Best of Reston logo Tickets are now available for the April 30 Best of Reston Awards Gala at the Hyatt Regency Reston.

The Best of Reston, organized by the  Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and Cornerstones, annually honors community individual and business leaders who have made an impact.

It is also the biggest fundraiser of the year for Cornerstones. The last two Best of Reston galas raised a combined $1,178,000. That money enabled Cornerstones to double its stock of affordable housing in our community.

Tickets for this year’s event begin at $200 (individual) and go up to $5,000 for a table.

Developers Boston PropertiesComstock, and The JBG Companies will serve as co-chairs of the event.

Here are the honorees for 2015:

Larry Butler — Individual Community Leader 

Butler, Reston Association’s Senior Director of Parks and Recreation, has used his passion for the outdoors in volunteer work that includes the Reston Triathlon, the Reston Sprint Triathlon and the Reston Kids Triathlon. The latter event offers scholarships to 50 kids in need to get involved in the sport.

Fran Steinbauer — Individual Community Leader

Steinbauer is an original Restonian, serving as founder Bob Simon’s civil engineer in the planning of the community more than 50 years ago. He has served on the board of Reston Association, Cornerstones, Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and the former Reston Homeowners Association.

Leidos — Corporate Business Leader

New science and tech corporation Leidos opened its headquarters at Reston Town Center less than two years ago, but has quickly become immersed in the community, working with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life; the American Heart Association’s Run Your Heart Out, Reston; Habitat for Humanity; Greater Reston Arts Center and Initiative for Public Art Reston, among others.

Maximus — Corporate Business Leader

Maximus’ corporate headquarters is in Reston, where it supports Herndon-Reston FISH’s work to help those in need, FACETS, The Women’s Center and the Washington Redskins Foundation, among others.

Maid Bright — Small Business Leader

Maid Bright, a family-run house cleaning business, supported the community by providing dinners to the county hypothermia shelter; cleaning homes free of charge for cancer patients and families moving to transitional housing; participating in Cornerstones’ Help the Homeless Walk; and donating $20,000 for Syrian refugees.

His Hidden Treasures — Civic/Community Organization Leader

Lois and Troy Hughes founded this on profit ministry that helps people work their way out of homelessness and grow self-esteem in newly furnished homes. His Hidden Treasureshelps transform transitional housing into personalized homes, with restored and donated furniture, as well as brand-new beds for clients.

Casey Veatch — Vade Bolton-Anne Rodriguez Legacy Award

This native Restonian is a business leader with Veatch Commercial Real Estate who also gives back in a variety of capacities, helping Cornerstones, Leadership Fairfax, his church, and youth sports teams.

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2015 Best of Reston honorees

The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and Cornerstones announced the 2015 Best of Reston honorees — as well as new co-chairs of this year’s event  — at Comstock’s Reston Station Thursday night.

The honorees represent individuals and businesses who have given back to the community. They will be honored at a gala benefitting Cornerstones on April 30.

The last two Best of Reston galas raised a combined $1,178,000. That money enabled Cornerstones to double its stock of affordable housing in our community, said Jill Norcross, Chairman of Cornerstones’ Board of Directors.

Developers Boston PropertiesComstock, and The JBG Companies will serve as co-chairs, Best of Reston organizers announced.

“As a leading developer in Reston, Comstock takes its responsibility of building a strong community very seriously,” said Maggie Parker, Comstock’s Director of Communications and Public Outreach. “A community is more than its stations, roads and buildings; it is made up of the people who come from all walks of life. It’s an honor to be asked to
raise money for this incredible community resource.”

Parker also announced that the Best of Reston has already raised $325,000 — 65 percent of this year’s goal — from Reston businesses and individuals.

The 2015 honorees:

Larry Butler — Individual Community Leader 

Butler, Reston Association’s Senior Director of Parks and Recreation, has used his passion for the outdoors in volunteer work that includes the Reston Triathlon, the Reston Sprint Triathlon and the Reston Kids Triathlon. The latter event offers scholarships to 50 kids in need to get involved in the sport.

“His can-do attitude, insight and advice, and leadership in making connections across the community create the added value in every event or activity in which Larry is involved,” the Best of Reston committee said. Read More

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Bob Simon at Best of Reston/Credit: Greater Reston Chamber of CommerceDo you know a business or individual that represents the Best of Reston?

