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Ross, Great Western Dining recognized with award

Marie Ross, Director of Food Services at Garden City Community College, was recently recognized for her exceptional performance and passion for inclusion, which led Great Western Dining to win the 2022 Outstanding Business Award from InterHab.

The Outstanding Business Award is presented to a Kansas business that has demonstrated notable and continued support of individuals with disabilities.

Ross was honored during the All-Employee In-Service on August 8 at GCCC. Additionally, Ross and Great Western Dining will be featured in a professional video and publicly recognized at a special Awards Brunch at the Power Up Conference on Oct. 14 in Wichita.

This annual conference is designed to inspire, educate, and empower professionals who support persons with disabilities.

In a news release, Garden City Community College congratulated Ross and her extraordinary staff on this award and thanked them for their dedicated service and delicious food.

This award is based on a nomination process and the nomination for Great Western Dining (GWD) was glowing, featuring many key points about Ross’s leadership of a diverse and inclusive team.

Some excerpts from the nomination narrative included:

• “Marie Ross has been a champion for those we serve. Her patience and example of encouraging those employees with an IDD has shown her staff the potential that everyone has and in turn the kitchen feels more like a large family that works there, instead of just people waiting to clock out.”

• “Over the year’s Marie and her staff have accommodated persons served with tolerance, compassion, support, and firmness.”

• “The greatest support [GWD] offers is inclusion. When observing the team, there is support and encouragement offered to all the employees.”

Through a partnership with Mosaic, a disability services & support organization in Garden City, Great Western Dining (GWD) employs four individuals with IDD disabilities on a staff of 20+ employees.

Great Western Dining, located on the GCCC Campus, manages the school cafeteria, caterings, and specialty orders for the community.

The Outstanding Business Award was presented to Great Western Dining by InterHab, an organization that has been working to improve the lives of Kansans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (“IDD”) for over 50 years.

InterHab has become the predominant voice in Kansas for persons with IDD, their families, and the providers of services and supports needed to live independently and inclusively.

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