Four staff members at Sunshine Industries, Inc. of Ardmore were recently recognized with a reception and awards for their long-term service. Melissa  Walker, Sunshine executive director, said Janice Copeland, Tamara Long, Sherry Henderson, and Darlene L. Martin have a combination of 95 years assisting people with developmental/intellectual disabilities in Southern Oklahoma. Programs at Sunshine are personally developed for each individual and staff are responsible for implementing each plan.
Copeland was acknowledged for 30 years at Sunshine, beginning her employment in August of 1985. Born in Ardmore and a lifelong resident  Copeland and her husband, Felix, share three children, Lieasch Lee, Dwayne Lee and daughter-in-law, Kima Lee, and Victor Copeland. They have two grandchildren, Kimberly Cobb and Casey Tibbs.  
Copeland attended Ardmore schools and began work in the Sunshine Thrift Store as manager.  Her current title is vocational employment training specialist/assistant production manager. She is assigned work in all areas of vocational services and is responsible for safety inspections for all crews.
“I enjoy working with the trainees receiving services through Sunshine programs. I am still working with five individuals who started at Sunshine when I did,” she said. “The reward for me has been seeing them grow in their jobs.”
Long was born in Indiana, raised in Iowa, and has lived in Ardmore and worked at Sunshine 25 years.  She and her husband, Michael, have a daughter, Kaitlyn.
Long began work at Sunshine as a vocational training specialist in the sheltered workshop, was promoted to vocational program manager and now serves as the director of Sunshine Adult Day Services. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree and then Master of Science degree in Human Resources from East Central State University.
“I am thankful every day to have found a place to work which is so rewarding. I am surrounded daily with appreciation and love,” Long said.  “It doesn’t get any better than this.”  
Henderson was born in Florida, raised in Alabama, has been in southern Oklahoma for 33 years. She currently resides in Dickson. Henderson celebrated her 20th anniversary in July. She and her husband, Wesley, have four children, Shannon, Tosha, John, and Jason. They have 13 grandchildren.
Henderson started her career as a vocational program manager and now serves as director, program manager, and employment specialist of Southern Oklahoma Supported Employment, a branch of Sunshine.  She received a Bachelor of Applied Science Home Economics degree with a Vocational endorsement from Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
“This is home. It’s where I should be and where I need to be. I guide, instruct, come up with some crazy ideas, and work with the best people in Ardmore,” Henderson said. “I would not change one single thing. We talk about finding our niche in society or at work. Well, I have found my niche and I’m loving it.”
 Martin lives in Ardmore and began work at Sunshine 20 years ago. She is a vocational program manager.
“My support system has always been here for me. The service recipients (my friends) have been dedicated and hardworking on all their jobs the past 20 years,” said Martin. “I greatly appreciate each and every one who has encouraged and blessed me with their wisdom.”
Sunshine Industries, Inc. is headquartered in Ardmore and has a thrift store in Madill. The nonprofit corporation provides vocational and residential training, along with community employment and adult day services to more than 100 people with developmental/intellectual disabilities.  
Sunshine employs 48 staff persons.  
To ask questions about programs or services call (580) 226-1444 or visit