Valencia College has a way of producing heroes. Just ask Joe Richardson, vice president, student affairs.
Joe, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, was recently honored by the Orlando Magic with the Harris Hometown Hero recognition. The recognition typically goes to local first responders, firefighters, police officers, emergency medical workers, and military personnel who gave and continue to give above and beyond to protect their communities.
Prior to the singing of the national anthem at each home game throughout the season, the Hometown Hero’s accomplishments are announced and they are honored with a huge round of applause by all those in attendance at Orlando’s Amway Center. Richardson was honored on Saturday, February 1, 2020, at the Orlando Magic vs. Miami Heat game.
“My family and I were honored to be a part of this amazing tradition and the Orlando Magic organization gave us a night of amazing hospitality that we will never forget,” said Joe.
“The sense of gratitude and respect that the Orlando community shows on behalf of those who have served and their families is a huge part of what makes this area a welcoming place to call home,” he added.
Joe said he was proud to share the special moment with his family as well as other members of the Valencia team. Among those in attendance were Kathleen Plinske, executive vice president and provost, and president, Osceola, Lake Nona, and Poinciana Campus; Isis Artze Vega, vice president of academic affairs; Brandon McKelvey, vice president of analytics and planning; and Jackie Perron, executive assistant, senior, student affairs.
“It was an amazing treat to have members of the Valencia team join us at the game as well, and that spoke volumes to the sense of family that makes working at the college so special,” Joe explained. He also said he hopes to enable other members of the Valencia team to experience this recognition for their service to our community and nation.
If you’d like to nominate a Hometown Hero, visit the Orlando Magic Website.