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CONTACT: Melanie Mowry Etters
Communication Director

Amped for Success

By Melanie Mowry Etters

Alan Garrone is enjoying professional success and recognition for his good work as a landscaper with Global Connections to Employment (GCE). He recently was recognized as the GCE Team Member of the Year.

GCE Supervisor Bryan Camancho said, “Alan is dependable, honest, hardworking, and friendly. He always shows up ready to work. He will always do anything you ask him to do. He works as a team player.”

Garrone has a disability and receives services from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and APD is highlighting the workplace achievements of people with disabilities and the employers that hire them.

Garrone works 40 hours a week and has worked at GCE for 12 years. Prior to working in the Maintenance Department, he worked in the Custodial Department; however, he decided he preferred to work outdoors. He is a reliable and dedicated employee. Garrone said, “I do lawn maintenance. This includes mowing, edging, weed whacking, and blowing off yards. I get to drive a truck with a trailer attached. I purchase gas and fill up the gas cans.” His boss is impressed with his skills. Camancho said, “We have charts that we all follow. Alan is quite capable.”

Having a job is important to Garrone, as is supporting his family. “I like having a job because it gives me independence and income. I like learning new skills and meeting new people. I want to earn money to help my mother with living expenses. I need to earn money to make my car payment.”

Professionally, Garrone wants to stay with GCE and advance saying, “I would like to move up to the team lead position in the future.”

Garrone is somewhat of a Renaissance man with a wide variety of interests and hobbies. Garrone said, “I am a volunteer firefighter for Lillian Fire Rescue in Lillian, Alabama. I teach autistic children to surf through a program named Autism Surfs. I restored my Papa's truck, which I show at local car shows. I landscape yards in my neighborhood to make extra money.”

When not working at GCE, Garrone keeps busy with things that bring him joy. Garrone said, “I like to surf. I would like to win the Gold Medal in the next USA Special Olympics Games in the surfing competition. I love to volunteer at the fire department and go on calls. I also want to become a paid fire fighter. I like attending car shows to show off my refurbished truck.”

APD supports people with developmental disabilities to live, learn and work in their communities. The agency annually serves more than 58,000 Floridians with autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, Phelan-McDermid syndrome, and Prader-Willi syndrome. For more information about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, visit or call toll free 1-866-APD-CARES (1-866-273-2273).

Alan Garrone loves working outdoors, maintaining the landscaping for several Pensacola businesses.