United Cerebral Palsy Presents “Awards for Excellence” & Elects New Members to Board of Trustees at 2010 Annual Conference

Washington, DC (June 16, 2010) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), a leading service provider and advocate for children and adults with disabilities, presented its annual Awards for Excellence and elected new members of the Board of Trustees during its 2010 Annual Conference last month in Chicago, Ill. Designed to help improve operational and organizational efficiency, the UCP 2010 Annual Conference theme – Mission Driven Business; Better Together Beyond All Limits – focused on developing business methods and strategies for affiliates to utilize to improve performance and enhance productivity.

Each year, the UCP Awards for Excellence are presented to affiliates, individuals and companies whose exceptional activities, achievements and dedication exemplify the UCP mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities through its affiliate network. This year, these awards were presented to 10 recipients at a dinner and presentation during the Annual Conference.

“The 2010 United Cerebral Palsy Awards for Excellence recipients are leaders in creating a life without limits for people with disabilities,” said Stephen Bennett, former President & CEO, United Cerebral Palsy. “We are pleased to recognize affiliates, individuals and companies whose successful performance make our mission a reality by advancing independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities.”

The 2010 Awards for Excellence include:

  • 2010 Kathleen O. Maul Leadership Award was presented to Ron Cohen, CEO of UCP of Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara Counties, for his leadership and strong commitment to UCP. He has led UCP of Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara Counties to be one of the largest developers of affordable housing for adults with disabilities in California. More recently, he acquired UCP Wheels for Humanity (WFH) and had the WFH logo placed on Glee, one of the hottest TV shows airing today.
  • 2010 Chair Award was presented to Tom O’Donnell, for his continued assistance to the Chair and Board throughout the year. Though Tom is currently Chair of the Nominating Committee, he has also served on the board of trustees for UCP of Greater Kansas, and as Chair of the UCP Board of Trustees. He has been an advocate for people with disabilities for four decades, serving as a staff attorney for the National Center of Law and the Handicapped, and advocating the Education for All Handicapped Children Act.
  • 2010 Ritter Legacy Award, was presented to UCP of Central Florida for their Miracles in Action E-Newsletters and their Broadcast Media Video. Their Miracles in Actions E-newsletters are targeted to meet the needs of specific groups including parents, volunteers, supporters and donors. Each letter included timely information tied to a call-to-action that prompted individuals to become additionally involved. Both media sources use the UCP logo and branding standards in exemplary ways to further their advocacy and fundraising goals.
  • 2010 Nina Eaton Program of the Year Award was presented to UCP Land of Lincoln, for their Employment Services program. Their Employment Services include a variety of programs from transition and job-training, supported employment and two independent business operations. The transition program is a year-round comprehensive program designed to foster employment and post secondary education opportunities for youth with disabilities. The supported employment program assists individuals with disabilities in finding jobs and maintaining successful employment in the community.
  • 2010 Outstanding Youth Award was presented to Katie Lightfoot (nominated by UCP of the North Bay) to recognize her as a youth who has significantly enhanced the lives of people with disabilities through caregiving, volunteerism, advocacy, innovation or fundraising. Katie has volunteered at Boost Camp, a UCP of the North Bay summer program for children with physical disabilities, for seven years. She provides hands on support to children in the program, and has also helped create a positive environment with her cheerful and enthusiastic attitude.
  • 2010 Universal Accessibility Design Award was presented to Morgan’s Wonderland, located in San Antonio, Texas to recognize it as the World’s First Ultra Accessible Family Fun Park designed specifically for children and adults with special needs, their family members, caregivers, friends and the entire community. It is a unique oasis that through the spirit of inclusion, allows people of all abilities to play, learn and share life changing experiences together, in a fun and safe environment. Gordon Hartman, president and CEO of The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation, expressed his appreciation, saying that, “We’re very grateful to UCP for recognizing our team effort in making Morgan’s Wonderland an ultra-accessible park so our guests with special needs can truly have fun with family members, friends and caregivers in a safe, colorful environment.”
  • 2010 Employer of the Year Award was presented to PRIDE Industries (nominated by UCP of Greater Sacramento) for it’s continued service in preparing people with disabilities for employment by providing person-centered training and program supports.
  • 2010 the Public Policy and Advocacy Award was presented to CP of Mobile, for its local advocacy efforts particular to disaster planning and preparation. In light of the way people with disabilities were treated during Hurricane Katrina UCP of Mobile called together representatives from other disability organizations, emergency Management, Public Health, government, Red Cross, local hospitals, and individuals with disabilities to create the Special Needs Shelter Task force to address the lack of safe and accessible emergency shelter choices.
  • 2010 the Ethel Hausman Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to two recipients this year, Jack and Linda Cox Maguire, who both, through volunteering, have made outstanding contributions to UCP. Jack and Linda have been involved with UCP for approximately 20 years through their local affiliate, UCP of MetroBoston, and at the national level. The couple exemplifies the spirit of UCP through their endless philanthropy, relentless advocacy, and time given to support the UCP mission.
  • 2010 Life Without Limits Award was presented to Craig Reinhardt of UCP Arkansas, to recognize an individual with disabilities who has demonstrated leadership and achievement of such a caliber as to be a significant role model to people with and without disabilities. Craig embodies what UCP represents- he has overcome significant physical and speech limitations to become a critical contributor to the work at UCP of Arkansas in his role as Technology Administrator. The things that Craig has done to help UCP of Arkansas meet its mission of advancing the independence, productivity and full citizenship for people with disabilities are way too numerous to list in their entirety, but his ability to be a role model to others with disabilities is immeasurable.

