Top 10 of the Next Gen

Next Generation aims to be the catalyst that allows young professionals to make measurable and significant impacts in both their personal and professional lives as well as in our community by offering events and programs in professional development, civic outreach and social and business networking activities. 

In 2011 we initiated our “Top Ten of Next Gen” Awards to honor ten individuals who are emerging as true leaders.  Each Top 10 of the Next Gen award goes to an individual who excels in the business environment, has a passion for community and is innovative in their approach. 

2015 Top Ten of the Next Gen Award Winners

  Our first recipient is no stranger to this crowd. She is a Fredericksburg native and has been with the Next Generation Board of Directors since the very beginning. She received a B.S. in Accounting and Information Systems and a M.S. in Accounting and Information Systems specializing in Financial Reporting and Assurance Services from Virginia Tech. She currently is the Director of Finance and Human Resources of The George Washington Foundation. Prior to her current role, she worked for a number of non-profit clients doing audit and tax work as a CPA in the public accounting world and was an adjunct instructor for accounting at the University of Mary Washington.  In addition to her involvement with Next Gen, she currently serves on the board of directors for Saint Margaret's School and the Fairy Godmother Project. She has been involved in a number of other local non profit boards and continues to donate her time to help various organizations with tax and accounting services.  She lives in Fredericksburg with her husband, Andy, and three sons, Macon, Sam and Henry. Congratulations, Carter Fitch.


  Our next award goes to a Michigan native who came to the Fredericksburg area to study at the University of Mary Washington where in 2005 she earned a Bachelor of Arts in History. In 2006, she completed her Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh and moved back to Fredericksburg to start her career at the public library. Today, she is the Head of Research at the England Run Branch of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library.  Since joining the library, she has served as the Multicultural Forum chair for the Virginia Library Association, presented at conferences in regards to providing services to diverse populations, and created events to bring the public library to a larger audience including The Books and Beer Club at Adventure Brewing and the region’s first comic convention, CRRL-Con, which brought 1,400 participants to the England Run Branch in four hours.  She is a member NextGen and is looking forward to working with the area’s leaders to see how their public library can help them fulfill their goals.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading, horseback riding, home brewing, and traveling. Please join me in welcoming Christie Hoerneman!


3.  Our next recipient signifies the importance of all aspects of our community. She is not employed as a full time employee, however, is a volunteer extraordinaire.She is currently the President of the Fredericksburg Area Service League and Advisory Board Member for the Children's Museum of Richmond-Fredericksburg location.  She graduated from the University of Mary Washington where she majored in History, graduating magna cum laude, and earned a Master of Science in Elementary Education.  She taught for several years in Spotsylvania County before choosing to stay home with her two children, Austin and Natalie.  Upon graduating from UMW, she joined the Fredericksburg Area Service League to continue her commitment to volunteerism and children in our community.  FASL has a total membership of over 75 women in Fredericksburg who are committed to improving the community for our children through volunteering and fundraising.  Before becoming President in July 2015, she served on several committees and chaired various events including Junior Cotillion, an etiquette and social dance program for middle school students.   She also serves on the Advisory Board for the Children's Museum of Richmond - Fredericksburg.   As a Board member for the Museum, she is tasked to focus on the needs of the Fredericksburg branch and serve the needs of the community.  Please congratulate Stephanie Maxwell.


4.  Our next recipient is a true entrepreneur, co-founding Foundation Properties in June 2008.  What began as a real estate investment business designed to rehab and sell properties quickly evolved into many other real estate ventures.  These entities are held under the parent company Foundation Companies, LLC.  Foundation Homes, a residential new home construction builder specializing in affordable housing; MacDoc Realty, a real estate brokerage assisting buyers and sellers with their real estate needs.  MacDoc Realty was awarded the 2014 Regional Chamber of Commerce Goodwill Award. MacDoc Realty also made the Inc. 5000 fastest growing companies in America list for 2014. Virginia Home Buyers, a real estate investment company that purchases distressed real estate to restore and sell. Foundation Lending, a commercial lending company designed to assist other real estate investors and builders with their acquisitions. MacDoc Property Management, a real estate management company assisting both residential and commercial landlords in managing their properties.

