Left-Right: Susan Razbadouski shares the moment with Courtney Oertel, daughter of Frank Ware


(Rockford, Ill. - 09/12/2014) - Susan M. Razbadouski, LCSW, ACSW, was announced today as the 2014 recipient of the Frank Ware Award of Excellence during United Way of Rock River Valley's annual community campaign kickoff event. The award recognizes any individual who exemplifies a high-level of excellence in service to others, human service advocacy, and an unwavering commitment to the community. This award honors the spirit of Frank Ware, beloved former president and CEO of Janet Wattles Center, who spent over 30 years advocating for quality human services on behalf of the most marginalized members in the community and of the non-for-profit organizations in the area. Razbadouski was nominated by Family Counseling Services of Northern Illinois.

"Sue serves our community daily, as she serves her clients by helping them access their strengths and develop effective coping strategies that consider the unique aspect of their lives," wrote Kathy Velasco, Secretary, Board of Directors of Family Counseling Services, in the nomination. "She recognizes that well-being includes mental and physical health and empowers people to take an active role in change."

Razbadouski began working in social work with Family Counseling Services in 1988 and was appointed as executive director in 1997, a position she held until her retirement in January 2013. Razbadouski currently offers private one-on-one counseling with Geiger Clinic of Psychiatric, and continues to volunteer with Family Counseling Services.

Over the years, Razbadouski committed her work to improving mental health in our community through local committees and task forces. Most recently, she was a member of United Way's Impact Council serving from 2003-2013 and currently serves on Rep. Chuck Jefferson's Health Care Advisory Committee. In addition to her service in the local community, Razbadouski actively volunteers on state and national committees and boards related to social work. She has served as a member of the Social Work Examining and Disciplinary Board of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation since 2009, and was elected to the National Committee on Nominations and Leadership Identification of the Association of Social Workers in 2011.

Razbadouski is the fourth recipient of the award since its inception in 2011. The selection process was led by a volunteer committee of community leaders. The community reviewed several nominations, which included:

  • Roy and Sally Abramat, nominated by Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago (Rockford Region)
  • Phil Fulkerson, MD, nominated by Rockford Public Schools District #205
  • Barb Giese, nominated by Rock River Center
  • Dola Gregory, nominated by Rock House Kids
  • Carm Herman, nominated by Barbara Olson Center of Hope
  • Emily Keilback, nominated by Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois
  • Richard Kunnert, nominated by Rosecrance
  • Eileen Liezert, nominated by Children's Home + Aid
  • Cheryl Piper, nominated by Remedies Renewing Lives

Members of the selection committee:

  • Mary Ann Abate, Rosecrance
  • Barb Berman, retired
  • Megan Cox, Rosecrance
  • Richard Kunnert, retired
  • Courtney Oertel, Ren Events and daughter of Frank Ware
  • James Patterson, Community Foundation of Northern Illinois


United Way of Rock River Valley

United Way of Rock River Valley advances the common good in Winnebago and Ogle counties, creating opportunities for a better life by focusing on education, income, and health. United Way recruits people and organizations that bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done. LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become a part of the change.


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