• 02/22/2023 1:43 PM | Anonymous

    Vienna, VA, February 13, 2023 – Leadership Fairfax is pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 Northern Virginia Leadership Awards who will be celebrated on Thursday, February 23, 2023 hosted at Reston Community Center,  2310 Colts Neck Rd, Reston, VA. The event will be presented in a hybrid format, with the in person event beginning at 11:30 am, and the program starting at 12 noon with an option for attendees to tune in virtually.  

    The NVLAs are bestowed annually to talented community leaders and organizations that have made a significant impact on Northern Virginia through volunteerism, philanthropy, and community leadership in the following categories: Regional Leadership; Non-Profit Leadership; Corporate Leadership and Educational Leadership. The 2023honorees represent a diverse cross section of the community from corporations, government agencies and non-profit organizations working to build thriving and sustainable communities.  

    The awards are made possible by sponsors Leidos, Reston Community Center, Apple Federal Credit Union, Boston Properties, Cornerstones and FedWriters. Tickets can be purchased online at 


    Nonprofit Leadership Organization: Good Shepherd Housing 

    Good Shepherd Housing (GSH) has been a provider of affordable housing along the Richmond Highway corridor for almost fifty years. Established in 1974, GSH has pursued a scattered-site approach to acquiring and managing affordable rental housing units. Rather than pursuing a single-site, multifamily residential development GSH has purchased units incrementally in a dozen communities along 15 miles of Richmond Highway, blending communities and neighborhoods. GSH understands that affordable and stable housing is a vehicle for changing a family’s lifelong outcomes. GSH gives struggling households breathing space to work on education, employment, and savings. 

    Corporate Leadership: Springfield Town Center 

    Springfield Town Center is honored with the Corporate Leadership Award to recognize its outstanding contributions as a public-private partner during the COVID-19 pandemic. Springfield Town Center provided leased space at no cost to Fairfax County for 11 months during the COVID-19 vaccination campaign to establish a vital vaccine equity clinic for residents with limited health care access in the Springfield area. Springfield Town Center operated 140 vaccine equity clinics providing nearly 10,000 vaccine doses. The Springfield Town Center clinic became known as a trusted location in the community where residents with no health insurance, English language and digital access barriers could obtain important COVID-19 vaccine to sustain their health and vitality. 

    Nonprofit Leadership Individual: Dr. Nardos King 

    Dr. Nardos E. King is an outstanding community leader. She serves as the President of the Donna M. Saunders Foundation, the DC Metro HBCU Alliance and the National Alliance of Black School Educators. Dr. Nardos King is a visionary leader with a clear idea of how she envisions the future and with the ability to strategize on how to get there. Through Dr. King's leadership, our community is impacted in a positive way. Her work with the Donna M Saunders Foundation has provided both financial assistance to breast cancer patients who need assistance with rent, food, car payments, health co-payments and other needs. The HBCU community day and 5K run brings 1300 plus members of our community together to learn about health issues and HBCUs. The day also raises funds and donations for scholarships. 

    Regional Leadership: Chris Atwood Foundation 

    In less than a decade, the Chris Atwood Foundation has shined a light on the opioid crisis and substance addiction as a community health issue; they have changed the terminology used, and the connotations surrounding substance addiction. They participated on the White House Task Force in 2017-2018, educated law makers in the Virginia statehouse, changed six state laws, and partnered with Fairfax County to bring treatment to those incarcerated and to provide safe housing when they are released. CAF has served over 11,000 people with naloxone training, housing, aid, peer support and more. Over 700 lives have been saved by reversal of opioid overdose using Naloxone CAF provided. Over 500 people recovering from substance abuse disorder CAF has placed in substance free safe house to help them continue their road to recovery. 

    Educational Leadership: Shannon Matheny, Assistant Principal – West Springfield High School 

    Shannon Matheny has created a school within the school, with a student-centered environment that helps students find their own path and achieve more than they knew they were capable of achieving. Thanks to Matheny's vision, West Springfield High School has helped ensure all students can find a pathway to success. She has served as senior administrator for four years at West Springfield High School and helped more than 2,500 students reach their graduation goals. 


