Current Edgar Award Winners

Each year Goodwill of the Heartland celebrates the exceptional achievements of a select group of program participants and team members through the Edgar Awards – named after Goodwill Industries International founder and former Iowan Edgar J. Helms.

We are proud to introduce you to our most recent batch of award winners and honored to share their stories of hard work, determination and self-discovery.

Larry Wilson

Day Habilitation Achiever of the Year

Larry has made significant progress in multiple areas during 2022, including added dedication to personal needs such as hygiene and grooming. He also realized the ambitious goal he set for himself to quit smoking. These wins have built Larry’s confidence and have made him more willing to take on self-improvement projects and goals.

Larry is always willing to participate in a variety of group outings, and is learning new ways to engage with others. With each step forward, Larry is better integrating with his broader community.

Tanna Quisley

Supported Community Living Achiever of the Year

Tanna has recently overcome anxiety to independently travel to appointments and connect with her community. She has learned to summarize medical appointments for her family and staff members.

Using lists and timers, Tanna successfully plans meals, shops for food and prepares dishes based on her nutritional best practices.

Tanna maintains a monthly events calendar, welcomes new ideas from her support team and remains eager to establish and achieve short- and long-term goals. Her dedication has resulted in newfound indpendence and life balance.

Lisa Collins

Trainee Achiever of the Year

During her first visit to the local Goodwill offices, Lisa was unable to cross the threshold. A previous traumatic incident sparked dual challenges of anxiety and low self-worth, which narrowed her world. Despite apprehension and anxiety, Lisa returned, began taking computer classes and training courses.

Soon, Lisa expressed an interest in finding a job. It was a huge step forward.

Lisa has been able to maintain employment by using coping mechanisms to quiet negative self-talk. She no longer requires on-site coaching and relies on her career navigator when life gets overwhelming.

Tonya Glover

Townsend Employment Achiever of the Year

In 2022, Tonya moved from nearly full time job coaching to one hour of support each week. Because of her determination, she has maintained a community-based job for the past few years. In fact, Lisa now assists with training new team members at her job.

Communication with her job coach, co-workers and employer has increased, allowing Tonya to regulate emotion and better perform job duties. This newfound confidence is bolstering Tonya to compete for employer-based rewards, earn high marks on customer satisfaction surveys and take real joy in community employment.

Previous Edgar Award Winners

Josh Klein - 2021 Day Habilitation Achiever of the Year

As a full time participant in the Day Habilitation program in Iowa City, Josh is rarely seen without a smile upon his face. His positivity and kindness have truly bloomed as he has tackled his long-term goal of increasing his ability and comfort with communication.

Josh no longer needs to rely on staff to communicate his wants and needs when in a community setting. This increased confidence has made his time in day habilitation more enjoyable and educational, as well as increased his overall daily living independence.

Bianca Clark - 2021 Supported Community Living Achiever of the Year

During the past year, Biana met or exceeded a number of goals she’d been working on for several years. For instance, she is now effectively managing her own finances after previously experiencing a rights restriction in this area. Working with Supported Community Living team members, Bianca opened communication with the third-party representative payee overseeing her finances. She not only learned more about how her money was spent but understood what expectations should be met so she could resume control.

Because she wanted more community engagement, Bianca learned to use public transit and now can travel independently to where she needs to go. She also is more diligent in managing a medical condition, focusing on exercise, quitting smoking and consistently taking her medications.

Richard Bideaux - 2021 Trainee Achiever of the Year

After the death of a father-figure, Rich remained in the left behind residence so that he could care for the friend’s animals. He needed a hand up so he could access stable housing, life-saving utilities and employment.

After visiting with Goodwill Veteran Services, Rich began the work necessary to obtain his driver’s license, completed the Retail Training Program at the Rock Island Store and applied for permanent employment. Although the process was lengthy, Rich was patient and obtained housing through a federal program for military veterans.

David Colborn - 2021 Townsend Achiever of the Year

Since 2011, Dave has been a valuable part of the Allsteel team. His original goals of adapting to workplace culture, communication and routine flexibility have been realized.

