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2012 Inaugural Montgomery Serves Award

Monday, April 30, 2012, 6:30pm at  Imagination Stage in Bethesda, MD

Montgomery County recognized the extraordinary commitment and dedication of individuals, businesses, community-based organizations, and youth whose work has made a positive difference in Montgomery County.  This event honored some of our County’s most outstanding community leaders and dedicated volunteers. 

What a fabulous evening! Thank you to all that helped put on the event, to all who attended, and to the wonderful volunteers whose work was celebrated! Check out this video of the event provided by Comcast,   see photos of the event and more details on all the honorees below.

 

Roscoe R. Nix Award

Roscoe R. Nix
Charles (Chuck Lyons)
Connie Morella

Neal Potter Award

Ruby Rubens
Tufail Ahmad

Volunteer of the Year Award

Phanna Iamlek – Youth
Southern Management – Business
Frank Ierardi – Individual
Meals on Wheels of Wheaton - Group
 

ROSCOE R. NIX DISTINGUISHED COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP AWARD

County Executive Ike Leggett has established the Roscoe R. Nix Distinguished Community Leadership Award to honor the legacy of leadership of former School Board Member and NAACP Branch President Roscoe Nix. The award, the County’s equivalent of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, will be presented by the County Executive each year to honor an individual or individuals who over the course of their distinguished lives of community service have made extraordinary contributions to the quality of our community at the very highest levels of excellence. The very first award will be presented on April 30 by County Executive Leggett posthumously to Roscoe Nix for his half century of service to Montgomery County. See bio

AWARD WINNERS

Roscoe R. Nix    

Roscoe R. Nix

SEE VIDEO     Roscoe R. Nix, a champion of civil rights, was one of the major architects of the modern Montgomery County. Born in Greenville, Alabama, Mr. Nix served in the Army in World War II and graduated from Howard University. When Mr. Nix and his wife Emma moved here in 1968 with their two children, Montgomery County was a rural-suburban community just beginning to emerge from its segregationist past. Montgomery County has not been the same since. 

Professionally, Mr. Nix was a peacemaker travelling the nation on behalf of the Justice Department’s Community Relations Service helping to resolve conflicts in communities experiencing civil unrest. At home in Montgomery County, Mr. Nix was the County’s leading advocate for equity and justice for nearly half a century. A staunch critic of de facto school segregation, Mr. Nix became the second African American elected to the Montgomery County Board of Education in 1974. As the president of the County’s chapter of the NAACP from 1980 to 1990, Mr. Nix was a fearless and tireless advocate for educational excellence and social, economic, and political justice. Because of his extraordinary life of service and sacrifice, Montgomery County is a better place. It is a more welcoming and compassionate place. And it is certainly a more just place, a model of tolerance and forward thinking for the nation and the world.
 
The County’s annual African American Festival of Academic Excellence celebrating the academic achievements of African American students is among his proudest accomplishments. In 2006, Roscoe R. Nix Elementary School was established to honor his advocacy for educational excellence. A proud member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and a charter member of The Church of The Redeemer Presbyterian, Mr. Nix was inducted into the Montgomery County Human Rights Hall of Fame in 2001.
Roscoe Nix died on January 4, 2012. At Mr. Nix’s memorial service on January 12, 2012, County Executive Ike Leggett announced that he would establish an award in Mr. Nix’s name and that he would present the first of these awards to Mr. Nix posthumously for his service to Montgomery County. 

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Charles

   

