On hand for Community Living BC’s inclusive employer award presentation to Okanagan Springs brewery on Thursday were: back row (from left) Russel Larnder, Sleeman Breweries, and Ryan Cucheron, Venture Training; front row Robin Makortoff; Eileen Howells, Venture Training; Franky Martens, Sleeman Breweries; Jennifer Love, Community Living BC. Photo credit: Barry Gerding/Black Press

Vernon brewery wins award

Okanagan Springs cited for inclusive employer award by Community Living BC

Robin Makortoff is a shining example of an adult with developmental disabilities able to fill a valued role for an employer in the workplace.

For the past 27 years Makortoff has worked for the Okanagan Spring Brewery in Vernon.

“I like working here with my friends. All my friends are here,” is how Makortoff describes where she works.

In recognition of the support she has received, always being challenged and treated just like any other brewery staff member, Makortoff submitted an inclusive employer award nomination for Okanagan Spring, an initiative of Community Living BC, the Crown agency responsible for supporting adults with developmental disabilities across the province.

From nine nominations submitted, Okanagan Spring was chosen as the second annual award recipient, formally presented to brewery management staff Franky Martens and Russel Larnder on Thursday morning.

Eileen Howells, the executive director of Venture Training, said Makortoff was unable to point to one person specifically who has aided her Okanagan Spring employment journey because so many in the organization have helped her over the years.

“This award is a way to say thanks so much to all who have supported Robin over the years and been part of this wonderful program,” Howells said.

Venture Training is aligned with the CLBC’s local community council and has been helping people with learning challenges, first with children starting in 1955 and expanding to incorporate adults as well in 1962.

Venture Training offers three work programs—the therapeutic work program where people learn how to behave in a work environment; the supported work program for carrying out community tasks and the community employment program that Makortoff has been the longest serving participant.

Martens, continuous improvement manager with Sleeman Breweries, said the brewery is thankful for the award and acknowledged Makortoff’s contribution to the company.

“Robin has been a great employee. I have been here for 19 years and she has surpassed my tenure here,” Martens laughed. “She has been here a long time and continues to be a great employee.”

Jennifer Love, the North Okanagan/Shuswap zone integrated services manager for Community Living BC, said the employment program has been a win-win for both employers and the participants.

“It’s been a success both ways, and Okanagan Springs has been a great supporter of our work-based programs for the past 30 years,” Love said.


 


newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Two rescued from tipped sailboat near Casa Loma

The two men were quickly brought to shore by a marine rescue crew

New cherry packing facility to open near Ellison Lake this weekend

Despite a lacklustre cherry crop this year, Jealous Fruits is opening its new state-of-the-art packing facility

Petition calling for Kelowna Mountie to be fired, charged nears 350K signatures

Const. Lacey Browning was caught on camera dragging a UBCO student down a hall during a wellness check

PHOTOS: Looking back at Central Okanagan Canada Day celebrations of years past

While there may not be many festivities to look forward to for Canada Day 2020, previous celebrations have been a real treat

Long-range transportation planning around Central Okanagan offers challenges

Work from home has upended traditional traffic patterns

North Okanagan man gives back for Canada Day

Food packages given away to those living on the streets in Vernon

Dog rescued from rocky ledge in Summerland

Penticton Search and Rescue members perform high angle rescue

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

Okanagan mine makes way for industrial project

Council holds a special meeting to rezone property

In photos and video: Colourful Canada Day parade rolls through Sicamous

Patriotic procession allows community to celebrate together while maintaining distance

Okanagan arsonist sentenced to 3 years probation

Arsonist must pay $500 to each party affected, no access to drugs, alcohol or fire starters

Northbound lane of Coquihalla closed after vehicle incident near Hope

A northbound lane is closed just north of the Great Bear Snowshed, according to DriveBC

Most Read