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Occurrences in the Congressional Record

Entry Title Date
Recognizing The 25Th Annual Best Of Reston Awards For Community Service Recipients June 24, 2016
Gerald Connolly, D-VA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize the recipients of the 25th Annual Best of Reston Awards for Community Service. These awards are the result of collaboration between Cornerstones and the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and are presented to individuals, organizations, and businesses whose extraordinary efforts make our community a better place. I am pleased to submit the names of the following recipients of the 2016 Best of Reston Awards: Individual Community Leader: Leila Gordon—Putting Community at the Center of the Reston Experience: Inviting all who live, work, and play in Reston to participate in the Reston way of living with compassion and creativity. Civic/Community Organization: Friends of Reston for Community Projects (Katie Shaw)—The Nature of Reston Has Giving at Its Heart: Harnessing the resources of volunteers and friends to generate $2 million in community investment so all may enjoy Reston‘s numerous natural assets. Vade Bolton-Ann Rodriguez Legacy Award: Amy’s Amigos (Olivia Wolfe, Kacey Hirshfeld and Hannah Becker)—Friends Striving to Create a Healthy, Caring Community: Channeling grief into ongoing action, modeling wellness for our youth and throughout the community, sharing the tools of action, and passing the torch to the next generation of Reston‘s leaders. Small Business Leader: Beloved Yoga—Inspiring Community Wellbeing: Providing the tools for self-empowerment, self-healing and self-realization coupled with the belief that giving back to the community is powerful when we thrive together. Corporate Business Leader: Bechtel—Engineering the Future with Service to Others: Giving employees opportunities to create positive impacts throughout Reston, the Dulles Corridor, and the world by encouraging them to follow through on their own purpose-driven interests and passions. Individual Community Leader: Jim Elder—A Champion of Sportsmanship for All Seasons: Teaching Reston youth that good sportsmanship and fair play are as essential to playing the games they love as skills, stats, and strategy. Corporate Business Leader: Google—Search for “Positive Impact”: Find Google in our Community: Bringing its signature culture of innovation to tackle local and worldwide challenges in education and poverty relief; and the support of returning service men and women and our K9 heroes. Small Business Leader: Wiygul Automotive Clinic—Jump-Starting Hope for Families and Children: Making a profound difference in the lives of others by quietly and humbly delivering dependable transportation to help people secure and maintain solid employment. Mr. Speaker, I ask that my colleagues join me in congratulating the 2016 Best of Reston honorees for their tremendous contributions to our community. I want to thank Cornerstones and the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce for continuing this wonderful tradition, and I express my sincere gratitude to these individuals, businesses, and organizations for lending their time and energy to the betterment of our community."
Recognizing David P. Bobzien On The Occasion Of His Retirement As Fairfax County Attorney June 24, 2016
Gerald Connolly, D-VA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize and commend David P. Bobzien, of Reston, on the occasion of his retirement after a distinguished career spanning three decades of public service to the residents of Fairfax County, the largest local jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the National Capital Region. For the past 23 years, David has served as the Fairfax County Attorney. Prior to that, he served four years on the Fairfax Planning Commission, representing the former Centreville District, and he also is a past chairman of the Fairfax County Goals Advisory Commission. I had the great pleasure of working with David throughout my 14 years on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, particularly during my 5 years as chairman. David was responsible for providing sound legal advice to the Board of Supervisors on any number of issues, from land use and zoning applications to civil litigation to personnel matters. He was always meticulous and thoughtful in his approach and was a trusted counselor to the board and county staff. David also has more than a decade of service with the federal government, where he served as assistant counsel in the Office of Professional Responsibility of the Department of Justice. Prior to that, he spent four years in private practice as an associate with the Fairfax firm of Fitzgerald and Smith, and he also served four years as a Captain in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the United States Army. Mr. Bobzien has ably represented Fairfax on a number of boards and associations and has used his passion for the law to benefit communities across the Commonwealth. He is a former president of the Virginia State Bar. He was the first government attorney ever to hold that post. He is a past chair of the Local Government Law Section of the Virginia State Bar, a past president of the Local Government Attorneys of Virginia, a past president of Lawyers Helping Lawyers, the organization that assists lawyers in Virginia suffering from substance addiction or mental illness, a past president of the Fairfax Law Foundation, and a past president