Governor Hickenlooper Welcomes Recipients of Shining Stars of VR Awards

Photo of Governor Hickenlooper with award winners (in no particular order): Badri Abdi, Chris Bonner, Katie Tomlinson, Mathew Morris, Jordan Young, Lorna Babcock, Kate Manzanares, Ian Engle, Barbara Henry, Christi Kasa, Julie Baxter, Rebecca Fulenwider, Irma Rojo, Peter Brown and Mike Hess.

Photo of Governor Hickenlooper with award winners (in no particular order): Badri Abdi, Chris Bonner, Katie Tomlinson, Mathew Morris, Jordan Young, Lorna Babcock, Kate Manzanares, Ian Engle, Barbara Henry, Christi Kasa, Julie Baxter, Rebecca Fulenwider, Irma Rojo, Peter Brown and Mike Hess.

On November 16th, recipients of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s first-ever Shining Stars of VR awards received recognition during an awards ceremony at the State Capitol, followed by a meet and greet with Gov. John Hickenlooper. 

The awards, established by the Department of Labor and Employment and its Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, honors people and organizations that are making progress in reshaping the employment landscape for people with disabilities.

Among the honorees were individuals who are achieving employment goals and changing attitudes in their respective workplaces.  Other were businesses whose inclusive hiring practices are empowering workers with disabilities to achieve their employment potential.  And, finally, individuals and organizations that have long championed the rights of people with disabilities.

Collectively, these award winners are tearing down barriers and making significant advances in promoting employment of people with disabilities.  The Shining Stars of VR awards are an acknowledgement and a celebration of their efforts.

The 2017 award winners were:

  • Briana Carneski-Gore
  • Katie Tomlinson
  • Chris Bonner
  • Mathew Morris
  • Badri Abdi
  • Walgreens Store 9607
  • Great Wolf Lodge
  • Arc Thrift Stores
  • Ghostwood Interiors
  • Jim Pilkington of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Northwest Colorado Center for Independence
  • Christi Kasa, of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
  • Domino Service Dogs
  • SWAP Specialist Team Member Julie Baxter of Greeley BOCES
  • SWAP Specialist Team Member Rebecca Fulenwider of Greeley BOCES
  • SWAP Specialist Team Member Irma Rojo of Greeley BOCES
  • Charter Communications
  • Mark Lasser
  • Mike Hess