LEESBURG, VA. — Nonprofit organization Every Citizen Has Opportunities (ECHO) was recently recognized for its work to help support people with disabilities by offering them employment at ECHO Barkery, a dog biscuit bakery. The organization was named the Innovation Award winner by SourceAmerica® for creating inclusivity for people with disabilities.

SourceAmerica is an enterprise that seeks to create employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The organization hosted its annual Xforce conference in Anaheim, Calif., on May 24, during which it announced the winners of its national achievement awards.

From Left to Right: Richard Beldon, president and chief executive officer of SourceAmerica; Pete Yuska, general manager of ECHO Barkery; Mark Lezotte, board chairman of SourceAmerica.

From Left to Right: Richard Beldon, president and chief executive officer of SourceAmerica; Pete Yuska, general manager of ECHO Barkery; Mark Lezotte, board chairman of SourceAmerica.

| Source: SourceAmerica®

The awards strive to recognize nonprofits, employees and businesses for their efforts in advancing employment and inclusion for people with disabilities.

“People with disabilities bring unique insights and talents to the nation’s workforce,” said Richard Belden, president and chief executive officer of SourceAmerica. “SourceAmerica takes pride in celebrating the achievements of these award winners who have demonstrated leadership, dedication, and the passion to inspire others to work towards a more inclusive workforce.”

ECHO’s Pete Yuska founded ECHO Barkery during the COVID-19 pandemic, during which nine of ECHO’s 16 worksites closed, displacing 71 of its program participants. The dog biscuit manufacturer currently employs 18 people with disabilities, baking more than 45,000 dog biscuits monthly. It serves a variety of retail customers, including Whole Foods.

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