Farmington Hills resident Roxann Zimmerman was one of three individuals honored for overcoming obstacles to employment with help from JVS. Zimmerman received the Employee of the Year Award on June 11 in front of a crowd of more than 700 business and community leaders at JVS’s 18th annual Strictly Business Networking and Awards Luncheon.
Zimmerman, who has a disability that affects her fine and gross motor skills, was recognized for her exceptional work ethic and positive attitude. She has worked as a store greeter for Meijer for about two years.
“Roxi is determined not to let her physical disability define her,” says Shirley Viviano, JVS job placement specialist. “Her personality shines as she offers a warm smile and cheerful greeting at the entrance of the Meijer store in Northville.”
Through the JVS supported job search program, Viviano helped Zimmerman identify her interests, talents and abilities and find a good job match.
“I was able to do the applications and interviews,” Zimmerman recalls. “It was just hard for me to get the jobs. I didn’t want (employers) to judge me because of my disability, I just wanted them to see that I could be a good employee.”
Zimmerman was first hired as a greeter at a Meijer store in Southfield, then she transferred to the Northville location.
“Roxann is the kind of employee you want,” said Jeffery Miller, manager of the Northville store. “She comes to work every day with smile on her face and is excited to be here. That attitude rubs off on everyone else. She’s a huge asset to the store.”
In a video prepared for the awards event, Zimmerman says she is especially proud of the independence that she’s achieved through work. See the video at jvsdet.org/strictlybiz.
“What I want people to understand about having a disability is that you’re just like anyone else,” she explains. “You can still do all the same things other people can, just a little bit differently.”
In addition to Zimmerman, JVS honored two other individuals with Employee of the Year Awards: Suzanne Levine, executive director of Greater West Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce, and Wayne Crowder, case manager at Neighborhood Legal Services Michigan.