There were many things that were unique about the 2011 JAG National Leadership Awards Events in Washington D.C. Although this is an annual event each event has its own personality and remembrances that make it stand out from past years. The 2011 events were no different. On November 16, 2011 the Special Recognition Awards Reception was held at the Residency of the Swiss Ambassador honoring those who support JAG programs and go above and beyond in that integral role. The Swiss Ambassador’s Residence is a beautiful building located on Cathedral Avenue in Washington D.C. A stately building with a stunning reflecting pool in front, the residence was completed in 2006. The JAG Reception was one of approximately 400 events hosted by the Swiss Ambassador this year.
The event recognized trustees, sponsors, associates and donors for their monetary contributions and continued support of JAG. Among them were AT&T, Verizon, Arthur Daniels Midland, Microsoft, Toys “R” Us, HCA Hospital Corporation of America, Walmart, General Electric, Shell, Ally Financial, Corinthian Colleges, PhRMA, SHRM, McDonalds, JP Morgan Chase and Company, and Bank of America to name a few.
Ken Smith, President of Jobs for America’s Graduates, opened the ceremony followed by remarks by the Ambassador of Switzerland in the United States, Manuel Sager. Danielle Goodman, JAG- Tennessee shared her musical talent singing at the reception and Cierra Whaley of JAG- Delaware was the featured student speaker.
The reception included five special recognition awards. The Honorable Haley Barbour, Governor of Mississippi, earned the Government Leader Award for his work with JAG- Mississippi, a program that began in 1990. In addition, special recognition was given to First Lady Marsha Barbour, for her decades of commitment to both the young people of Mississippi and Chair of the JAG-Mississippi state organization. The National Network Leadership Award was given to Mr. Jeff Nelson. Director of Marketing, Prairie Meadows. For his tireless efforts to ensure awareness and community involvement in Iowa-JAG. Ms. Marla Ray, President of Workforce Essentials, Inc. Investment Area 10, was awarded the National Above and Beyond Award for her work with JAG-Tennessee and her dedication to help students reach the highest standards by transitioning to a post-secondary education or the workforce. And, the final award was presented to Mr. Dean Jones, the JAG Board Treasurer and President of the South Carolina Workforce Development Area Administrators Association, Greenville Workforce Development. Mr. Jones provides cost effective training and employment solutions to the youth of Greenville County and is a valued partner of JAG in South Carolina.
The success of the 850 JAG programs around the nation depends in large part on the unselfish and continued efforts of ourdonors and volunteers that include leaders from government, education, corporations, non-profit organizations, and employers. The JAG organization applauds the awardees for supporting the students involved in JAG programs who will become tomorrow’s leaders, educators, and employers.