2015 Ruderman Best in Business Award Recipient
The Ruderman Family Foundation, in partnership with The Jewish Week Media Group, is proud to announce the recipients of the inaugural ‘Best in Business’ Award. This national competition highlights North American businesses – large corporations and small family owned businesses – that have shown exemplary practices in hiring, training and supporting people with disabilities.
“At Publix, we place a priority on providing a workplace where everyone can feel welcome, secure and valued”
“Everyone has a fundamental right to be included in our society and the best way to achieve full inclusion is through meaningful employment,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “What these Ruderman Best in Business winners understand is that inclusion is good for the bottom line. Not only are they providing the path to full inclusion for people with disabilities, but they are gaining loyal dedicated employees who change the environment of their workplaces, so all employees feel good about their places of employment. These businesses are leading by example and we believe that their example will inspire other business owners to make their workforces more inclusive for people with disabilities.”
The recipients are:
Long Island Marriott Hotel (Long Island, New York)- Since its opening in 1981, the Long Island Marriott Hotel has been involved in the hiring and support of people with disabilities and actively placing them in an extensive variety of positions within the hotel.
Wegmans Food Market Inc. (Rochester, New York)- Wegmans believes that a commitment to diversity and inclusion allows them to be a great place to work and a great place to shop for all people. They feel that hiring people with disabilities is the right thing to do and aligns with the company value of respect.
Rising Tide Car Wash (Parkland, Florida)- Rising Tide Car Wash is a scalable social enterprise that employs adults with autism. By delivering a first-rate car wash experience, Rising Tide strives to inspire communities to change their perception of the capabilities of people with autism.
Megleen Inc. (Toronto, Ontario)- Megleen Inc. owns and operates six Tim Horton’s restaurants in the greater Toronto area. In 20 years of operations the company has hired over 100 people with disabilities to fill meaningful and competitively-paid positions in all areas of the business, from entry-level to logistics, production, and management.
Green Distribution (Secaucus, New Jersey)- Green Distribution partners with Spectrumworks to help train and support people with autism in the workplace.
ULTRA Testing LLC (New York, New York)- ULTRA Testing is a New York based technology company that provides high quality, highly responsive software testing services. We deliver consistently superior results through onshore teams that include individuals with Asperger Syndrome and similar Autism Spectrum profiles.
Publix Super Markets Inc. (Sunrise, Florida)- With 176,000 associates, Publix has the distinction of being the largest employee-owned supermarket chain. Publix makes an effort to hire people who reflect the makeup of people in each store’s community, which includes hiring people of different backgrounds, ethnicities and abilities.
Accessibility Partners (Silver Spring, Maryland)- Accessibility Partners’ mission is to help organizations improve their accessibility posture by providing distinctive and powerful solutions for their stakeholders. With a full-time staff comprised of engineers with disabilities, Accessibility Partners ensures that their unique workforce collaborates with developers to create products that enable all of us better access to information technology.
[words] Bookstore (Maplewood, New Jersey)- [words] is the local, independent bookstore in Maplewood, New Jersey. What makes them special is their mission: they engage readers of all ages and interests, and they welcome patrons and employees with autism.
BagelToons (Detroit, Michigan)- BagelToons is a company that creates interactive digital media developed for a variety of platform. As they work to expand their creative product, BagelToons has called on a team of artists that they are connected with over the internet – specifically, artists who have disabilities.
Each of these businesses has demonstrated a history of employing people with disabilities, training and supporting them and developing innovative approaches to maximizing employee’s abilities. A panel of seven experts selected the winners from among the many nominations that were submitted online.
“At Publix, we place a priority on providing a workplace where everyone can feel welcome, secure and valued,” said Maria Brous, director of media and community relations. “Our company recognizes that we are made up of the talents of many, yet we foster the uniqueness of each. We focus on the abilities of each associate and help them achieve what success looks like for them. It’s a place where you can be exceptional and be yourself.”
Currently in the U.S., the unemployment rate of adults with disabilities hovers between seventy to eighty percent. The goal of the campaign is to shine a spotlight on these businesses and show that an inclusive workplace is good for an employer’s bottom line. Gaining a competitive edge means employing the best people available. The Foundation calls on all employers to open their doors to workers of all abilities in order to create a more fair and flourishing society.
To learn more about the ten award recipients, please visit:
About the Ruderman Family Foundation:
The Ruderman Family Foundation believes that inclusion and understanding of all people is essential to a fair and flourishing society.
Guided by our Jewish values, we support effective programs, innovative partnerships and a dynamic approach to philanthropy in our core areas of interest: advocating for and advancing the inclusion of people with disabilities throughout the Jewish community; fostering a more nuanced understanding of the American Jewish community among Israeli leaders; and modeling the practice of strategic philanthropy worldwide.
The Foundation provides funding, leadership, expertise and insight in both the U.S. and Israel, with offices in both countries.
For more information: www.rudermanfoundation.org
About Publix Super Markets:
Publix is privately owned and operated by its 176,000 employees, with 2014 sales of $30.6 billion. Currently Publix has 1,102 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina. The company has been named one of FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For in America” for 18 consecutive years. In addition, Publix’s dedication to superior quality and customer service is recognized among the top in the grocery business, most recently by an American Customer Satisfaction Index survey. For more information, visit the company’s website, corporate.publix.com.
Ruderman Family Foundation
Ephraim Gopin, Communications Director
Publix Super Markets, Inc.
Maria Brous, 863-680-5339
Director of Media and Community Relations