Lord and Lady Fairfax Honorees
The tradition of honoring the Lords and Ladies Fairfax began in 1984 as a way to recognize the accomplishments of the outstanding citizens of Fairfax County. Each member of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors selects two people from their district who have demonstrated outstanding volunteer service, heroism or other special accomplishments to receive the award. The Tuesday prior to the opening of Celebrate Fairfax!, the Board of Supervisors along with honored guests enjoy a catered meal provided by Coastal Flats, a Great American Restaurant to publicly honor the Lord and Lady Fairfax Honorees. To date, more than 500 individuals have been named a Lord or Lady Fairfax by their respective member of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
2013 Lord and Lady Fairfax Honorees
CHAIRMAN – AT LARGE
Ms. Amanda Andere
Ms. Amanda Andere’s volunteerism and work with nonprofits has been a critical element to improving the community. She is the Executive Director of FACETS, a community-based organization serving Fairfax County whose mission is to open doors by helping families and individuals who suffer from the effects of poverty. Dean H. Klein, the Director of the Office to Prevent and End Homelessness, who works closely with FACETS said, “Amanda has been a critical leader in our community’s effort to prevent and end homelessness. Her innovative approaches and commitment to the homeless served through FACETS has made a significant mark on our community and those in need of housing and resources.”
In addition to Ms. Andere’s work with FACETS, she is known for her extensive history of service and proven leadership through her commitment to over a dozen boards. Amanda Andere’s commitment to improving the community makes her worthy of the title Lady Fairfax.
Mr. Anthony H. Griffin
Retired County Executive, Mr. Anthony H. Griffin, has provided visionary leadership in weaving the rich fabric of this community. He served for over a decade as the County Executive, and was integral in shaping the county’s budget, responding to crises and negotiating the details of policies with peers in other jurisdictions. Mr. Griffin demonstrated an unflappable leadership throughout his career: from handling the aftermath of September 11th, 2001, to guiding the urbanization of Tysons Corner and collaborating on the Metrorail extension to Dulles International Airport.
Under his guidance, Fairfax County maintained a Triple A rating from all three rating agencies and was given the highest rank out of 40 counties evaluated for the Government Performance Project by the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and Governing magazine for 2001 – 2002. Mr. Griffin is a shining example of leadership and is deserving of the title Lord Fairfax.
Ms. Catie Morales
Ms. Catie Morales is known as the “can-do” girl in her Middleridge community. Serving on the Community Association Board for over a decade, Ms. Morales chairs the largest community National Night Out fair in Fairfax County, making this flagship Middleridge event one of the most attended and envied in the county. She also has assisted with Robinson Secondary School’s All Night Grad Party for the past 2 years.
Ms. Morales is very involved in her church, donating her time to the Youth Group, Squire & Squire Rose organizations and assisting the Knights of Columbus with many of their events. She also sits on the Board of the Gold Team for Long & Foster, Realtors, serving over 1,700 of the company’s most successful realtors in the area. Ms. Morales prides herself in her ability to maintain a successful business, while juggling the demands of family and community. Her tireless dedication to her community and Fairfax County is second to none and Supervisor Cook is pleased to name her as Braddock District’s Lady Fairfax 2013.
Mr. Mark H. O’Meara
Mark O’Meara can be found in many different places in the Braddock District. You might have seen him fundraising for the Robinson Athletic Boosters, which he has been president of since 2006. He was an integral part of the effort to get artificial turf fields installed at Robinson Secondary School. Three times he’s been the fundraising chair for the Robinson Secondary School All Night Grad Party. He has coached BRYC Soccer and Burke Basketball, as well as serving as their league commissioner.
Mr. O’Meara is also a member of the George Mason University Fairfax Campus Advisory Board, the Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, the Kings Park West HOA and has participated in Supervisor Cook’s Business Council. He serves as the Secretary of the National Association of Theatre Owners and is President of their Regional Association. His businesses have helped with fundraising for a variety of causes including the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Mark’s wide smile and big heart are known throughout the Braddock District, and Supervisor Cook is pleased to name him as Braddock’s Lord Fairfax.
Ms. Wendy Gradison
Ms. Wendy Gradison has served as President and CEO of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (PRS) since 1998. Before assuming that position, Ms. Gradison was Director of PRS’ Reston Center. 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of PRS, an organization that from its humble beginnings realized the vital need for community-based mental health services to help close the gap between hospital and community life.
PRS provides a range of rehabilitative skills training and support services including vocational, educational, case management, recreational and other services to over 800 individuals. Under Ms. Gradison’s leadership, PRS formalized programs including Community Housing, Employment Services, Community Support Services and the Day Programs.
In 2011, in a major strategic move to try to reach more individuals who could benefit from PRS’ skills training and support services, the Board of Directors expanded the populations served to include persons with emotional and/or behavioral disorders irrespective of a diagnosis of mental illness.
