BDI Honors Community Leaders and Companies, Celebrates Merger with AADD

BDI celebrates Sarah Kennedy, Nancy Rizor and Sodexo for creating opportunities for people with disabilities to work and achieve self-sufficiency at its 2018 Breakfast with Champions

Circle of Excellence honorees Sarah Kennedy (l) and Nancy Rizor (r). Photography by:

MARCH 22, 2018 (ATLANTA, GA) - Bobby Dodd Institute (BDI) today honored community leaders, Sarah Kennedy and Nancy Rizor, and food services company Sodexo at its annual Breakfast with Champions event. More than 500 guests gathered at the Cobb Galleria Centre to celebrate the honorees’ commitment to transforming and empowering the lives of people with disabilities. The annual event, sponsored by Cox Enterprises, also served as BDI’s public celebration of its merger with human services nonprofit, All About Developmental Disabilities.

“Breakfast with Champions is a time where the BDI community, from participants to supporters and beyond, comes together and celebrates our combined dedication to people with disabilities,” said David Essary, BDI Board Chair. “This year is particularly special, as we celebrate our merger with AADD and make great strides toward a promising future, one with enriched programming for the individuals BDI serves.”

The Circle of Excellence Award honors individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to the advancement and empowerment of people with disabilities. This year’s recipients Sarah Kennedy, former AADD advisory board member, and Nancy Rizor, former AADD Board Chair, are community leaders and volunteers who are committed to breaking down barriers for individuals with disabilities. Kennedy and Rizor now serve as members of BDI’s auxiliary board and board, respectively.

Kennedy and Rizor agree that “with the merger and our increased capacity to serve more families, the future looks brighter than ever.”

Sodexo received BDI’s Employer of the Year Award. Since partnering with BDI in 2013, the food services company has consistently provided opportunities for people with disabilities and barriers to employment to gain and sustain independence. Former BDI participants work in Sodexo locations throughout the Metro Atlanta area, including Cox Automotive, Zoo Atlanta and Georgia Institute of Technology.

 “Through our partnership with Sodexo, people with disabilities are able to not only work but also thrive,” said Larry Gluth, president and CEO of BDI. “We are proud to honor Sodexo with this honor and celebrate their commitment to diverse and inclusive workplaces.”

BDI participant, Jeff Piazza, was also honored as the 2018 Employee of the Year. Piazza works as a janitor at Fort Gillem Enclave, where BDI manages the cleaning and maintenance of 22 buildings. A dedicated worker with a strong work ethic, Piazza is praised by both his coworkers and supervisors for his commitment to excellence and success.

Piazza’s work with Fort Gillem is made possible through BDI’s social enterprises, an initiative that sustains jobs for people with disabilities. The services offered through the social enterprise component include facilities maintenance, staffing services, logistics and warehousing, call center operations, packaging and fulfillment and mailroom operations.

As one with AADD, BDI will continue its social enterprises as well as a range of other services such as family support, benefits consulting, self-advocacy and long-term planning to provide better, more enhanced opportunities for people with disabilities and barriers to employment. To learn more, please contact Lisa Kennedy at 678-365-2260 or

About Bobby Dodd Institute
Bobby Dodd Institute (BDI) is a non-profit organization created to empower people with disabilities and disadvantages to maximize their potential by securing economic self-sufficiency, independence and integration into society.

About Sodexo
Sodexo, founded in 1966, is a world leader in quality of life services. The food and facilities management company is a global organization serving 100 million customers daily and nearly 427,000 employees in 80 countries across the globe. For more information, please visit Sodexo’s website at


Photo Credit: Kat Goduco Photography

Ability One Georgia Enterprises United Way