Natalie Swain, a career coordinator for Koinonia, has been recognized for her extraordinary work with adults with developmental disabilities from the Ohio Provider Resource Association (OPRA). The award is presented annually to an Ohio professional who has shown exceptional skills in supporting workers with disabilities.

The “Gary LeVox Job Coach Award,” was named for the Rascal Flatts singer, who worked with people with disabilities before his rise to fame as a country music performer.

As a career coordinator with Koinonia, Swain helps clients obtain competitive, integrated employment within their communities. Many of her clients had been working with essential businesses during the peak of the pandemic and needed on-site coaching and support. Others were immediately displaced. When new opportunities emerged, Swain helped more than 15 people find jobs.

“Natalie cares so deeply about her clients, and she really puts everything she has into helping them succeed,” said Julie Abiecunas, a director with Koinonia. “The pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges, and Natalie has risen to the occasion. She inspired her co-workers with a positive attitude and willingness to adapt to change.”

Two additional Koinonia employees honored with an OPRA Award were LaTonya Moore for her work as a frontline supervisor; and Eugenia Robinson, recognized for her role as a direct support professional. The Koinonia employees will be honored at the 2020 OPRA Virtual Fall Conference, October 28 and 29.

“Koinonia strongly believes in finding new opportunities that help fulfill our mission,” said Koinonia President and CEO Diane Beastrom. “Natalie Swain, LaTonya Moore and Eugenia Robinson each are extraordinary examples of what is possible in the most challenging of life’s situations. I am so proud of their work. This much deserved recognition.”