This winner has worked in real estate for 12 years and has bought and sold over 2,500 homes.  He also has a passion for investing in rental properties both residential and commercial.   He graduated from James Madison University in 2001, having attended on a football scholarship. He started his career as a high school teacher at Colonial Forge in Stafford Virginia, and shifted his focus in 2013 to become a real estate agent.   

He currently resides in Spotsylvania with his wife and two children.  He is actively involved at Lifepoint Church, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Fairy Godmother Project. He is also actively involved with Safe Haven Village in Guatemala, a Christian organization that is focused on meeting the needs of orphans with Christian role models in family style setting orphanage.

In what spare time he has, he enjoys various recreational activities such as hunting, fishing, biking, traveling and reading. Please welcome Jeremy McCommons.


5. Our next winner is the son of a Marine who grew up moving up and down the East Coast. His family settled in Fredericksburg in 1997 and he has been here ever since. He graduated from James Monroe high school in 2001 and started his banking career immediately as a part-time teller at First Virginia Bank.

He excelled quickly in his career and by the time he was 24 years old he was offered the Branch Manager position for a new branch in Central Park at Virginia Commerce Bank. He worked diligently and established himself as a well-known figure in the area, growing his branch from $0 to $43 million in deposits within four years. Today, he continues to manage that same branch in Central Park for United Bank.

In 2011, he graduated from the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce Leadership Fredericksburg Program and in that same year he led his office to be the number one branch in the bank. 

He is currently a member of Next Generation of Business Leaders and Kiwanis Club of Fredericksburg.  He sat on the board for Next Generation for four years from 2011- 2014 and served as President of Kiwanis in the 2014-2015 year and is the Treasurer for the 2015-2016 year.

He is married to a beautiful Fredericksburg local Valerie and they have an adorable 2 year old daughter named Isabelle. Please join me in congratulating Matthew Mitchell.

6. Halfway there! Our next recipient was born and raised in Lynchburg, Virginia. He too is a graduate of Mary Washington College where he studied Business Administration with concentrations in Accounting and Mathematics. During college, he was a member of their intercollegiate soccer team.

He started as a financial advisor with Edward Jones right out of college, in 2004. He recently switched firms and is now a financial advisor with Cary Street Partners Wealth Management, where he was named partner.

As far as local involvement is concerned, he is the past President of the Board of Directors at the Massad YMCA and enjoyed 5 years coaching soccer for the Fredericksburg Area Soccer Association. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Rappahannock Area YMCA and the Friends of the Rappahannock.

He and his wife, Karli, live in South Stafford with their son William and their daughter Katherine. Please welcome Lee Murray!

 7. Next up is the co-owner and general manager of River Rock Outfitter, a specialty outdoor store in Downtown Fredericksburg.  She fell in love with Fredericksburg when her husband was first stationed here with the Marine Corps in 2001.  She earned a Masters of Art degree in Public History and worked in various historical societies and museums around the country – from Florida to Washington State.   In 2008, they moved back to Virginia and she started working for the Marine Corps’ Wounded Warrior Regiment specializing in family readiness, legislative affairs, and program management.  She considers working with wounded warriors and their families to be the most rewarding experience of her career.  In November 2014, she and her husband opened River Rock Outfitter.  It was a long-time dream of theirs to own their own company and set roots in Fredericksburg.  She manages the company full-time bringing with her the many lessons learned building and managing programs.  Of particular interest is community development.  From the moment the shop opened, she started volunteering with Fredericksburg Main Street on the promotions committee where she championed partnerships with the Marine Corps Marathon Historic Half committee.  She was elected to the Main Street Board and will begin her tenure in January 2016 where she will continue as lead of the promotions committee.  In addition, she continues to build grassroots alliances with other local businesses and non-profits.  She is the lead organizer of Rock the River, has executed successful fundraisers for Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, and has supported numerous other local initiatives bringing increased awareness to River Rock Outfitter and partner businesses.  Her favorite quote is “a rising tide floats all boats” and believes that by building partnerships, giving more than you receive, and by working hard that we can all experience great success.  A deserving thank you to April Peterson.


