Training to Serve established the John Yoakam Award for Service to LGBT Elders in 2011 to annually honor a senior service organization or an individual in Minnesota that has made strides to provide an environment where compassionate care for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults can flourish.
The award is named in memory of John Yoakam. Dr. Yoakam served as a faculty member at the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University and became chair of the Social Work Department in 2001. He was a faculty sponsor of Prism, the campus organization for GLBT students. He helped organize the first Lavender graduation ceremonies for GLBT and allied students and served as a facilitator for the Gay and Bisexual Men’s group in St. Cloud. Professionally, John became active in several organizations involved with concerns of aging within the GLBT community, including the American Society on Aging’s LGAIN and GLBT Generations in the Twin Cities. Dr. Yoakam passed away on April 20, 2009.
To be considered for the Yoakam Award, nominated individuals or organizations must either directly serve older adults, include them as a service delivery target audience, or have influenced the delivery of aging services. The nominee must be located within Minnesota. The award winner will be recognized in a press release, website marketing, and other promotional activities of TTS. The winning individual or a representative from the winning organization must be present at the annual Training to Serve benefit.
Nominations are open from December 1 through January 10 each year. Training to Serve Board members cannot nominate organizations they are employed by or have ownership in, but they may nominate fellow board members' organization affiliations.
2017: Jones-Harrison Residence & Harry Hartigan
2016: Alexandra House
2015: Senior Communitiy Services
2014: Amherst H. Wilder Foundation
2013: Minnesota Department of Human Services & Minnesota Board on Aging
2012: Volunteers of America
2014 Award presentation: Gary Gimmestad, Bobbi Cordano (Wilder Foundation), Rolf Hage (DHS/MBA)