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APSI Recognizes Advocacy Efforts

June 10, Advocacy and Protective Services, Inc. (APSI) recognized David A. Zwyer and Rick Russo for their advocacy for people with developmental disabilities.

Ron Kozlowski Advocacy Award

David Zwyer and Senator Kevin Bacon.

David received a proclamation from Senator Kevin Bacon recognizing his advocacy efforts.

David, associate director of the Ohio pooled trust program-Community Fund Management Foundation (CFMF), received the Ron Kozlowski Advocacy Award. This award is given annually to a person or entity outside of APSI who has demonstrated a lifetime of achievement in advocacy for individuals with developmental disabilities, and who has a long-term connection with advocacy efforts within the service system. David has been a life-long advocate through his many roles with different organizations in the field, including APSI, DODD, the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council, and as Of Counsel to the law firm Kincaid, Randall & Craine. He is responsible for drafting provisions of Ohio law dealing with supplemental needs trusts and the personal liability of guardians.

Shari Cooper is one of many individuals who worked with David. He encouraged her to join the National Developmental Disabilities Council.

“I must admit, at first I thought being on the national board was going to be hard for me, but turns out it was just what I needed to strengthen my voice,” she said. “I am soaring in my advocacy efforts because of you (David)!”

Russell Kinnebrew Advocacy Award

Rick Russo

Rick Russo accepts the
Russell Kinnebrew Award.

Rick, a Protective Services Representative in Highland Hills, received the Russell Kinnebrew Advocacy Award. This award is given annually to an APSI program staff member who demonstrates exemplary efforts in advocacy, and who has been employed by APSI for five years or more. He was nominated by Wendy Gue, the parent of an individual Rick serves. This is a bit unusual, as the nominations for this award typically come from fellow APSI staff members.

Rick’s strong advocacy for the people he serves is clear, and he makes sure family members are aware of and in agreement with proposed services.

According to Wendy, “Rick is not afraid to question or challenge any person who stands in the way for people with disabilities, and he loves those whom he serves. He is not just an APSI rep, but a father, uncle, best friend and brother to all.”