WorksWonders Profiles

A closer look at WorksWonders employees & purchasers

Glenn Bryant

An Employee Willing to Give His All

We depend on him to be here and do his job,” Sandy Choice, supervisor at Goodwill of East Texas, said. “He’s good at it, and I am so proud of him. He is such a friendly person. He’s always happy, he’s always smiling, he’s always sharing – he loves to share – and he’s willing to help others”

Glenn Bryant gives his all as an employee at Goodwill Industries of East Texas, Inc. For more than eight years, Glenn has proven to be an exemplary employee and a valuable asset.

“Glenn has a great work ethic, and he makes sure people are inside doing what they are supposed to do,” Gloria Mitchell, supervisor at Goodwill of East Texas, said. “He is diligent when it comes to doing his work.”

In his position, Bryant is responsible for keeping track of everything that needs to be shredded at the facility—something in which he takes a lot of pride.

“I like shredding the paper,” Bryant said. “There is a lot of responsibility that goes into that. You have to wear all of your safety equipment, and you have to have your safety glasses.”

Vance McChristie, production manager at Goodwill of East Texas and Bryant’s supervisor, is constantly impressed by Bryant’s speed and skill when it comes to shredding.

“Here at Goodwill, we have several contracts with TIBH Industries, Inc., and Glenn is a great asset,” McChristie explained. “He knocks out a lot of paper in one day—he is a shredding machine.”

In addition to the document destruction contracts Goodwill of East Texas performs for the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the organization also provides temporary employment services for DSHS, TxDOT, the Office of the Attorney General, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality—as well as provides spill absorbent, delineators, mailbox posts, time clocks and decomposable towels to multiple state agencies.

Bryant’s philosophy at work and in life is to give his all—and it does not go unnoticed.

Bryant is constantly recognized by his coworkers for his kind attitude and for showing how much he cares about everyone. His coworkers and supervisors say he always treats people the way he would want to be treated.

“We depend on him to be here and do his job,” Sandy Choice, supervisor at Goodwill of East Texas, said. “He’s good at it, and I am so proud of him. He is such a friendly person. He’s always happy, he’s always smiling, he’s always sharing—he loves to share—and he’s willing to help others.”

At Goodwill of East Texas, Bryant has been developing professional skills and learning to live independently.

As a WorksWonders Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP), Goodwill of East Texas has had tremendous success with employees through its TIBH contracts and has provided support to countless individuals with disabilities—particularly in teaching them to live independently while contributing to society.

“Part of our program includes classroom instructions on daily living skills and money management, so that when our participants get their paycheck, they have a budget. We teach them how to live outside of Goodwill, as well as inside of Goodwill,” Kimberley Lewis, president and CEO of Goodwill of East Texas, said.

Goodwill of East Texas empowers employees to make good choices by educating them. As an employer—and also a CRP—the organization helps individuals with disabilities take the necessary steps to transition out into the community.

“I love it here and get along with all of my supervisors,” Bryant said. “They make sure I have enough work to do.”

Bryant is proud to be a Goodwill of East Texas employee and plans to continue to take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities the organization and the WorksWonders Program offer him.

Rita Lewis

Setting High Standards

“I am happy to work with friends, and I like working here more than anywhere else,” Lewis said.

When walking into the Port Aransas Ferry Operations Headquarters building, one thing is evident—it’s immaculate. This is not by chance, but by the diligent and steadfast work of their employees, specifically Rita Lewis.

“Anything that’s dirty, I love to clean it,” Lewis said. “I love everything to be fresh.”

Lewis is employed at the EB Foundation, a WorksWonders community rehabilitation program (CRP) in Corpus Christi, where she has been working to develop her professional skills.

Lewis truly enjoys her job—not only at the Ferry office, but also at two other Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) buildings in Refugio County and Robstown.

“I get to clean the offices and the restrooms, and I pick up all the trash,” Lewis said. “Basically, I make sure every little thing is clean.”

President and CEO, Cleo Smith, founded the EB Foundation in 2009. Smith, who has a keen eye with remarkable attention to detail, wanted to show individuals with disabilities that they are capable of doing anything they set their minds to.

“I founded the EB Foundation because I saw a need and felt like I could do something for people with disabilities in the Corpus Christi area,” Smith said. “I always told my kids, ‘It’s okay to fail, you just need to try,’ and I realized I had to live by my own motto when I started the EB Foundation.”

Smith attributes the EB Foundation’s success to her employees’ work ethic, and she says they are the driving force behind her desire to succeed.

“My employees are our greatest success,” Smith said. “They are the best, and we wouldn’t be anything without them. What always amazes me is that the employees never have a bad day, attitude wise, and that lifts my spirits to see how much they love to come to work.”

As a result of Smith’s perseverance, the EB Foundation now has more than 30 employees and has been awarded janitorial, landscaping, litter pick-up and mowing contracts with the state.

