Employee wins national award

MEDFORD — Goodwill Industries International is pleased to announce that the winner of its 2017 Edgar J. Helms Award for Staff is Kristi Bonham of Talent, Oregon.

Bonham serves as the quality assurance coordinator for Southern Oregon Goodwill Industries in Medford. She has worked for the organization since 1997, beginning as a job coach, contracts manager, and also spending time as the interim director of workforce development in Josephine County.

“Kristi embodies our core values of service, collaboration, community, and potential,” said Shae Johns, president and CEO for Southern Oregon Goodwill. “In two decades with Goodwill, she has been a mentor and advocate for hundreds of people as they realize their full potential to thrive in community employment.”

The award honors a current Goodwill employee who has not received Goodwill services in the past and who exemplifies the mission of Goodwill and founder Rev. Edgar J. Helms’ values of unselfish service to people with disabilities or other challenges to finding employment.

In 2013, legislation known as Employment First, emphasized moving adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities into integrated community jobs. As the resident expert on client services, Bonham led the efforts to meet the intent of the legislation. She created an educational series for staff, and aligned policies and procedures. Because of her work, Southern Oregon Goodwill Industries was recognized as a leader in Oregon and received a multi-year “Transformation Project” grant from the state.

Bonham says she is driven by her “love of working with people, assisting them to overcome obstacles. I simply cannot imagine my life without Goodwill in it.”

Bonham will receive her award at Goodwill Industries International’s annual Delegate Assembly meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, on June 26.

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