On Thursday, April 4th, over 600 members of our community came together to recognize the hard-work and dedication of this year’s honorees and raised over $500,000 to support the important mission of Cornerstones.
Julian Setian, 2019 Best of Reston Chair, said it best, “The more I have learned about Cornerstones and the important role it fills in our region, I am impressed by the work, and by the people and organizations who are part of its impact, including this impressive 28-year partnership with the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce.”
On behalf of Cornerstones, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and each person we serve, thank you to everyone that helped make Thursday night wonderful. We are a community of kindness and it shows.
About Best of Reston
Nearly three decades ago, Cornerstones and the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce came together in a unique collaboration that demonstrates our mutual commitment to the guiding principles of our community established by Reston founder Robert E. Simon and a shared philosophy that the collective contributions of individuals, businesses, civic and community institutions and organizations are necessary to build and sustain thriving and enriching communities. This partnership is celebrated each year in a community awards celebration.
2019 Best of Reston Honorees
A Simple Gesture (Bob Schnapp) – Feeding Families – One Green Bag after Another
Inspired by a West Coast program, and with early support from Shoreshim and The Giving Circle of Hope, Bob Schnapp launched A Simple Gesture – Reston. This community effort to reduce hunger is basic: people sign up; they get a “cool green bag;” they fill it with non-perishable food and essentials. The full bags are delivered to local food pantries where the tons of food donated have made a critical difference for people who are hungry.
BEI, Inc. (Mike and Ellen Jennings) – Expertise that Makes a Difference – IT’s Their Thing
The Jennings see BEI as a technology company that is focused on people. In their relationships to non-profits, they give no less of their expertise and passion for success. They have been involved in Reston schools, sports and scouting, Reston Swim Team Association, the Northern Virginia Maker Faire, Artemis House, and the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee. They also provide critical in-kind IT support to the Greater Reston Arts Center and Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce.
Omicron Kappa Kappa Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the OKK Foundation, Inc. – The Colors of Their Service are Purple and Gold
The members of OKK and their Foundation have been nurturing young students (with an emphasis on boys) so they can become successful future leaders. The 30-plus successful Black men of OKK inspire young people with their service to the community by volunteering at events like Taste of Reston, Flavors of Fall, Reston Relay for Life, Northern Virginia Project Giveback and the Dr. Charles Drew Blood Drive. Their foundation provides scholarships and mentoring support that transforms lives.
Maggie Parker – Passion that Leads to Lasting Success
As a volunteer, events chair, board member or board chair – Maggie Parker’s civic and non-profit organization efforts have been energetic and effective. Her projects to raise funds for Children’s Hospital have included A Vintage Affair and Autumn Adventure at Reston Town Center, and the Southern Accents Capital Design House. Locally, Maggie has provided board leadership and fundraising expertise for Greater Reston Arts Center, Public Art Reston, ARTSFAIRFAX, Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and the Women’s Center.
Roz Rakoff – An Essential Community Kindness Connector
For more than 44 years, Roz Rakoff has exemplified Reston’s caring spirit as a volunteer for Cornerstones, Greater Reston Arts Center, Reston schools, Reston Kids Triathlon, Reston Historic Trust, A Simple Gesture, Shoreshim, the Reston Scholarship Fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Virginia, SLHS Food Pantry and Global Camps Africa. Her caring heart has driven connections between individuals Roz meets on life’s pathways and the organizations for which she has provided service and funding.
Kurt Rose – A Sparkling Gem of Community Spirit
Kurt Rose, owner of Aspen Jewelry Designs with his partner Rick Little, gives back to a community he feels has given him everything. His volunteer and financial support benefit Herndon Rotary’s involvement in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, Kids R First, SLHS PTSA Food Pantry, Cornerstones, South Lakes and Herndon High School Bands, Reston’s YMCA, and Reston Museum’s Annual Cardboard Boat Regatta. Kurt’s passion for his community is a sparkling example of putting “service above self.”
Synergy Design & Construction (Mina and Mark Fies) – Constructing Better Lives by Design
The Fies started their home design and remodeling company with a three-person team. From the beginning, they devoted themselves to growing their impact on organizations and people in need just as much as for their company. Their business contributes to Greater Reston Arts Center’s Art in the schools, RESTORE (re-using materials for housing non-profits) and repairs needed at Cornerstones transitional housing. Synergy is helping the community’s most vulnerable design solutions for a better way of life.
Touching Heart (Helen and Taylor Yi) – Generations Inspiring Gifts of Love from Open Hearts
Born from the idea that young people could channel their desire to be kind into meaningful acts, this all-volunteer effort has grown to reach thousands of people. Their “Kids on a Mission” and “Schools on a Mission” curricula and projects are kid-generated, kid-designed and executed. Working with adult mentors to acquire leadership, planning and fundraising skills, participants support children and raise awareness of the problems young people are confronted with both locally and far away.
Click here to view the list of Best of Reston Honorees 1992-Present.
Click here for highlights from the 2018 Cornerstones of Our Community: Best of Reston Community Service Awards
Thank you to our 2019 Best of Reston Sponsors!
For more information, contact Caroline Toye, VP, Resource Development, at 571-323-9576 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alion Science and Technology
Reston Town Center Association
Atlantic Realty Companies
Boofie and Joe O’Gorman
HITT Contracting Inc.
JP Morgan Private Bank – Don Irwin
Cookie and Nelson Blitz
Harrison at Reston Town Center
Joan and Michael Kelly
Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh, P.C.
Bozzuto Management Company
Jim and Karen Cleveland
Veatch Commercial Real Estate
COMMUNITY OF FAITH SPONSOR
Bill and Gina Bouie
Susie and Sanjeev Duggal
Lynn and Phil Lilienthal
ORR Partners LLC
Delegate Ken Plum and Jane Plum
Hugh Taylor and Tana McNeil-Taylor
Kerrie and Rick Wilson