The big machines that print, fold, seal, and sort mail at Adelante Bulk Printing and Mailing went quiet for a few hours recently. The team was hosting a steak lunch to honor two Adelante employees for winning national awards from SourceAmerica. Menard Martinez, an employee at Adelante Bulk Printing and Mailing, won a national award for self advocacy. Brian Ammerman, VP of Business Operations, won a national award for leadership.
SourceAmerica is an organization whose mission is to deliver industry leading products and services through a national group of nonprofits like Adelante that provide job opportunities for people with disabilities. Over 80,000 people with disabilities are employed through the SourceAmerica network. Tom Hartigan, SourceAmerica VP of Account Services, traveled to Albuquerque to present the awards. Tom noted, during his speech, that over 700 nonprofits are part of SourceAmerica. So, Adelante is among good company. Tom also said, “it is amazing that Adelante won two national awards.”
National Tom Miller Advocacy Award Presented to Menard Martinez
The Tom Miller Advocacy Award recognizes an employee with a disability who has demonstrated outstanding, passionate self-advocacy on a local, state, or national level. Menard won the 2021 award because of his self-advocacy work.
Speaking up for himself and his abilities and rights has been a life-long passion for Menard. That said, Adelante has helped Menard expand his audience to include local and national decision makers. In 2019, Martinez traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with members of Congress. He shared his story and let them know about the importance of the government contracts that provide jobs for people with disabilities.
In venues large and small, Martinez has promoted the rights of people with disabilities. Furthermore, he has spoken at business meetings, participated in government committees, and went to a national conference. His goal is to speak up for himself and to help other people with disabilities to find their voices, too. Menard hopes to get back to Washington to continue his work.
In a video celebrating Menard’s work he said, “It’s important to speak for yourself. You have a voice.” Watch the video here.
Brian Ammerman Recognized for Excellence in Leadership
Adelante VP of Business Operations, Brian Ammerman won the Management Excellence Award from the National Council of SourceAmerica Employers.
Brian was nominated due to his years of leadership in the disability field. In addition, he was a great candidate due to his work forming contracts and new job choices for people with disabilities. For example, Brian helped to develop Adelante’s Bulk Printing and Mailing (BPM) department. As a result, new, quality jobs for people with disabilities were created. Plus, one of the major contracts saves the State of New Mexico thousands of dollars a month. Brian is also proud that all of the people with disabilities are earning over $11 an hour working at bulk printing.
Prior to joining Adelante, Brian served in the U.S. Air Force for 22 years. He says those years in the military helped him prepare to manage the Enterprises at Adelante. Watch his award video.
Local Awards Reception with National Ties
Receiving the award locally was a nice way to celebrate with the Adelante team. The whole crew at BPM got to be on hand when they wouldn’t have been able to if Brian and Menard received the awards out of town.
However, Brian looks forward to attending the SourceAmerica conference next year. “I really do enjoy the in-person interaction with the other leaders across the country. Over the years, a lot of opportunities, the ones we’ve created as well as pursued, have come from the interaction with those quality leaders from other organizations tied to SourceAmerica,” Brian said.
Adelante President and CEO, Rebecca Sanford, presented the award to Brian during the lunch party at Adelante. She noted that Brian was one of just a handful of leaders across the country who were recognized as a National Council of SourceAmerica Employers (NCSE) Management Excellence Awards winner. These awards celebrate people who have displayed excellence in leadership in the management of an AbilityOne participating nonprofit and who have significantly advanced employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Rebecca mentioned that, “Job opportunities like those at Adelante Bulk Printing and Mailing were developed under Brian’s leadership. He has been a huge part of increasing opportunities for better jobs and a more inclusive economy, where people with disabilities are valued and appreciated at work.”
Support employment for people with disabilities like these national award winners
Adelante is very proud to work with both Menard and Brian and we hope our supporters join us in celebrating these national award winners.
If you are interested in promoting work for people with disabilities like Menard and Brian do, consider hiring a person directly through Adelante’s supported employment team. Your business is also appreciated by Adelante’s printing, scanning, janitorial, and other businesses. Learn more at AdelanteEnterprises.com. If you are a person with a disability looking for work, we can help with that, too!
FYI: The AbilityOne program is the largest source of employment for people with disabilities in the U.S. Jobs are a result of providing products and services, at a fair market value, to the Federal government.