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The Spot restaurant in Sidney has been named the Employer of the Year among small businesses by the Governor’s Council on People with Disabilities.
The Spot owner Michael Jannides was in Columbus, Friday, Sept. 29, to accept the award during ceremonies at the Ohio Statehouse.
The restaurant was one of six small businesses that had been nominated from around the state. The Shelby County Board of Developmental Disabilities had submitted the local eatery because of its long history of employing developmentally disabled people.
“I didn’t know I was nominated,” Jannides told the Sidney Daily News, Friday morning. “It was definitely a surprise.”
Jessica Guillozet, community connections facilitator of the Shelby County Board of Developmental Disabilities, said the idea to put up The Spot’s name was a “no-brainer.”
“They have been so good for so long about hiring people with disabilities,” she said. Jannides said that in the 30 years of his connection to the restaurant, there has always been a history of hiring people with developmental disabilities.
“The Governor’s Council on People with Disabilities annually recognizes businesses, groups and individuals who have significantly contributed to employment opportunities and community involvement for people with disabilities,” said Shirley Marchi, of the organization’s Office of Communications in quoting from its website. “It is anticipated that their example will inspire others in both the public and private sectors to realize ability rather than disability as the most important factor in employment and community inclusion.”
Friday’s ceremonies also honored award recipients in medium and large business and accessible medical services categories and for leadership and advocacy, as well as scholarship recipients and the legislator of the year. The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Mark Hurst, medical director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
“There are few places in any city or town where people of all kinds can gather together to share a beverage or have a meal,” the Spot nomination essay read. “These establishments become the cornerstones of our community where all are welcome and can expect to enjoy great food at reasonable costs. The Spot is this type of place for Sidney, Ohio. Whether they are serving a president of our country (George W. Bush) or providing an opportunity for employment to a person with a disability, The Spot provides a welcome atmosphere to visitors and regulars alike …
“Over the years, The Spot has hired many people with disabilities in a variety of positions. Whether someone has worked for years in a different type of job or a person has no experience working in their community, The Spot is always willing to bring in prospective employees to see if they may be a good fit for the food-service industry. The owner, management and staff all welcome new employees and are quick to find and create accommodations for workers with disabilities. Currently, The Spot employees three workers who are supported by the Shelby County Board of DD.”
For his part, Jannides appreciates the support given by that board.
“We’ve had a good relationship with the organization,” he said.
He also noted that this Employer of the Year Award doesn’t throw light on just the Spot.
“It’s definitely a great honor. It’s also a good reflection on the community in general about employees with disabilities (whom the community) has employed over the years,” Jannides said.
This article has been reproduced for educational purposes only and appeared in the Sidney Daily News. The original story can be found at: http://www.sidneydailynews.com/news/85154/the-spothonored-incolumbus
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