Mr. Robert L. Hahne
Mr. Robert Hahne moved to McLean in 1972 and became an active volunteer, providing services to the McLean Little League and Babe Ruth League, the Langley High School Boosters, and Redeemer Lutheran Church. For the past 15 years, he has contributed his time and talents to McLean Rotary, Partner for Surgery, LENS and most recently to Stop Hunger Now (SHN).
In 2010 after observing a meal packaging demonstration at a Rotary Conference, Mr. Hahne and his wife made a commitment to package 1 million meals as part of SHN’s goal to erase hunger in our lifetime. With the help of many churches, schools, Rotary Clubs, the American Legion Post 270 and hundreds of individuals, the McLean Stop Hunger Now events have packaged and shipped 700,000 meals around the world. Mr. Hahne’s expects that his goal of 1 million meals will be reached at the Stop Hunger Now event to be held this November.
HUNTER MILL DISTRICT
Ms. Patricia Nicoson
Since 1998, Ms. Patricia Nicoson has been President of the Dulles Corridor Rail Association, a non-profit advocate for Metrorail in the Dulles Corridor. During the past 15 years, Ms. Nicoson has served on the boards and/or policy committees of a number of business organizations as well as the Reston Association Transportation Advisory Committee, Dulles Corridor Land Use Task Force. She has arranged a number of seminars and co-sponsored many with other organizations to provide information about the Dulles Metrorail project and related transportation and land use issues.
Under her leadership, the Reston Metrorail Access Group (RMAG) developed multi-modal access recommendations for the Wiehle Avenue and Reston Parkway Metrorail Stations, prioritizing pedestrian and bicycle improvements and developing a list of recommended projects. From December 2009 until the present, Ms. Nicoson has chaired the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force, which is charged with making recommendations for amendments to the Comprehensive Plan to support transit-oriented development.
Mr. Arthur S. Hill
Working tirelessly and diligently to maintain communal well-being within the Hunter Mill District, Mr. Hill has a unique way of approaching situations. Within the legal constraints of county and state ordinances, association bylaws, and design review guidelines, he does his homework on each case under consideration. Decisions are balanced between the quality of life, the benefit to the community, and orderly development/redevelopment by commercial/industrial organizations and the rights of those organizations. Greatly respected for his expertise, he established relationships equally with departments of Fairfax County, the Planning Commissioner and the Hunter Mill District office, and interested community organizations and commercial entities.
Instrumental in establishing the Hunter Mill District Land Use Committee, as well as being a member of the North County Review Area Plan Review Task Force North County Review, he is currently on Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force.
Miss Samantha Underwood
Miss Samantha Underwood and her mother, Laurie, residents of Landesdowne, have created a non-profit organization called Kids Sending Smiles (KSS). KSS is run by a group of elementary school girls that strive to “bring happiness to ourselves and others by assisting those in need in the United States and around the world.” This past fall, KSS fourth graders in the Landesdowne neighborhood raised money for Hurricane Sandy victims by raking their neighbors’ lawns and selling baked goods. As a result of their work, they raised more than $1,000 for Hurricane Sandy’s victims.
Miss Underwood, along with her mother, started the organization last year after she befriended a young girl from the Philippines who told her about the country’s poor communities. At a time when so many of us feel helpless in the face of ever increasing need, it’s good to see children with the compassion and the drive to make a difference.
Mr. Kyle S. Talente
We all benefit when our residents are willing to put their professional capabilities at the service of Fairfax County in a volunteer capacity. Mr. Kyle Talente exemplifies that kind of volunteerism and has no doubt spent almost as many hours volunteering as he has spent in his day job. He has been putting his professional and technical expertise in economic development, planning, and architecture at the service of Lee District and the Route One Corridor for many years.
Mr. Talente served on the board of the Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation for almost a decade, including three terms as president and has also furthered efforts to revitalize the Route One corridor through his work on the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Talente’s energy, dedication, and ability to communicate with both the residential and business communities have done much to further Route One revitalization, most recently in his role as a key member of the Penn Daw Task Force.
Ms. Jo Hodgin
Ms. Jo Hodgin believes that the arts are not optional – they are essential to a vibrant community. Director of Planning and Initiatives at Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, Ms. Hodgin also chairs the Grants Committee of the Arts Council of Fairfax County, which uses its competitive grants program to challenge artists and arts organizations to excel in their artistic disciplines and to manage their business effectively. She advocated for the arts as a member of the Tysons Task Force and serves on the countywide Master Arts Plan Task Force.
Each year since 2003, Ms. Hodgin and her husband have led a team from Annandale’s St. Albans Episcopal Church to partner with Nuestra Pequenas Rosas (Our Little Roses) Home for Girls in Honduras, working to move girls from poverty and abuse, to college, work, and a better life. Her passion and compassion make her an excellent Lady Fairfax for the Mason District.
