ECF Recognizes Businesses Who Make Diverse Workplaces A Priority

Bunnin Chevrolet Makes Surprise Gift at Luncheon


Courtesy: ECF

L-R: Jim Hill (CBS 2), Paula Muesse (Zhena's Gypsy Tea), Nora Frausto (Hawker Pacific Aerospace), Sean Ryan (Zhena's Gypsy Tea), Jeremy Iaccino (Lowe Enterprises), Ivan Rosenberg (Frontier Associates), and Scott Bowling (Exceptional Children's Foundation).

By Stephen Hadland

Observer Publisher

Exceptional Children's Foundation (ECF) of Culver City hosted a luncheon on May 19, to recognize and thank 70 business partners who understand and benefit from the value that employing people of all abilities provides to their operations.

Sportscaster Jim Hill was the Master of Ceremonies for the event which was held at Killer Shrimp Restaurant in Marina Del Rey.

Leo Bunnin, owner of Bunnin Chevrolet, surprised the crowd at the end of the meeting by asking Hill his pro football jersey number. When Hill, a longtime friend of Bunnin, answered "number 38" Bunnin announced that Bunnin Chevrolet would donate $3800 to ECF. In addition to the donation, Bunnin Chevrolet employs adult workers from the ECF program.

A nonprofit organization based in Culver City with 15 service sites throughout Los Angeles County, ECF has a long and successful record of improving the lives of children and adults with special needs since 1946. Unlike many non-profits with huge administrative and fundraising overhead, EFC pours 90% of their budget back into programs and services to help their clients.

Business leaders at the event commented that ECF workers, were not only on time but in most cases showed up early, worked hard and were among the most eager and dedicated employees they had.

The Southern California economy is on the road to recovery, and ECF's business partners are part of the reason why. ECF's business partners are proof that adults with intellectual disabilities offer a meaningful contribution to society. These individuals are dependable, productive, and responsible – and many have been in their jobs for ten or more years. In addition, co-workers of employees with intellectual disabilities often become vested in the success of the individual with a disability, which leads to improved camaraderie and cooperation.

"Most importantly, people learn the benefits of diversity and how inclusion helps businesses progress and remain competitive in a dynamic world," said Scott Bowling, President and CEO of ECF.

Courtesy: ECF

L-R: Jim Hill (CBS 2 and second from left) with Leo Bunnin, Ron Vartanian, and Chad Kelman from Bunnin Chevrolet in Culver City.

ECF's business partners have set inspiring examples for others to follow as a result of employing and working with people with all levels of abilities. ECF's partners in the aerospace, automotive, beverage, government, hospitality, medical, and retail industries have hired adults with intellectual disabilities.

ECF adult clients are placed in community jobs based on job matching and interest assessment. ECF adult clients are also part of ECF's on-site work activity program, which contracts with local and regional businesses to provide high quality and competitively-priced packaging and assembly services. ECF clients earn fair market wages, gain independence, and develop increased self-esteem and financial security. The community benefits from a diverse workforce.

To learn more about ECF's business services, visit

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