    The awards ceremony to recognize the 2023 winners will take place in a hybrid format on Thursday, February 23, 2023 with options for in person or virtual attendance, with the ceremony starting at 12 noon. Virtual tickets are $25 for nonmembers and general public, in-person tickets are $50 and include networking and catered lunch. Tickets can purchased online: 

    Leadership Fairfax develops, connects and inspires leaders of diverse backgrounds and experiences to engage in building a better community and is currently accepting applications for all of their leadership development programs. Programs are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion or any other basis protected by law. Leadership Fairfax headquarters are located at 8230 Old Courthouse Rd., Ste 100, Vienna, VA 22182. To learn more, visit 

  • 02/22/2023 1:33 PM | Anonymous

    Arlington, VA – The Leadership Center for Excellence and Leadership Fairfax are pleased to announce the 2023 Northern Virginia 40 Under 40 honorees. These individuals demonstrate exceptional and impactful leadership in their professional and personal spheres. The 2023 Northern Virginia 40 Under 40 honorees will be celebrated during a virtual event on Friday, March 24, 2023, from 10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., and later that evening at an in-person reception for honorees only.   

    “The Northern Virginia 40 Under 40 event serves as both a celebration and an annual reminder of the need for leaders who work daily to effect change, collaborate with others, and create a positive impact within their community,” said Lisa Fikes, President and CEO of the Leadership Center for Excellence.  

    CEO and President of Leadership Fairfax, Karen Cleveland, stated, “We are beyond thrilled to recognize these amazing and inspiring leaders, and I am in awe of what they have accomplished at such a young age. Please join us to celebrate our honorees and prepare to be inspired.” 

    2023 Northern Virginia 40 Under 40 Honorees  

    Elena Agaragimova, Horizon Industries Ltd/Elena Agar LLC 

    Kathleen Ambroso, The Journey 

    Alyssa Batchelor, Office of Delegate Elizabeth Bennett-Parker, Virginia House of Delegates 

    Lauren Bealore, Prosperity Now 

    Shayna Bergman, Shayna Bergman Coaching, LLC 

    Adrian Chadwell, Carahsoft Technology 

    Michael Chiappa, Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) 

    LeVar Crooms, M&T Bank 

    Paul Davis, Office of Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn, Fairfax County Government 

    LaMarcus Davis, Phenom Surgical 

    Chelsi Dildine, Edward Jones Investments 

    Erika Dyer, Curley Company 

    Marilyn Dyess, Blake Willson Group 

    Jamie Ergas, Carpenter's Shelter 

    David Farajollahi, Dominion Energy 

    Mandi Fisher, Northern Virginia Family Service 

    Michael Forehand, Inova 

    Myja Gary, Zoom Video Communications  

    Mahwish Hamlani, Accenture 

    Mike Hemminger, NAACP Arlington 

    Stephanie Hopkins, Department of Human Services, Arlington County Government 

    Cara Howard, Department of Emergency Management and Security, Fairfax County Government 

    ArbenIstrefi, CYDEO 

    Claradith Landry, Educators and Cultural Consultants LLC. 

    Jake Mages, Guernsey Inc. 

    Diego Mariscal, 2Gether-International 

    Eric Miller, Inova  

    Natalie Monkou, Town of Vienna 

    Jessica Peters, Insight Memory Care Center 

    Anika Rahman, Office of Delegate Michelle Maldonado, Virginia House of Delegates 

    David Schneider, Holland & Knight LLP 

    Genaro Stewart, Department of Defense 

    Jennifer Toussaint, Animal Welfare League of Arlington  

    Alejandra Underwood, Columbia Pike Partnership 

    MawuliVodi, Financially Present dba Growve Solutions LLC 

    Phyllis Weech, Inova 

    Kimberly Whipkey, White Ribbon Alliance 

    Chelsie White, Deloitte & Touche  

    Spencer Wood, Fairfax Economic Development Authority 

    Shane Ziegler, USI Insurance Services 

    To learn more about and register for the 2023 Northern Virginia 40 Under 40 virtual event honoring these leaders, please visit

    About Leadership Center for Excellence and Leadership Fairfax 

    The mission of the Leadership Center for Excellence is to connect, develop, and inspire leaders for personal growth, civic engagement, and community impact. For more information, visit or call (703) 528-2522.  

