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Marriott: Preferred Partner

Oakwood Worldwide® Supports Associates' Charity Of Choice

Date: 12/21/2012

Media Contact:

Sharron Saunders
direct: 240.720.3003


Company Donates $2,500 to Charities Helping People, Communities and Animals

LOS ANGELES – December 21, 2012 - Oakwood Worldwide, the global leader in corporate housing and serviced apartment solutions is pleased to announce the winners of its 2012 "Oakwood Gives Back" program. Five Oakwood employees were recently recognized for their commitment to service and passion to help others. The program, now its third year, awarded a total of $2,500 to charities selected by the honorees.

"I am so proud of our Oakwood Associates who truly embody the spirit of giving through volunteerism. Their efforts are making a difference in the communities in which we live and work – and their actions are helping inspire others around the globe," said Howard F. Ruby, Oakwood chairman and founder. "We celebrate their enthusiasm for helping people, communities and animals in need. It truly speaks to the high caliber of Associates we have here at Oakwood Worldwide."

This year’s honorees invested thousands of volunteer hours, raised funds and participated in awareness events – all in support of their selected charities. Oakwood Worldwide will make a donation to these selected charities in each employee’s name as part of the "Oakwood Gives Back" program. They are:

  • Suzanne Blocker - guest services representative in Charlotte, N.C., who chose the Humane Society of Iredell County to receive $1,000
  • Zachary Gardner - housekeeping services representative in Boston, who selected the AllStar Foundation to receive $500
  • Stacy Weindl - director of the Oakwood Worldwide Global Account Management Center in Gaithersburg, Md., who chose the Johns Hopkins Cancer Center to receive $500
  • Jamie Richardson - billing coordinator at the Oakwood Worldwide Sales and Service Center in Phoenix who selected the Susan G. Komen Foundation to receive $250
  • Agnes Karabetsos - service coordinator in Hayward, Calif., who chose Resurrection Lutheran Church to receive $250.

Blocker is passionate about dog rescue and has given countless hours to her local humane society and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Her activities include: volunteering at shelters; fostering and adopting pets; organizing fundraisers and adoption events; posting pet rescue opportunities; collecting blankets and toys; visiting prospective families to ensure pets are being welcomed into good homes; and advocating for pet adoption, spaying and neutering. Blocker’s motto is: "Blessed are the dog rescuers. They have fallen in love a thousand times. While their wallets are always empty, their hearts are always full."

Gardner has been actively volunteering for nearly 10 years with various causes including those related to domestic violence and anti-bullying. He has also participated in the Wounded Warriors Project and supported "Movember" which raises funds for prostate cancer and other men’s health issues. A cause very close to Gardner’s heart is the AllStar Foundation, which supports research and brings awareness to a rare childhood disease known as Urea Cycle Disorder.

Weindl’s work with the Johns Hopkins Cancer Center is a regular occurrence. She volunteers once a week serving dinner to the cancer patients and their caregivers. Weindl also coordinates game nights and simply does whatever she can to help keep their minds off the struggles they are going through.

Richardson recently joined thousands of walkers in the Susan G. Komen Arizona 3-Day Walk for Breast Cancer. Having lost friends and family to breast cancer, Richardson, along with her team, was motivated to raise more than $60,000 - making them the top fundraising team at the event.

Karabetsos was recognized as a "Servant of the Month" at Resurrection Lutheran Church, where she volunteers. She has been praised for organizing their 50th anniversary celebration and is currently working on a fundraiser to repair the church’s roof.

"Oakwood Gives Back" is an employee-nominated program, which recognizes employees for their outstanding volunteer work and impact on the community, the environment and/or charitable organizations. Nominations were reviewed by a panel of leaders from within the company

View all Oakwood Worldwide press releases.

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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.