BCCPD’s Inaugural Outstanding Employer of the Year Awards


Winner. L to R: Robert Navalta, Jane Dyson, Jon Dodge, Starbucks

Winner: L to R: Robert Navalta,
Jane Dyson, Jon Dodge, Starbucks

Vancouver, BC. The BC Coalition of People with Disabilities (BCCPD) has given its first award to a BC employer who has demonstrated excellence in the hiring and employing of people with disabilities. A BCCPD committee selected Starbucks (1500 West 2nd Branch) as the inaugural Award winner. The Starbucks branch was nominated by Café Attendant Robert Navalta and his Employment Specialist at posAbilities Employment Service. Starbucks has successfully recruited seven employees through the Service and employs people with disabilities across Metro Vancouver. BCCPD selected Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) as its Honourary Mention winner, nominated by employee Maninder Sanghera.

L to R: Maninder Sanghera, Pat Danforth, Dr. Charan Gill, PICS

Honourable Mention: L to R: Maninder Sanghera,
Pat Danforth, Satbir Cheema, PICS

Both winners were announced at BCCPD’s Swing into Spring Annual Fundraiser on April 9, 2014 in Vancouver at the Holiday Inn.

Jane Dyson, Executive Director of the BCCPD said, “It’s important to celebrate employers who support people with disabilities in finding and maintaining employment. Employers like Starbucks and PICS are demonstrating that inclusive hiring practices benefit everyone involved. Through this Award, BCCPD hopes to encourage more employers to hire people with disabilities.”

For his part, Robert Navalta was delighted with the outcome of the nomination and added, “I am so happy that Starbucks won this award, it’s a really great company to work for. I hope to work here for a very, very long time.”

Starbucks and PICS representatives were delighted by the recognition, and Starbucks Store Manager, Jon Dodge said, “Robert picks up the pieces, when we all fall down.”

“We’re incredibly grateful to have received the Honourary Mention for the Outstanding Employer of the Year Award 2014,” says Charan Gill, CEO of PICS Society. “At PICS Society, we strive to build a more inclusive and mutually respectful society. We’re pleased to reflect that within our organization by creating an inclusive workspace for employees with disabilities. We celebrate our employees for their talents, skills and passion – that’s what enables us to do better for the community every day.”

 Kalena Kavanaugh, Manager of posAbilities Employment Services says, “I am delighted that Starbucks won this award. They have been wonderful to work with and have embraced some simple practices to foster an inclusive work environment. We know that individuals with developmental disabilities make great employees, and now we see that businesses know it too! Productivity, morale and profits have been proven to increase with inclusion.”

The BC Coalition of People with Disabilities

For over 35 years, the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities (BCCPD) has been a provincial, cross-disability voice in British Columbia. BCCPD’s mission is to support people, with all disabilities, to live with dignity, independence and as equal and full participants in the community. We champion issues impacting the lives of people with disabilities through our direct services, community partnerships, advocacy, research and publications.

The Nominators

posAbilities Employment Service

Working in partnership with job seekers, families and employers, the Service promotes beneficial and lasting relationships in communities through the world of work. Competitive employment provides individuals with more than a paycheck. Working builds confidence, develops independence and introduces individuals to new social circles. Over the past year, posAbilities Employment Service has assisted 66 individuals with diverse abilities to prepare for, secure and maintain competitive employment. Services may be accessed by Community Living BC or directly by self-referral. There are no fees for employers who choose to partner with the Service.

Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS)

Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) Society is a registered non-profit society, United Way Agency, and PCTIA registered organization. We actively promote harmony and intercultural understanding to build a more inclusive and respectful society by providing programs and services that directly assist youth, seniors, and new immigrants in the community.

For more information please contact

Jane Dyson, Executive Director
BC Coalition of People with Disabilities
Ph: 604-875-0188
Email: jwd@bccpd.bc.ca
Web: www.bccpd.bc.ca

Kalena Kavanaugh, Manager
posAbilities Employment Service
Ph: 604-291-1902
Email: KKavanaugh@posAbilities.ca
Web: www.PESworks.ca