Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries
Serving Greater Cincinnati

Goodwill Self-Advocate Receives Advocacy Award!

Inaugural John Romer Advocacy Awards

Ohio Valley Goodwill was pleased to be in attendance at an awards presentation on September 12th in honor of three outstanding advocates sponsored by Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services (HCDDS). The three individuals were honored as part of the inaugural John Romer Advocacy Award. John Romer was the HCDDS Advocacy Director for many years and left a legacy of encouraging advocates to speak up for themselves and for the change they wished to see.

Melinda Gabelman, Dr. Reece, Alicia Hopkins, Advocacy Award Winners

Advocacy Award Winners

Goodwill was delighted to support Advocacy Award winner, Ms. Melinda Gabelman during this inaugural event. Melinda received Honorable Mention in recognition of her many years of self-advocacy efforts in support of community education about Prader Willi Syndrome, improving accessible transportation options in Hamilton County, as well as support of the Board and its levy campaigns as well as a founding member of Goodwill’s Consumer Advisory Council.

Melinda has been recognized many times over the years for her outstanding self-advocacy achievements including with the 2004 SWORA Advocacy Award, 2006 Sue Breiner Advocacy Award from HCDDS as well as a member of Goodwill Consumer Advisory Committee with the 2010 Superintendent’s Award. 

Other inaugural Award winners included Advocate Alicia Hopkins, an artist and passionate advocate as well as Dr. Courtney Reece, an Associate Principal at the Heidt Center of Excellence. Find out more about these remarkable women and their inspiring advocacy here https://www.hamiltondds.org/celebrating-exceptional-advocacy/

The inaugural Advocacy Award presentation took place during a meeting of HCDDS Board of Directors and will be followed by a more elaborate awards event scheduled for September 30th.

Advocacy Award Winners with Hamilton County DD Services Board of Directors and Leadership team

Ohio Valley Goodwill congratulates Melinda Gabelman on this well-deserved recognition as well as the other inaugural winners of the 2023 John Romer Advocacy Award.