8. Our next winner represents the cyber security industry. He has created an entirely new job position in his company due to his tenacity and can do attitude. Originally he was simply asked to make sure the Cyber Security training events that they conduct locally at Quantico kicked-off well.

Instead, he created the Site Coordinator position where he has taken on the responsibility of setting up onsite computers and networks, kicking off classes, maintaining student and instructor relationships and coordination with the training site points of contact. He has created an absolute differentiator in the market place that sets his company apart from other Cyber Security training companies. He has become a consummate young professional that approaches everyone with a positive spirit with an attitude of excellence.

He was the Assistant Swim Coach for Fredericksburg Christian School for 2 years after graduating from Christopher Newport University and is a member of the Rappahannock Rugby Club.  Since then, he unfortunately had to have part of his left leg amputated due to a rare disease. Instead of letting that hinder him, he has risen above it and continually engages with other amputees around the world who are dealing with similar issues. He is a solid example to them and shows them that even when there are setbacks, they can continue to push through.

Through his amputation, he created a Facebook page entitled, “The Last Adventures of Joe’s Left Foot.”  Thanks to a Reddit post, the page went viral and he did an ‘Ask Me Anything’ that reached thousands of people around the world.

Last summer, he took time out to visit a 12 year old boy - who contacted him through the Facebook page – who asked for advice.  This young man was facing a similar decision of whether or not to amputate his foot.  He traveled to Pennsylvania to meet with the boy and his parents in person. The young man is now recovering from his surgery and doing very well.  He is a person who truly cares about others and chooses to be a strong voice and example of encouragement. He has become an example to many. In response to the popularity of Joe’s story on social media, Mark Zuckerberg personally sent a team out to meet and interview him.

As his nomination read “The sky is the limit for Joe.” He has the proven ability to interact with people regardless of their position and his professionalism and expertise have made him a valuable asset to RPI.

He hit the ground running from the moment he started and now leads from the front. He took what was supposed to be a part time position and created a market differentiator. He is a go-getter and someone who will continue to make an impact not only for the company, but more importantly, for the world around him. Please welcome Joe Pleban.


9.  Our next recipient is another local! He grew up in Fredericksburg and graduated from James Monroe High School in 2000. He married Jill, a local teacher, in 2006. They have 3 children- Emma, Margaret, and Sutton. He takes a very active role as a father and strives to make his family the top priority.

He is active in his church, Chancellor Baptist, and even occasionally fills in on drums with the praise band. For the past 10 years he has served in construction ministry with several local and national groups. He is currently working on setting up a 501c3 construction ministry based here in Fredericksburg.

He has been involved in the family business, Roberson’s Music, for his entire life. He has worked in all areas of the business in part time and full time capacities. He was also a professional firefighter with Henrico County and owned a Handyman/Construction company. In April of 2014 he returned to Roberson’s Music and became Chief Operating Officer as founders Harry Roberson and Sheila Burns began their transition to retirement.

Also a member of Kiwanis of Fredericksburg and the Lafayette Upper Elementary breakfast buddy program he works with area students to make sure they are set up for success. James is also very passionate about business and community leadership. As president of Leadership Fredericksburg 2015, James now serves on the Leadership Fredericksburg Advisory Board. He also serves as a Chamber Ambassador, reaching out to new members and helping to lead the New Member Orientation program.  Please welcome James Roberson.


10.  Our final recipient was born and raised in Terre Haute, IN and graduated from Indiana University in 2006 with her Doctorate in Optometry.  Her training included working at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, FL (ranked number 1 in eyecare in the world in 2003) and Roudebush Veterans Affairs Clinic in Indianapolis, IN.  In 2006 she joined the practice of Dr. Samuel Smart and now retired, Dr. William Powell, and in 2014 she became the sole owner of the practice and hired on two other associates. She believes in educating the public about vision and provides a special niche practice of visual therapy to patients from Maryland down through southern Virginia. She focuses on patients who have learning-related visual issues, traumatic brain injury, and special needs including Autism and Down's Syndrome.  She is a member of the American Optometric Association, Virginia Optometric Association, College of Optometrists in Vision Development, and is a Fellow in the Virginia Academy of Optometry.  She currently serves as the Vice President for the Battlefield Optometric Association and Secretary for the Virginia Academy of Optometry.  In 2012, she was elected as President for the Virginia State Board of Optometry after being a Board member for three years.  She was the youngest person to be elected for the title in the history of the State Board. She is an active member in her community, participating with the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, a graduate of Leadership Fredericksburg, and the Health Advisory Committee for Fredericksburg as well as Stafford Head Start. She offers vision care with the Lions Club, Remote Area Medical Clinics, and the InfantSee Program which is sponsored by the American Optometric Association.   When she is not working or doing public speaking for visual therapy, she enjoys reading, golfing, running, traveling, air sports including sky diving and experimental aircrafts, spending time with her two dogs and her husband, Patrick.  Please join me in congratulating Dr. Angela Tsai (Sigh)