    Leadership Fairfax develops, connects and inspires leaders of diverse backgrounds and experiences to engage in building a better community. To learn more, call (703) 752-7555 and visit 

  • 10/26/2022 12:10 PM | Anonymous

    Vienna, VA – Leadership Fairfax is proud to present the 2-day Youth Leadership Network Conference on Friday, November 11 and Saturday, November 12, 2022, at Virginia Tech Northern Virginia Center, free for all Fairfax County youth ages 12 – 22. The conference will provide opportunities for Fairfax youth to connect with other young leaders, learn about new topics and expand their knowledge of leadership skills they can use in school, at clubs and on councils. Register here:

    The conference theme of Meta Leadership aims to support students to increase their self-awareness, learn how to work better with others and explore topics important to them. The first day will feature diverse sessions about Mentorship, Difficult Conversations, Generational Differences, Identifying Values and Strengths and Improv Activities to Build Teamwork. The second day will be fully immersive and emergent as participants engage in Open Space Technology.

    Sessions will be facilitated by expert trainers and coaches in partnership with Leadership Fairfax. Breakfast and Lunch are included both days.

    The Youth Leadership Network is a collaboration between Fairfax County and Leadership Fairfax to create a collective umbrella under which youth councils in the county can network, engage in volunteer opportunities and expand their leadership skills through educational courses that address leadership topics important to youth. Registration for the conference is now open for free online:

    Leadership Fairfax develops, connects and inspires leaders of diverse backgrounds and experiences to engage in building a better community. It is a diverse community of 2,100+ alumni where public and private sector leaders collaborate to develop and implement solutions to community issues. Programs are open to all, regardless of age, color, ability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, or any other basis protected by law. Leadership Fairfax headquarters is located at 8230 Old Courthouse Rd., Ste 100, Vienna, VA 22182. To learn more, call 703.752.7555 and visit

  • 08/03/2022 9:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Not long after D’Ivonne Holman became director of development for Northern Virginia family services nonprofit Britepaths in 2018, she signed up to participate in Leadership Fairfax, a leadership development organization focused on local and regional challenges in Fairfax County. Her boss, a Leadership Fairfax alum, encouraged her to apply.

    She was accepted into Leadership Fairfax’s class of 2019 and joined a cohort of 50 classmates over the next 10 months for a series of discussions, workshops, field trips and trainings.

    Read full article here. 

  • 07/07/2022 11:43 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The term “pivot” used to annoy Karen Cleveland, president and CEO of Leadership Fairfax.

    Then the pandemic struck. Pivoting became the modus operandi for most businesses, organizations and governmental agencies, which bobbed and weaved to accomplish their missions using remote work and other creative arrangements. Read the coverage in the Sun Gazette.

    Watch the full video of the Regional Community Partnership Forum here.
  • 07/07/2022 11:41 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Leadership Fairfax held a joint commencement ceremony for the Leadership Fairfax Institute Signature Program and the Emerging Leaders Institute Classes of 2022 on Wednesday, June 9 at Window Plaza at Reston Town Center, recognizing over 50 talented and accomplished leaders from across the region. Check out the full list of grads below and pictures of the event can be found here, courtesy of East 27 Creative. A huge thank you to Boston Properties, our board members, team advisors, faculty and volunteers that made the event possible.

    LFI Class of 2022 Graduates: 

    John Alexa 

    Ayse Alexander 

    Debra Allen 

    Andrea Crossett 

    Kenneth Dobbs, Jr. 

    Emily Fary 

    Jeanine Finch 

    Rosemarie Floyd 

    Mahwish Hamlani 

    Jenny Heflin 

    Mercedes Kirkland-Doyle 

    Long Lai 

    Pamela Leary 

    Stephanie Ludington 

    Jake Mages 

    Selina March 

    Kylie McCleaf 

    Carolyn Mullen 

    Heather O'Malley 

    Rex Pagerie 

    Doug Povich 

    Kate Reen 

    Nathan Robertson 

    Justin Ruble 

    Deborah Severson 

    Susan Sims 

    Katrina Smith 

    Grelia Steele  

    Harmonie Taddeo 

    Tessema Tefferi 

    Robin Wilson 

    Spencer Wood 

    ELI Class of 2022 Graduates: 

