2019 "Spirit Of Service" Awardees Honored

By JoLynne Lyon | December 18, 2019
group shot of awardees with their certificates
Awardees Connie Panter, Kalyn Wight, Tom Boman and Brenda Smith.

On Tuesday, Center for Persons with Disabilities celebrated four people who helped make the CPD a great place to work. In what has become a holiday tradition, CPD Executive Director Matthew Wappett presented each recipient with the award and a copy of What Do You Do with a Problem? The children’s book was written by Kobi Yamada.

Congratulations to Tom, Brenda, Kalyn and Connie! Here’s a look at the awardees:

Brenda Smith, Technical Assistance Division

“Brenda Smith comes to work each day with a positive attitude,” said Technical Assistance Division Director John Copenhaver. “She has a determination to make the Technical Assistance Division and TAESE productive and effective organizations. She is always trying to make others be successful and creates a warm and inviting working environment. Brenda never complains and is like the energizer bunny, trying to get everything done on time.

“She does all of this and more, even as she works on her doctorate and is a wonderful mother for two children. Brenda has always reminds me of the quote ‘You can teach others better with your example, than by your words.’ Brenda is a great example to the entire team and we appreciate her very much!”

Kalyn Wight, Services Division

“Kalyn is an excellent example of someone who quietly makes a huge impact within our program and largely goes unrecognized due to her quiet nature,” said Disability Skills Laboratory Director Drake Rasmussen. “Kalyn not only exceeds at her office assistant duties but she is one who quickly volunteers to help cover open shifts to provide direct services to our participants.”

Tom Boman, Research & Training Division

“When we established UATP Salt Lake to increase access to mobility equipment through out Utah, we underestimated the demand that our facility would have and how we would fulfill the needs of those who needed our service,” said Utah Assistive Technology Program Director Sachin Pavithran. “Over the last decade we have served thousands of individuals. A lot of the growth and expansion of our Salt Lake facility is due to the hard work of Tom Boman, who is the program coordinator of this facility.

“Since Tom became the coordinator in 2014 we have served over 2000 individuals and saved our clients and the state over five million dollars. His attention to detail and a willingness to take on new challenges has been a great asset to UATP. Tom is passionate about what he does and is a true advocate for the people that he serves. The success of UATP can be attributed to the hard work and leadership of Tom Boman and we are grateful to have him be part of the UATP team.”

Connie Panter, Administration Division

“If you have ever traveled as part of your job at the CPD, then Connie has helped you,” said CPD Executive Director Matthew Wappett. “Because I get to approve all travel expenses I see all of the travel that happens on a weekly basis here. Sometimes there are 20 to 30 people traveling each week and Connie does everything from the initial travel authorization all the way through reservations and reimbursements. For years Connie has been the central travel agent for almost everyone at the CPD.

“My initial experience with Connie came when I was invited to interview for the E.D. position at the CPD. I was invited by Tim Slocum, the search committee chair, so Connie was the first person at the CPD who I directly interacted with. I was immediately impressed by Connie’s promptness, professionalism, and attention to detail. She took care of everything and has continued to maintain that same standard of service for everyone here at the CPD. I’m not entirely certain how she keeps the thousands of tickets, receipts, and reservations straight, but she does…which is nothing short of a minor miracle. We are lucky to have Connie as a member of our Business Services team and we are grateful for the quiet competent service that she renders on a daily basis.”

The Spirit of Service Awards are a CPD tradition, started in 2018 by Dr. Wappett.

Share This Story