Financial District

New Leaf News Archives

NEW LEAF WELCOMES NEW CEO

August 19th, 2022

New Leaf is excited to announce that our search for CEO is over! New Leaf is proud and thrilled to announce that our very own Steve Jacobs has been named to the position. After a fairly exhaustive search, New Leaf Board of Directors President Darin Hand made the appointment official this week.

 
Steve has been with New Leaf since 1998, starting on the commissary custodial crew. Steve has worked all of our contracts, from shelf stocking to grounds maintenance, and is an expert in all things New Leaf. Steve has served as Field Manager since 2016 and took over as interim CEO earlier this year. His expertise, dedication, and leadership will serve us all well. Congratulations, Steve!

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NEW LEAF COMMEMORATES EARTH DAY WITH NASWI & GARRY OAK TREE SOCIETY

April 21st, 2022

New Leaf Grounds Maintenance Project Manager Adam Troyer and Documentation Manager Ryan Brooke joined Naval Air Station Whidbey Island to commemorate Earth Day by planting trees outside the Fleet and Family Center on Ault Field. 

Leading the tree planting was Brad of the Oak Harbor Garry Oak Society. Captain Eric Hanks, Commanding Officer, NAS Whidbey Island, was also on hand to mark the day by planting trees for NASWI's future. 

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NEW LEAF CEO MICHELE McKENNA RETIRES

March 2022

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New Leaf's CEO Michele McKenna is retiring after three decades at New leaf, including the last 7 years as CEO and Executive Director. New Leaf wishes a found farewell to our beloved CEO and looks forward to building on the successes she has achieved. Thank you Michele!

Please see New Leaf's Spring 2022 Newsletter for more on Michele's career and retirement.

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New Leaf CEO Michele McKenna at one last holiday party with the New Leaf staff.

 

NEW LEAF EMPLOYEE GENE PULU WINS WILLIAM M. USDANE AWARD

May 23rd, 2019

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(Left to right) Vincent Loose, SourceAmerica President and CEO, Steve Krotonsky, SourceAmerica COO, Gene Pulu, New Leaf employee and Usdane Awardee, Norm Lorentz, Board of Directors Chair. | Photo copyright SourceAmerica.

New Leaf, Inc.

For his exceptional character, outstanding achievement, and for setting inspiring work and life examples, Gene Pulu was awarded the coveted William M. Usdane Award during SourceAmerica’s 2019 National Conference held May 22, 2019 in Anaheim, California. Every year since 1993, SourceAmerica has celebrated the achievements of people with significant disabilities.

 

Gene Pulu works on the grounds crew of New Leaf, Inc., a not-for-profit Oak Harbor organization that employs approximately 115 employees, most of whom are adults with significant disabilities. New Leaf’s mission is to “promote independence and quality of life through employment.”

Gene says, “I love to work. It’s just how I am. I want to make it (Whidbey Island Naval Air Station) nice for the people who serve our country.”

Mr. Pulu works tirelessly to keep the grounds at the Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (including Ault Field and the Seaplane Base) pristine. “He wants to make the base look good. It is his way of giving back to the military. When they come home, they have a clean place to live” says Glenn Kincaid, Operations Manager for New Leaf, Inc.

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Gene Pulu, New Leaf employee, William S. Usdane Awardee | Photo copyright SourceAmerica.

During his award speech, Pulu dedicated his trophy and said, “I dedicate this trophy to all the men and women in uniform because my life, my work, is devoted to the men and women who serve the United States of America.”

 

In the photos, Mr. Pulu is seen wearing a bright red ula fala that was gifted to him. It is a Samoan symbol of a high-ranking title holder (traditionally worn around the neck when making a speech). It is handmade from the fruit of the pandanus tree.

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NEW LEAF CELEBRATES 50 YEARS

April 2019

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New Leaf staff at the 50th-anniversay ribbon-cutting.

New Leaf, Inc.

In 2019 New Leaf celebrated 50 years of service to the community and 50 years of success for its employees. New Leaf was founded in 1969 by parents who wanted to provide gainful employment for their developmentally disabled adult sons and daughters. They performed a variety of labor related services such as greenhouse gardening, mowing lawns, and even ground maintenance in cemeteries. 

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New Leaf employees celebrate 50 years of service and success.

In 1972 New Leaf was awarded the first Federal Service Contract initiated under the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act of 1971 (now know as AbilityOne). New Leaf has successfully maintained that contract--a grounds maintenance contract with Naval Air Station - Whidbey Island--to the present day, making New Leaf the holder of the oldest active federal contract in the United States. 