2014 Top Ten of the Next Gen Award Winners


Our first recipient has been in the area for 9 and a half years.  His family business was started by a father and two son trio.  Since then, Dad has retired. Today, they sell throughout the entire state of Virginia.  They have become one of the area’s best wholesale tile outlet centers.  In addition to their retail operation, they are among the top remodeling companies in the area, pumping out 3-5 bathrooms a week plus floors and backsplashes.  Not unlike others in the industry, they were greatly impacted by the housing crisis. Thankfully hard work paid off and they are on the other side, still contributing to the community in many meaningful ways. Some of their community involvement includes donations to the wounded warrior foundation, Mattaponi hunt club for disabled veterans, local youth sporting events, Christian Youth Theatre, American legion, Katelyn Stinnett Memorial Ride, Riverbend High School, and Fairy Godmother Project to name a few.  From the hardworking Italian family, also known as J&J, please join me in recognizing John Fricchione, Jr. !

 Alisha Henley

A lifelong resident of Fredericksburg, this recipient is a Realtor with Long & Foster Real Estate. A 2008 political science graduate of Virginia Tech, he began in real estate appraisal just out of college. Not too long after that he transitioned into real estate sales.  He is an active real estate investor and is involved with building new homes and renovating existing ones. He is currently president of the Board of Directors for Rappahannock Big Brothers Big Sisters and is actively involved with the local Ducks Unlimited chapter. He resides in downtown Fredericksburg with his wife, Leanne. Please join me in congratulating Paul Janney.


Our next recipient is from the government contracting sector, a strong part of the region’s economy.  She joined Basic Commerce and Industries, Inc (BCI) in Dahlgren in 2004. She began as a contract specialist while simultaneously gaining experience in various aspects of company management, administration, contracting, business development and program support. She is currently BCI’s Program Director for Safety and Interoperability and Assistant Program Director for Ballistic Missile Defense and Navy Combat Systems programs. She has been key in managing various programs and has helped to grow BCI’s Interoperability division in the past two years. The four gentlemen who nominated her said this, “She brings an exceptional level of competence, common sense and effective leadership to our organization. She is an energetic, proactive thinker and manager, leading through competence and self confidence. ……….We are convinced that her unique combination of traits have brought a high level of collaboration and camaraderie to our company.”  She received her B.S. in Finance from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has been a member of the National Contracts Management Association since 2004 and is currently the Vice President of the Dahlgren Chapter. She also takes an active role in her local community and is the Fundraising Chair for the Richmond County YMCA, where she helped raise over $80,000 in 2014 for those in need. She is a 2014 graduate of Leadership Fredericksburg.  She is a mother of two girls, and enjoys spending time coaching and cheering them on in their various sports activities.  Please join me in congratulating Kim Lewis!


This recipient is a native of the region, hailing from King George County. She is a Commercial Loan Officer with Community Bank of the Chesapeake. She joined Community Bank in December 2010 as part of the Management Training Program and was promoted to Commercial Loan Officer in January 2012. In her current position, she develops business loans in King George County and the Fredericksburg region.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the College of William and Mary in 2010. She completed the Risk Management Association’s Lending Academy in 2011 and is currently pursuing her MBA from Liberty University and will graduate this month.She serves as Treasurer for both the King George-Dahlgren Rotary Club and the King George Builders Association. She is also actively involved in the King George County Chamber of Commerce, in addition to the Fredericksburg Chamber. She is a member of Leadership Fredericksburg’s 2015 class. She is an active member in her collegiate sorority alumni group and frequently participates in the group’s fundraisers for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a cause she holds close to her heart. She is getting married in June to her fiancé Nick and they both reside in King George County.  Congratulations, Laura McKinnon.


