$504,660 raised for Cornerstones’ mission to support those in need
The 28th Anniversary of the Cornerstones of Our Community Best of Reston Awards, presented in partnership by Cornerstones and the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, was celebrated Thursday, April 4 at the Hyatt Regency Reston. This unique gala and networking event brought together a sold-out crowd of 700 guests to honor individuals, businesses, civic and community organizations that have demonstrated significant contributions to the greater Reston / Herndon area through their philanthropy and volunteerism. Proceeds from the celebration benefit the programs and people served by Cornerstones – a community-based organization that has been providing affordable housing and comprehensive support services to individuals and families in need since its founding in Reston in 1970.
The event began with a welcome from Mark Ingrao, CCP, CAE, President & CEO, Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, Kerrie Wilson, CEO Cornerstones and Julian Setian, President and CEO of SOSi. Immediately following, the Robert E. Simon Fellows kicked-off the evening by announcing Casey Veatch as the recipient of The Robert E. Simon Lifetime Achievement Award. This award was created to recognize past Best of Reston honorees who continue to demonstrate selfless dedication and service to our community. These award winners are known for their vision, spirit, compassion and their belief that giving back can make a big difference.
The following individuals and organizations were presented with 2019 Best of Reston Awards:
- A Simple Gesture (Bob Schnapp)
- BEI (Ellen and Mike Jennings)
- Omicron Kappa Kappa Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity/OKK Foundation, Inc.
- Synergy Design & Construction (Mina and Mark Fies)
- Touching Heart (Helen and Taylor Yi)
- Maggie Parker
- Roz Rakoff
- Kurt Rose
“Partnering to produce this event, reaffirms our commitment to recognizing those who go above and beyond to build, sustain and enrich this community. Cornerstones enables us, as a community, to anchor low-income and vulnerable families in a safe and stable home environment, and empowers them with opportunities to regain the self-sufficiency.” said Mark Ingrao, CCP, CAE, President & CEO, Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce.
Congressman Gerry Connolly addressed the crowd and announced that the 2019 Honorees have been entered into the United States Congressional Record. Virginia Senator Janet Howell and Delegate Ken Plum presented Proclamations approved unanimously by the Virginia General Assembly to recognize each Honoree. Delegate Ken Plum also served as auctioneer for the event.
Virginia Senator Janet Howell noted that the Governor’s Budget Amendment adding $4 million to the Virginia Housing Trust Fund passed meaning there is $7million more dollars for the Virginia Housing Trust Fund over the biennium – supporting housing for Virginia’s low-income and vulnerable families, working people, seniors and those living with disabilities.
Julian Setian, President & CEO, SOSi (2018 Best of Reston Honoree), served as Gala Chair and commented that, “SOSi is proud to stand with other past Best of Reston Honorees in support of Cornerstones, and to be celebrated for the philanthropic investments our company has made. I am impressed by the work, and by the people and organizations who are a part of the impact of the Cornerstones initiatives.”
Phil Tobey (2001 Best of Reston Honoree) returned as Master of Ceremonies, his 19th consecutive year in this role.
A $504,660 check, raised through this year’s Best of Reston event, was presented to Cornerstones in support of their mission, empowering more than 16,000 men, women and children each year.
Kerrie Wilson, Cornerstones’ CEO, addressed the sold out crowd, “In this place called Reston, so many people influenced our community and our work, some who are no longer here but whose presence is felt daily – whose leadership took our impact beyond Reston to the 16,000 people we serve each year – while remaining firmly rooted in the principles of a welcome and inclusive place to grow.” Wilson summarized by noting, “Cornerstones’ signature approach is to work in partnership with each of you and with our neighbors…community is in our hands. Learn, grow, connect and thrive – take time to understand.”
- Congressman Gerry Connolly
- Virginia Senator Janet Howell
- Virginia Delegate Ken Plum
- Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Sharon Bulova
- Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins
- Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust
- Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay
- Fairfax County Executive Bryan Hill
From the Town of Herndon–
- Mayor Lisa Merkel
- Vice Mayor Sheila Olem
Town Council Members:
- Jennifer Baker
- Signe Friedrichs
- Pradip Dhakal
- Colonel Helmut Frietzsche, Commander of the German Armed Forces for the United States and Canada
- Former Secretary of the Commonwealth and County Board Chair Kate Hanley
- South Lakes High School Principal Kim Retzer
2019 BEST OF RESTON SPONSORS
- Reston Community Center
- Alion Science and Technology
- Reston Town Center Association
- Atlantic Realty Companies
Boofie and Joe O’Gorman
- Colliers International
HITT Contracting Inc.
- JP Morgan Private Bank – Don Irwin
- Cookie and Nelson Blitz
- Harrison at Reston Town Center
- Joan and Michael Kelly
- Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh, P.C.
- Bozzuto Management Company
- Jim and Karen Cleveland
- Veatch Commercial Real Estate
Community of Faith Sponsor
- Bill and Gina Bouie
- Susie and Sanjeev Duggal
- Mark Ingrao
- Lynn and Phil Lilienthal
- ORR Partners
- Delegate Ken Plum and Jane Plum
- Hugh Taylor and Tana McNeil-Taylor
- Kerrie and Rick Wilson
CORNERSTONES 2019 ANNUAL PARTNERS
- Bob and Lisa Van Hoecke
- Floris United Methodist Church / Restoration Church: Reston
- The Charles A. Veatch Family
- Access National Bank
- CORE Foundation
- Cornerstones Housing Corporation
- Virginia Spine Institute
- Cooley LLP
- Griffin Owens Insurance Group
- Gupta Family Foundation
- JBG Smith
- M&T Bank
- NFP | The Meltzer Group
- John and Verdun Thomas
- CST Group, CPAs PC
- Dev Technology Group
- German Armed Forces Command
- Hyatt Regency Reston
- Mayflowers A Floral Studio
- Northwest Federal Credit Union
- Norton Scott LLC
- Reston Hospital Center
- sb LiftOff
- St. Anne’s Episcopal Church
- Tailored Living
- VISTA Wealth Strategies LLC
About Cornerstones of Our Community – Best of Reston Awards:
Nearly three decades ago, Cornerstones and the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce came together in a unique collaboration that demonstrates their mutual commitment to the Reston community’s guiding principles established by founder Robert E. Simon, and a shared philosophy that the collective contributions of individuals, businesses, civic and community institutions and organizations are necessary to build and sustain thriving and enriching communities. This partnership is celebrated each year in a community awards celebration.
Each year, Cornerstones serves more than 16,000 neighbors in need, helping them overcome tough economic times in an already high cost-of-living region. Through advocacy and support services, Cornerstones connects families and individuals to the vital resources they need to build more stable and self-sufficient lives, including providing a comprehensive array of programs that solve urgent or on-going requirements for housing, childcare, food or financial assistance. For more information, please visit www.cornerstonesva.org or call 571.323.9555.
About Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce:
For over 35 years, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce has been the catalyst for business growth and entrepreneurship by providing quality programs, education, connections and advocacy for its 600+ members and organizations in western Fairfax and the Dulles Corridor. Learn more at www.RestonChamber.org or call 703.707.9045.
Photo credit: Chip McCrea Photography