Cornerstones and GRCC Reveal Best of Reston Honorees

Reston’s business and nonprofit leaders were among those gathered for 23rd Annual Best of Reston Kickoff Reception.

“The focus of the Best of Reston awards on volunteerism are one-of-a-kind — it really is uniquely Reston.”

— Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill)

And the Winners Are…:

Corporate Business Leader – Cooley, LLC

Small Business Leader – Brennan & Waite, P.L.C.

Civic/Community Leader – HomeAid Northern Virginia

Individual Community Leaders – Carol Ann Bradley, Jerry Ferguson, Cate Fulkerson, Bonnie Haukness and Davida Luehrs

In a colorful, well-lit lit room of the Google Reston Town Center office, a shining bronze statue of 99-year-old Reston founder Bob Simon sat about 10 feet away from the man himself.

Simon’s statue was a centerpiece of the 23rd Annual Best of Reston Awards Kickoff, which introduced this year’s eight honorees for the award. The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and the nonprofit Cornerstones co-host the awards each year to recognize exceptional community service in Reston community members.

The three businesses that received awards in the categories of Corporate Business Leader, Small Business Leader, and Civic/Community Leader, are Cooley, LLC, Brennan & Waite, P.L.C., and HomeAid Northern Virginia, respectively.

The five Individual Community Leader awardees are Carol Ann Bradley, Jerry Ferguson, Cate Fulkerson, Bonnie Haukness and Davida Luehrs.

Cornerstones CEO Kerri Wilson and Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Mark Ingrao spoke of how the event embodies Simon’s original vision for Reston as a community, which Simon acknowledged later on.

“It’s extraordinary, the level of commitment and understanding for what Reston is, and it’s all here,” said Simon.

Cornerstones operates the Embry Rucker Shelter and supports more than 20,000 in need with its programs each year. The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, meanwhile, advocates for the growth of Reston’s business community in the Dulles Corridor.

“It truly is a unique partnership that we celebrate with a membership organization for businesses that truly lives the ideals of giving back, promoting all that is good, and celebrating everyone in our community,” said Wilson.

One by one, the honorees for this year’s awards stepped up and exchanged hugs and handshakes with Wilson and Ingrao, who thanked the assortment of individuals and businesses for their contributions commitments to the community.

Best of Reston honorees from past years and local politicians were also in attendance, including Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill) and Herndon Mayor Lisa Merkel. “The focus of the Best of Reston awards on volunteerism are one-of-a-kind,” said Hudgins. “It really is uniquely Reston.”

The 2014 Best of Reston awards will be particularly special in that they will also mark the 50th anniversary of Reston, as well as Simon’s 100th birthday. The awards will be the culmination of Cornerstones’ year-long fundraising goal to raise $1 million that will help to double the amount of affordable housing in Reston.

So far, Simon and his co-sponsors have raised 75 percent of that goal, and there are still about three months until the awards take place. Simon was particularly enthusiastic at the reception at the amount of money they had already managed to raise in under one year to help build more affordable housing in the community.

Among the local people that have donated more than $10,000 a piece toward the campaign are Bill Bouie, Jim and Karen Cleveland, Joe Ritchey, and the Veatch family, in addition to eight other sponsors.

The 2014 Best of Reston Awards Gala will take place on April 10 at the Hyatt Regency Reston.