Bates Tech career advisor, disability advocate earns Governor’s Trophy

Governor Jay Inslee honored Dan Eberle, a career advisor and the disability support services coordinator at Bates Technical College in Tacoma, with the state’s highest award given to a person with a disability. Eberle received the prestigious Governor’s Trophy in Memory of Carolyn Blair Brown at a ceremony held at Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond in October.

The trophy is awarded to a Washington state resident with a disability who significantly empowers individuals with disabilities in the community and in the workforce. Eberle earned this award because of his achievements in support of those with disabilities.

“Dan is an extraordinary advocate in our community, and a tireless supporter of our students, including those with disabilities. We are proud of Dan and honored to have him acknowledged for this prestigious recognition,” said Bates Technical College President Dr. Ron Langrell.

Eberle was a founding member and chair of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services’ Disability Initiative from 1993 to 1995. A natural leader and champion for people with disabilities, Eberle was invited to serve as a consultant to ensure the Husky and Cheney Stadiums were built accessible to people with disabilities.

From 1999 to 2008, Eberle served on the Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment. For more than 20 years, Eberle has not only served as an advocacy leader himself, but also has intentionally worked to foster and expand disability advocacy leadership statewide, wrote Esther Bennett, chief of field services at the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and Joe Ann Fritsche, resource development volunteer at the Tacoma Area Coalition of Individuals with Disabilities, in their nomination letter for Eberle.

In addition to Eberle, the event honored seven public and private employers statewide for their exemplary work recruiting, hiring, retraining and promoting individuals with disabilities. Washington businesses, agencies, organizations and individuals submitted the nominations, and a panel of committee members and volunteers selected award winners.