Haiti Dominates The 2010 Joint Council Awards

31 03 2010

Each year, Joint Council recognizes a select group of individuals  for their outstanding service to children and families.   Given the high caliber of nominees, selecting only a few for recognition is exceedingly difficult.  Therefore, each awardee is recognized for not only their superior and individual service, but also in recognition of the efforts of all who serve children.  Please join us in congratulating our 2010 awardees.

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KAREN ECKERT AWARD FOR GOVERNMENT SERVICE TO CHILDRENMs. Whitney Reitz

Whitney Reitz of USCIS, Tom DiFilipo and Rebecca Harris

Named after Karen Eckert in recognition her outstanding career, professional service and passionate dedication to families and children.  Karen, whose career extended over 30 years at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, exemplified the true meaning of public service and set a high bar for not only government officials, but for all who strive to serve children in need.   In making our selection for the first recipient, Joint Council sought to recognize a government official who represented a continuation of Karen’s superior public service and readily chose Whitney Reitz of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Whitney’s untiring, passionate and professional efforts beginning on January 12, 2010, the day of the earthquake in Haiti, and continuing through today, clearly demonstrates the best of government service to children and families.  She directly affected the lives of over 900 Haitian children who now live within the safety, permanency and love that only a family can provide.

Rob Kramer

OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER CHILD ADVOCATEMr. Robert Kramer

Upon learning of the efforts to unite Haitian children with permanent families, Rob volunteered his services only days after the earthquake and continues to do so today.  Rob, with no previous connection to the children of Haiti, selflessly left his family and his newly launched company and traveled to Haiti.  While there, he transported children, delivered aide and provided much needed on-the-ground information to Joint Council, the U.S. Government and waiting adoptive families.

Before the crisis in Haiti and even more so now, Rob lent his considerable skills as an entrepreneur to the non-profit community.  After founding two IT companies, Moving Pixels and PopRule, Rob joined the boards of the Sustainable Business Council and Eco Dads and also founded the Global Water Trust.  And in just the past few weeks, Rob has initiated a sustainable community center for parent-less youth in Haiti.

MAUREEN EVANS AWARD FOR SERVICE TO CHILDRENMs. Cheryl Moyes and Ms. Lucy Armistead

Lucy Armistead, Chareyl Moyes and Rebecca Harris

Named after Joint Council’s first Executive Director, this award is presented to those who follow in the footsteps of Maureen Evans and uphold her high ethics, complete professional approach and tireless efforts in serving the best interest of children around the world.

This year, Lucy Armistead and Cheryl Moyes were selected as the 7th and 8th recipients in recognition of their longstanding dedication to the children of Haiti.  Both Lucy and Cheryl traveled to Haiti within days of the earthquake where they worked with the U.S. Government, provided much needed supplies to orphanages, assisted adoptive families and protected hundreds of children.    Their efforts over the past two months literally saved lives, united families and gave meaning to our mission of ensuring that children can live with permanency, safety and love.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDMr. Gary Gamer

Gary Gamer

Joint Council chose Mr. Gary Gamer as the second recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award For Service To Children and Families.  This award is reserved for those who served for more than 20 years, are no longer active in the field of international children’s services and who during their career, rose to serve as an example of professional, ethical and passionate service to chidlren and families.

Gary Gamer served children for over 25 years in a multitude of positions, first as a social worker and leading up to his role as President and CEO of Holt International.  A long-time leader in the field of children’s services, Gary’s career remains a shining example of how professionals and volunteers can serve families with the strongest of ethics, the highest of standards and the most compassionate of approaches.   Gary’s leadership extended far beyond his official positions within a myriad of organizations including his volunteer work for Joint Council.

Following the selection of Mr. David Pilgrim, former Vice-President of Children’s Home Society and Family Services, the selection of Gary Gamer continues to recognize the dedication of a lifetime of work on behalf of our world’s children and families.

JOINT COUNCIL BOARD OF DIRECTORS AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING SERVICE TO CHILDRENMr. Tom DiFilipo and Ms. Rebecca Harris

During the 2010 Joint Council Conference, the Board of Directors spontaneously created and presented their first ever Award for Outstanding Service To Children to Joint Council’s own Tom DiFilipo and Rebecca Harris for their leadership in responding to the crisis in Haiti.

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All of us at Joint Council congratulate the recipients of the 2010 Joint Council awards for their past, present and future service to the children of our world.

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