ADRS staffers shine at AL-APSE Conference

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During the most-recent Alabama Association for Persons In Supported Employment (AL-APSE) Conference, two members of the ADRS staff were honored for their service.

Rachel Hughes earned the Brenda McComb Leadership Award, and Mobile Vocational Rehabilitation Service Field Supervisor Beth Hanks earned the President Award.

Both were honored at the awards banquet, which took place at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa in Montgomery with a crowd of more than 300 people.

Hughes was described as trustworthy, innovative, a visionary, a leader, creative, a communicator, and a motivator.

In her role with ADRS, Hughes is required to work tirelessly to resolve conflict and does so by listening and finding creative solutions to help propel individuals to their best possible outcome. She works every day to empower and motivate people with disabilities, so they can gain employment.

As a mediator, Hughes inspires creativity in VRS counselors and self-advocacy in consumers to empower both to achieve their common employment goals.

After taking the stage, Hughes said she was truly honored.

“I love what I do, I love the people that I work with, and I am so blessed to be able to do the things I do because I love it so much,” she said.

The President Award is often a difficult decision, however selecting Hanks was said to be a “no-brainer.”

Hanks served on the AL-APSE Board for many years and made an impact to help advance their mission in several roles. When Hanks volunteered or was asked to complete a task it was done and done immediately.

Hanks said it has been a pleasure to work hand-in-hand with Al-APSE.

“I hope you all at some point in your life can surround yourself with some of the best people you will ever know,” she said.

AL-APSE Board of Directors Co-President Byron White recruited Hanks in 2005, and she said she is forever grateful for that opportunity.

“I knew right then that he saw in me something I didn’t see,” she said. “This is the hardest working board that I have ever had an opportunity to be a part of. They are some of the best people you will ever meet. It starts with the people we serve, our partners, our bosses, and our friends.”

Hanks said serving on the AL-APSE Board has been.

“I loved every second of it,” she said. “It truly changed the trajectory of my career. If I had not had this opportunity to grow and learn and be a part of and lead I would not be where I am at ADRS right now.”

The awards banquet capped a week of fun and informative presentations. Several ADRS staffers were on hand to learn and provide information about new and exciting technology and tactics.

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