Life Enrichment Options, or LEO, announced the winners of this year’s Employers of the Year at the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce luncheon last week.
Winners this year included Sherm’s BBQ Bistro for the small business, Providence Marianwood for the medium-sized business and the Fred Meyer in Issaquah for the large business.
LEO is a community based non-profit organization that helps people with developmental disabilities find jobs in the community. The organization also helps with supportive housing, recreation and community education.
Kim Ewing of Sherm’s BBQ Bistro told chamber members that she was excited about the award but said they simply fell into a good thing. She had contacted Eastside Employment Services, who hooked them up with a LEO worker from the neighborhood near Sherm’s. The employee has been the perfect match, Ewing said.
“I guess the moral of the story is, we really need to go out of our comfort zones sometimes,” she said.
Providence Marionwood has been involved with LEO for almost two decades and currently has six or seven workers and volunteers from the LEO program working at the facility.
“It’s worked out wonderfully,” administrator Richard Shreder said. “We have a volunteer from LEO who plays guitar and music here.”
Other LEO workers help in the dietary department and the recreation department, he said.
Since its founding in 1988, LEO has helped Polygon Northwest Company build the first adult family home in Issaquah along with another house in King County.