Karenne Levy Receives the Dr. George L. Spelios Leadership Award
Tampa, Fla. – The Able Trust launched Disability Employment Awareness (DEAM) activities in Orlando and announced the recipients of its 2018 Ability Awards. Karenne Levy, President and CEO of the MacDonald Training Center in Tampa, was named the 2018 Dr. George L. Spelios Leadership Award recipient.
(Left to Right) Dr. Susanne Homant, President and CEO, The Able Trust; Arlene Shackelford, Board Member, The Able Trust;
Karenne Levy, President & CEO, MacDonald Training Center; and Karen B. Moore, Chairperson of the Board, The Able Trust,
The Ability Awards honor select individuals and organizations from throughout the state for their contributions to the mission of The Able Trust. The Able Trust and its partners have helped put thousands of people with disabilities to work throughout Florida, and this annual celebration allows The Able Trust to thank some of the very important colleagues who work with The Able Trust in achieving this critical mission.
Dr. George Spelios was a founding director and past Chair of The Able Trust who touched the lives of many through his passion and commitment to serve people with disabilities. As a tribute to his years of dedication and service, the Dr. George L. Spelios Leadership Award recognizes the outstanding leadership and advocacy efforts of an executive director or president of a Florida nonprofit disability organization.
Karenne Levy began the position of President & CEO at the MacDonald Training Center in August 2016 and promptly began to expand the services and programs offered. Her leadership has brought new educational opportunities for individuals on the Autism Spectrum, including programs like EXCEL, Excellence in Computer Education and Learning, a new high-tech pathway to employment with industry-recognized certificates of ability, as well as a new summer program for youth aged 14-21 that provides for continued skill development over the school summer break. She also established the HEAR Program to assist individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing with employment assistance. This program has distinguished itself in offering tri-lingual interpretation in American Sign Language, English and Spanish. Employment outcomes have doubled, leading to an increased number of individuals that have gained new independence. Her leadership has brought about outstanding partnerships with major employers in the greater Hillsborough County area, including Moffit Cancer Center, Tampa General Hospital, and Bay Care.
“The Able Trust is honored to work with Karenne and her organizations,” said Dr. Susanne Homant, president and CEO of The Able Trust. “Karenne and her staff work very hard to make sure that a job, and for many a career, are viable options for Floridians with disabilities. We are proud to call them partners in our mission.”
Other 2018 Ability Awards winners are:
Legislator of the Year: Senate President-designate Bill Galvano, District 21
Beverly Chapman Employment Placement Program of the Year: Best Buddies, Orlando
Public Employee of the Year: Lucy Mohs, Public Affairs Director, The Florida Department of Education, Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, Tallahassee
Young Adult Leader of the Year: R.J. Curtis, Student, Land O’Lakes
Adult Leader of the Year: Justin Shea, Gulfport
Employer of the Year: Caribe Royale Resort, Orlando
Employer of the Year: Pitney Bowes, Jacksonville
Employer of the Year: Tavistock Development Company, Orlando
High School High Tech Site of the Year: Madison County, Madison
Media Representative of the Year: Tim Croft, Editor, The Star, Port St. Joe
Volunteer of the Year: Richard E. Herring, Attorney, Tallahassee
About The Able Trust
The Able Trust is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 1990 by the Florida Legislature and is funded through a combination of public and private dollars. Its mission is to be a key leader in providing Floridians with disabilities opportunities for successful employment. The Able Trust supports numerous diverse projects, including the High School High Tech program, youth leadership training, work experience training and technical assistance, transportation assistance, career development training, employment and career path direction, and assistance to businesses as they seek the employment of people with disabilities. Since its beginnings, The Able Trust has worked with community organizations in every county in Florida to put thousands of people with disabilities to work. To learn more about The Able Trust, please visit AbleTrust.org and follow @AbleTrust.