UCAN’s Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony held on Monday, February 8 on the top floor of Winston and Strawn LLP was an inspiring evening filled with gratitude for our amazing volunteers and hope for what is to come for the organization. Over 60 board members, volunteers, staff and supporters were in attendance. Guests enjoyed delicious appetizers and libations while they waited for the evening’s program to begin.
Tom Vanden Berk addressed the attendees with opening remarks and recognized two of the 2015 Employee of the Year Awardees who were given special acknowledgment for their outstanding compassion and grace in dealing with a very difficult crisis situation. The other staff member was awarded for his hard work and dedication in helping ensure that UCAN’s IT Department continues to run smoothly through the various transitions the organization has experienced.
UCAN Board Chairman, Rick Flemming spoke about some of UCAN’s successes from 2015. He highlighted the 42 percent of youth who were transitioned into caring homes from UCAN’s Therapeutic Youth Home. This number is double the state’s performance benchmark.
Awards were also given to the individuals who dedicate their time and talents to UCAN. Awards were given for Mentor of the Year, Foster Parent of the Year, Diversity and Inclusion and Volunteer of the Year. Tom ended the evening with an appeal for attendees to help continue to spread the word about the work that UCAN is doing to help residents of Chicago.
Honorees for the evening:
Foster Parent of the Year: Jeffrey and Teresa Pittman
Volunteer of the Year: Karen Wilson
Diversity & Inclusion Ambassador: Lourdes Gonzalez
Mentor of the Year:Markell Bridges
UCAN Employee of the Year: Luis Olayes
UCAN Employee of the Year: Anabelle Doulas
UCAN Employee of the Year: Cole Thompson