Our next recipient is an extremely hard worker who manages to balance her work life with raising her young family at the same time. Since founding Parrish Learning Zone she has taken PLZ from an in-home business to an office with 20 tutors helping over 250 local students become successful in school. She puts the success of the organization before herself and works countless hours to ensure that every client is completely satisfied. In addition to fostering her growing business and family, she finds time to dedicate to the community. She is an active member of the Fredericksburg Area Service League, where she chairs the Junior Cotillion. She also leads an annual “Stuff the Bus” campaign with Spotsylvania County Schools, helping area students have the necessary supplies for a new school year.  Additionally she is a regular contributor to Fredericksburg Parent & Family Magazine where she writes a blog “The Learning Zone” as their education expert.  She is determined to make PLZ the most respected and successful tutoring business in the Fredericksburg area. We applaud the work and dedication of Nina Parrish!


Our next recipient was born and raised not too far from here on rural farmland near Tappahannock. She went to school at the University of Mary Washington, where she majored in Studio Art, concentrating in Sculpture. During her first year of college, she began volunteering at Downtown Greens, a downtown nonprofit created to preserve urban greenspace.  She moved to France right after college and began performing in a circus act. She spent 6 years performing in, co-directing, and managing the nouveau-clown show, "Peaches and the Great Tony Tonito".  She also performed on stage with theater troupes, while continuing sculptural work.  Throughout the years she continued to visit Downtown Greens and volunteer whenever she came home to visit family.Just when she was considering moving back to the states the directorship position at Downtown Greens opened and she has been serving in that position since July of 2013.  In brainstorming ways that the nonprofit could create more diverse revenue streams as well as create jobs for neighborhood teens, Living Soil was born. Living Soil is a business that creates and sells premium soil conditioner for all your gardening needs. Just like you put conditioner in your hair to make it stronger, prettier, healthier; Soil conditioner makes your vegetable yield stronger, blooms prettier, and plants healthier in general. She is currently pursuing this business model, and was recently a finalist in the “Made in FredVA competiton.”  When she isn’t working in the dirt, she likes to cook, bike around, have a good cup of coffee and read the newspaper. Please join me in congratulating Sarah Perry.


Our next recipient moved to the area a couple of years ago to continue his short but distinguished law career. He joined Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen after spending five years as a criminal prosecutor in the City of Richmond. The Dartmouth College graduate has expansive trial experience including hundreds of bench and jury trials. He has made it his personal mission to take care of the people in his community through providing outstanding legal services. Today, the majority of his work is in personal injury. His firm has identified him as a very compassionate lawyer (Hard to find!!!) because he cares deeply for his clients, many whom face extremely unfortunate circumstances. Many of his colleagues have stated that he has more of a doctor/patient relationship than a lawyer/client relationship by the time his cases are concluded. A former Division I athlete, he is a wonderful team player who others enjoy working with. He is active in the community through his work with the Fredericksburg Area Bar Association, Virginia Bar, Richmond Bar, Dartmouth Lawyers Association, and the Rappahannock United Way. He serves in the Hometown Hero’s program offered by Allen and Allen. Please join me in congratulating Chris Toepp!


 This next winner is a native of historic Fredericksburg, Virginia.  He grew up appreciating the region's rich history and local efforts to preserve irreplaceable historic properties. As a licensed general contractor, he enjoys working closely with homeowners and business’s to design, plan and develop their visions for their historic renovations, additions, or new construction. A James Madison University graduate, he serves on Fredericksburg’s Architectural Review Board, is active with The Fredericksburg Rotary Club and has served in the past on the boards of both Next Gen and Historic Fredericksburg Foundation Inc. He lives in downtown Fredericksburg with his wife, Maggie, and their four children. Please join me in congratulating Jon Van Zandt, owner of Van Zandt Restorations.


