The 29th Annual Human Services Awards held January 11, at the Peppermill recognized individuals who have made exceptional contributions to human services in northern Nevada. Winners in eight categories were nominated by their peers, joining a long list previously honored for making a difference helping others.
This year Hug High School student Erynn Dardy was named Student Volunteer of the Year; Dennis Myers, the Reno News and Review, accepted Media Representative of the Year; Staff Member of the Year went to Breanna Gianopoulos and Elisha Harris from Communities in Schools of Western Nevada, and Board Member of the Year was awarded to Robin Brockelsby of the Crisis Call Center. Agency of the Year was given to The Life Change Center.
Nevada State Assemblywoman Teresa BenitezThompson was named Politician of the Year; Heather Korbulic, executive director of the Silver State Health Exchange, earned Administrator of the Year, and Sherif Elfass, president of the Northern Nevada Muslim Center, was awarded the Michael O’Callaghan Humanitarian Award for his work helping Muslim immigrants locate to northern Nevada.
In accepting the humanitarian award, Elfass said it was a great honor volunteering to help others find a place to live and work in the community. Elfass, a research associate professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, at UNR, spends countless hours educating Islamic principles to Muslim youth and families.
HSN members also said goodbye to Erik Schoen, who served as Director for the past eight years. Dr. Jennifer McClendon, professor in Social Work, UNR, replaces Schoen who is stepping down to spend more time as Executive Director of the Community Chest, in Virginia City.