Vista Autism Services receives Business Partner of the Year award

Vista Autism Services was named the 2020 Business Partner of the Year by Central Penn College at a virtual ceremony this morning. The award recognizes a local company or organization for its commitment to partnering with the college and its Center for Career Services and Development.

“The relationship between Central Penn and Vista Autism Services has been multifaceted and mutually beneficial,” said Steve Hassinger, Dean of Career Services and Development at the college.

“The team at Vista Autism Services is honored to receive this prestigious award,” said Elizabeth Blaydon, Career Developer at the Hershey-based nonprofit. “Our clients have gained valuable skills and a greater sense of confidence while working at the college.”

For the past three years, Central Penn has employed individuals with autism from The Vista School and The Vista Adult Services Employment program. “These part-time employees assist us with our annual one-year and five-year graduate survey mailings, delivering a very much needed service,” said Hassinger. “The survey is a critical tool for demonstrating the power of a career-focused education.”

Vista Autism Services also has provided hands-on internship opportunities for many Central Penn students, particularly those from the Occupational Therapy Assistant program.

At the online ceremony, the college awarded the Interns of the Year to Jessica Patton, Occupational Therapy Assistant, and Timothy Umstead, Corporate Communications.

Keynote Speaker and Town Hall Discussion

The event featured David J. De Notaris as a keynote speaker. He serves as the Chief Inspiration Officer at Sky’s the Limit Communications & Associates, which is headquartered in Hershey. He spoke on the power of resiliency in overcoming obstacles.

Following the keynote speech, Steve Hassinger moderated a Town Hall discussion that included local leaders in the areas of human relations, business partnerships and diversity:

  • Maureen Fairbanks, Director, Staffing & Employee Relations, Capital BlueCross
  • Stacy Kyle, Director of Business Development & Partnerships at AHEDD/Project Director for Disability: IN Pennsylvania
  • Megan Peterson, Dean of Equity & Multicultural Affairs, Central Penn College

This is the 16th year for the Business Partner of the Year award. Previous winners of the award include:

  • 2019 – H&R Block, Shippensburg
  • 2018 – CPRS Physical Therapy
  • 2017 – New York Life
  • 2016 – Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union (PSECU)
  • 2015 – Spring Creek Rehabilitation Center
  • 2014 – Hershey Entertainment & Resorts
  • 2013 – Nationwide Insurance
  • 2012 – Capital BlueCross
  • 2011 – Metro Bank
  • 2010 – Holy Spirit Health System
  • 2009 – Highmark
  • 2008 – AmeriChoice Federal Credit Union
  • 2007 – Drayer Physical Therapy Institute
  • 2006 – Giant Food Stores
  • 2005 – SatoTravel

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