The luncheon was held in the AIB cafeteria and guests were welcomed by AIB executive director Billy Sparkman.
After an invocation by the Rev. Anthony McKinney and lunch, Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind President Terry Graham opened with remarks about AIDB’s achievements amidst a tough economic climate.
“I appreciate the leadership we have at Alabama Industries for the Blind,” Graham said. “My No. 1 priority is to make sure we keep everybody at AIDB, and especially the employees here, employed.
“Thank you all for being here today to celebrate this special occasion.”
Sparkman then recognized all past honorees, who stood as their names were called.
Donna Moore was presented the Milton J. Samuelson Career Achievement Award that recognizes one blind individual who has shown remarkable levels of leadership while employed.
The award was named for the late Milton J. Samuelson, a pioneer who supported upward mobility and placement programs for the blind.
Myra Fields was presented the Peter J. Salmon Direct Labor Award for her successful on-the-job performance and work in the community.
The award is named after the late Dr. Peter J. Salmon, one of the nation's outstanding advocates for people who are blind, who was instrumental in the passage of the Wagner-O'Day Act in 1938 and who served on the Board of Directors of the National Institute for the Blind in its early years.
Dr. John Mascia, vice president of Adult Programs, presented Moore and Fields with an AIB certificate.
Talladega Mayor Larry Barton and city manager Brian Muenger presented a city proclamation to Moore and Fields.
Sen. Jerry Fielding, D-Sylacauga, presented a Senate resolution to the two women, along with a commendation on behalf of Gov. Robert Bentley.
Sparkman presented both honorees with a letter from NIB and a scrapbook filled with memories from the years of their time at AIB.
Moore responded with a simple “Thank you,” and later added that she was a bit overwhelmed by the honor but was happy to be back in the company of those at AIB.
“It’s been great,” Moore said. “It’s mind-blowing. I didn’t expect all this. It’s way more than I thought it would be.”
Fields thanked her family and church members for being in attendance.
“I want to first thank my Heavenly Father,” Fields said. “I consider this job as a way of independence and I really enjoy everybody I work with.”
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