancock, Dan Holland, Devar Hulse, Jimmy Hunt, Rick Nelson, Billy Paredes, Charles Powell, Aaron Rimer, Sarah Scarrow, Fantasia Sedano, Skyler Thomas, Jared Ursenbach, Alfonso Villasenor and Roger White.
The crew supervisor is Dean Smith. This crew worked more than 4,700 hours without an accident during the year. Annual safety awards are given in memory of Steven R. Slatter who was the janitorial crew supervisor at MVRS for 29 years.
Steven Slifer, therapy technician, was also recognized for 15 years of employment at MVRS.
During the meeting, the members of the 2017-2018 board of directors were also elected: Laura Stewart, president, Twin Falls; Rob Atkins, vice president, Twin Falls; Lisa Hollibaugh, secretary, Kimberly; Leon Mills, treasurer, Twin Falls; Carol Hoffman, Twin Falls; Rhonda Bartholomew, Jerome; and Ida Clark, Jerome.
Magic Valley Rehabilitation Services is a private nonprofit that provides training, employment, personal development and related services for people with disabilities in south central Idaho.
In reviewing the agency’s 2017 activities and accomplishments, Bodden noted that it has served 147 persons with disabilities during the fiscal year and more than 7,800 individuals in its 44-year history. He also reported that one of the highlights of the year was that MVRS was able to place 78 percent of referred individuals into competitive employment, with an average starting wage of $9.77 per hour.