Gene Beckstein was named the recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Citizen Manatee County Good Scout Award by the Southwest Florida Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The Distinguished Citizen Good Scout Award recognizes individuals who have rendered outstanding service to the community and exemplify those values held in high regard by Scouting. Beckstein has served in several leadership capacities in many community organizations, including Chairman of the Board for the United Way Foundation Manatee County, American Red Cross Manatee County, Southeastern Guide Dogs and Mote Marine Laboratory. He has also served on the boards of the United Way of Manatee County, Manasota Lighthouse, Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School, and the Foundation for The Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County. The award will be presented at the eighth annual Good Scout award dinner on May 3 at the Manatee Performing Arts Center. Past winners were Robert Blalock, Cliff Walters, The Kiwanis Club of Bradenton, Pat Neal, General Jerry Nuff, Joe Kinnan and Dan Blalock Jr.
▪ C.J. Bannister, Goodwill Manasota's director of veterans services, was recognized by the National Association of Social Workers Florida Chapter Sarasota/Manatee Unit as its 2018 Public Citizen of the Year. Bannister, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, was hired in September 2014 by Goodwill to lead its efforts on behalf of area veterans. While overseeing the organization’s Veterans Services Program, she has helped to lower or eliminate barriers to employment and provide opportunities for higher-paying positions for veterans and their families. Additionally, she works to connect veterans with crucial social services, helping them reintegrate into their families, communities and jobs.
▪ Julia Thurman, Ariel Bollero, Richard Hector, Michael Camp and Ian Womack were presented with Manatee Technical College's 2018 Outstanding Business Partner awards. Thurman is the office manager at MAXhealth, which includes Bradenton Physicians Medical Center and Prime Care of Manatee. MAXhealth offers externship opportunities to MTC medical administrative specialist students. Bollero is the director of body shop operations at Feld and an active member of the advisory committee for the MTC automotive collision repair and refinishing program. Hector and Camp, of Eye Associates, were honored for their contributions to MTC’s optometric assisting program. The Eye Associates actively hires MTC graduates and hosts student interns. Womack, a division chief for St. Petersburg Fire Rescue, was recognized for sending about 30 emergency medical technician and paramedic students through MTC programs.
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