During the awards presentation, individuals who volunteered significant time with UCP affiliates were also recognized as Victory 100 winners. In 2009, these included 335 volunteers from 23 UCP affiliates. Each volunteer dedicated at least 100 hours of service by participating on a board, assisting in fundraising activities, and performing other needed volunteer work. This year the Victory 100 winners volunteered a total of 43,612 hours.

Board of Trustees
UCP also elected new members to its Board of Trustees during the Annual Conference. This included the following additions:


  • Woody Connette, from Charlotte, North Carolina, is an attorney with a strong interest in public policy and litigation related to disabilities, health care and mental health. He serves as Board Chair for Easter Seals/UCP North Carolina and Virginia and has been active with that affiliate approximately nine years. He has also served on the Executive Board and as President of the National Patient Advocate Foundation and has testified in Washington on proposed changes to ERISA regulations governing employee health and disability plans.
  • Dr. Joseph Lee, from Standish, Maine, is the President of Saint Joseph’s College. His background in higher education leadership includes fundraising, strategic planning, financial management, enrollment, marketing, student life and intercollegiate athletics. An active participant in service organizations, President Lee has served on the Board of Trustees for the National Conference for Community and Justice and on the Board of Directors for the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. Recently he was named to the Board of Trustees of the World Affairs Council of Maine.
  • Mark Lezotte is a shareholder practicing with the law firm of Hall Render in Troy, Michigan. He has served on the Council of the State Bar of Michigan Business Law Section, is a past co-chair of the State Bar Nonprofit Corporations Committee, and is active in numerous professional and nonprofit organizations. He received the United Cerebral Palsy Association National Chairperson’s Award in 2004.
  • Emilio Pardo, from Washington, DC, is a senior executive with over 18 years of development and management experience with non-profit, corporate and governmental organizations. As EVP & Chief Brand Officer for AARP, he is currently responsible for all creating, coordinating and integrating brand–related plans from across the enterprise.

View the full listing of UCP’s Board of Trustees.

About United Cerebral Palsy
Founded more than 60 years ago by parents of children with cerebral palsy, today United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) is a leading service provider and advocate for children and adults with disabilities. The UCP mission is to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities through an affiliate network. This includes approximately 100 local service providers reaching more than 176,000 individuals daily in the U.S., Canada, Scotland and Australia. The national office in Washington DC advocates on behalf of individuals with disabilities; advances federal disability public policy (Disability Policy Collaboration); and develops forward-thinking programs like Life Without Limits and My Child Without Limits. For more information, please visit www.UCP.org.