47th annual Blind Worker of the Year Luncheon

Alabama Industries for the Blind Executive Director Billy Sparkman, right, recognizes AlB employees Sheila Waites and Robert Tubbs Friday during the 47th annual Blind Worker of the Year Luncheon.

TALLADEGA - Officials from the Alabama Industries for the Blind hon ored two long-time Industries employees during the 47th annual Blind Worker of the Year Luncheon Friday.

Industries Executive Director Billy Sparkman presented AIB store clerk Sheila Waites with the Milton J. Samuelson Career Achievement Award and produc tion line worker Robert Tubbs with the Peter J. Salmon Direct Labor Employee of the Year Award, as well as a $100 check each.

“This is one of my favorite days of the year,” Sparkman said. “This is always a fun day. It’s fun to have an opportunity to gather all of us together again, and especially it’s fun to recognize the accom plishments of our employees.”

Tubbs, a 19-year employee at AIB, became the 47th recipient of the Peter J. Salmon Award, and Waites, daugh ter of AIDB Board of Trustees member Clarence Haynes, became the 16th recip ient of the Milton J. Samuelson Award in AIB’s history.

Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind President Dr. John Mascia praised the duo for their hard work throughout the year.

“We have an impressive staff, and picking line workers of the year is a difficult task because of how great this work force is,” Mascia said. “However, we’re so proud of Waites and Tubbs for receiving their awards. They cer tainly deserve this recognition.”

More than 150 AIB employ ees, Institute employees, city offi cials, friends, family and past award winners attended the lun cheon.

Mayor Larry Barton and City Manager Brian Muenger present ed proclamations to the award winners, each naming June 20 as “Sheila Waites Day” and “Robert Tubbs Day.”

Mascia followed with a pre sentation on behalf of state leg islators who drafted resolutions recognizing Waites and Tubbs.

Both winners thanked their friends, family and co-workers.

“It was a very big honor and a very shocking honor,” Waites said. “I’m just grateful. There’s not really words that you can say that would express it. I appreciate the recognition.”

Tubbs expressed appreciation for the opportunity to be a part of AIB and develop work skills.

“If I had been at home, I probably wouldn’t have had any of this fun and proceeded to have a good time with these people I work with,” Tubbs said. “These people make it feel like it’s a family here. We’re like a big team, just like a championship golf team.”