Born in Fredericksburg, he spent many of his early years learning business and farming from his great uncle John on the Slaughter Pen Farm. His entrepreneurialism started at age 9 when he started TM&S Construction which consisted of taking care of neighbors’ yards with brother Michael and black lab Stoney.  During his freshman year at Courtland High School, he started Superior Topsoil and Turf, selling topsoil to landscapers and homeowners.  The topsoil business led to building roads for his father, Tom, who was a civil engineer, developer and builder.At age 23 and just a year after earning a civil engineer degree from Virginia Tech, he bought Rappahannock Construction Co., Inc. from former owner Chuck McCormack.  Over the past 17 years he has employed as many as 250 people at a time to build many of the areas roads and utility lines.  RCCI has completed local projects such as Southpoint at Massaponax, Riverbend High School, Fredericksburg Auto Auction and Stafford Lakes, not to mention miles and miles of water and sewer lines that most people don’t even know exist.  Recently he started Infrastructure Solutions, LLC which focuses on design-build projects.  Some projects include Patriot Park in Spotsylvania, water and sewer system expansion in the Town of Bowling Green, and the Spotsylvania Soccer Sportsplex at New Post. He has served on the Board for Heavy Construction Contractors Association, Salvation Army and the Gift Education Advisory Board for Spotsylvania County Schools.  In his spare time he enjoys farming, traveling and cheering on the Virginia Tech Hokies.  Tim lives in Spotsylvania County and has 2 children.  In response to tonight’s awards, we received this email. “I have worked in the Heavy Equipment Business for 43 years, retiring in January of this year. I have been associated with many contractors in various capacities over the years and tonight I want to applaud the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce for recognizing one of the “Brightest Stars” in The Galaxy of The Next Generation of Business Leaders, Tim Welsh of Rappahannock Construction Co. I have known Tim for 16 years, having sold him his first excavator.  I have watched him overcome every obstacle that has come his way. I consider him my friend and the admiration I have for him as a person and a businessman cannot be measured in a few words. Congratulations Tim on a very deserved honor, sorry I could not be there with you tonight. Sincerely, Ron Meadows Please join me in congratulating Tim Welsh  of Rappahannock Construction Company.



2013 Top Ten of the Next Gen Award Winners


  Our first recipient is  not a stranger to this crowd. Since arriving in the region a short time ago, he has made a big splash. Well, it depends on who you ask about that as he is a former pro surfer! This winner has a sharp eye for entrepreneurship and has worked hard to make the Fredericksburg region a haven for startups and entrepreneurs. He is the founding member of FredXchange and serves on the FredTech Board of Directors. Currently he is working to launch a co working space in the area. His company, Deedod, is a successful startup who is credited with work for the NFL, and to name a few.  He is husband to Jordyn and dad to baby Emma. Congratulations, Matt Armstrong.


2.  Our next winner represents a different segment of our local business community. This recipient is striving very hard to bring quality of life to the families of our region; something that affects almost all of us!  She is the President and a founding member of Explore it! Children's Museum. Her background is in Education, Sales and Marketing.  Her professional accomplishments include extensive K-5 classroom experience, web based education provider, software development sales.  She is a native of Fredericksburg and has been an active member of our community through her service to the Fredericksburg Area Service League, serving as President, and Chair of several fundraising events and programs.  Under her leadership, they raised over $45,000 to benefit local children's programs. She has also been an active parent volunteer, receiving the Hugh Mercer Elementary School Volunteer of the Year award in 2012.  Currently she is working with the Children's Museum of Richmond to bring a satellite location to Fredericksburg.  Her focus with the museum has been on Educational Programming, Business Development and Fundraising.  Since 2010, she has cultivated partnerships with UMW, the Community Foundation of the Rappahannock River Region and FASL, securing over $25,000 in several local and national grants to assist with board development and the creation of traveling exhibits.  She is the Chair of the upcoming children's museum fundraiser, Twilight Carniball, and is the Chair of the Capital Campaign Committee for CMoR Fredericksburg. She is a graduate of the University of Richmond and is married with three young daughters.  Congratulations, Jessica Beringer.