of the Virginia Law Foundation. Even as he neared retirement, David has remained active and is the current chairman of the Virginia CLE Committee of the Virginia Law Foundation and is a board member of Virginia Law Foundation, the Fairfax Law Foundation, and Lawyers Helping Lawyers. He is a Virginia State Bar delegate in the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates having previously served on the ABA’s Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence. He is a fellow of the Fairfax Law Foundation and the Virginia Law Foundation and a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. His leadership and commitment to the law have been recognized by his peers. In 2012, David was selected to receive the Golden Gavel Award from the Fairfax Law Foundation’s Society of Fellows. The Golden Gavel Award recognizes individuals, organizations, and businesses for their exceptional community service. Mr. Speaker, David Bobzien’s commitment to our community and the mission of local government is unparalleled, and he leaves behind a legacy of integrity that will benefit our community for generations to come. His career in public service is truly commendable and deserving of our sincere appreciation. When I was chairman of the county board, we often joked when retirement announcements like this came before the board that we should pass an ordinance to disallow such talented and dedicated professionals to leave public service. I certainly wish that was the case here. I have been privileged to call David not only a professional colleague but also a constituent and a friend. I wish David and his wife, Cathy, and the rest of their family the best of luck in his retirement, and I ask my colleagues in the House to join me in expressing our appreciation for his unswerving devotion to serving the residents of Fairfax County."
Honoring The Members Of Rescue Reston June 21, 2016
Gerald Connolly, D-VA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize and congratulate the members of Rescue Reston on being named the 2015 Citizen of the Year by the Reston Citizens Association. The Citizen of the Year Award traditionally honors an individual or group of individuals who have contributed to the quality of life in Reston, helped others in need, or acted with the goals of Reston in mind without thought of personal benefit or recognition. Rescue Reston is a grassroots organization comprised of thousands of Restonians who united to support preserving the Reston National Golf Course as open green space. Reston and the surrounding area have witnessed an explosion of growth and development in recent years. The preservation of public parks and open space is crucial in ensuring the high quality of life that is enjoyed by Fairfax County residents and honoring Reston‘s founding principles. It is fitting that this award is given by one grassroots organization to another. It speaks yet again to the legacy that the founder of Reston, Robert E. Simon, leaves behind. I believe that such a high level of engagement is one of the best indicators of a healthy and vibrant community. As a former civic association president, I am uniquely aware of the impact that these organizations can have, not only in their local community but also in the surrounding area. Their efforts give the members of that organization a sense of ownership and serve as a constant reminder that a thoughtful, organized group of citizens can indeed bring about change. Mr. Speaker, the efforts of Rescue Reston on behalf of the greater Reston community are selfless undertakings which are truly worthy of our highest praise. I commend them on their award and ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating them and wishing them great success in all their future endeavors."
Honoring The 2015 Northern Virginia Leadership Award Recipients April 15, 2016
Gerald Connolly, D-VA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize the 2015 recipients of the Northern Virginia Leadership Awards presented by Leadership Fairfax. Leadership Fairfax is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to finding, training, and growing leaders in Northern Virginia. The mission of Leadership Fairfax is to educate, prepare, inspire, and connect leaders to serve and strengthen our community. Graduates from its programs become part of a fast-growing network of civic leaders. I’ve always said, “When you walk into a crowded room, it’s easy to spot the graduates of Leadership Fairfax—they just stand out!” Leadership Fairfax alumni and the general public submitted nominations for the 19th annual Northern Virginia Leadership Award, and a panel of community and business leaders made the final selections. It is my honor to submit the following names of the 2015 Northern Virginia Leadership Awards recipients: The recipient of the 2015 Trustee Leadership Award is Dr. Charles Thomas, Jr. in recognition of his work as Project Leader at LMI. Thanks to Dr. Thomas’ leadership, LMI’s commitment to community outreach manifests itself in many ways. Some of the programs the company supports include Children’s Hospital, the Wounded Warriors Project, the Fallen Heroes Project and Wreaths Across America. The recipient of the 2015 Nonprofit Leadership Award presented to an individual is Ms. Eileen Ellsworth, in recognition of her work with the Community Foundation of Northern Virginia. The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia is a grant-making and endowment-building organization, working with donors across the region. Their research on