The World's Best Connectors LLC Pays Homage to First Responders

Battalion Safety Officer Jim Barnhart with fellow Mesa Department Station 201 members.

Jim Barnhart (second from left) was congratulated by co-workers--Tristan Westmoreland, Kyle Kuball and Adam Sutter--at the Mesa Fire Station 201 for his receipt of the Super Hero first responder award from The World's Best Connectors.

Rebecca and Sean Stoddard

Rebecca Stoddard is proud of husband Mesa Police Officer Sean Stoddard, who is recovering from a serious car accident, and is being honored by The World's Best Connectors as a Super Hero first responder.

Shane Ryder with his daughters Faithanne and Trinity

Army Reservist and single father Shane Ryder poses with his daughters Faithanne and Trinity after hearing about his upcoming recognition as a Super Hero first responder by The World's Best Connectors.

The World's Best Connectors, an Arizona Business Community, will honor several first responders at its annual conference on October 23, 2020.

PHOENIX, AZ, USA, October 16, 2020 / -- As the US COVID-19 death toll surges toward 250,000, the legitimacy of US elections is in question, white domestic terrorist groups threaten democracy, and the world's economy sits on a precipice tittering towards a universal depression, there are still people who toil tirelessly to care for the sick, rescue the endangered, deliver food and drugs to the needy, and seek to protect those protesting peacefully. Unfortunately, they do not get the same recognition and compensation as those who play them on TV. The World's Best Connectors LLC, a virtual community headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, for C-suite executives, will honor several real-life heroes at its annual conference: How to Sustain Business During Chaotic Times Presented by Arizona State University.

"I am concerned that our concern for those who have eased our hurts during the pandemic is being overshadowed by our political disarray," says Denise Meridith, CEO of the WBC. "Whether it is not providing needed stimulus funding or enhancing working conditions for first responders, we are failing those who never fail us." The WBC hopes that all Arizona companies and organizations will start identifying and saying "thanks" to those who are helping others.

At the conference on October 23, 2020, at SkySong center in Scottsdale, Arizona, WBC speakers, sponsors and partners will use some of the time it usually devotes to panel discussions about helping executives enhance their connections to family, employees, clients, government, and the media, to giving awards to several first responders from the Phoenix metropolitan area.

All of the honorees have made personal sacrifices and suffered personal hardships, while continuing to inspire those with whom they work with and win the admiration and gratitude of those they help. Sara Fladeland is a single mother of three who, as a pediatric cardiac sonographer, performs echocardiograms on others' babies and children to identify congenital heart disease. "My mission in life is simply to love and help others," she says. The medical crisis for COVID-19 has created special challenges for parents of children with all illnesses, and those who tend to them.

During a visit to Mesa Fire Department Station 201, several firefighters shared stories about Jim Barnhart, their Battalion Safety Officer, which demonstrated the power of first responders to educate and inspire others to do the same. Over 20 years, Barnhart has had a positive impact on the personal and professional lives of fire personnel. He has also remained a loving husband and father to Leilani and his two boys, Finn, and Kai, and they, in turn, have kept him motivated.

As so many of first responders, Shane Ryder was raised in a military family. The ASU alumnus is a Counterintelligence Technician in the Army Reserve. He is also a single father, who has been raising Faithanne, William and Trinity, since his wife tragically died from cancer several years ago. This soft-spoken protector practices his two principles: "Love God. Love people."

One, whom some may have read about, is Sean Stoddard, a member of Mesa Police Department and the Army Reserve. He is still recovering from critical injuries he suffered after his police cruiser was rear-ended on the I-60 in August 2020. Stafford is the Founder, President, and CEO of The Archangels, a non-profit that assists other military, veterans, and first responders. He earned a Bachelor of Science from Arizona State University and completed a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Brandman University and serves in his local church. Stafford's greatest joy is being a father and husband to his wife and five kids. But Sean brings optimism and encouragement to everyone around him. His wife, Rebecca, says, even on the roughest days, he always answers the question "How are you doing, Sean?" with "Today is a great day."

WBC Associates Tanya Keats, Ron Williams, Dr. Vernet Joseph and Scottsdale Vice Mayor Solange Whitehead will join Meridith in showing videos about the honorees and presenting them plaques, made possible by WBC partners, such as Arizona State University, Arizona Commerce Authority, and Arizona Community Foundation, at the upcoming conference. WBC hopes to make such recognition a permanent part of its annual conference agenda.

Denise Meridith
World's Best Connectors LLC
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