Blind Worker of the Year honored
by Shane Dunaway
TALLADEGA – Two legally blind workers received recognition during the 46th annual Blind Worker of the Year Luncheon held in the Alabama Industries for the Blind cafeteria Friday.

Billy Sparkman, executive director for AIB, presented Kevin McLain, the store clerk for the satellite base supply center at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, with the Peter J. Salmon Direct Labor Employee of the Year Award and presented Jonathan Robinson, a production line leader at AIB, with the Milton J. Samuelson Career Achievement Award.

“This is one of my favorite days of the year,” Sparkman said. “It probably ranks right up there with Christmas because it’s a day where we can get together with some of our former employees as well as current employees and our friends out in the community to celebrate the accomplishments of our employees of the year.”

More than 160 guests attended the luncheon, including state Sen.Jerry Fielding, R-Sylacauga; Rep. Steve Hurst, R-Munford; Talladega Mayor Larry Barton; City Manager Brian Muenger; and Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind President John Mascia.

“It’s an honor to be celebrating the accomplishments of McLain and Robinson,“ Mascia said. “Kevin and Jonathan, we are so proud of your hard work and your accomplishments.”

McLain and Robinson both expressed how happy they were to share the event with their respective wives, Shovannah and Amy, their families and friends who attended the luncheon.

McLain becomes the 46th recipient of the Peter J. Salmon Award and Robinson becomes the 15th recipient of the Milton J. Samuelson Award in the history of AIB.

Mascia kicked off the parade of presentations by giving them each a check for $100.

Barton and Muenger bestowed proclamations to the duo, one officially naming the day as “Kevin McLain Day” and the other naming the day as “Jonathan Robinson day.”

Fielding and Hurst also read resolutions drafted by Alabama legislators, thanking and honoring the two for their service.

Sparkman commended McLain for his many years spent working in the main base supply center at Redstone Arsenal before his promotion to the satellite center.

“Kevin is one of the most pleasant, happy-go-lucky people I have ever met,” Sparkman said. “He makes his fellow workers and customers feel comfortable to ask for his help at any time and he does it with a smile on his face.”

Robinson, an employee at AIB since 2006, received equally glowing remarks from Sparkman.

“Jonathan has demonstrated the attendance, work ethic, quality of work and versatility that makes him a real asset to our organization,” Sparkman said. “He has shown those types of cross-functional skills that makes him a contributor to any projects that we have going on and has the initiative to go above and beyond the call of duty to do things the right way and to learn all that he can about our organization and our products.”

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© 2013