3.  Our next winner is a West Virginia Native who graduated Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV in 2006. She moved to Fredericksburg in 2007 and immediately began working for Rappahannock Goodwill Industries. She started out in Human Resources, then moved to Mission Services, where she ran a Job Help Center, to help those with barriers to employment improve their skills to successfully find work. She helped to create Rappahannock Goodwill Industries Volunteer program and became Manager of Volunteer Services in 2010. In this position, along with overseeing RGI's volunteer program, she is the liaison for RGI's Partner Job help Centers in the community, within agencies such as Micah, the Thurman Brisben Center, and the England Run branch of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library. She completed Leadership Fredericksburg in 2010 and is active with the Leadership Fredericksburg Alumni. She is a member of the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce Workforce Now board. She has coordinated Rappahannock United Way Workplace Campaign for RGI since 2007 and also plans company events for RGI, including Employee Picnic and Holiday Parties every year, for a company of over 500 people. She prides herself on a good working relationship with all of RGI's Business Units.  She is the wife to Richard and mother to Graham, the 2 year old love of her life.  She enjoys spending time outdoors with her boys, visiting family, listening to amazing folk and bluegrass music, cooking (more watching the Food Network and dreaming of cooking) and drinking a good cup of coffee.  Her lifelong dream is to help as many people as she a mentor and leader to all those who look up to her, and be a genuine and effective professional whose name evokes trustworthiness and sincerity. Please join us in congratulating Shanna Boutchyard.


4.  Our next recipient is striving to make a difference in the healthcare arena. The mission of the Virginia Dermatology and Skin Surgery Center is to use collective talents and effort to provide the most compassionate and highest quality healthcare.  The founder and director of VADSSC, instills and reinforces this message in all of VADSSC’s staff members.  From the menial task to the profound, that singular message permeates throughout the office as a result of his efforts.  On a practical level, his compassion to his patients and his passion to being on the cutting edge of medicine, dermatology and skin cancer surgery is evident.  He also emphasizes to the organization that every point of contact by any staff member with the patient must impart that balance of confidence and kindness, of empathy and surgical precision.  He has applied and developed internal systems to aid in that goal.  Based on external and internal reviews, VADSSC as an organization has succeeded: 2013 Northern Virginia Magazines Top Doctor award (determined by physician peer voting), 5/5 ratings online patient ratings, high marks on internal patient surveys, and most importantly satisfied patients.  As one patient put it, “I always know that I'll get a prompt answer to my question. They made sure that their qualifications were obvious. I was confident that I was under the care of a professional. I always have the best experience every time I have an appointment here. I have noticed that they strongly adhere to the customer is always right policy and if anything goes wrong make every effort to correct the situation. They're always able to answer simple questions over the phone and only make me schedule appointments if necessary. I love that they never cancel their appointments last minute here. I can always count on them to be there for me.”

 In addition to his clinical excellence, Dr. Eid is involved in many community service projects.  He participates annually in the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery’s free skin cancer screening, held this past year at Mary Washington Hospital.  This involves performing free skin checks to determine if a patient has any skin cancers.  He regularly volunteers his services as a dermatologist for two free medical clinics.  He regularly sees patients at the Hope Clinic, a free medical clinic, and sees patients in his own practice from the Moss Clinic on a volunteer basis.   He is also very interested in patient education and has given presentations on the signs of skin cancer to the Fredericksburg community (at both MWH and HCA), and has been interviewed on topics of skin education multiple times. He teaches Sunday School at St. Timothy and St. Athanasius Coptic Orthodox Church.  He is a member of Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce. 

In the ever changing and uncertain medical environment, physicians and particularly small practice physician owners who go above and beyond for their patients and provide individualized and caring health services deserve to be recognized.  Less than five percent of new graduates start a private practice.  Entrepreneurship is difficult enough but to establish and grow a medical practice in an uncertain medical environment is worthy of recognition. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Mark Eid.