Charles Lyons

 SEE VIDEO     Charles “Chuck” Lyons has been the exemplar of corporate social responsibility in Montgomery County. A role model of a successful business executive who serves the broader community, Mr. Lyons joined The Washington Post Company in 1993 as president and publisher of The Gazette and became CEO of Post-Newsweek Media. During his tenure, The Gazette and P-NM newspapers received 21 awards for General Excellence from the Suburban Newspapers of America (SNA).
Born in Owosso, Michigan, Mr. Lyons graduated from Michigan State University and pursued a career in journalism that took him across America and throughout the ranks from reporter to editor to publisher. He has served as a member of the Montgomery County Economic Advisory Council, chair of Leadership Montgomery, and a founding board member of The Community Foundation for Montgomery County.
In 1997, Mr. Lyons chaired Montgomery’s Promise to its Children and Youth, garnering 700 promises from business, government, and community organizations. To set an example, The Gazette created a mentoring project at a local elementary school, and Mr. Lyons was among the most faithful mentors. He helped establish an annual breakfast for Interfaith Works and has emceed the event for 14 of its 15 years, immeasurably adding to the capacity of this organization to support our neighbors most in need. Mr. Lyons joined the board of Strathmore in 1994 when it was but a mansion on a hill with a six figure annual budget. The fact that The Music Center at Strathmore is now one of the world’s great concert halls is significantly the result of the skill and tenacity of Mr. Lyons.
 
In presenting Charles “Chuck” Lyons with one of the inaugural Roscoe R. Nix Distinguished Community Leadership Awards, County Executive Ike Leggett noted: “Very simply put, we need to clone Chuck Lyons. He is the very model of the socially responsible business leader. Chuck has demonstrated that you need not choose between financial security for your family and service to your community. We honor him as an example of what it means to live a full life of service to others.”

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Connie Morella    

Connie Morella

SEE VIDEO  Connie Morella epitomizes our ideal of an American political leader. Beloved by her Montgomery County constituents, Ambassador Morella represented us for eight years in the Maryland General Assembly and for sixteen years in the United States House of Representatives before being appointed by President George W. Bush as Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
 
Born in Somerville, Massachusetts and a graduate of Boston University, Ambassador Morella and her husband Tony moved to Montgomery County where they raised their three children along with the six children they adopted when her sister died of cancer. First a teacher in the Montgomery County Public Schools and then a professor at Montgomery College, Ambassador Morella was a founding member and later president of the Montgomery County Commission for Women. Active in the League of Women Voters, Ambassador Morella won her first of two terms in the House of Delegates in 1978. Elected to Congress in 1986, Ambassador Morella was a model of an independent-minded elected official willing to stand on principle against partisan pressures. During her eight terms as a Member of Congress, Ambassador Morella was one of the nation’s leading advocates for women, children, and families. She was also a great supporter of biotechnology and advanced scientific research.
 
A member of the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame, Ambassador Morella has received the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award from the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights “for selfless and devoted service in the cause of equality.” The Republic of Italy awarded her the Medal of the Legion of Merit.
In presenting Ambassador Morella with one of the inaugural Roscoe R. Nix Distinguished Community Leadership Awards, County Executive Ike Leggett explained: “When I think of the kind of courageous, thoughtful public servant that America needs as we face the challenges of the twenty-first century, I think of Connie Morella. We in Montgomery County have been blessed to have her as our advocate and our cherished friend.”

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NEAL POTTER PATH OF ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

In Partnership with the Montgomery County Commission on Aging and The Beacon

The Neal Potter Path of Achievement Awards will honor two recipients 60 years of age or better whose accomplishments, enthusiasm, and lifelong commitment to volunteer service make them outstanding roles models for young and old alike.

AWARD WINNERS

Ruby Rubens    

Ruby Rubens

SEE VIDEO   Ruby Rubens has been helping our Montgomery County neighbors in need for more than forty years. In addition to a distinguished professional career that included service as a Special Assistant to County Executive Neal Potter, Ms. Rubens has been an extraordinary community volunteer. Her passion for social justice has guided her to focus her volunteer activities in the areas of education, fair housing, and human rights. Her volunteer activities include advocating on behalf of residents of Tobytown, Scotland, and other historic African American communities. Ms. Rubens was a founding member of Blacks United for Excellence in Education and its Saturday School Initiative. She has served as community coordinator for the National Council of Negro Women’s after-school program for more than 100 African American teen girls. Ms. Rubens has also served as social action chair of the MC Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.  

