John Dees, Tim Sutton and Fine Metals Corporation have been recognized by Hanover County’s Community Services Board (CSB) as recipients of the organization’s top annual award, the Jean C. Harris Award for Excellence.
Dees recently retired from the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice, where he served as a juvenile probation officer for more than 30 years. For much of his career, he worked as the sole probation officer for Hanover’s Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Program.
“Throughout his tenure, John worked with so many high risk, high need youth, never wavering in his approach of uncompromised professionalism, compassion, and commitment while simultaneously holding each youth legally accountable in a way that communicated dignity and respect,” said Mary Butler Eggleston, Vice Chair of the CSB.
Tim Sutton, formerly of the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, helped form Project Life Saver to support people with Alzheimer’s, dementia, intellectual or development disabilities who were wandering from their homes. Project Life Saver provides residents with an ankle device to help locate them. He has been personally responsible for providing training and additional resources to 130 families.
Through this program and “A Better Understanding,” another non-profit which provides social activities to individuals with intellectual and development disabilities, Sutton’s work “is a calling to be in in unselfish service of others,” Eggleston said.
Fine Metals Corporation employs two individuals who are connected to the CSB’s Supported Employment program, and the company has twice received outstanding employer of the year recognition from that program. One of the employees has worked with them for more than two decades and the other more than 10 years.
Representing Fine Metals Corporation were Tom and Kim Goodloe. “People with disabilities do not get a fair shake,” Kim Goodloe said. She urged people to hire those with disabilities “because they really want the job.”
“One individual started his career pulling trash and sweeping the floor,” Eggleston noted. “Today he drives a forklift and moves products and material as needed. He has also learned to roll, catch and clean metal. Through life’s ups and downs, the Goodloes supported the other individual - at work, with health concerns and with his home. When he needed assistance getting to doctor appointments, Kim took him. When his home needed major repairs, the Goodloes helped him work through what needed to be done, helped him determine how he was going to pay for the repairs and found him alternative housing while the work was completed.”
These honorees reflect the spirit of the late Jean C. Harris, who was a founding member of the CSB and a strong advocate for persons with disabilities.
“My mother would be so proud to be associated with this group of people,” Scott Harris said. “She was committed to a segment of our community that often goes without a voice. She was determined to give them a voice.”
The awards were presented on October 25 in the Parish Hall of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Hanover.