Then nominate them by Nov. 7 for the 24th annual Best of Reston Awards.

The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and Cornerstones team together annually to honor those who have made an impact in the community.

The 2015 awards will take place on April 30 at the Hyatt Regency Reston.

Proceeds from the Best of Reston benefit the programs of Cornerstones, which provides affordable housing and comprehensive support services to individuals and families in need.

The Best of Reston set — and met — a goal of raising $1 million over the last two years to aid Cornerstones. That enabled the nonprofit to purchase 50 homes to add to its stock of affordable housing in the community, said Cornerstones CEO Kerrie Wilson.

Here is the criteria for selection, which is done by committee:

Awardees will be selected for working selflessly without consideration of recognition to improve the greater Reston community/Dulles Corridor region served by the sponsoring organizations. While the awardee is not required to reside or be headquartered in Reston, the awardee’s contributions must benefit the greater Reston/Dulles area.

Additionally:

  • Completed nomination forms are due Friday, Nov. 7 by 5:00 p.m. to allow selection committee review for completeness. The committee may request additional information of nominators who will have up until Nov. 21 to provide clarifying information (if needed).
  • Applicants may nominate themselves or their own businesses/organizations.
  • Selections and notifications will be completed by mid-December.
  • Award recipients will be publicly announced on Jan. 8 at a joint Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and Cornerstones media event.
  • Honorees must be able to attend the April 30, 2015 Best of Reston Community Service Awards and be available in January-March for video production.

Click the award category below to nominate online or download the nomination form here.

Photo: Reston founder and Best of Reston 2014 Gala honorary chair Bob Simon/Credit: Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce.

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More than 800 guests gathered at the Hyatt Regency Reston on Thursday to pay tribute to founder Bob Simon’s 100th birthday and celebrate this year’s honorees at the Best of Reston Awards and Gala.

The gala capped a week of celebrations in Reston, including Founder’s Day and a VIP premiere of the documentary “Another Way of Living: The Story of Reston, VA.”

Simon was also a honorary co-chair of the event. He challenged Restonians to meet his goal of raising more than $1 million over the last two years. Patrons answered the call, raising $675,000 in 2014 for a two-year total of $1,178,000.

“It is such a big number, it is hard to express the appreciation and gratitude I have for everyone here,” Cornerstones CEO Kerrie Wilson told the crowd. “There is something very special about the community that says ‘you are welcome here.’ “

Wilson announced last night that Cornerstones is about to purchase 48 more affordable housing units, which will help the nonprofit double its housing stock, another challenge Simon asked residents to meet. The new apartments are located at North Point.

The Best of Reston awards honor individuals and businesses for their commitment to community service. This years honorees:

Individual Community Leaders

Carol Ann Bradley — The former educator has given back to the community through volunteer work with Global Camps Africa, Friends of the Reston Regional Library and the Embry Rucker Community Shelter, among others. She help found the mentoring organizations The Links, Inc., and Educators Then, Now and Forever. She has also served on the board of the Reston Community Center.

Jerry Ferguson — Ferguson is the director of Development and Outreach for Fairfax Public Access. He has donated many hours to produce and film videos to aid fundraising and public relations for organizations such as FACETS, Leadership Fairfax, Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce (GRCC) and Cornerstones.

Cate Fulkerson -The Reston Association CEO is also the chair of Reston’s Character Counts! Coalition, chairs GRCC’s annual Ethics Day and is an Emerging Leaders Institute Mentor.

Bonnie Haukness — A Reston Realtor, Haukness chairs the annual Reston Home Tour to benefit the Reston Historic Trust. She also co-chairs the annual Capital Steps benefit for Cornerstones and was instrumental in establishing scholarships for campers at Reston Association summer camps, among other projects.

Davida Luehrs — Luehrs uses her life experience to aid the low-vision community. She has been a leader with the Northern Virginia Chapter of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the Sterling Lions, the American Council of the Blind and the Visually Impaired People of Reston. She established the local VisionWalk and has raised more than $1 million since 2007. She also volunteers with the Boy and Girl Scouts, Herndon Middle and High School Bands and Reston Swim Team Association.

