2018 Thomas Harkin Award Winner

Alliance Enterprises, along with The Harkin Institute, announced that Dr. Jeanne Loyd is the recipient of the 2018 Thomas Harkin Americans with Disabilities (T.H.A.D.) Excellence Award. The award recognizes a member of the rehabilitation services community who exemplifies outstanding service to people with disabilities.

Over a nearly 40-year career Dr. Jeanne Loyd worked her way up through the ranks at Missouri’s vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency. She began as a VR counselor and moved into a variety of leadership roles. Recently, Loyd retired as the assistant commissioner of education.

“I would like to express our most sincere congratulations to Dr. Loyd for her lifetime of service in support of Americans with disabilities,” said Joseph Jones, executive director of The Harkin Institute. “It is a special opportunity for us to share the stage with Senator Harkin and Alliance Enterprises in recognition of Dr. Loyd’s exceptional contribution to the invaluable mission that is vocational rehabilitation.”

Loyd was honored with the 2018 Thomas Harkin Award at Alliance’s getAwareLive! conference. getAwareLive! is an annual gathering of some of the nation’s leading voices in disability inclusion. Earlier in the day, Senator Harkin, who co-authored the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), delivered a keynote presentation. His Disability Rights: Past, Present and Future keynote offered a historical perspective and a potent call to greater action on disability employment.

A Missouri Legend

As one would expect from a person with a doctorate degree in executive leadership, Loyd’s list of accomplishments at Missouri VR is broad. Her colleagues point to her strengthening Missouri’s network of community rehabilitation programs. She established employment services in every Missouri county. She facilitated highly accurate and proficient Social Security disability determination. And she improved IT systems. Those actions, her colleagues say, was done with her signature theme of “doing the right thing.”

“It was an honor to serve the people of Missouri, and to work with such smart and passionate people who really made a difference in the lives of so many,” Loyd said. “I want to thank The Harkin Institute and Alliance, two highly esteemed partners, for this recognition.”

A worthy 2018 Thomas Harkin Award winner, indeed.