Today New Leaf employees over 100 people and serves several contracts with Naval Air Station - Whidbey Island and the Defense Commissary Agency at Naval Station Everett. 50 years and counting!

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New Leaf staff celebrate 50 years of service and success.

 

NEW LEAF HAS FUN AT OAK HARBOR CHAMBER OF COMMERCE GOLF TOURNAMENT

August 13, 2018

New Leaf, Inc.

New Leaf staff and employees joined several other local businesses and organizations in the 2018 Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament at Whidbey Golf Club. A good time was had by all!

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New Leaf staff at the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament.

 

MATTHEW THOMASON RECEIVES NEW LEAF STAR AWARD

July 24th, 2018

New Leaf, Inc.

Congratulations to Mathew Thomason of the  New Leaf Galley crew for receiving the New Leaf Star Award! Matthew was recognized for his outstanding work and great attitude. Matthew also was recognized as the Food Service Attendant of the month for July 2018.

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New Leaf Director of Operations Glenn Kincaid presents Mathew Thomason of the Galley crew with a Star Award.

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Mathew Thomason's Food Service Attendant award.

NEW LANDSCAPING FOR NAS WHIDBEY MWR PARK 

January 5th, 2018

New Leaf, Inc.

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MWR Park at NAS Whidbey after the new landscaping.

The New Leaf Grounds crew replaced the cobble and replanted grass at the Morale, Welfare & Recreation (MWR) Park at Naval Air Station - Whidbey Island. The winter work is much appreciated by NAS Whidbey residents.

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The New Leaf Grounds crew putting down new cobble at NAS Whidbey.

STEPHEN FONTENETTE RECEIVES NEW LEAF STAR AWARD

March 8th, 2016

New Leaf, Inc.

New Leaf employee Stephen Fontenette received a Star Award for his outstanding service on the Galley crew. The New Leaf Star is given to recognize employees who are professional, have a positive attitude towards work and their co-workers, and who go the extra mile. This award gives recognition to those who show that they are a dedicated member of the New Leaf Team.

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New Leaf CEO Michele McKenna presents Stephen Fontenette with a Star Award.

NEW LEAF GALLEY CREW WINS CPT. EDWARD F. NEY AWARD

April 2015

New Leaf, Inc.

Congratulations to the  New Leaf Galley crew for winning the 2015 annual Captain Edward F. Ney Memorial award, which encourages excellence in Navy food service programs with the objective of improving the quality of life for our Navy personnel.

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The New Leaf Galley crew at the Admiral Nimitz Galley.

NEW LEAF CELEBRATES 45 YEARS

August 2014

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New Leaf staff commemorate 45 years of service.

New Leaf, Inc.

October is traditionally National Disability Employment Awareness Month and is celebrated throughout our nation in order to recognize the incredible contributions of people with significant disabilities to our global workforce. New Leaf is especially proud, this year, to celebrate 45 years of successful employment of people with disabilities.

 

Forty-five years ago, a small number of parents of adults with developmental disabilities created New Leaf in order to provide employment. The opportunities were scant.  In 1969 stereotypes of people were disabled were rife and the biggest challenge for these parents was to dispel those myths.  They did anything and everything that was honest work to garner employment.  They built a greenhouse to try their hand at that business and it didn’t pan out. They dug ditches. They dug graves.  And then, in 1972 fortune smiled on their efforts.


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By chance, there was a friendship between a family member of one of the parents and a Lieutenant stationed at NAS Whidbey Island. A very small contract was available on grounds maintenance at the base. The Lt. wrote a pilot, the base accepted it, and the rest is history. New Leaf received the very first Federal service contract under the Javits-Wagner-O’Day Act (JWOD). The contract was for $60,000.   New Leaf was not only a pioneer for a Federal contract but had the onus of dispelling myths for people with disabilities.

From push mowers and rakes to 115 Horse New Holland tractors today. From $60,000 to almost $6 million in contracts.  From one tiny, significant contract in 1972 to five federal contracts, now; Grounds Maintenance, Janitorial Services, food attendant services at The Admiral Nimitz Galley, and Shelf stocking and Custodial services at the NAS Whidbey Island and Smokey Point commissaries .  From a small group of dedicated parents and their sons and daughters with significant disabilities to hundreds employed at New Leaf throughout the forty-five years.

NEW VANS FOR NEW LEAF JANITORIAL CREW

August 2014

New Leaf, Inc.

Check out the new fleet of vans for Janitorial! These new and more efficient vehicles let the crew get to and from their tasks more safety and effectively. 

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