Former Ironton resident honored for leadership

Published 10:00 pm Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bonnie Thuma Hawley was recognized for her leadership in rehabilitation by the Virginia State Rehabilitation Council.

On May 12, Hawley was presented with the Roy J. Ward Employee Leadership Recognition Award.

She is a graduate of Ironton High School, Class of 1975. She received her BA from Ohio University in 1981 and her MA from Marshall University in 1985 and has completed post graduate work at the University of Cincinnati and Virginia Commonwealth University.

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She is also a certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC) and has worked for the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services since 1993.

For the past 16 years, Hawley has been active on the local, state and national level advocating for individuals with disabilities.

She serves on the board of directors for the local Center for Independent Living and the Arc of Greater Prince William County.

She has been a long-time member of the Virginia Rehabilitation Association (VRA), serving as president in 2002, and received the A. R. Dawson Humanitarian Award from VRA in 2006 and the Guy F. Hubbard Award for outstanding leadership in Rehabilitation from the National Association of Rehabilitation Leadership (NARL) in 2007.

Hawley is currently the president-elect of the National Rehabilitation Association (NRA), past-president of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the NRA, and also serves on the NARL board of directors.

Additionally, she has worked with the Prince William County Emergency Preparedness Committee to develop emergency bags with information for people with disabilities to develop an emergency preparedness plan and was a featured speaker in a public service announcement that is regularly broadcast to encourage citizens with disabilities to make an emergency plan.

Hawley is the daughter of Virginia Thuma of Ironton and the late Phillip Thuma. She resides in Gainesville, Va., with her daughter Elyse.