Mr. Frank Sellers
Mr. Frank Sellers has been a leader of the Bailey’s Crossroads/Seven Corners Revitalization Corporation for nearly 15 years, and president of BCRC since 2005. With his leadership, BCRC led the community support to replan Bailey’s Crossroads, spearheaded Columbia Pike’s beautification, and helped win new crosswalks, sidewalks, and traffic lights to improve pedestrian safety. Mr. Sellers recently founded the Bailey’s Business Breakfasts, a series of public affairs events with local and national speakers.
He is also a founder of the G-7, an organization of the Fairfax County Revitalization Districts’ leaders, and is an advocate for Mason District at Urban Land Use conferences, in classrooms, and at Rotary and Lions Club meetings. A realtor and former television news anchor, Mr. Sellers uses his extensive expertise in business and communications to improve and enhance the quality of life in our vibrant and diverse community, and richly deserves to be Mason District’s Lord Fairfax for 2013.
MOUNT VERNON DISTRICT
Mrs. Becky Todd
Mrs. Becky Todd, together with her late husband Jeff, has been a star in the Mount Vernon community for over 30 years. Mrs. Todd has continued the finest tradition of civic service exemplified by her husband through her work with schools, the PTA and athletic booster programs.
Through her work and the work of Todd Restaurants, Inc., the Roy Rogers restaurants in Woodlawn, Belle View and Manchester Lakes have become community institutions. Becky’s work in the business community and her involvement with our schools reflects great credit upon herself and upholds the highest traditions of Mount Vernon and the Fairfax County community.
Mr. Jeff Todd
Almost two years ago, Mount Vernon and Fairfax County lost an inspirational business and community leader. As the head of Todd Restaurants, Inc., Mr. Jeff Todd’s charm and charisma made him a natural leader outside of the restaurant industry. As Chairman of the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce, he worked to link businesses to the community. As a Board member for Good Shepherd Housing and Family Services and Mount Vernon – Lee Education Partnerships, as well as United Community Ministries and the Mount Vernon PTA, he worked to improve the lives of countless Mount Vernon residents.
Yet most of all, Mr. Todd was a family man whose every action was out of love for his wife and children. His prominence in the community and memory of his service has not faded. The athletic field at Mount Vernon High School and the road next to the Woodlawn Roy Rogers have been named in his honor.
Ms. Burma Bochner
Mr. and Mrs. Rick and Burma Bochner meet every definition of team effort in caring for each other and in their charity towards others. For years, they collected donated items, including heavy furniture, in support of Hannah House Shelter. Hannah House served as a transitional facility for homeless women and their children and provided a home to serve as a starting point to self-sustained housing.
Mr. and Mrs. Bochner work as a team on the very successful Absentee Ballot Program. Mrs. Bochner began the program in 1996 and Mr. Bochner joined her full time after his retirement from WMATA. The purpose of the program is to educate college students, shut-ins and those working outside the country on the absentee voting process. They continue to build on that program with the help of over 100 volunteers. It has proven very successful and this model program has resulted in a how-to manual used throughout the state.
Mr. Rick Bochner
Mr. Rick Bochner retired from WMATA after a career in traffic engineering, planning and development. This experience was vital during his participation on Providence’s citizen task force for re-planning the Vienna Metro station area and service on the Road Viewers Board. Both attend countless county committee, task force and other public meetings on a wide range of issues providing their invaluable input on virtually every issue affecting Fairfax. They’re also devoted to advancing social services, the arts and the democratic system of voting.
Mr. and Mrs. Bochner have been significant contributors to the Arena Stage for as long as they’ve kept records and participated in MS Walks at various locations for 20 years. They are active supporters of the Virginia Organizing Project‘s campaign for affordable health care. Their knowledge of the election process made them aware of a missing link so they established a year-round infrastructure and candidate activities including an information clearinghouse, a central location for volunteers, integrated computer software systems, training, and an internship program.
Ms. Michelle Stein
Ms. Michelle Stein has served the Clifton community as president of the Clifton Betterment Association, the CBA, for over 10 years. As president of the CBA, she is charged with organizing and executing several community-wide activities such as the Clifton Birthday Party, the 5k Caboose Twilight Run, Clifton Day, the Fourth of July Celebration, and the Clifton Children's Holiday Party.
Each of these events is a hallmark of Clifton, and all of Fairfax County. With the goal of promoting and improving the Town of Clifton, She has dedicated countless hours of work to the cause. Ms. Stein is a staple in Clifton, and through the CBA, she has made it her goal to bring people together and celebrate one of Fairfax County's hidden treasures; we are lucky to have her in the Springfield District.
