Wendy's Honors 11 Employees for Exemplary Volunteer Efforts in Their Communities

Mar 16, 2017 9:50 AM ET
Wendy's Community Ambassador of the Year, Matthew Esteves (middle), with Boston Director of Area Operations Bob Meyers (left) and District Manager Keith Helger (right).

DUBLIN, Ohio, March 16, 2017 /3BL Media/ -- The Wendy's Company proudly supports employee volunteerism through the Community Ambassador Grant Program.  Each year, Wendy's® employees are recognized for extraordinary community volunteerism and engagement with a $2,500 grant to the organization they support.  The Community Ambassador of the Year is selected from this group and awarded an additional $10,000 for their organization.  Matthew Esteves, a Wendy's Restaurant Manager in Swansea, MA, has been named Wendy's 2016 Community Ambassador of the Year for his leadership and long-term commitment to the Fall River National Little League in Fall River, MA.

"We were excited to see a record number of employees nominate organizations for a Community Ambassador Grant this year," said Liliana Esposito, Chief Communications Officer.  "Our founder Dave Thomas taught us to Do The Right Thing and Give Something Back, and it's inspiring to hear how passionate our employees are about living these values in their lives outside of Wendy's, as well.

Company employees from across the Wendy's family – from restaurant team members to regional field offices to corporate employees – are eligible to apply for a grant benefitting an organization they support with their time, talents, and resources.  Wendy's is proud to recognize these 11 employees, from all areas of the Company, for their philanthropic efforts:

Matthew Esteves supporting Fall River National Little League, Fall River, MA (Community Ambassador of the Year) – Matthew played in the league as a child, began volunteering with the league in 2006 at age 16, and is currently the league President.  The league helps children ages 4-12 learn about baseball while also having fun and learning valuable life lessons.  Giving back is also a focus of the league, which hosts an annual Autism Awareness Tournament.  All of the money raised from the tournament is donated to Community Autism Resources, a local organization that supports families with autistic children.  Matthew is a Wendy's Restaurant Manager in Swansea, MA. 

Jonathan Gall supporting Camp Quality Illinois, Frankfort, IL – Jonathan has been involved with Camp Quality—a camp for children with cancer and other life threatening illnesses—for 21 years, both as a camper and as a camp volunteer.  Camp Quality is 100% free of charge and gives children a week-long carefree camp experience.  As a former camper, Jonathan volunteers as a camp companion and serves as an inspiring role model to kids battling illness. He also assists with fundraising events throughout the year.  Jonathan is a Wendy's Restaurant Manager in Naperville, IL.

Crista Miller supporting Ohio History Connection, Columbus, OH – Crista has been involved with the Ohio History Connection's Ohio Village—a living history museum that provides a firsthand view of life in Ohio during the American Civil War—for more than six years and volunteers with the Village's historical-educational experience.  Crista began volunteering to celebrate her love of history and to put her sewing skills to good use by creating period clothing for the Village.  When she's not roleplaying, Crista participates in sewing workshops, Village Cleanup Days, and annual holiday events.  Crista enjoys engaging with Ohio Village visitors while learning and exploring different parts of American history through interpretation.  Crista is a Senior Customer Care Advocate at the Wendy's Restaurant Support Center in Dublin, OH.

Dawn Schuler supporting Manorville Community Ambulance, Manorville, NY – Manorville Community Ambulance serves the residents of Manorville and surrounding areas 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.  Dawn is an active member of the organization and volunteers by answering emergency calls and assisting with CPR, first aid, and drug abuse awareness classes for the community.  She has received awards for being a top responder and was chosen as Probationary Member of the Year by New York State Senator Kenneth LaValle in 2016.  Dawn is a Wendy's Training Restaurant Manager in Lake Ronkonkoma, NY.

Joe Hippler supporting Easterseals Central and Southeast Ohio, Columbus, OH – Joe became involved with Easterseals Central and Southeast Ohio in 2013, is currently Vice President of the Board of Directors, and will be appointed President in 2018.  He serves on several committees and enjoys volunteering at various fundraising events each year.  Through his involvement with Easterseals, Joe has seen firsthand the impact the organization is having on children with special needs and believes that every child with a disability is extra special.  Joe is the Vice President of Corporate Accounting & Financial Reporting at the Wendy's Restaurant Support Center in Dublin, OH.

Bob VanVliet supporting Habitat for Humanity Mid-Ohio/Dublin Adopt-A-House Partnership, Columbus, OH – Bob started volunteering with Habitat for Humanity Mid-Ohio 18 years ago and has helped the partnership complete 19 homes for low-income families.  While he spends time onsite during construction season, Bob also serves on the leadership team, coordinates volunteers, leads fundraising efforts, and conducts training sessions for other volunteers.  Bob has worked for Wendy's for 35 years and is currently a Project Manager for New Product Testing & Integration at the Wendy's Restaurant Support Center in Dublin, OH.

Ernie Beneventi supporting Peace Ranch, Caledon East, ON, Canada – Peace Ranch provides supportive housing and rehabilitative services for adults who have serious mental illness, enabling them to live and work in a rural community atmosphere.  Ernie volunteers at the ranch by channeling his construction and woodworking skills to help build and maintain the residence and structures to support the animal farm. He has constructed and maintained items such as animal cages, organic farming supports and structures, post-harvest systems, and spice drying equipment.  He also interacts with ranch clients and has passed on some of his construction skills and knowledge in the process.  Ernie is a Construction Manager for Wendy's Restaurants of Canada.

Bry Roth and Mackenzie Sullivan supporting Homeless Families Foundation, Columbus, OH – Bry and Mackenzie both support the Homeless Families Foundation as volunteer reading mentors for the Foundation's Dowd Education Center's after school program.  They work with middle school students on reading skills and comprehension, and both have seen a significant jump in reading levels in the students they mentor.  Bry and Mackenzie both work on the Communications team at the Wendy's Restaurant Support Center in Dublin, OH.

Eva Rasnake supporting Wonder Lake Neighbors Food Pantry, Wonder Lake, IL – Eva approached Wonder Lake Neighbors Food Pantry about hosting a fundraiser at her Wendy's restaurant and soon realized she also wanted to support the organization as a volunteer.  She spends her free time fundraising, stocking shelves with donated food, and assisting pantry clients with their shopping.  Eva has worked for Wendy's since 1985 and is a Training Restaurant Manager in McHenry, IL.

Richard DiPippa supporting Mastic Beach Fire Department, Mastic Beach, NY – As the top responder for the past five years, Richard supports the Mastic Beach Fire Department as a certified interior firefighter and rescue diver.  His talents were invaluable during Super Storm Sandy, as his team completed multiple water rescues to save local citizens and their pets.  Richard also supports the department as a recruiter, trainer, and fire prevention educator.  Richard is a Training Restaurant Manager in Islip, NY.

About The Wendy's Company
The Wendy's Company (NASDAQ: WEN) is the world's third largest quick-service hamburger company. The Wendy's system includes more than 6,500 franchise and Company restaurants in the United States and 30 countries and U.S. territories worldwide. For more information, visit www.aboutwendys.com.