Dave, who is an incredibly reliable worker, openly accepts changes to his routine and added responsibilities. Whether or not he is accompanied by a job coach, Dave is able to complete his duties as well as those of his peers who need to call out. In addition, Dave has a proven track record of consistency, making him a role model for his peers.

Rif Throckmorton - 2021 Helms Family Achiever of the Year

Federal Contracts Manager Rif Throckmorton oversees federal custodial contracts and often pitches in at work sites, including the Coralville Reservoir, Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, Davenport Corp of Engineers office, Davenport U.S. Courthouse and the Iowa City Federal Building. He develops bids and negotiates contract pricing as well as hires and trains people with disabilities to perform valuable work.

During the recent pandemic, Rif’s job was made significantly more difficult. Not only did cleaning and sanitation crews need to switch their routines to adapt to additional safety requirements, but some locations closed, creating scheduling challenges. Regardless of the road bumps Rif has encountered, he has remained steadfast in support of his team and the necessary work they provide.

Bobby Bender - 2020 Trainee Achiever of the Year

Over the last year Bobby made impressive gains in the areas of working independently. With the help of checklists, Bobby has  lessened the need for constant supervision, which allows him to feel more independent, capable and helpful.

He takes great pride in his job and states numerous times each day how much he loves to work.  From the beginning of Bobby’s time with Project SEARCH until now, he has grown from having little interaction or concern for others’ well-being to openly showing interest.  Bobby has also shown exceptional growth in his communication skills.

Bobby’s improvement and accomplishment of his goals over the past year has truly been an outstanding achievement.

Brian Hagen - 2020 Day Habilitation Achiever of the Year

In the past, Brian broke personal belongings or was unsure of how to advocate for himself. Now, he comes in and asks which staff he is with and picks his activities ahead of time.

Brian has overcome technology barriers as he was unable to make a phone call without hanging up on the person and use basic technology.  He now can get the tablet, get it started, and get to the screen he needs to be on.  He can make phone calls with assistance and can engage in a short conversation.

When Brian walks into the building, he will greet and initiate with peers. He communicates when he does not understand the activity and will ask peers for help.  Brian strives to work on his goals each day.

Josh Jostad - 2020 Townsend Achiever of the Year

When Josh started at Hy-Vee, his job coaches did a big portion of his job for him. With the support of his job coaches and team, Josh made great strides towards working independently.

Josh now walks to his work area using his sight cane and only verbal guidance from his job coach rather than physical guidance. Josh memorized how many of each item go on a tray, and each time tray quantities change he almost immediately memorizes the new quantities. Josh also improved his social skills, interacting with his coworkers and supervisors regularly with encouragement from his job coaches.

Josh showed incredible growth in 2020. He now sprays trays with cooking spray even though he cannot see them. The progress made by Josh exemplifies the qualities celebrated in our Townsend Achiever of the Year Award.

Careanne Lewis - 2020 Supported Community Living Achiever of the Year

In 2020, Careanne improved her budgeting skills to save up money to pay for her new apartment. Careanne worked to maintain her independence while preparing for the move.  When the pandemic struck in March, she did what was needed so she and her daughter could adapt to changes in their lifestyle.

Careanne completed her move in July and, thanks to her improved budgeting skills, purchased needed items for her new apartment.

Careanne shows tremendous growth in her daily living skills. She is more independent in managing a household, being a mother and budgeting for upcoming needs. Her progress toward goals is why Careanne was named 2020 Supported Community Living Achiever of the Year.

Josh Newman - 2020 Helms Family Achiever of the Year

For the past five years, Josh Newman has been with Heartland Goodwill Enterprises as the Iowa City Federal Building custodial services site supervisor.  In this role he oversees the cleaning of the facility and the keeping of the grounds.

Josh has been a solid performer everywhere he has worked within Goodwill, but with the pandemic he really stepped up. The Federal Building never had any shutdown. He kept our customers happy and his team in good spirits.

Josh has handled every change he was asked to make and did so with a positive attitude.  Given how long Josh has been with Goodwill in various capacities, he exemplifies the progress and accomplishments that make him a natural choice as the Helms Family Achievement Award.