key issues philanthropic investment inspires the Northern Virginia community to become more engaged in supporting the most pressing issues facing our neighbors in need. The recipient of the 2015 Nonprofit Leadership Award presented to an organization is The Child and Family Network Centers. The Child and Family Network Centers’ mission is to provide caring, high-quality, free education and related services to at-risk children and their families in their own neighborhoods in order to prepare them for success in school and life. The recipient of the 2015 Corporate Leadership Award is Helios HR. Helios has provided sustained support to many organizations within the Washington metro area. From winter coat drives, to providing pro bono resume writing and interviewing skills workshops and mentoring members of future generations, Helios is there for the community in innumerable ways. The recipient of the 2015 Educational Leadership Award is Mr. Jesse Kraft, in recognition of his work as Principal of Providence Elementary School. Mr. Kraft began his educational career in 1996 after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a National Board Certified Teacher, and he earned his Master’s degree from George Mason University. In 2010 he was recognized by FCPS with the Nancy F. Sprague Outstanding First Year Principal Award. The recipient of the 2015 Regional Leadership Award is Ms. Leila Gordon, in recognition of her work as Director of the Reston Community Center. Reston Community Center works to bring the community together through enriching leisure time experiences that enhance the value of the community and improve local organizational effectiveness. Mr. Speaker, the contributions of these individuals and organizations are one of the reasons why Fairfax is such a sought after community in which to live and work, and this year’s honorees highlight the legacy of Leadership Fairfax in preparing our community’s future leaders to address the challenges we face. I ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating these honorees and thanking them for their service to Northern Virginia."
Congratulating Joe Ritchey And Prospective, Inc. December 18, 2015
Gerald Connolly, D-VA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate Joe Ritchey and his company, Prospective, Inc. on being named one of the 2015 BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America honorees. Presented every year by Americans for the Arts’ Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), the BCA 10 awards honor U.S. companies for their exceptional commitment to the arts. Joe Ritchey and his firm actively support a vibrant local arts scene in Reston and throughout Fairfax County. Mr. Ritchey helped form the Initiative for Public Art—Reston (IPAR), where he still serves as President and Chair. IPAR consists of a group of civic leaders who represent Reston‘s key community organizations and seek to inspire and expand the community’s commitment to public art. In 2008, IPAR launched a process that led to the adoption of the Public Art Master Plan for Reston which strives to incorporate art into public spaces. Anyone strolling through the many parks and public squares in Reston can readily see the impact of the Master Plan. Mr. Ritchey’s contributions and influence extend far beyond Reston and have benefited our larger Fairfax County community. A passionate lover of the arts, he has served on the boards of the Arts Council of Fairfax County (Board Chairman in 2013 and 2014), Children’s Museum of Northern Virginia, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts Associates, and the Greater Reston Arts Center. A successful businessman, Mr. Ritchey also shares his knowledge and expertise with numerous other organizations. He serves or has served on the boards or in other leadership roles of the Reston Hospital Center of HCA Virginia Health System (Board Chairman in 2011 and 2012), the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance, the Dulles Corridor Rail Association, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, and he is an active supporter of Reston Interfaith, Nature House, and the George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis. Mr. Ritchey has received numerous awards and accolades in recognition of his service to our community. These awards include the NAOIP 1995 Award of Excellence for Economic Development, 2003 “Best of Reston” designation, the 2004 Fairfax County Federation of Citizen Associations Citizen of the Year, the 2006 Times Community Newspapers Reston Citizen of the Year, the 2009 inaugural Robert E. Simon Community Service Award, the 2011 Jinx Hazel Arts Citizen of the Year, and in 2013 he was the Grand Marshal of the Reston Holiday Parade. Northern Virginia is a vibrant region where countless people donate their time, energy, and financial support for the betterment of our neighbors and our community as a whole. In this region where so many do so much, Mr. Ritchey stands out and is an example of what one person can do. He has created a legacy that will live on for future generations to enjoy and has truly been a force in Reston and Northern Virginia being considered among the best places in the country in which to live, work, play, and raise a family. Mr. Speaker, I ask that my colleagues join me in congratulating Joe Ritchey and Prospective, Inc. on being honored as a BCA 10 recipient, and in thanking him for his unwavering and tireless efforts on behalf of our community."

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