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Marriott: Preferred Partner

Oakwood Worldwide® Associates Recognized for Community Service

Date: 2/18/2014

Media Contact:

Sharron Saunders
direct: 240-720-3003
mobile: 301-500-5737


Honorees' Charities of Choice Awarded $3,000

LOS ANGELES – February 19, 2014 – Oakwood Worldwide, the global leader in corporate housing and serviced apartments, is pleased to recognize Zachary Gardner of Boston, Mass., as the top recipient of its 2013 "Oakwood Gives Back" associate annual giving program. In recognition of Garner's achievement, a $1,000 donation was made in his name to the Wounded Warrior Project, his charity of choice. Four other associates were recognized with $500 awards, making for a total donation of $3,000 to selected charities.

The 2013 honorees, nominated by their fellow associates, invested thousands of volunteer hours, raised funds and participated in awareness events to support their aid organizations.

Zachary Gardner, field service representative in the company's Boston office, was selected to receive the top award because of his work with WWP, a veterans' service organization that offers a variety of programs for wounded veterans of the military actions following the September 11, 2001 attacks. In 2013, he was appointed the WWP's Boston volunteer outpost leader and he managed the city's Soldier Ride. His work with WWP took a personal turn when he reconnected with a friend who had served in the U.S. Army and was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Gardner was able to get his friend much-needed support through WWP. He was also a 2012 "Oakwood Gives Back" honoree for his work with the All Star Foundation, an organization that supports research and brings awareness to genetic disorders.

Other honorees include:

  • Dina Baise – account executive from Denver, Colo., who chose Horseback Miracles to receive $500;
  • Erin Bristol – account manager from New York City, N.Y., who selected the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to receive $500;
  • Jeffrey Goodman – account manager from Cleveland, Ohio, who chose Hudson Fury Baseball to receive $500; and
  • Anaida Parvaneh – communications manager from Pune, India, who chose the Hope for the Children Foundation to receive $500.

"There is no limit to the impact we can have as associates and as a company," said Howard F. Ruby, Oakwood Worldwide chairman, founder and chief operating officer. "This program gives us a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in so many communities, and while we are very proud of the efforts of our honorees, we are also very grateful to all of our associates who give back to others each day."

In 2013, the company, and its associates from around the world, donated funds to the American Red Cross and other relief agencies to provide support following catastrophic events such as Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

More about the 2013 Oakwood Gives Back Honorees
Dina Baise serves as president of the board of directors for Horseback Miracles, where she has volunteered since 2006. Horseback Miracles provides equine-assisted, sensory-based therapy to help teenage girls who have mental illnesses. Prior to Baise's involvement, no public fundraising events existed, community recognition was minimal and there was not an active board in place. In just a few years, Baise established a dedicated and well-connected board. As the organization's ambassador, she has spent more than 1,000 hours building community relationships, fundraising, counseling program participants and working with the program horses.

Erin Bristol became a volunteer for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society after learning of her co-worker's multiple sclerosis diagnosis. She was one of the organization's top fundraisers, biking as part of a 55-mile Bike MS event. She will also be competing in the 2014 New York City Triathlon as part of Team MS. No stranger to community involvement, Bristol mentors for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of New York City at least twice a month. She is also involved in New York Cares and was part of rebuilding efforts following Hurricane Sandy. Bristol was a 2011 "Oakwood Gives Back" honoree for her work with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Jeffrey Goodman founded Hudson Fury Baseball in 2010 to provide a cost-effective alternative to traditional travel baseball programs for children, believing that cost should not prohibit participation. Goodman started with two teams in the first year and now helps 100 kids across seven age groups. With duties ranging from fundraising to coaching, Goodman spends about 30 hours per week volunteering for the organization. This is achieved by involving the teams in community events such as fundraising walks and trash cleanups around the parks where they play baseball.

Anaida Parvaneh is goodwill ambassador for the Hope for the Children Foundation, an organization that supports the well-being of orphans and underprivileged children around the world. Oakwood Worldwide's donation will be used to help abandoned, single mothers start small businesses (i.e., a small food cart) so that they can earn an income and support themselves and their children. Parvaneh, a recording artist, has supported many charities for underprivileged children including the Rai Foundation where she has set up a scholarship in her name to provide a college education for three deserving girls each year.

View all Oakwood Worldwide press releases.

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About Oakwood Worldwide

Oakwood Worldwide®, based in Los Angeles, Calif., is the leading provider of corporate housing and serviced apartment solutions through its two well-known brands, Oakwood® and ExecuStay®. Both brands provide move-in-ready furnished housing designed to meet the needs of business travelers on long- and short-term assignments. Oakwood® has access to the largest selection of housing options and a presence in all 50 United States and more than 55 countries. ExecuStay is the preferred corporate housing partner of Marriott® International and is the only corporate housing brand where guests can earn Marriott Rewards® points for stays at any ExecuStay location in the U.S. For more information, please visit www.oakwood.com and www.execustay.com.