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Nominations sought for Outstanding Older Worker in state

The winner will represent Florida at the 2000 national Prime Time Awards in Washington, D.C., in October.

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 11, 2000

Green Thumb, with the cooperation of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, is soliciting nominations from Florida businesses in search of 2000's Outstanding Older Worker.

Nominees must be 65 or older, a resident of Florida, and work 20 or more hours a week for pay. Current Title V participants will not be qualified.

The contest winner must be willing and able to travel to Washington, D.C., for the Prime Time Award events. Older workers may be nominated by a supervisor or co-worker.

To nominate a worker, a supervisor or co-worker must provide a brief narrative covering the older worker's overall contribution to the business, a description of new or additional skills the nominee has learned since beginning employment, any disabilities the nominee has overcome to perform his/her job, and a description of other community involvement.

Official nomination forms may be obtained from Green Thumb, Inc., P.O. Box 330006, Atlantic Beach, FL 32233, (904) 241-8188. Entries may be mailed to the same address or faxed to (904) 241-8523. The deadline for nominations is June 30.

Nominations will be evaluated by a statewide blue-ribbon panel composed of business and civic leaders to determine the winner. The winner will be announced by July 15.

The winner will be recognized with a visit to Florida's Capitol and will be the honored guest at a news conference convened by the Secretary of the Department of Elder Affairs, Gema G Hernandez. A visit to the governor's office will be part of the agenda.

The winner also will represent Florida at the 2000 national Prime Time Awards in Washington, D.C., in October, following presidentially proclaimed Employ the Older Week.

The visit will include an optional evening tour of the city's landmarks, meetings with Congressional representatives, a tour of the White House and a gala awards dinner at the Palm Court of the historic Union Station.

Any outstanding worker in any occupation may be nominated. Florida's 1999 outstanding older worker was Jane Brown, 87, from Stuart. Jane worked full-time at the Hallmark shop. Her supervisor, Tricia Ball, said, "Jane is a lesson in life. We use her shining example for all of our employees to follow. She is a loyal, dependable and devoted employee and friend."

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