The Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce put the spotlight on some top community leaders and celebrated its own change of leadership during its annual meeting dinner Friday night at the National Conference Center.
The Community Leadership Award program was created to honor members of the Loudoun business community that have demonstrated an exemplary level of community engagement to positively impact the quality of life in the county and to serve the needs of its residents.
Five awards were presented: Jimmy Olevson, of MainStreet Bank, was presented with the Executive Leader Award; Jennifer Montgomery, of Loudoun Hunger Relief, won in the Nonprofit Executive category; Katie Barchas Wilson, of The Market Group, was selected as the Young Professional Community Leader; The Zone in Ashburn won in the small organization category; and Falcon Heating & Air Conditioning won the large organization category.
Winners in each category will have the opportunity to select a nonprofit to receive a $1,000 grant through the Community Foundation of Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties.
The event also featured the passing of the gavel from outgoing Chamber Chairwoman Lisa Kimball, of the Arc of Loudoun, to Stacey Metcalfe, of Inova Loudoun Hospital.
Some of the award winners offered challenges to the crowd of business leaders gathered for the event.
“I want you to do three things this year,” Montgomery said. “Figure out what you love and care about. Number two, go on Google and find an organization that loves and cares about the same things that you do. And number three, I want you to do something about it. I want you to offer to help. I want you to call them. I want you to volunteer. I want you to make a donation.”
Bruce Rahmani, a co-founder ofFalcon Heating & Air Conditioning, urged Chamber members to focus on mentorship. “It is our responsibility to mentor the younger generation. Bring them on board. Teach them the value of life. Teach them what it is to be a leader in the community,” he said.
Metcalfe also spoke about the importance of mentorship, recalling her journey to the Chamber chairmanship, which began two decades ago when she came to Loudoun to join the team that was rolling out AOL to international markets. After leaving AOL, she worked for nonprofits in Washington, DC, before a former AOL executive called her back to work at Inova Loudoun Hospital.
“I’ve been blessed to work with some amazing leaders and teams. And as a result, I am a grateful product of intentional mentoring,” she said. “I want us all to think about this for a second. What opportunities are we going to provide to others in our businesses and in our communities to help them rise up? And are we going to take risks, to delegate, to believe that when our employees shine, we shine, and understand and recognize that there are so many great ideas out there if we only listen? Who are we going to intentionally mentor?”
“All people need great leaders and all people need mentors. If you believe that too, then the Chamber can help,” Metcalfe said.