PASADENA, Calif. (October 13, 2023) – – Pasadena Humane was honored with the Employer of the Year Award from the Civitan Club at a reception at Ability First’s Lawrence L. Frank Center in Pasadena last evening. Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo also awarded the shelter with a certificate of recognition.
The Civitan award acknowledges Pasadena Humane for its outstanding record of hiring individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
Cesar Diaz, an employee of Pasadena Humane, received the award on the organization’s behalf, along with Dia DuVernet, Pasadena Humane’s President & CEO. Cesar has been employed by the shelter for nearly 6 months as the Facilities Assistant, with Ability First providing job coaching.
“Cesar is really the reason we’ve received this award,” says DuVernet. “He has been such a great addition to the department and has become a tremendous asset to our organization.”
Facilities Director, Chris Ferrer, is quick to echo that sentiment. “I wish we could clone Cesar. He came in on day one and just wanted to learn, to contribute, and to become a team member.”
Cesar has quickly gained more and more responsibility. According to Ferrer, “He’s grown in leaps and bounds in just the short time he’s been here. We know we can rely on him to get the job done. He’s sometimes the only Facilities Department person on site, because we have confidence that he can handle anything that comes up.”
Cesar feels Pasadena Humane is a great fit for him as well. “I love working here. I really like my colleagues, my team.” Cesar takes great pride in keeping the shelter in tip-top shape. “My main goal is to make the kennel area as clean as possible for the dogs and the visitors,” says Cesar. “I’ve learned so much about how we do things, and I can’t wait to learn more.”
In keeping with Pasadena Humane’s core value of kindness, the organization shows compassion, care, respect and empathy to all animals and humans without prejudice or discrimination.
Pasadena Humane not only employs people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the organization has partnered with Villa Esperanza for nearly a decade to provide group volunteer opportunities for people with disabilities, too. Villa Esperanza volunteers work in the “Fluff and Fold” program to help keep on top of the tremendous amount of laundry needed to ensure clean bedding for shelter animals.