DAI Recognizes Two Employees for their Community Service

December 12, 2013

Two DAI employees will receive the company’s inaugural David H. Gunning Award for Community Service in 2013. Mubarak Abdi and Vikki Groves will each receive $5,000 for donation to their respective social service organizations—the Somaliland National Youth Organization (SONYO) and Kings World Trust for Children.

“Both Mubarak and Vikki embody the volunteer ethos we sought to recognize through the Gunning Award,” said DAI Senior Vice President Jean Gilson. “We are delighted to support their work and to celebrate their example.”

DAI set up the award earlier this year to mark the legacy of David H. Gunning. The author of DAI’s articles of incorporation and a continuous presence on DAI’s Board from its inception in 1970 until his retirement in May, Gunning was a staunch advocate of the company’s social mission.

In that spirit, we established the award to encourage DAI employee service to the community, and we had a terrific response to the call for applications—from employees who are working with Hispanic youth in Maryland in the United States, assisting vulnerable people in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and supporting a local school in Fond des Blancs in Haiti, to list just a few of the 19 nominees.

Faced with so many deserving applications, the award committee had a difficult task narrowing down the field, but we are confident that the DAI community will take pride in the two winners:

  • Abdi grew up as a refugee on Somaliland’s Ethiopian border and is now the chair of SONYO, a respected umbrella organization for youth-focused NGOs in Somaliland. Mubarak brings to SONYO the same personal drive he brings to every aspect of his work on the Somalia Partnership for Economic Growth, where he serves as the Senior M&E Officer. SONYO will use the funding to expand youth center facilities in its Youth for Change program.
  • Groves from the London office has made a longstanding commitment to Kings World Trust for Children school in India, a charitable organization that helps orphaned, disabled, and marginalized children break out of the cycle of poverty by means of education. She recently joined the Trust’s Board. The Gunning award funds will support sponsorships that allow children to attend the institution and families to keep their children in school.

We look forward to presenting the second annual community service awards in 2014.



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