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Tufail Ahmad    

Tufail Ahmad

SEE VIDEO     Tufail Ahmad has earned the respect, trust, and confidence of the community through his consistent efforts over four decades to bridge the gap between Muslim Americans and the larger community. In response to 9/11, Mr. Ahmad co-founded Montgomery County Muslim Council with a mission of pursuing equal social, economic, educational, and political opportunities for all County residents. He has spearheaded many community-wide efforts to help those in need, including feeding the homeless; organizing distribution of three meals a day for the seven to ten days during Ramadan for homeless women at Sophia House; coordinating a Countywide food drive for the food bank; co-hosting various interfaith events; participating in the distribution of 3,000 to 5,000 pounds of fresh meat to needy families, and providing transportation services to assist seniors. Mr. Ahmad also serves on numerous boards and commissions, including the Montgomery County Executive’s Asian American Advisory Group. 

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YOUTH SERVICE AWARD (18 AND UNDER)

This Award recognizes a demonstrated commitment to serving the community by individual youth and/or youth group in 2011

Phanna Iamlek    

Phanna Iamlek

Phanna Iamlek, a senior at Sherwood High School, gives from her heart with every volunteer activity she undertakes. In 2011, she logged a remarkable 861 volunteer hours at Winter Growth, an adult medical day care and assisted living center in Olney where she worked with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients. She volunteered hundreds more hours at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center, Olney Library, and Brookside Gardens. “My summer days flew by as I immersed myself in the Winter Growth culture and formed relationships with both employees and participants,” she observed. “In doing so, I took immense pride in volunteering, especially when one of the participants with Alzheimer’s started recognizing me and telling me that she appreciated my presence.”

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BUSINESS SERVICE AWARD

This Award recognizes a demonstrated commitment to serving the community by business or corporation that engaged its employees as volunteers in 2011.

Southern Management

Southern Management Corporation

Thanks to 66 volunteers from Southern Management Corporation’s Montgomery County Cluster, the clients of Shepherd’s Table have a place that feels a lot more like home. Shepherd’s Table, located in downtown Silver Spring, provides the basic necessities of food, shelter, and clothing to the homeless. The SMC crew volunteered their expertise and talents to transform the Shepherd’s Table experience. They landscaped the front entrance; fixed damaged drywall in the lobby, kitchen, and common areas; and gave the building a fresh coat of paint. In less than six hours, the entire building was transformed into a welcoming residence. The beautification took planning, determination, and compassion from each of the SMC Cluster volunteers who gave unselfishly of their time.

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COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD

This Award recognizes a demonstrated commitment to serving the community by an individual and/or community group ( PTA s, sororities, fraternities, unions, nonprofits, faith groups, and community civic organizations) in 2011.

Frank Ierardi

Frank Ierardi

From seniors in need of tax assistance to hikers and bikers and first graders just learning to read, Frank Ierardi’s volunteer work has made Montgomery County a better place. Mr. Ierardi retired from IBM in 1997 and founded Woodworkers for Children Charity. In 2011, WCC volunteers made 1,300 hand-crafted toys for at-risk children. Mr. Ierardi’s “Reading is TOYrific” program served 360 first graders who each received 9 books to take home during the school year in 2011, a total of 3,240 books! As a volunteer with the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail Coalition, he maintains a section of the trail. In his eleventh year as a counselor in the AARP Tax Aide program, Mr. Ierardi currently is the site chief at the Damascus Senior Center that helped 121 senior taxpayers last year. 

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Meals on Wheels of Wheaton

Meals on Wheels of Wheaton

Meals on Wheels of Wheaton is a model volunteer-run community nonprofit organization. Volunteers from local churches in the Wheaton area established the organization 40 years ago to help homebound elderly and disabled remain in their own homes. Today, volunteers deliver nutritious meals to 80 homebound residents of the greater Wheaton area five days each week. A part-time cook is the only paid employee. Each weekday morning, four volunteers pack the meals prepared by the cook while another volunteer coordinates the day’s operations. At 11 a.m., ten more volunteers arrive to go out on five delivery routes with the freshly prepared food and a kind word for each recipient. That’s 15 volunteers each weekday from an active pool of 150 volunteers who make a huge difference for these homebound County residents.

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