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JM Murray Announces Employer of the Year and Alan F. Brown Awardee


During JM Murray’s annual dinner and meeting that took place last night at the Cortland Country Club. The organization announced this year’s Employer of the Year and the Alan F. Brown awardee.

Pictured from (L-R) Colleen Tanner (sister), Ken Smith, Honoree, Karen Dye (mother), Dan Smith (father) and Cindy Soos, Director, JM Murray Day Habilitation Service. Image Courtesy of JM Murray





“It’s a way for us to say thank you to our board members, to thank our staff. It’s an opportunity to honor an individual with disabilities receiving services from us, the Alan F. Brown award, that’s the highlight of this evening and the employer of the year as well.” Said Ernie Dodge, President and CEO of JM Murray to X101.

For 2023, JM Murray named Lowe’s as the recipient of the Employer of the Year. JM Murray and Lowe’s have been working together for several years. JM stated they remain committed to working with their consumers and staff to ensure real employment opportunities are available for the individuals they serve.

The next award given was the Alan F. Brown award, which was created in 1983 in honor of Alan.

“Despite his multiple disabilities, his enthusiasm for life never waned, and his determination to succeed, both personally and in the world of work, was an inspiration to all. With this award, JM Murray not only honors his memory, but his spirit, which will live on in others who, like Alan, strive to achieve.” JM Murray said in a statement regarding Alan F. Brown.

This year, Ken Smith was named the awardee. Recognized for his kindness and determination. Ken, who is visually impaired, continues to set goals for himself and achieve his goals including gardening, learning how to use a snow-blower, and a drill set to begin woodworking. Additionally, for the past 20 years, he has attended JM Murray’s Day habilitation program.

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