No. 7

E-News from BDI
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Save the Date for Breakfast with Champions
Presenting Sponsor:
When: Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Program begins at 8:00 a.m.

Where: Cobb Galleria Centre
2 Galleria Pkwy, Atlanta, GA

Meet the Honorees
Rafael I. San Miguel, Circle of Excellence Award

Due to a wrong dose of antibiotics, Rafa lost his hearing when he was only a few days old. At the St. Joseph's Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis, Mo., he learned to speak by feeling vibrations on someone else's throat.


Today, Rafa creates awareness about disability by focusing on ability in his volunteer leadership at BDI. He has served on BDI's board of directors for nearly eight years, and his local and national advocacy has helped advance BDI's mission.


Rafa began his career as a scientist at NASA working on the Space Shuttle program. He has spent the past 25 years as a senior flavor chemist and sweetener scientist at The Coca-Cola Company. His work developing food for astronauts involved a project to send the first can of Coca-Cola into outer space. Rafa holds more than 19 patents.


A meeting with the U.S. Labor Department in 2008 encouraged Rafa to share his knowledge of math and science with kids by developing a series of science experiments that were fun, interactive and educational. He has volunteered at underserved schools both locally and nationally through the volunteer network Points of Light.


The White House recognized Rafa as a Champion of Change in May 2012 for leading education and employment efforts in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for people with disabilities.

Adam Mays, Employee of the Year

Adam has devoted the past 16 years to his job as a mailroom clerk in the Atlanta regional office of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). His work scales all mailroom duties, from sorting incoming and outgoing mail to delivering packages and everything in between.


Adam is a people person and delivers friendly, dependable service with a big smile. People know him by name, and his work spans four different FAA buildings, supporting nearly 1,300 FAA employees.


He offers an award-winning work ethic and level of service to his co-workers and customers. Adam's supervisor is quick to note that he is always first to offer help and assistance.


Adam's positive attitude and professional demeanor enhance his work environment. He cares about his job, his co-workers and his customers. As a result, people enjoy being around him. They are attracted to his energy.

Thanks for Your Support in 2014
Your belief in the value of work helps others live better, fuller lives - people like Adam Mays, Bobby Dodd Institute's 2015 Employee of the Year, pictured on the right in BDI's annual report Legacies.


Adam recently told us: "I had a choice to sit around the house or go to work. I love to go to work. I want to stay busy, make more money and meet new people."


Work matters in Adam's life, in yours and mine, and in the lives of the more than 250 people with disabilities working in BDI's mission-based businesses. But countless people with disabilities in our community have not yet gained the training and support that benefit Adam.   


Together, you and BDI create opportunities for people to work. At BDI, people with disabilities and disadvantages can discover what they are good at and what they want to do and be. They develop skills and confidence while earning their own paychecks. 


Last year your support helped 246 people gain jobs. Along with countless other BDI alumni, they are now thriving at work and gaining new opportunities.   


Your gift this year in any amount will help many others, still pursuing their goals, to secure jobs and prosper. You can direct your gift to the program of your choice by making an online gift or by using the BDI donation form.


Your support will make a difference for people this year and for years to come as they thrive and enjoy new purpose in life. Thank you for all you do to create opportunities for people to realize their dreams of work and self-sufficiency.
BDI Employees Receive Award from Atlanta VAMC
Six BDI employees working at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) switchboard in Atlanta, Ga., received a Certificate of Appreciation from VA Director Leslie Wiggins for working extended hours during the snowstorm last winter. The awards were presented during the VA Directors Town Hall Meeting on December 10.

Pictured on right: Lynn Williams, Brenda Lockett, Katherine Payton and Sheila Russell. Not pictured are Chastity Jackson and Edward Wilson.
Recruit Staff with BDI
Bobby Dodd Institute helps employers recruit motivated, skilled team members. To learn more about BDI's staffing services, please contact Pam Mills. Press the play button below or click here to watch the video.

Employee Spotlight: Victoria Pierce
This year Bobby Dodd Institute celebrated its 25th anniversary. That's approximately 6,500 work days or 50,000 hours of thinking big in order to create opportunities for people with disabilities and disadvantages to enter the workforce. 


In that time, BDI has launched thousands of people with disabilities into jobs and careers that have led to greater independence, personal well-being and financial security.


For BDI employee Victoria Pierce, September marked 14 years. A full-time employee in BDI's janitorial social enterprise, Pierce chuckles humbly at the thought of 14 years, the last 12 of which have been spent overseeing BDI's contract with the 81st United States Army Reserve Command (USARC) in Decatur, Ga. 


Of the 2.5 million square feet of space that BDI cleans each year, Pierce and her team are responsible for maintaining the 81st USARC's nearly 75,000-square-foot, two-story building five days per week, including its hallways, showers and restrooms, and administration offices.


Pierce's dedication to her job is surpassed only by her passion for people. She takes her cleaning responsibilities as seriously as she does her interactions with the 81st USARC's soldiers and officers.


"You get to know everyone here. It's like family," said Pierce. "They [the soldiers] always speak with me before leaving for a tour. I tell them to keep their heads up."     


One of the units returning from a mission brought her back a flag that once flew high above Bagram Air Base, the largest U.S. military base in Afghanistan, to show appreciation for her taking care of the building - their home away from home. Now the flag rests atop her fireplace. Pierce refers to it as "our flag."    

BDI is equally thankful to Pierce for her 14 years of service, hard work and dedication.


From high-security areas to sensitive medical facilities, BDI's Total Facility Management team can manage your facility or campus with its full range of services, including janitorial services, grounds maintenance and building upkeep. 


To learn more about obtaining top-notch janitorial services while creating jobs for people with disabilities and disadvantages, please contact Megan Branch.

Photo of the Month

Many thanks to the friends and grandkids of BDI emeritus board member John Crenshaw for donating all of their hard-earned lemonade stand dollars to BDI.
BDI Honored by Wells Fargo through 'Days of Giving'
Bobby Dodd Institute was honored by Wells Fargo with a $1,000 grant at the Days of Giving celebration in North Atlanta on Oct. 28 at the Marriott Perimeter Center. BDI was among 240 groups chosen by the bank's team members for the recognition. The donation helped push total giving to more than $1.5 million across Georgia since the program began six years ago.

Pictured on right: Lisa Kennedy accepts the gift on behalf of BDI from Sallie Kerr Foell, Senior Vice President at Wells Fargo and BDI auxiliary board member. 
Volunteer Highlights
Get Involved
From conducting mock interviews to teaching workshops, volunteers at Bobby Dodd Institute help people with disabilities and disadvantages secure jobs. 


We cater volunteer opportunities to individuals, community groups and organizations. It doesn't matter if you have only a few minutes or several hours -- every moment counts. This is a great opportunity to meet some of our job candidates and take a first-hand look at our programs.


To learn more about volunteer opportunities, please email us or visit the volunteer webpage.

Visit to learn more about how you can support BDI's mission, volunteer and engage with BDI clients, or recruit BDI job candidates. For all BDI news and events, look for us on social media.
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