Reston Interfaith and the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce announced the honorees for the 15th Annual Best of Reston Awards at a Jan. 12 Chamber luncheon. Representatives from the local business and faith-based community and special guests Robert E. Simon and U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8) came out to recognize the honorees during the ceremony at the Hyatt Regency in the Reston Town Center
What began in 1991 as a way to recognize the joint efforts between the Reston business and religious communities, the annual Best of Reston awards have grown with the area.
"It's truly reflective of the wonderful interweaving that makes this business community so special," said Bill Adams, chairman of the Reston Chamber of Commerce.
Based on a set of criteria that identifies selfless work that has a positive, long lasting impact on Reston, The Best of Reston Awards recognizes those who have contributed heavily to improving the quality of life in Reston.
The selection this year was based on those "going beyond the norm of giving time and resources to others to make Reston a better community," said Laura McNulty, senior vice president of Equity Office, before introducing the honorees.
Of this year's eight honorees, three are couples or individuals in the community while the remaining five are businesses and organizations based in Reston.
JOHN AND SUSAN ADNEY were the first of the honorees recognized. Considered to be at the heart of the musical arts community in Reston, the Adneys have been a part of the Reston Chorale for 20 years. They have also commissioned original music for their church, the Chorale group and a piece titled "A Journey to Freedom, Honor and Glory," which was written for Reston's Martin Luther King Day celebration. John Adney is a partner at the law firm Davis and Harman, LLP and Susan Adney is an accomplished musician.
According to Mike Clarke of Access National Bank, the second honoree, Kfoury Construction, "spends much of its time building the Reston landscape, but it also improves Reston and its citizens," he said.
Kfoury Construction is an honoree this year based on its work with Reston Interfaith, the Greater Reston Arts Center and the Chamber's Incubator Program. The company has also contributed to broader programs such as the International Children's Festival and Volunteer Fairfax's Celebration of Giving and Sharing, which helps to improve the lives of children in Fairfax County.
While the next honoree is known throughout the region for food service, it also donates heavily to local community programs. McCormick and Schmicks Seafood Restaraunt and the M & S Grill, located in the Reston Town Center were nominated for "great energy and willingness to give back to the community," said Clarke.
Donating to organizations such as the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, the Reston Community Association and local Veterans, they have proven their commitment to the local community.
The Giving Circle of Hope was honored for the Best of Reston awards based on the money it has raised for local school and community programs. Formed in 2004 by Joan Kasprowicz, Miana Katz, Mary Marayan and Linda Strap, The Giving Circle of Hope was able to award five grants within its first year of existence. More than doubling that amount in 2005, the volunteer-based group distributed 12 grants totaling $54,000 in 2005 to organizations including the Embry Rucker Foundation and Kids R First.
According to McNulty, 2006 honoree Brent Park, "has a simple mission of enriching their [children's] lives — 100 percent, 24 hours a day," she said.
Park spends both his working and free hours bettering the lives of local children. Park's day-job is working as the School Age Coordinator at the Laurel Learning Center in Reston. Outside of work, he can be found coaching a youth basketball team and working with the Boys and Girls Club in Washington D.C.
Northrop Grumman’s Information Technology and Mission Systems also made the list of honorees for its work in more than 30 community organizations. Last year alone, company employees donated more than $53,000 for local non-profit organizations. Organizations that the company has benefited include the Greater Reston Arts Center, Langston Hughes Middle School, the Arts Council of Fairfax County and Volunteer Fairfax.
Hinge, the only graphic design team to make the list, has proved its dedication to the community by donating an annual 5 percent of its resources to volunteer work. Last year, the company provided $115,000 in pro-bono services to groups including Reston Interfaith, the Chamber's Incubator Program, and Friends of Reston.
Although the last honorees recognized could not attend the ceremony, their presence in the community has not gone unnoticed. According to Clarke, B.J and Marilyn Silvey embody the true definition of volunteering, he said. The Silveys were recognized for their efforts with programs and events such as the Reston Triathlon, the United Christian Parish Church Works Sunday program and the Reston Bicycle Club.
The culmination of the 2006 Best of Reston awards will be an awards gala on April 20 at the Hyatt Regency in the Reston Town Center.