Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries
Serving Greater Cincinnati

Self Advocate Honored at 2023 Advocacy Summit!

Ohio Valley Goodwill was pleased to be in attendance at the inaugural Neighbors in Action Advocacy Summit on Saturday, September 30th. The first time event was inspired by past Advocacy Director for Hamilton County DD Services, John Romer, who led the agencies Self-Advocacy efforts for many years. Long time Self-Advocate, Melinda Gabelman was selected for recognition with the first time John Romer Advocacy Award in the Honorable Mention category.

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 first time event was well attended with approximately 100 or more self-advocates and supporters who enjoyed a pasta dinner, and a well-designed program which encouraged participation and welcomed ideas for advocacy efforts moving forward.

Our most sincere Congratulations to Ms. Melinda Gabelman as well as to the other award winners as well as the Neighbors in Action leadership team.