Civic/Community Leader

HomeAid Northern Virginia — This group was founded in 2001 by members of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association. HomeAid helps renovate shelters, transitional and affordable housing and has completed 70 projects and helped more than 10,000 people.

Small Business Leader

Brennan & Waite, PLC — This legal firm, founded by husband and wife Matthew Brennan and the late Carol Waite, has supported GRCC, Habitat for Humanity, Let’s Help Kids, and other local organizations. Brennan has worked in the community to help other schools adopt and Ethics Day program, recruited candidates for Leadership Fairfax and funded scholarships so nonprofit leaders could participate.

Corporate Business Leader

Cooley, LLC – Large law firm Cooley, with offices at Reston Town Center, encourages employees to give back. The firm matches employee fundraising and cumulatively contributed more than $1 million last year. More than 466 Cooley lawyers have contributed more than 33,000 hours on 687 pro bono matters annually.

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Five individuals and three businesses/nonprofits who have had an impact on Reston through community service were announced as the honorees for the 2014 Best of Reston.

This year’s class will be honored at the 23rd annual gala on April 10 at the Hyatt Regency Reston. Reston founder Robert E. Simon — who will turn 100 in April — is a 2014 Best of Reston honorary chair. He set a goal last year of raising $1 million over 2013 and ’14.

The Best of Reston, sponsored by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and Cornerstones (formerly Reston Interfaith) brings together the business and nonprofit communities in a “true partnership,” says Karen Cleveland, co-chair of the event.

Last year’s event raised a record $467,000 to benefit Cornerstones, so the committee is well on the way to reaching its goal, said Best of Reston co-chair Casey Veatch.

The honorees were chosen by a volunteer committee. They were introduced at a reception at Google’s Reston offices Thursday. They are:

Individual Community Leaders

Carol Ann Bradley — The former educator has given back to the community through volunteer work with Global Camps Africa, Friends of the Reston Regional Library and the Embry Rucker Community Shelter, among others. She help found the mentoring organizations The Links, Inc., and Educators Then, Now and Forever. She has also served on the board of the Reston Community Center.

Jerry Ferguson — Ferguson is the director of Development and Outreach for Fairfax Public Access. He has donated many hours to produce and film videos to aid fundraising and public relations for organizations such as FACETS, Leadership Fairfax, Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce (GRCC) and Cornerstones.

Cate Fulkerson –The Reston Association CEO is also the chair of Reston’s Character Counts! Coalition, chairs GRCC’s annual Ethics Day and is an Emerging Leaders Institute Mentor.

Bonnie Haukness — A Reston Realtor, Haukness chairs the annual Reston Home Tour to benefit the Reston Historic Trust. She also co-chairs the annual Capital Steps benefit for Cornerstones and was instrumental in establishing scholarships for campers at Reston Association summer camps, among other projects.

Davida Luehrs — Luehrs uses her life experience to aid the low-vision community. She has been a leader with the Northern Virginia Chapter of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the Sterling Lions, the American Council of the Blind and the Visually Impaired People of Reston. She established the local VisionWalk and has raised more than $1 million since 2007. She also volunteers with the Boy and Girl Scouts, Herndon Middle and High School Bands and Reston Swim Team Association.

Civic/Community Leader

HomeAid Northern Virginia — This group was founded in 2001 by members of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association. HomeAid helps renovate shelters, transitional and affordable housing and has completed 70 projects and helped more than 10,000 people.

Small Business Leader

Brennan & Waite, PLC — This legal firm, founded by husband and wife Matthew Brennan and the late Carol Waite, has supported GRCC, Habitat for Humanity, Let’s Help Kids, and other local organizations. Brennan has worked in the community to help other schools adopt and Ethics Day program, recruited candidates for Leadership Fairfax and funded scholarships so nonprofit leaders could participate.

Corporate Business Leader

Cooley, LLC — Large law firm Cooley, with offices at Reston Town Center, encourages employees to give back. The firm matches employee fundraising and cumulatively contributed more than $1 million last year. More than 466 Cooley lawyers have contributed more than 33,000 hours on 687 pro bono matters annually.

For Best of Reston sponsorship and ticket info, visit Cornerstones’ website.

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