Mill Street Tavern receives employer of the year award

Drew Butler
Mill Street Tavern owners David Wood (left) and Tim Dighton (right), and employee Scotty Hacker recently received the Employer of the Year award from the Oklahoma Association of People Supporting Employment First, an organization dedicated to helping those with developmental disabilities find employment.

Mill Street Tavern recently received the employer of the year award from the Oklahoma Association of People Supporting Employment First. The organization is dedicated to advancing employment equity for people with developmental disabilities, and they chose Mill Street Tavern to be the recipient after the restaurant hired Scotty Hacker. Hacker was laid off at his previous job because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Robin Alter, executive director of Think Ability, Inc., an organization out of Duncan that works to improve the quality of life for adults with  disabilities, nominated the restaurant for the award. She told the owners about Hacker when she and a coworker stopped in for lunch. They told her to send him in to apply, and once he came in he was hired on the spot.

Mill Street Tavern is owned by David Wood and Tim Dighton, who purchased the restaurant during the coronavirus shutdown, and reopened in mid-May. Hacker was hired soon after reopening. His duties include prep work and some cooking. He said his favorite thing to do while on the job is to make the sauces.

Wood said Hacker is a hard worker who enjoys his time at work.

“Scotty’s a great employee, and he always does what he is told,” Wood said. “He fits right in because he’s a trash talker like the rest of us and likes to take jabs at people. We have a good time, but when it’s time to work, it’s time to work, and he does a really good job for us.”

During his free time, Hacker likes to watch television, play video games, and look up recipes for ideas to bring into work. He even has one of his recipes on the brunch menu, “Scotty’s Stacker,” a sandwich with ham, eggs and cheese between slices of French toast.

Hacker said he enjoys coming into work every day.

“I like everything,” he said. “I’ve made a lot of great friends.”