Skills Inc. Wins Governor’s Award

Governor Award

“Creating Jobs that Change Lives” is more than a marketing tag line at Skills, Inc.  We were recently recognized as the Large Non-Profit of the Year by the Governors Committee on Employment and Disability Issues. This in an incredible honor and recognition of the importance of our social mission at Skills. The core of our social mission is our people – and every day, the people at Skills make our tag line a reality.

Read the Committee’s Press Release Below:

Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment Announces Individual and Employer Award Winners

Media contacts: Matt Storey, 866-773-3622, Mike Hatzenbeler, 206-826-1044

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment (GCDE) announced that Brenda Carlstrom and Randy Revelle were co-winners of the Governor’s Individual Award.Ms. Carlstrom and Mr. Revelle were presented with the Carolyn Blair Brown Trophy recognizing their outstanding achievement by an individual with a disability in promoting the hiring of people with disabilities.The Awards Program was held October 23rd, 2008 at the Seattle Airport Marriott. The annual breakfast recognizes individuals, businesses, non-profits, and government agencies in Washington that have excelled in promoting the hiring people with disabilities.

The Awards Program is organized by the Washington State Business Leadership Network (WSBLN) and the GCDE.Award categories exist for individuals, non profits, government, and private employers.

Here is the list of 2008 award winners:

Award CategoryIndividual Award WinnerNominator
Governor’s Trophy Individual AwardBrenda CarlstromHome Care Quality Authority
Governor’s Trophy Individual Award

Randy Revelle

Disability Rights of Washington

Employer Award Winners

Private Employer (large)

Eurest Dining Service

Nominated by Jairul Rahaman

Private Employer (medium)

The River Casino

Nominated by Helen Hill

Private Employer (small)

Coastal Candies & Gifts

Nominated by Jacqueline Campbell

Nonprofit entity (large)

Skills, Inc.

Nominated by Kathy Powers and Adriana Tossini

Nonprofit entity (small)

Eastern Washington Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Nominated by Hiram Hill

Public Employer (Washington State)

Washington State Dept of Social and Health Services

Nominated by John Evans

Public Employer (Local)

Clark County

Nominated by Paula Johnson

Congratulations to all who were nominated.

Award Category Individual Award Nominee


Governor’s Trophy (individual award)Linda WilderBeth Sutton, WSDSB
Dylan KuehlKathy Goldenberg, Creative Employment & Stars
Karen MinahanErin Colwell, Orion
Paula BouwerPeggy Frisk & Lynn Van Vactor, WVS
Steven KellyScott Shinsato of Goodwill
Kirk HennigTammy Wilber, Varilite
Employer Award Nominees

Private Employer (large)

Comcast Cable Communications

Nominated by Matt Storey

Home Depot Lander Store

Nominated by Christina Davidson


Nominated by Julie Zander

Walgreen Drug Store

Nominated by Tammy Merrill

Private Employer (medium)

Nisbet Oysters Co – Goose Point Oysters

Nominated by Helen Hill

Roadside Multimedia

Nominated by Greg Gibbons

Janicki Industries

Nominated by Deborah Maxwell

Private Employer (small)

Starman, Inc.

Nominated by Judith Skillman

Starbucks Longview #3268

Nominated by Helen Hill

Nonprofit (large)

Harrison Medical Center

Nominated by Jennifer White

Lighthouse for the Blind

Nominated by Carolyn Hojaboom


Nominated by Marie Campanoli

Clark County Fair

Nominated by Paula Johnson

Nonprofit (medium)

YMCA Longview

Nominated by Helen Hill

Cascade Vocational Services

Nominated by Meredith Moyer

Nonprofit (small)

Pace Nutrition Center

Nominated by Hiram Hill

Public Employer (local)

City of Mountlake Terrace

Nominated by Jan Engelhart

Stevens County

Nominated by Bill Kinyon

About the Governor’s Individual Award Winners

Brenda Jean Carlstrom is a 2008 co-winner of the Governor’s Individual Award and received the Carolyn Blair Brown Trophy.Ms. Carlstrom was appointed to a board position of the Home Care Quality Authority (HCQA) in 2002. The Home Care Quality Authority was established by citizen initiative in November 2001 to improve the quality of long term In-Home services provided by In-Home providers through improved regulations, higher standards, increased accountability, and the enhanced ability of consumers to obtain services. Ms. Carlstrom has worked tirelessly as a leader and advocate of disability issues at the state and national levels.

Randy Revelle is a 2008 co-winner of the Governor’s Award and received the Carolyn Blair Brown Trophy. Randy has been one of the nation’s most highly visible and effective advocates of disability issues and mental illness. In 1981, while serving as King County Executive, Randy volunteered to assist in a newspaper story about bipolar disorder. The description of his disability became a major news story and challenged stereotypes about the abilities of people with mental illness. Randy has led campaigns at the state and national levels to pass mental health legislation that makes a positive difference in the lives of people with disabilities.

The GCDE would like to thank the following sponsors for their support: Auntie Anne’s Pretzel, Carpenter’s Local 131, the Washington Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Disability Business Technical Assistance Center (DBTAC), the University of Washington Do-IT Program, Dole, the Hearing Speech and Deafness Center, Lucky Eagle Casino, Microsoft Corporation, Q13 Fox, the Seattle Airport Marriott, the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpentry, and Yuen Lui Photography.