Montgomery Serves Awards 2017

Montgomery Serves Awards Honorees 2017

2017 Honorees 


These awards honor some of our County’s most outstanding community leaders and dedicated volunteers. “Montgomery County is the very special place it is today in large part because many extraordinary public citizens work every day to make it special,” Leggett said in encouraging residents to submit award nominations of individuals, businesses, and community groups.

Thank you to Fund for Montgomery sponsors for making this event possible!

See photos of the event and the honorees

Thank you to Marleen Van den Neste for her wonderful photography!



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, is 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. To see more about Roscoe Nix and previous winners of the Nix Award  click here.
Photo of Mark Bergel         MARK BERGEL - SEE VIDEO
Mark Bergel is a champion for those of our neighbors most in need, working night and day seven days each week to rid our region of the scourge of poverty and provide respect and dignity for all.
Raised in Latham, N.Y., Mark graduated from Northwestern University and earned his masters and doctoral degrees from American University. In 2001, he and some of his students at American University volunteered to deliver food to families in need. Finding family after family with no beds, no dressers, and no dining room tables shocked him. One family had just a chair and a television. The experience changed his life. He founded A Wider Circle and converted his living room into an office. He donated his bed and pledged to sleep on a couch or the floor until every person in the country had a bed in which to sleep.
From the start, Mark had a vision for helping families achieve self-sufficiency. He began with furniture. Now, A Wider Circle provides basic need items, workforce readiness, and long-term wraparound support to individuals and families seeking to rise out of poverty. In its 16 years, A Wider Circle has served more than 180,000 children and adults. More than 20,000 volunteers support the organizations work each year.
As one mom whose kids no longer sleep on the floor because of A Wider Circle told CNN: “We can be a family again, have a home again, come together again. Now my kids can pursue their dreams, their goals.”
Mark has been named a CNN Hero, Washingtonian of the Year, and one of People Magazine’s All-Stars Among Us.
Sol Graham has blazed a path for minority business leaders and served as a role model who gives back to the community by supporting the development of our youth through mentoring and scholarships. 
Raised on a farm in Georgia, Sol joined the Navy after high school. He spent four years in the Navy taking advantage of every educational opportunity available to him, including attending the Tissue Culture School at the National Institutes of Health. This is where he was introduced to the work he pursued in his career. He graduated from Prince George’s Junior College and continued his studies at the University of Maryland University College.
In 1983, Sol founded Quality Biological Inc. A minority business pioneer in the biotechnology field, he launched his Montgomery County-based firm with a second loan on his house and grew it into a multi-million-dollar-per-year success story, supplying products to bioscience and biotech companies. He has received the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Minority Small Business Award of Excellence and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Minority Business Contractor Award of Excellence. In 2013, he was inducted into the Montgomery County Business Hall of Fame.
Sol has given back to the community through his service on numerous community boards, including the Montgomery College Foundation, Macklin Business Institute, Easter Seals, George B. Thomas Sr. Learning Academy, and Strathmore Hall Foundation. He has chaired the Economic Advisory Council of Montgomery County and served as a member of the Eleventh Circuit Court Nominating Committee. He and his wife Dorothy established scholarships at Montgomery College to assist students studying business, science, and technology.  In 2013, he was named Philanthropist of the Year by the Community Foundation. 
photo of Vivian Hsueh         VIVIEN HSUEH - SEE VIDEO
Vivien Hsueh has worked to combat isolation of immigrant Chinese seniors by providing them with a social environment where they can socialize and volunteer, where they can learn and get informed, and where they can stay healthy by exercising and eating nutritious meals.
Raised in Hong Kong, Vivien came to the United States through a full scholarship to a women’s college in Philadelphia. To help make ends meet, she worked two jobs—as a hospital medical technician at night and as a waitress on the weekends—and graduated cum laude with two degrees. She went on to a successful career at large information technology companies and retired from IBM as a senior manager in IT System Engineering.
In 2005, Vivien noticed the overwhelming number of new immigrant Chinese seniors isolated at home. Many lacked English proficiency, did not drive, and were unaware of county services or were afraid to leave their homes.  In response, Vivien and some friends started the Chinese American Senior Services Association (CASSA). The organization began with 35 members, and 11 years later there are more than 3,000 members and 250 volunteers. CASSA now serves seniors at five recreation centers, providing exercise classes such as tai chi and dance, and education programs such as computers, English, and citizenship.
In support of Montgomery County’s Senior Summit goal to make this an age-friendly community, Vivien is currently working to promote similar programs for other ethnic senior communities. In addition, s he has served and continues to serve on a number of nonprofit and government boards and commissions.


