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Abbotsford Mark’s store manager earns award as inclusive employer

Bobbi Hunt has created safe workplace for people with development disabilities to find their fit
(Left to right) Annette Borrows, CLBC manager of employment; Jeremy Bekar, Mark’s; Bobbi Hunt, WOW Award recipient and Abbotsford Mark’s manager; Jennifer Malin, Community Living Society; and Amy Saip, Community Living Society. (Submitted photo)

An Abbotsford store manager has been recognized for creating an inclusive workplace.

October is Community Inclusion Month, a month to recognize the people who are working to build inclusion for adults with developmental disabilities. To honour that month, Community Living BC (CLBC) gives Widening Our World awards.

This year, Bobbi Hunt, manager of the Abbotsford Mark’s store, has been chosen of one of just four award recipients. She was given the award in a small ceremony at the store on Oct. 24.

Hunt was nominated by Amy Saip, who is an employment developer from Community Living Society, an agency funded by CLBC to deliver employment services for adults with developmental disabilities.

“Bobbi and her entire team are [role models] for what an inclusive workplace looks like,” Saip said, adding that they are ”welcoming of everyone in all walks of life and all stages of employment readiness.

“They allow everyone the chance to grow and learn in a safe and supportive environment.”

CLBC is a crown corporation that funds services for adults with developmental disabilities, and has been holding the WOW awards since 2009.

This year’s WOW nominations focused on employers who are building inclusive workplaces as more and more of the people CLBC serves want to work. Only 21 per cent of their clients are working, and the awards do double duty, by also helping spread awareness.

Mark’s, under the leadership of Hunt, is a good example of a business partnering well with CLBC. Between the Abbotsford and Maple Ridge stores, Mark’s employs 13 people with developmental disabilities.

“My experiences working with [Bobbi and her team] has shown me and led me to believe that her philosophy and values are community, inclusion, and relationship,” Saip added. “Mark’s has been open to building a working relationship with us to build people up. They value people first and are able to see their worth by looking for ways to utilize people’s talents and skills. Mark’s showcases the benefits of hiring inclusively to their business and the community at large.”

READ MORE: Abbotsford’s Isabelle Harris earns silver at Pan Am Games

Jessica Peters

About the Author: Jessica Peters

I began my career in 1999, covering communities across the Fraser Valley ever since.
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