Eastern Division President Bruce Nardella went on to honor Program Manager Melinda Sams of Macon, Georgia, who demonstrated an unwavering commitment to supporting adults and children in the community during her six-year tenure with Georgia MENTOR. “There is a leadership level where compassion and effectiveness come together,” Bruce explained. “Melinda is the touch point for quality, growth, staff development and customer and individual satisfaction,” Bruce said. He praised Melinda’s actions to support one young victim of Hurricane Katrina who had cerebral palsy, mental retardation and severe autism—a diagnosis that made the trauma infinitely more acute. “Melinda provided comfort for this young boy when he had nowhere else to turn,” Bruce said. “That level of support and love—and that of her team—is available to twice as many children in the Macon area of Georgia as it was just one year ago. That is what makes Melinda the outstanding manager that she is. She has the ability to make a meaningful difference in one life, but she succeeds in making a meaningful difference in many more.”
The 2005 Ripple of Hope Award winners were honored on November 15th, 2005 at the John F. Kennedy Library Museum in Boston, Massachusetts.