In partnership with the Montgomery County Commission on Aging and  The Beacon Newspapers 
The Neal Potter Path of Achievement Awards will honor two recipients 60 years of age or better whose accomplishments and lifelong commitment to volunteer service make them outstanding roles models for young and old alike. The name of the award honors former County Executive Neal Potter.
Click here for a bio of Neal Potter. Click here to see  previous winners of the Neal Potter Path of Achievement Award
photo of Miriam Kelty           MIRIAM KELTY - SEE VIDEO
A notable psychologist and a researcher,  Miriam Kelty has given a lifetime of service to the advancement of healthy aging, ethics in science, and the advancement of sciences.  A dedicated life-long mentor of young scientists, especially women and minorities, Miriam has made a lasting mark by directing, coaching, and encouraging the next generation of science and research leaders. In the field of aging, she has served on Montgomery County’s Commission on Aging and chaired the Aging in Place Committee advocating on behalf of older adults and senior communities.  She also co-founded Bannockburn Neighbors Assisting Neighbors and is the co-founder and the president of Washington Area Village Exchange.  
photo of Marilyn Simonds          
Marilyn Simonds , director of Olney Help for more than 14 years and actively involved with the organization for nearly 30 years, currently serves as the organization’s ex-officio board member.  Among her many achievements at Olney Help, she spearheaded the development of the organization’s food pantry.  At 90 years young, proving age is not a hindrance, she is also a long-term volunteer for the Medstar Montgomery Medical Center Gift Shop and frequently serves at Manna Food Center, Suburban Hospital, and the Women's Association of Oakdale Emory Church. 


These awards recognize those who have given extraordinary volunteerism during 2016. The award is given in four categories -- individual community service, youth service (ages 18 and under), group service and corporate volunteerism.
Click here to see  previous winners of the Montgomery Serves Awards.
photo of Jeremy Lichtenstein           JEREMY LICHTENSTEIN (Individual award)
A lifelong Montgomery County resident,  Jeremy Lichtenstein has served many local children’s charities and initiatives. In 2012, he established Kids In Need Distributors (KIND), delivering food items to needy children to sustain them on days when they were not in school. Last year, he volunteered more 1,000 hours of his time toward KIND, enabling the organization to deliver more than 110,000 meals, including 4,500 meals over the summer.
photo of Anjali Kalra          
ANJALI KALRA (youth award)
Anjali Kalra, a junior at Poolesville High School, worked tirelessly to uplift those in the community who need it the most by creating a summer camp for the children at the Stepping Stones Shelter. Logging in more than 80 volunteer hours the summer of 2016, Anjali has left a legacy that will benefit the shelter and improve the quality of life of those who live there for years to come.
photo of Court Watch Volunteers          
In 2016,  Court Watch Montgomery Volunteers dedicated more than 8,600 hours capturing detailed information about domestic violence cases and monitoring close to 1,000 domestic violence cases in Montgomery County. By providing a “public eye” on domestic violence, these volunteers helped improve the services and protection that victims receive in court so abuse can be stopped immediately and effectively.
Deloitte logo          
DELOITTE (business award)
Deloitte, the second largest professional services firm in the world, has a community-minded heart. In 2016, employees in its local office contributed more than 250 hours serving Youth Links Mentoring, a program of YMCA-Youth & Family Services. This cadre of Deloitte employees mentors at-risk boys referred to the program by Montgomery County Child Welfare Services, Department of Juvenile Services, and other emotional disabilities programs, providing friendship, affection, and patience to children who may have seen little of these qualities in the past.