    Levon Ananyan 

    Felicia Barnes 

    Emily Burton 

    Beth Czupil 

    Si Mohamed Ghiwane 

    Brandon Horst 

    Katie Knight 

    Andrew Lampropoulos 

    Tuyen Le 

    Shuang Ma 

    Kelly Mai 

    Ryan Malkes 

    Kelly McNerney  

    Dan Robles 

    Yoselin Peñas 

    Cheryle Thorne-Harris 

    Tabitha Toema 

    Veva Wallace 

    Arrika Watkins 

    Jameel Yusuf 

    Read the full June 2022 Enews Here

  • 02/01/2022 5:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We were excited to host our inaugural Real Talk. Teen Leadership Workshop over the weekend of January 22 and 23 bringing together 18 high school juniors and seniors from 10 high schools across the County to learn about presentation skills, behavioral styles, building résumés that win, and nailing interview skills. High Schools represented included Chantilly, John Lewis, Lake Braddock, Langley, Madison, South Lakes and Thomas Jefferson. Student reviews gave the program 5 stars and one Real Talk graduate shared, "Amazing workshop and would recommend for others to attend!" Read the full January 2022 Enews here.

  • 11/05/2021 11:23 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    VIENNA, VA - Leadership Fairfax is excited to announce the launch of their Youth Leadership Network in collaboration with Fairfax County. This new initiative provides a collective umbrella under which over 100 youth councils in the county can network, engage in volunteer opportunities and expand their leadership skills through educational courses that address leadership topics important to youth. The leadership network will also provide training opportunities for advisors and mentors working with youth councils. There is no cost to join the network and all training and educational classes will be provided for free to members. Leadership Fairfax and Fairfax County believe it is imperative that all interested youth in the community have access to high quality facilitators and educators to increase their knowledge and build skills necessary for success. Members of youth councils can sign up by going

    The Youth Leadership Network is an important part of Leadership Fairfax’s community focused Serve Fairfax initiative. Serve Fairfax provides community volunteers with board training and education to improve service on commissions, boards, committees and advisory councils in the region. Serve Fairfax connects interested volunteers with organizations seeking volunteer assistance. It is additionally the repository for Leadership Fairfax’s community conversations which include all research on community topics through an equity lens conducted annually by Leadership Fairfax fellows.

    “The Youth Leadership Network will provide important training and support to youth councils in Fairfax County, while connecting youth voices with organizations seeking to diversify and expand their approach to policy and procedure with a perspective towards the future,” stated CEO Karen Cleveland. The Youth Leadership Network will kick off official events in 2022 with four educational round tables, networking experiences and more.

    “Life, innovation, and progress continue to advance at a dizzying pace and the challenge to keep up with change only grows. That is why it is imperative that we engage our future leaders, early in their development in the process, as they learn the methods and practices needed to find solutions, bring communities together, and shape a path towards common benefit and a brighter tomorrow for all. Leadership Fairfax is uniquely positioned to provide the tutelage, training and empowerment needed to guide them on that leadership journey and we could not be prouder to answer the call,” stated Chairman of the Board, Danny Vargas.

    Leadership Fairfax is seeking youth councils in Fairfax County to join the youth leadership network at Membership is open to all youth councils supporting businesses, county organizations or nonprofits.

  • 11/03/2021 4:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Do you know a leader who embodies the ideals of selfless service, strategic vision and community collaboration. Now is the time to nominate them for our annual Northern Virginia Leadership Awards (NVLAs)! Awards will be presented at a virtual event on Friday, December 3, 2021

    The awards recognize the dedicated and passionate service of leaders in Northern Virginia, and will be bestowed in the following categories:

    • Covid-19 Hero Award
    • Educational Leadership Award
    • Nonprofit Individual Leadership Award
    • Nonprofit Organization Award
    • Corporate Leadership Award
    • Regional Leadership Award
    • Trustee Leadership Award

    Nominations can be submitted here: 2021 Nomination Form

    Deadline for submissions: Friday, November 5, 2021 by COB!

  • 10/20/2021 9:25 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Coverage of the Equity Council - Connection Newspapers

8230 Old Courthouse Road, Suite 100
Vienna, VA 22182-3853
Phone: 703-752-7555

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