×
Florida Rehabilitation Council
Florida Rehabilitation Council logo over an image of sunset at a Florida beach.

Stephen R. Wise Advocacy Award

Isabel Garcia and James "Chip" Byers Honored
with Stephen R. Wise Advocacy Award for 2022

Since 2013, FRC created the Stephen R. Wise Advocacy Award to be given annually to recognize a dedicated Florida leader and champion who promotes independence through work and community activities for individuals with disabilities.

Stephen R. Wise is a former Republican member of the Florida House of Representatives (1988–2000) and Florida Senate (2002–2012). Wise earned his bachelor’s degree from Florida Southern College, master’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University and doctorate in education from the University of Alabama. His professional experience includes working as a teacher in Polk and Brevard Counties and Vice President of College Development at the Florida Community College. Throughout his career, he focused on the employment of people with developmental disabilities. His legacy includes the creation of the Florida Endowment Foundation for Vocational Rehabilitation (now known as The Able Trust).

Stephen R. Wise Award Recipients

Isabel Garcia
2022
Isabel Garcia
James Byers
2022
James "Chip" Byers
Rhonda Beckman
2021
Lileana de Moya
Founder
DMF Employment Opportunities
Allison Tant
2021
Representative
Allison Tant
Ann Siegel
2020
Ann Siegel, JD
Disability Rights Florida
Becki Forsell
2019
Becki Forsell
Founder
YES! of America United
Dennis Baxley
2018
Senator Dennis Baxley
Rhonda Beckman
2017
Rhonda Beckman
Executive Director
The Arc, Ridge Area
John Ficca
2016
John Ficca
Founder/CEO
Hands on Education
David Jones
2015
David C. Jones
Founder/President Florida
Disabled Outdoors
Association
Carol Borden
2014
Carol Borden
CEO
Guardian Angels Medical
Service Dogs
Steven Howell
2013
Steven Howell
Executive Director,
Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology