On February 21st, 2018 we held our annual year-end party at which our whole company gathered to celebrate our 2017 accomplishments. During this event, we recognized our 6th recipient of our highly esteemed “John Sadl Award.” John Sadl was a valued and beloved member our team, husband, father, and a friend to most people he met. In February 2012, John died tragically in a snow skiing accident. John had an intense drive to learn, grow, and serve. He was not one to stand around and accept the status quo. Instead, he regularly stepped in when a situation wasn’t living up to his high expectations and did something productive to help. Woodard awards one team member each year who, over the course of the previous year, lived our Core Values (even when no one is looking), just as John did. We want to recognize a person who mirrored the caring and compassion with which John served his family and friends, as well as someone with John’s intensity and curiosity to learn and grow, every day. In order to be considered for the John Sadl Award, one must first be nominated by their co-workers. Once all nominees have been submitted, the Executive Team narrows it down to a handful of finalists. Each finalist is shared with the company, including a summary of all of their nominations. The final decision is then turned back over to the company, with each Woodard team member having the opportunity to vote for the one finalist they feel is most deserving of the John Sadl Award. This year’s award recipient is Will Barker, who has been with the company for 42 years! Will is a member of our rug team located at our Rug Care Center. When Will’s wife, Prudence, found out that Will was Woodard’s John Sadl award winner she said “It is so neat to know that people within the company are appreciative of his attitude. His attitude is always so great at home or anywhere! He is always so upbeat and encouraging to other people.” There are only a handful of employees that have had the opportunity to work for all three generations – Earl, Charlie, and Justin. Will has seen more changes, more new faces and served more Woodard customers than anyone in the company. With his experience comes immense knowledge, Will always takes the time to explain how to do things and is always there to step in and led a helping hand. Thank you, Will, for your hard work, knowledge, and constant dedication to your customers, team, and Woodard. Here’s a glimpse into what Will’s coworkers had to say about him: “Will exemplifies not only the Woodard Core Values, but so much more. His strong faith and love for his family is his foundation. He teaches those of us who are around him to be gentler, kinder and more understanding in dealing with customers and situations that arise at work. He is also a teacher in that he leads by example and embodies every Woodard core value.” “On many occasions we have thanked Will for taking the time to answer questions or help us to understand how to handle a situation and would tell him, “You know everything!” He would say, “Oh no I don’t, I learn something new every day”. Well, you teach us all so many good things and we are proud to know and learn from you. Always with a smile, a cheery saying or a funny joke, you can make a day brighter. When asked how your day is, you sometimes answer “Better than I deserve” or “Blessed”. You are so grateful for everyone and everything, and that inspires all of us to want to do our best.” “We can always count on Will to do what is right and that stems from his upbringing and his beliefs. His morals and beliefs are something we can learn from and strive for. He is attentive to each customer and employee that is in need, no matter how stressful or hectic a situation may be. Whenever we need Will he is there for us. When he goes on vacation, we have sent him emails wishing him a wonderful time but not to stay too long! ” On behalf of everyone here at Woodard – Congratulations, Will!