WV VOAD presented three awards at its Annual Meeting in June in recognition of the value of its volunteers, member organizations and partners.
Volunteer of the Year
The inaugural Joanne P. Fleming Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to outgoing board member Rodney Burkholder of Mennonite Disaster Service to celebrate his tireless and continual work toward West Virginia’s recovery from 2016 flooding. His oversight of numerous home repairs and reconstruction as well as his willingness to spearhead the MDS investment in West Virginia, has made a tremendous impact in the State’s recovery. The award is named for the late board member and champion of the WV VOAD mission, Joanne Fleming who passed away in 2017.
Organization of the Year
After the 2016 disaster, one organization was among the first to offer relief to communities. Since then, they have been active in supply distribution, spiritual and emotional care, case management and home repair and reconstruction. Additional funding just received ensures they will be involved in long term recovery another two years. The 2019 Organization of the Year was presented to the West Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church in recognition of their extraordinary contribution to West Virginia’s disaster recovery.
Partner of the Year
WV VOAD plays a critical role in state disaster response and must have visionaries on board who recognize its value and are willing to help undergird and expand its capacity to meet the demands. Since 2015 the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, through the eyes of Program Director Kim Tieman has filled that role and empowered WV VOAD to grow along with its responsibilities. The 2019 Partner of the Year was presented to Kim and the esteemed Benedum Foundation.
Executive Director Jenny Gannaway remarks, “I’ve said many times that an organization is only as good as those associated with it. Clearly, WV VOAD interacts with great people and organizations. It was an honor to recognize their contributions to disaster recovery with these awards.”