Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman was presented with the President’s Award at The Arc of Howard County’s recent Celebration of Excellence. President Dorothy Plantz cited Kittleman’s championship of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “He understands the importance of an inclusive and diverse community, and is willing to lead by example,” she said.

Excellence in Employment awards went to The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory; Steve Sheppard of Giant Food; and Ourisman Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep & Ram, of Clarksville, all of which have hired people served by The Arc and received recognition for their inclusive hiring practices and operations.

Ourisman General Manager Mike Lewis was named Volunteer of the Year. He is a member of The Arc’s board of directors, a member of the Resource Development and Employment advisory committees, chairs the annual golf tournament and serves as a monitor for the Quality Assurance Department. He is also an employer partner, donor and sponsor of the Chocolate Ball.

The Arc made Excellence in Community awards to Jodie Gil of Patrick’s Hair Salon and Aesthetic Center, Jeannette Kendall of Success in Style, and to Bon Secours Health System.

Gil is a former member of The Arc board of directors and is a donor and employer of people served by The Arc. She created a fundraiser, Cuts and Cocktails, which she hosts at her salon as a benefit for The Arc.

Kendall is president and CEO of a nonprofit that helps men and women in crisis become employed and self-sufficient by assisting them with their appearance and clothing, as well as interview skills. For the past five years, she has provided volunteer opportunities to people served by The Arc.

Bon Secours Health System employees have made The Arc the beneficiary of its annual Day of Caring efforts since 2008. It has worked on a dozen of The Arc homes, painting, landscaping and power washing ramps, railings, decks and porches.

The Excellence in Professional Services award went to Chantelle Taylor, an independent licensed clinician who has consulted with The Arc for the past four years.

Vanessa Brown, who provides administrative support for the Howard County Government Office of Central Fleet, was presented the Excellence in Public Service for helping make Project SEARCH such a successful internship program for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Timothy Williamson of Patuxent Valley Middle School was presented the Excellence in Schools award for his efforts with children with autism.

Presentations were also made to Self Advocates of the Year Alex Barnes, Hannah Saltzman, Geoff Savage and Bonnie Block.

Adekunle Agbbede was named Employee of the Year by The Arc.