Anonymous Donors Give $22,000 to Associate of the Year Nominees

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Anonymous Donors Give $22,000 to Express Employment Professionals Associate of the Year Nominees.

These donors gifted our outstanding associates with a donation out of the goodness of their hearts, and the funds have the potential to change our employees’ lives. - Bob Funk, Express CEO

Before last week, Anthony Gomez had never flown on a plane, let alone stood on a stage in front of 1,500 people while anonymous donors pitched in thousands of dollars as a token of appreciation for his hard work.

Gomez was one of five nominees for Express Employment Professionals Associate of the Year award, ultimately securing the top honor and accepting the prize in person at the International Leadership Conference (ILC) in Orlando, Florida. He was initially awarded $5,000 from Express as part of the recognition, plus another $2,000 for the trip.

However, during the awards ceremony, one anonymous donor generously gave the remaining four nominees $5,000 each, while another donor added $500 to that total, per person.

“I have always known our Express family is second-to-none, and this incredible gesture further confirms that,” said Bob Funk, CEO and chairman of the board for Express. “These donors gifted our outstanding associates with a donation out of the goodness of their hearts, and the funds have the potential to change our employees’ lives.”

Gomez first applied for a minimum-wage position through the Stockton, California, Express franchise office while he was in a transitional living situation, staying at a local homeless shelter. With no vehicle for transportation, Gomez rode his bike to work, making sure to arrive early should any delays happen.

Soon, he worked his way through the ranks from an entry-level catcher/packer position to a forklift driver, which came with a $2 per hour raise. The stability allowed him to put in an application for an apartment, secure a more reliable form of transportation, and refer others for positions at Express.

In July 2017, just as Gomez was preparing to move into his new home, the building caught fire, and he was displaced for nearly two weeks. But because of his hard work ethic, Gomez only missed one day of work due to securing a hotel room.

“We truly believe that Anthony exudes the meaning of hope and is so deserving of the recognition that both our local Express office and RTS Packaging (his place of employment) are bestowing upon him,” said Rachel French, managing partner of the Stockton Express franchise. “Anthony has consistently displayed a positive attitude with our office and the client and strongly believes in religion, hope and second chances.”

Gomez’s supervisor also praised him for his efforts at their company.

“Anthony Gomez is the perfect example of a great employee and is always here on time, no matter what means of transportation or weather,” said Talia Gonzalez, office and scheduling manager for RTS Packaging. “He is extremely friendly and gets along with his coworkers, as well as helps anyone and everyone. Anthony has a great work ethic, is always striving to do an excellent job and is truly a pleasure to work with.”

Other nominees for Associate of the Year included:

  •     Frank Barrett—Scranton, Pennsylvania
  •     Willie Woods—Maryland Heights, Missouri
  •     Excel King—North Kane County, Illinois
  •     Andre Wiggins—Northeast San Antonio, TX

About Express Employment Professionals
Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $3.4 billion in sales and employed a record 540,000 people in 2017. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually. For more information, visit

For More Information:
Sheena Karami
Corporate Communications and PR Director
Express Employment Professionals
(405) 840-5000

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Sheena Karami
Express Employment Professionals
+1 (405) 717-5966
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