Mr. Michael R. Congleton
Mr. Michael Congleton, a resident of Fairfax County for over 45 years, graduated from George Mason University and Virginia Tech. He has been employed for 25 years with Fairfax County working in the areas of code enforcement and urban planning. In addition to his service to the County, he served as a volunteer coach with the Springfield Youth Club and the Braddock Road Youth Club for a combined total of 50 seasons of girls’ sports, including softball, basketball and soccer.
Mr. Congleton also served on the Fairfax County Athletic Council for two terms, one term serving as the Girls’ Softball Representative and another term as the Springfield District alternate member. He is currently volunteering as a Fairfax County Reserve Deputy Sheriff and is active in the Child ID program and the Project Lifesaver Program, as well as serving the last two years as the Sheriff’s Office representative to the Chamber of Commerce Valor Awards Selection Committee. Through all of his work, Mr. Congleton has had a great impact on our community and we are proud to call him a resident of the Springfield District.
Ms. Gina Richard
Ms. Gina Richard, along with her husband Eric Cox, and their three children, operate Cox Farms in Centreville. Aside from providing spring bedding plants, summer produce and Christmas trees, Cox Farms is very involved in the community. Back in 1983, they arranged a hayride for a friend, and out of that idea sprang the famous Fall Festival. As a means to provide more children with the opportunity to attend the Fall Festival, Cox Farms started a Reduced Admission Initiative.
The Initiative allows for discounted admissions to eligible groups throughout the DC Metro area. Since 2007, this initiative has enabled more than 14,000 kids to attend the Fall Festival that would otherwise not be able to do so. The Centreville community is stronger because of the contributions made by Cox Farms, and it is why Ms. Richard is a wonderful choice as Lady Fairfax for the Sully District.
Mr. Eric Cox
Mr. Eric Cox started Cox Farms in 1972. Today, alongside his wife, Gina Richard, and their three children, Lily, Aaron and Lucas, the family runs the 116-acre farm in Centreville. In addition to growing and selling their own produce, Cox Farms supports numerous community initiatives. They lend tremendous support to Westfield and Chantilly High School. Each year, they help Westfield High School’s mulch day fundraiser by providing the trucks and drivers to haul the mulch. In addition, they purchase program advertisements and allow the Theatre Boosters from both schools to use the farm property to promote upcoming theatre shows.
Cox Farms also supports Northern Virginia Family Service, by partnering with them to raise money for the organization, and also by providing in-kind and direct contributions to the cause. The strong community relationships, built through the commitment of Cox Farms, make Mr. Cox an excellent representative as the Sully District Lord Fairfax.
JAMES M. SCOTT COMMUNITY SPIRIT AWARD
Mix 107.3 FM, WRQX
The world of local radio has changed a great deal in the past 15 years, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the strength of community support and outreach by MIX 107.3 FM, WRQX.
Owned by Cumulus Radio, MIX 107.3 FM has long recognized the importance of Northern Virginia and specifically Fairfax County. Celebrate Fairfax, Inc. first forged a relationship with MIX 107.3 in the year 2000, one that has proved to be of great importance to our long-term success.
Aside from the outstanding publicity that the station has provided, MIX 107.3 FM staff have provided financial support by developing a 3-way partnership model that is unique within this region. By bringing advertisers on board as event sponsors, MIX 107.3 staff have been directly responsible for a half dozen new partnerships for Celebrate Fairfax, Inc. events and tens of thousands of dollars in increased revenue support to the organization in the past decade.
Whether it be through their on-air talent, their marketing and promotions staff, or their sales team bringing sponsors to Celebrate Fairfax, MIX 107.3 has proven to be a good friend to Celebrate Fairfax, Inc. and a vital part of its long-term success. Thanks to MIX 107.3, recipient of the 2013 James M. Scott Community Spirit Award.
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Mary Atkins and Haley Oyler
At the heart of Celebrate Fairfax’s community building efforts are the dedication of approximately 2,000 volunteers who give their time, energy, knowledge and passion for doing good.
Mother and daughter team, Mary Atkins and Haley Oyler, have been with the organization as volunteers since 1991, when the event was still held at the Patriot Center. Of course, in 1991 Haley was only five years old and joined her mom to help out any way she could.
Mary worked in a variety of roles for her first ten years with Celebrate Fairfax! Festival (then known as the Fairfax Fair), including helping at admission gates, with performer preparations at one of the event’s stages, and even as a survey taker. Haley joined her as a full volunteer during this time, and after working at one of the admission gates, they were encouraged to join the Fair’s Leadership Team.
Since that time, Mary has served tirelessly at our Green and Red Gates, while Haley has become our VIP and Special Needs transportation driver. This year Mary is taking on a new challenge, joining the Main Stage crew with responsibilities related to performer and crew catering, while serving as an all-purpose sub for other Leadership Team members as well.
Congratulations to Celebrate Fairfax, Inc. Volunteers of the Year, Mary Atkins and Haley Oyler.
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