SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – On Thursday, October 20, Goodwill Manasota will present its 6th annual Goodwill Ambassador of the Year Awards Dinner at Michael’s On East (1212 East Avenue S., Sarasota). The event will honor six individuals and organizations with the Community Ambassador of the Year Award. This year’s Ambassador of the Year honorees are Adams and Reese LLP, Danny Bilyeu, Gloria Moss, iHeart Media, SunTrust, and Jewish Family & Children’s Service of the Suncoast (JFCS).
Adams and Reese is multidisciplinary law firm that provides leadership strategies and proactive solutions to clients on a local, national and international level. Through the firm’s philanthropic program, HUGS (Hope, Understanding, Giving, Support), Adams and Reese and its employees have partnered with Goodwill Manasota as well as more than 100 organizations throughout the region to help people in need. Through HUGS, Adams and Reese has provided holiday gifts to deserving area families identified by Goodwill for the last four years. Adams and Reese attorneys also strive to perform a minimum of 20 hours of pro bono work annually, serving those who cannot afford legal representation through the firm’s CA&RE (Caring Adams and Reese Employees) program. Jason Gaskill, the partner in charge of the Sarasota office, will accept the award on behalf of Adams and Reese. Gaskill has been a Goodwill Ambassador for four years and, through his leadership, the firm has been an active participant in more than a dozen Goodwill events and programs.
Danny Bilyeu is the field representative for Congressman Vern Buchanan in Sarasota County, where he has lived since 1979. Bilyeu is a former Sarasota City Commissioner (2003-2007), serving as vice mayor from 2006 to 2007. He has sat on numerous city and county advisory boards over the years. As a Goodwill Ambassador, Bilyeu is an active member of Goodwill’s Veterans Task Force, and has helped to coordinate the “Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive!” events, which served to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and honor veterans of WWII. His passion for and dedication to helping veterans stems from his father, who was a WWII Navy veteran. Bilyeu’s commitment to the community is vast and runs through many organizations in the community.
Gloria Moss is a New York native who moved to Florida 55 years ago. She is a philanthropist who has supported a multitude of charities through the years including, but not limited to: Goodwill Manasota, Hadassah (of which she has been the president six times), Jewish Housing Council, New College Foundation, YMCA, Sarasota Ballet, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Planned Parenthood, Ringling Museum, Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Van Wezel and Circus Sarasota. She currently lends her support to Designing Women Boutique and serves on the board of directors for The Pines. As a Goodwill Ambassador for more than 30 years, Moss has chaired its signature event, the Mardi Gras Gala, many times and has also served on numerous committees. Her dedication and support have been instrumental in helping people find jobs through Goodwill’s Job Connection program. In fact, because of her major support, Gloria and her late husband Marty’s name adorn the Goodwill Attended Donated Center on U.S. 41 in Sarasota.
iHeart Media is the largest owner of radio media properties in the nation. Locally, it provides five music-format stations ranging from classic and modern rock to country and adult contemporary. Under the leadership of Pete Norden, who is the market president of iHeart Media for Sarasota/Bradenton/Venice, the company has been extremely involved with numerous local causes, and has been instrumental in spearheading ongoing partnerships, media sponsorships and initiatives with Goodwill. For more than four years, iHeart has been a supporter of Goodwill and has a dozen staff who serve as Goodwill Ambassadors, including popular 92.1 CTQ radio personalities Maverick & Lulu, who have been instrumental in advancing Goodwill’s brand. iHeart has partnered with Goodwill Manasota to create programs such as the “Deployment to Employment” radio campaign, “Young Guns of Country” concert, and “Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive!” dinner.
One of the first recipients of the award in 2011, SunTrust Bank is being honored again under the leadership of Josh McCoy, the Manatee County market president. With more than 11 years of institutional and government banking experience, McCoy, is involved with numerous local causes, and has a personal place in his heart for Goodwill. His brother has a disability; he knows first-hand how important Goodwill’s efforts are to enable those with barriers to employment to achieve self-sufficiency. McCoy has also spearheaded partnership efforts with Goodwill to provide financial literacy classes to Goodwill team members and members of the community. For the past few years, SunTrust has granted funds to expand and export financial literacy training for low- and moderate-income workers, with classes that address budgeting and debt reduction, and provide tools and resources for participants to make sound financial decisions. The most recent SunTrust grant is also enabling Goodwill to offer the class to young adults aging out of the foster care system.
JFCS is celebrating 30 years of service to the community, providing safety net services to the entire community on a non-denominational basis. Services include counseling, case management, financial assistance, prevention, intervention and education. JFCS and Goodwill have partnered extensively to assist area veterans to reintegrate into their families, communities and jobs. Under the leadership of Rose Chapman, president & CEO, the partnership of JFCS and Goodwill has resulted in providing services to more than a thousand people.
“Our annual Ambassador of the Year Dinner shines a spotlight on those who contribute to our success,” said Goodwill Manasota president and CEO Bob Rosinsky. “We are blessed with ambassadors who recognize the importance of what we do: to give people a hand up and get them on their way to self-sufficiency. Without the commitment, passion and generosity of our supporters, we could not succeed in our mission of changing lives through the power of work.”
Tickets are $150/person; proceeds support Goodwill’s programs and services throughout the community. Tickets can be purchased at ExperienceGoodwill.org; call (941) 355-2721 for further information.
Previous Ambassador of the Year Winners
2015: Rick Fawley, Sharon Hillstrom, Michael Klauber, Phil Mancini and Florida Representative Greg Steube
2014: Jo Rita Stevens, Cliff Walters, Realize Bradenton, Senator Bill Galvano
2013: Stu Gregory, RE/MAX Alliance Group, Tana Sandefur, Turning Points
2012: Stuart Roth, SunTrust Bank, Surry McFaul-Sun Hydraulics, Westcoast School for Human Development, Willis A. Smith Construction
2011: All Star Children’s Foundation, Ave Maria Preparatory School, Bill Isaac, CJ Fishman, Darrell Turner, John Saputo, GWIZ, Herald-Tribune Media Group, Lee Peterson, Loveland Center of Venice, PGT, Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School, Seaside Bank, Special Olympics-Sarasota County,
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2015, Goodwill Manasota served 22,739 people, placed 961 people in jobs and assisted 358 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $81.3 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted 41 million pounds out of the landfill. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota in essence belongs to this community, and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org.