Businesses and citizens honored for commitment to, employment of people with developmental or intellectual disabilities

VANCOUVER  ̶  Costa Vida Fresh Mexican Grill of Vancouver and Furuno USA, Inc. of Camas were honored recently as the small and large businesses, respectively, of the year for their commitment to employ people with developmental disabilities.

The businesses were recognized at the 16th annual awards ceremony sponsored by the Clark County Developmental Disabilities Advisory Board, Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, New Seasons Market and Umpqua Bank. The event celebrates businesses that employ persons with developmental or intellectual disabilities, supported employees, employment agencies and residents who have demonstrated outstanding service to persons with developmental disabilities.

Kerri Martelli, a clerical support assistant with the state’s Department of Social and Health Services Children’s Administration, was named 2016 Employee of the Year at the Oct. 19 event at the Heathman Lodge. Her career with the state spans 16 years.

Donna Gunnels of Trillium Employment Services was the 2016 recipient of the David Hanawalt Service Award. An advocate for inclusion, Gunnels finds the right match between supported employees and businesses wanting to hire them.

Geneva Wood of Employers Overload received the 2016 Dennis Campbell Outstanding Service Award. Her work helping people contribute to their communities reaches far into businesses and organizations.

To see a video of the event, go to


About The Author

Ken Vance got his start in the newspaper industry in 1987 as a reporter at The Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Vance graduated from Stevenson High School in Stevenson, WA, and attended Clark College in Vancouver. He worked for The Columbian from 1987-2001. He was most recently a staff member of The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground, where he served as editor since 2010 and reporter since 2007. Vance’s work in the newspaper industry has won him multiple awards, including a first place award from the Society of Professional Journalists for in-depth reporting.

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