Leadership Awards Gala

Pink and orange gradient background with a white spotlight with the text: AAPD 2019 Leadership Awards Gala March 12 at the Washington Hilton" and "Disability Inclusion + Economic Opportunity = A Stronger America"


The AAPD Leadership Awards Gala provides a unique opportunity for AAPD’s partners, supporters, and colleagues to show their support of disability rights and inclusion for all Americans with disabilities, while bringing together the disability community with business and government leaders for one night each year.

2019 Leadership Awards Gala

March 12, 2019 | 6:30pm – 9:00pm


6:30pm – Cocktail Reception

7:30pm – Evening Program

*Join AAPD at its first dessert and
champagne reception following the program*

Washington Hilton (1919 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009)

Ticket are available for purchase at 2019leadershipawardsgala.eventbrite.com



AAPD Leadership Award

Photo of Governor Tom Ridge wearing a dark blue suit, white dress shirt, and light blue tie.

Former Governor of Pennsylvania and the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, will be presented with an AAPD Leadership Award for his commitment to increasing employment for people with disabilities and lifelong dedication to public service. As longtime Chairman of the National Organization on Disability, Governor Ridge’s leadership has been instrumental in advancing competitive integrated employment opportunities for people with disabilities and the enforcement of Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act.


AAPD Catalyst Award

Logo of Accenture in black block text with a purple greater than sign over the letter t

AAPD is pleased to present Accenture with the AAPD Catalyst Award for their groundbreaking research on the report, Getting to Equal: The Disability Inclusion Advantage.


AAPD Paul G. Hearne Emerging Leader Awards

Photo of Sarah Blahovec with brown hair in an updo, wearing a black v-neck blouse

Sarah Blahovec, recipient of a 2019 AAPD Paul G. Hearne Emerging Leader Award.










Photo of Dustin Gibson in black and white, with short hair and full beard, wearing a black round neck shirt

Dustin Gibson, recipient of a 2019 AAPD Paul G. Hearne Emerging Leader Award.


Each year at the Gala, AAPD presents two upcoming leaders with disabilities with the AAPD Paul G. Hearne Emerging Leader Award to recognize them for their achievements and provide them support to continue their work. This year, AAPD is proud to recognize Sarah Blahovec and Dustin GibsonLearn more about the AAPD Paul G. Hearne Emerging Leader Award recipients.



AAPD thanks our 2019 sponsors!

National Catalyst
American Airlines logo

American Airlines


Blue AT&T globe logo to the left of text "AT&T"



The Coca-Cola Co. USA


Comcast NBCUniversal


National Structured Settlements Trade Association logo

National Structured Settlements Trade Association

National Connector
Bender Consulting Services, Inc.

Bender Consulting Services, Inc.


JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase

National Convener
DiversityComm logo

DiversityComm, Inc.


Nancy Dorn & Will Ris


Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman


Verizon logo with a red check mark


National Stakeholder

American International Group | Anthem | Centene | CVS Health | G2 | Goldman Sachs | IFS Group | PhRMA | Ringler Associates | Senator Robert J. Dole | Ted Kennedy, Jr. | UCB | Wells Fargo

National Advocate

American Baptist Home Mission Societies | Bank of America | Berkshire Hathaway Structured Settlements Division | CTIA | Esquire Bank | Merck | Metlife | National Industries for the Blind | New York Life | Pacific Life | PNC | Prudential | Uber | United Spinal Association 

National Ally

Allsup | Audi | BAE Systems Inc. | Epstein Becker & Green, P.C | Kessler Foundation | Mary Davis | PJM | Sprint Accessibility | Suzanne Boda | Volkswagon


To learn more about becoming a sponsor, please contact Jason Mida at jason@midaassociates.com.


The 2018 Leadership Awards Gala was held on March 13, 2018 at the Washington Hilton in Washington, DC.

Our Sponsors