The Floyd Stewart Every Day Hero Award is an honor dear to the hearts of Empower Tennessee. Floyd, a former employee of Empower Tennessee, was a man like no other. He made a meaningful impact on everyone he encountered. He was a kind and consistent staple in the disability community. It was Floyd’s passion to not only advocate for people with disabilities but also empower them to advocate for themselves and to stay true to their passions. When selecting this year’s recipient for this award we chose a person with the same passion, perseverance, and sense of purpose as Floyd.
This year we honor Rhonda Marie Clark. As an individual with cerebral palsy, Rhonda has experienced disability her entire life. She has spent most of her adulthood advocating for improved access for people with disabilities. One of her primary passions – and she has several – is trying to do something about the scarcity of accessible transportation options in our area. Depending on public paratransit often means waiting for long periods of time, having to schedule trips in advance, and frequently arriving late to a destination, seriously hampering employment and social opportunities. Rhonda says that people should be able to go and participate in anything they want no matter their disability.
So, Rhonda has spent several years volunteering her time to help individuals who use wheelchairs find accessible transportation, relying on her extensive network to make connections and arrangements for those in need. Rhonda is steadily working toward establishing her own accessible transportation company named Able and Ready Transportation. Beyond providing top-notch customer service and flexible scheduling, Rhonda’s business plan will allow riders to go from county to county without having to transfer to another vehicle or service. And in an ever-expanding community, we all recognize the importance of such services in Middle Tennessee. Rhonda will, no doubt, enjoy talking with you in more detail about her dreams for the future. We’ll put her contact information in the chat so that you can reach out to her directly.
When not attempting to start a business, Rhonda can be found cheering for the Green Bay Packers, serving in her faith community at St. Stephen Church, exercising her body in state-of-the-art equipment especially for people with cerebral palsy, being a spokesperson for Permobil (the manufacturer of her wheelchair), and doting on her beloved service animal, Ice III.
Empower Tennessee is honored to present the 2021 Floyd Stewart Every Day Hero Award to Rhonda Marie Clark during EmpowerCon on November 12, 2021.
What is the Floyd Stewart Everyday Hero Award?
The Floyd Stewart Everyday Hero Award is given annually to an outstanding member of the community that embodies the characteristics of Floyd Stewart who inspired others in the disability community to show their strength and integrity every day. Floyd Stewart touched everyone with whom he came in contact. He encouraged others to share their talents and make meaningful contributions to the world. Please nominate up to 3 people and explain why they should be considered for the Floyd Stewart Everyday Hero Award.