February 19, 2007 – Georgetown, KY - Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK) honored its top volunteers during the company's annual Volunteers In Place (VIP) Recognition Dinner at the Dr. Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History in Frankfort, Ky., this past Saturday. The VIP program was developed in 1994 to encourage and recognize team member volunteer work while supporting TMMK's operating principles and firm commitment to good corporate citizenship.
"As a company, Toyota's philosophy is to give back to the communities where we do business," stated Pat D'Eramo, Vice President of Manufacturing at TMMK, who presented the President's Award for Outstanding Volunteer of the Year. "Our team members who are involved in our VIP program are at the heart of that philosophy and represent the best of TMMK and the best in our communities."
Participation in the VIP program has consistently grown, with more than 1,100 team members currently enrolled. These team members have recorded more than 31,000 man-hours in our community. That's the equivalent of 778 work weeks spent volunteering.
Kim Sweazy, a specialist in TMMK's Community Relations department, was this year's recipient of the President's Award as the company's top volunteer of 2006. Sweazy joined TMMK in 1989. A prolific volunteer and frequent honoree at this event, Sweazy was named as a top five volunteer for a record tying seventh time. In addition, she becomes only the second person since the award's inception to win the honor twice.
Sweazy's volunteer activities include eight years of service as a Committee Chair for the Toyota MS-150 Bike The Bluegrass, to benefit the Multiple Sclerosis Society; Chairperson on three different committees for The Susan G. Komen Foundation's Pink Tie Gala; Volunteer and board member of Louisville's Project One, along with the Board of the Lexington Forum, where Sweazy is the President-Elect. Another volunteer activity that Sweazy is deeply involved with is the Children's Charity Fund of the Bluegrass. Not only does she sit on the Board of Directors of this all-volunteer effort, she also is the volunteer coordinator for this week long event. In honor of Sweazy's volunteer efforts, the Children's Charity Fund of the Bluegrass received a $3,000 donation from TMMK.
TMMK also honored Bethany Giordano, Karen Hendren, Kimberly Stamper and James Paul Switzer for their volunteer efforts.
Giordano was named as a specialist in Facilities Control at TMMK in 2002. This is her second straight year as one of TMMK's "Top Five" volunteers. Throughout the year, Giordano is very diverse in her volunteer efforts. Over the past year she has done everything from taking pledges for the KET telethon to staffing a red kettle for the Salvation Army. Her latest community involvement activity was with Georgetown's community theater group - the Maskrafters. Giordano spent the majority of volunteer time with the Scott County Humane Society, which received a $1,500 donation from TMMK in her honor.
Hendren joined TMMK in 1986. She is currently a specialist in the Community Relations section of General Administration. Hendren has now been honored as one of TMMK's Top 5 VIPs five years in a row, including winning the President's Award for 2003. She volunteers for numerous TMMK-sponsored events and animal rescue organizations, including The Kentucky Coalition for Animal Protection and Frankfort's Critterpalooza event, which raised funds for both Holly's Place in Lawrenceburg and the Franklin County Humane Society. Hendren also spends numerous hours with the Anderson, Harlan, Shelby, Pike and Mercer County Humane Societies. In addition, she is currently in her fourth year serving on the Lexington Humane Society's Board of Directors and her sixth year on the board of Wolf Run, a wildlife refuge and education facility in Nicholasville. In Hendren's honor, Wolf Run received $1,500 from TMMK.
Stamper joined TMMK in 1986 and is currently an Assistant Staff in Power Train Administration. She is no stranger to the VIP program. A previous Volunteer of the Year finalist in 2003, Stamper volunteers for various TMMK sponsored events such as God's Pantry, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. The majority of her recent volunteer efforts go to support the activities of her two children, Katie and Cory. Besides volunteering at her children's schools, Stamper also spends numerous hours working with various 4-H and FFA projects. In addition, she is serving her sixth year on the Scott County 4-H Council where she was recently elected president. In Stamper's honor, the Scott County 4-H will receive a donation of $1,500.
Switzer is being honored for the first time as a TMMK Top Five volunteer. After many years of volunteering as a coach and as a 4-H Club Leader with his three daughters, Switzer has become an integral part of both sports and 4-H in Harrison County. In the sporting arena, he is head coach of the Harrison County High School Freshman Fillies Volleyball team and an assistant coach of both the varsity and the junior varsity volleyball teams. Switzer's three daughters, Chelsey, Layken and Rebecca not only keep him extremely busy in sports but also with 4-H. He is currently serving his second term as chairman of the Harrison County District Board, Vice Chairman of the Harrison County 4-H Council, and first term as District 4 Representative for the State 4-H Council.
In recognition of his efforts with 4-H, Switzer was honored with the Conrad Feltner Leadership award at the Kentucky 4-H Volunteer Leaders Forum in February 2006. He designated the Harrison County 4-H Council to receive the $1,500 donation.
TMMK is located on 1,300 acres in Scott County and is Toyota's largest manufacturing plant in North America. Since 1987, TMMK has totaled more than $28 million in contributions and sponsorships to various charitable and non-profit organizations in Kentucky.