COLUMBUS — Preble County was in the spotlight at the Ohio Statehouse recently when the Governor’s Council on People With Disabilities named Preble DD Superintendent Diane Knupp the recipient of its 2015 Advocacy Award and Henny Penny Corporation its Employer of the Year.
“This is quite an honor and I want to thank my peers, my co-workers and my family,” Knupp said during the presentation on November 13. “It is very humbling to be recognized by the Governor’s Council and I can’t thank all of you enough!”
Knupp is a career-long advocate. From her earliest work of teaching school-age children at the Orient Development Center to her current position at PCBDD, she has kept her focus on the individuals and families the agency serves.
Her latest success is the building of a partnership between PCBDD and Eaton Community Schools, National Trail Schools and Preble Shawnee Schools. She was instrumental in bringing the PLAY (Play and Language for Autistic Youngsters) Project to Preble County. PLAY is an early intervention program for children diagnosed with autism.
As a result of Knupp’s advocacy, the Ohio Biennium Budget for 2016-17 included funding to support implementation into the schools mentioned above.
Henny Penny was selected as the Governor’s Council Employer of the Year. Henny Penny has been in Eaton for more than 50 years leading the way in producing food service equipment solutions for major corporations such as McDonald’s, KFC and Walmart.
Jason Moles, Field Marketing Manager at Henny Penny said they are all about building relationships with their customers and the Preble County community.
Henny Penny has a long-term relationship with L&M Products, Inc. and PCBDD. They partner with L&M to provide more than 100 different jobs for people diagnosed with a developmental disability.
“L&M employees are recognized as an integral part of our company’s success,” Moles said. “We support all communities, creating a culture free of biases and prejudices where all of us can live and work together as a society valuing abilities, not disabilities.”
Award recipients also received a proclamation from Governor John Kasich and Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor. Additionally, State Rep. Jeff Rezabek of House District 43 presented a proclamation to Knupp and Moles.
Knupp was nominated by former PCBDD Board President Jean Bussell and Eva Howard, President, Preble County Board of DD and Henny Penny was nominated by L&M Products, Inc.
The Governor’s Council on People with Disabilities exists to advise the governor and general assembly on statewide disability issues. The 16 member council advocates for partnerships at the local, state and national levels, promotes equality, access and independence and develops employment opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities.