Howard County Department of Citizen Services Director Lois Mikkila and the Commission on Disability Issues has announced the winners of the county’s 17th Annual Leadership Awards Program, which spotlights individuals and organizations who are change agents for full participation in community life for all.
The ceremony was held at The Bain Center in Columbia. Information about the winners is included below.
• Business Leadership: B/A Products Co. B/A Products Co. was nominated for its commitment to advancing employment opportunities for workers with disabilities through a partnership with The Arc of Howard County. The company is a role model for local employers by demonstrating that the inclusion of qualified workers with disabilities in the workforce is smart business.
• Business Leadership: MarTar Swim School. MarTar Swim School was nominated for offering a welcoming environment for both students and employees with disabilities. The school offers individualized instruction in response to student needs, and showcases that utilizing the talents of skilled workers with disabilities makes good business sense.
• Accessibility Leadership: Cheryl Berman. Cheryl Berman is a professor and head of the world languages department at Howard Community College. She was nominated for hiring four American Sign Language (ASL) instructors and two teaching assistants who are deaf. Berman provides students the opportunity for extensive communication with ASL teachers and deeper understanding of the deaf culture through direct exposure to native deaf ASL signers. She demonstrates a commitment to the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
• Individual Leadership: Paul Weller. Weller was nominated for his achievements as an artist and for his success as the owner of Glass Expressions by Paul. He believes everyone has creative abilities and should have the opportunity to discover them. Weller’s art has received wide acclaim from art enthusiasts and the business community.
• Individual Leadership — Youth: Robert Phillips, Jr. Phillips was nominated for his involvement and achievement in athletics. A graduate of Glenelg High School’s Class of 2011, he served as the assistant coach for the boys’ varsity basketball team while a student at Glenelg. As assistant coach, Phillips always was eager to lend a helping hand or give advice to his players.