Ithaca, New York – On Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017, Challenge Workforce Solutions celebrated its 49th Annual Awards Event at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, NY. This evening of inspiration was filled with stories, performances by Running to Places Theater Company, The Destination, food provided by Word of Mouth Catering, and recognition of various Challenge participants and more. At the event, the Hilton Garden Inn of Ithaca was acknowledged as the Business Partner of the Year for its dedication to helping Challenge Workforce Solutions carry out its mission.
Challenge Workforce Solutions is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support people with disabilities and employment barriers in developing their skills and interests to meet the ever-changing needs of today’s workplace and be productive, contributing members of their community. Challenge was founded in 1968 by Robert R. Sprole, Sr., the former President of Therm. The Hilton Garden Inn and its restaurant, Kilpatrick’s Publick House, employ individuals from Challenge Workforce Solutions to work in various imperative positions within housekeeping and the kitchen.
The General Manager of the Hilton Garden Inn of Ithaca, Teri Tarshus, accepted the Business Partner of the Year Award at the 49th Annual Awards Dinner, stating the workers who come from Challenge benefit the housekeeping staff by helping to ensure that rooms are ready for guests and the kitchen is in impeccable condition. “For the hotel, as a whole, it’s a fantastic feeling being able to give someone a sense of a job well done, and give them a place to say, ‘That’s where I work,’” Tarshus said.
The hotel was selected for the award from among more than 125 businesses in Tompkins County that Challenge works with to carry out its mission.
Hua Zheng, one of our dishwashers in Kilpatrick’s (the Irish Pub attached to the hotel) was also honored on May 2nd, 2017 with the Exceptional Achievement Award from Challenge Workforce Solutions. Hua moved to Ithaca from China eight years ago and started working with Challenge a little over a year ago; he’s had plenty of success in making a name for himself and proving that he’s a hard worker.
Hua loves to venture away from the dish pit and help with breakfast prep and French fries, he is also very good at sampling new items and giving feedback on the daily specials!
Hua has an incredible work ethic and a great sense of humor. His biggest challenge is that English is his second language; however it doesn’t stop Hua from doing a great job. Hua enjoys sports and being a practical joker.