“We have multiple contracts from mowing for the Texas Department of Transportation to litter pick up,” Smith explained. “I hope to set a good example so that if they leave, which is our goal, they will know how to fully complete a job.”

Smith takes a genuine interest in her employees and in making sure they are happy while also providing quality services, which does not go unnoticed.

“I love having Ms. Cleo as my boss because she will work right next to you,” Lewis said. “She makes me want to work. She isn’t like most bosses who sit in an office. She shows you the right way to do it and will help you the whole time.”

Lewis emphasizes that being around her EB Foundation family and honing her cleaning skills is what she loves most about her job.

“I love my co-workers because we all want to learn and everyone is always up for trying new jobs,” Lewis said. “I am happy to work with friends, and I like working here more than anywhere else.”

Sandra Kaderka

Contract Specialist at Texas Department of Transportation, Finds Success in Utilizing the Texas State Use WorksWonders Program

“TIBH continues to provide great services, and they are extremely knowledgeable, dedicated to their jobs and constant in their performance,” Kaderka said.

For nearly five years, Sandra Kaderka, contract specialist with the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT), has prepared and negotiated contracts for services from TIBH Industries, Inc. through the State Use WorksWonders Program.

Prior to her position at TXDOT, Kaderka has had many years of experience working for the state, despite not working directly with the WorksWonders Program.

“My past experience included working with the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, Texas Department of Economic Development and Texas Department of Agriculture as a contract specialist—working to acquire services from other companies,” Kaderka said. “I have always been aware of the WorksWonders Program, but I truly began utilizing its capabilities through my current position at TXDOT.”

In her current role, Kaderka manages contracts for the total maintenance, operations and repairs of Safety Rest Areas within the maintenance division—which includes 78 locations statewide. She and her fellow employees purchase a numbers of services offered by the WorksWonders Program, including janitorial, mowing, litter pickup and landscaping, among others.

“One of the many benefits of purchasing through the WorksWonders Program is enabling the employment of individuals with disabilities,” Kaderka said. “Even though we are mandated to purchase through the program, we receive quality services, and in the back of our minds, it feels great knowing that we are able to help individuals find work.”

TxDOT’s procedures include requesting price quotes through the WorksWonders Program without the necessity of competition. TxDOT’s janitorial, mowing, liter pickup and landscaping requirements are offered to TIBH first, and if TIBH is able to accommodate the request, TXDOT will assign the service to them.

“TIBH continues to provide great services, and they are extremely knowledgeable, dedicated to their jobs and constant in their performance,” Kaderka said. “It has always been a pleasure working with anyone associated with TIBH. The process is easy to use and their pricing is competitive with other businesses and supply companies. We are very fortunate to be able to work with TIBH.”

Tim Laws

Texas Department of Public Safety Procurement and Contract Services Purchaser IV, Tim Laws, Commends TIBH Industries’ State Use Program

“Texas DPS has a great working relationship with TIBH,” Laws said. “Through TIBH’s State Use Program, we are able to obtain pricing quickly and purchase services within DPS’s budget.”

Tim Law, Purchaser IV for the Texas Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Procurement and Contract Services, processes requests for services from TIBH Industries’ State Use Program in order to ensure that all of the organization’s needs are met.

Prior to his position with the Texas DPS, Laws worked in the private sector as a manufacturing engineer purchasing electrical commodities. Laws was first introduced to TIBH’s State Use Program through his procurement training and the State Purchasing website and policy. He has been with the Texas DPS for the past three years, where he is responsible for the requisition of service-related contracts with TIBH.

Currently, Laws and his fellow employees purchase a number of services from TIBH’s State Use Program through the Commodities and Services Branch of the Texas DPS, including lawn, janitorial and HVAC services.

“Texas DPS has a great working relationship with TIBH,” Laws said. “Through TIBH’s State Use Program, we are able to obtain pricing quickly and purchase services within DPS’s budget.”

The Texas DPS Commodities and Services Branch often utilizes the website and catalog for procuring service requirements, and they have found the TIBH staff to be easily available when contacted for pricing via email as well.

“TIBH’s employees are professional, and they make our job as DPS’s procurement staff seamless,” said Laws. “When purchasing through the State Use Program, we obtain prices quickly and are always satisfied with the services we receive.”

Laws and his colleagues are also pleased with TIBH’s customer service and its ability to resolve issues quickly to their satisfaction.

Texas DPS procedures include requesting price quotes through the State Use Program without the necessity of competition. DPS’s lawn, janitorial and shredding requirements are offered to TIBH first, and if TIBH is able to accommodate the request, DPS will award the service to them.

“Although purchasing services through the State Use Program is mandatory, we receive quality services and appreciate the great job opportunities it creates for individuals with disabilities,” Laws said. “I am extremely proud to be part of this experience.”