11 Jun We love our volunteers!
Charlotte Works feted its valued volunteers at festivities held in May.
On May 2, President & CEO Steve Partridge hosted a President’s Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon for 13 volunteers, some of whom have served more than three years, dating back to the ProNet days and continuing on with Charlotte Works.
These top-tier volunteers were honored for excellence in giving back to the organization.
Following great networking and animated conversations, Partridge explained some of the growing pains Charlotte Works has experienced since opening the Employer Engagement Center last year and lauded the volunteers for their dedication in coming weekly and monthly to help job-seekers get focused and strategic in their job searches.
He also invited feedback and the volunteers’ resounding message was that they wanted to “up the value” of Charlotte Works by being regularly informed about other workshops, programs and services to guide clients or when in the community spreading the good word about what we do.
Volunteers honored at this event included:
- Nathan Adams, owner, First Impressions Resume Center
- Raymondo Ali, CDL trainee
- Kimberlee Archie, project manager, Johnson C. Smith University
- Ira and Linda Bass, owners, IB Media, Marketing & Advertising
- Valerie DeLong, owner, Feng Shui Concepts
- Bob DeMers, owner, Coaching Works
- Barbara Ivey, owner, Optimized Offices
- Paula Lesso, learning and development professional
- John Luebke, project management consultant
- Jean-Chris Miller, writer, editor, copywriter, author
- Robert Ortiz, sales executive, Brand.net/Valassis
- Sheryl Spangler, communication consultant
Volunteers and staff gathered at Maggiano’s at SouthPark Mall on May 29 for the first annual Charlotte Works Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon, which served as an opportunity for the organization to honor and thank its valued volunteers from both the Employer Engagement Center and the SNAP (Share Network Access Point) sites who have given more than 4,000 hours of their time and talents this year.
Approximately 60 volunteers attended.
Debra Dixon, SNAP manager; Maria Noveva, event coordinator; and I expressed our gratitude and appreciation for the support that the volunteers have given us and the agency. Partridge added that Charlotte Works couldn’t do what we do without them.
Guest speaker Peter Popovich, career and life coach, told the story of his immigration from his native Belgrade, Yugoslavia, at the age of six and arriving at Ellis Island after a month on a freighter ship. He said he has always seen America as a land of freedom and great opportunity.
Popovich reminded the audience that volunteering is a wonderful way to find opportunities to help others and that his hero, John F. Kennedy, once said, “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
He asked several attendees to share their experiences of how volunteering at Charlotte Works and the SNAP sites had made an impact on them and why they enjoyed helping others.
Rick Sears, owner of Career Masters International, spoke about a challenge he made to a workshop audience that he would help a participant find a job in 30 days. He met with the winner and, over several weeks, helped her use out-of-the-box thinking in her career pursuit. He neglected to take into account the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, but still managed to get her employed in 44 days. That’s still a great success story!
And Department of Social Services SNAP site representative Lekeasha Parker shared the story of a couple who were both unemployed. They came to the SNAP site and were placed in a special program called Job Boost. Both were subsequently employed by Novant Healthcare.
It was wonderful to feel the great energy in the rooms, see the smiles and hear the loud chatter of networking going on at each table at both events. It’s even more wonderful that Charlotte Works benefits from the time and talents of nearly 250 dedicated individuals who serve those in career transition.