5. Our next recipient comes to us from the medical community. As Senior Leader for Medical Staff Services at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center, she has taken her department to a new level.  When she was promoted to this position our hospital had numerous problems with our Medical Staff Services office.  There was a lack of organization and important policies and procedures were not being followed.  If this office doesn’t perform flawlessly the hospital can’t provide the level of exceptional care expected. Under her direction this department has evolved into an organized, well-structured, efficient example of what a Medical Staff Services Office should be.  Her dedication and determination are incredible.  She completes every task she is responsible for with diligence and accuracy. She is devoted to the hospital and to this community.  She is active in local charitable organizations, such as serving as a Board member for the Hope House and the UMW Center for Honor, Leadership and Service board. She works to find ways to keep the hospital involved in local charities and community services as well by serving as the leader for the combined campaign for the HCA Hope Fund and Rappahannock United Way.  She is dedicated to advancing her career and her education.  While working full-time improving the hospital she was also able to complete her MBA from the University of Mary Washington earlier this year. She is a graduate of Leadership Fredericksburg’s 2013 class and is currently serving as a mentor for the program.

She brings a tremendous amount of dedication, determination, efficiency, and organization every day. She is able to develop new ideas and new procedures to improve the ways SRMC provides healthcare.  She works very well with others, yet she is excellent at being able to work independently, often finding solutions that other staff members hadn’t considered.  She contributes any amount of time and effort needed to be sure that her department and the hospital as a whole perform well.  To quote her nominator Dr. Fiore “Our hospital is a better place for staff and patients because she is here. The qualities described are impressive enough- but much more impressive at her young age.  I think this level of hard work and determination deserves to be recognized.”

We agree with you Dr. Fiore. Please join us in congratulating Quincey Garcia


6. The next recipient of a Top 10 award has been with the Silver Cos. since 1999. He currently serves in an important leadership role as the company's vice president of engineering and planning. He has played an integral role in the engineering and construction management of Celebrate Virginia as well as numerous other commercial construction projects throughout the region.  He is a graduate of Virginia Tech and father of two young children. Currently he chairman of the Fredericksburg Economic Development Authority. Chris Hornung is a deserving young professional.


7. Our next recipient is definitely not a stranger to this group.  This winner was the founding chairman of Next Generation but he is not receiving the award for that.  He is a dedicated “from here” community member who works hard in all that he does. In his professional capacity he has been a commercial sales and leasing agent for several years, but recently took a leadership position with Coldwell Banker Elite upon their merger with the Silver Companies Commercial Brokerage. In this role, he has overseen a smooth transition and melding of the teams and is working tirelessly to have CBC be the driving force in commercial real estate in the region. 

Aside from his day job I mentioned he was the founding chairman of this group, Next Generation where he continues to be involved, is a 2010 graduate of Leadership Fredericksburg and has been a multiple year mentor for the program.

He and his wife Sarah have a son Benny and their newest addition little Whit. Please congratulate Ben Keddie.


 8. Our next winner is another local who grew up in Stafford. She graduated from Stafford Senior High School, in 1998 with honors and attended University of Virginia, graduating in 2002 with distinction.

Currently, she lives in Spotsylvania and works in downtown Fredericksburg for Cushman and Wakefield| Thalhimer as the Fredericksburg Director of Property Services. In her role, she personally manages 800,000 square feet and oversees the management of over 2 million square feet of commercial space. She credits her staff of 10 who really making the office run smoothly every day!

In September alongside her husband, she purchased LibertyTown Arts Workshop from Dan Finnegan is loving the adventure. So far, in three months they have brought in Fredericksburg All Ages and are assisting them in starting a media lab in Studio 15, extended the hours, expanded class offerings, added a national juried show in February, created a new line of super soft T-shirts, and are making plans for a multi-year renovation of the courtyard to offer space for events and classes alike.  In her “spare time” she is also currently on the board of the Next Generation Business Leaders and is Secretary of the Fredericksburg Main Street Initiative, elected to that board in November. She is a supporter of Empowerhouse and Tree Fredericksburg. She is a Member of IREM and currently a Certified Property Manager Candidate. She and her husband Kenneth have been married for 9 years and have three dogs named Ernie, Ellie and Gordon who would all prefer we stop being on so many boards and working so much and spend more time on the couch.  Congrats DD Lecky!

9. The next winner on tonight’s list also represents the intersection of the arts and business community. She is co-owner of the PONSHOP Art Studio and Gallery in downtown Fredericksburg where she makes beautiful ceramic pottery. Alongside her husband they work to ensure local artists can sell their wares to downtown shoppers. The Virginia Tech graduate and mother of two moved to Fredericksburg from New York in 2005 and has gradually taken on a leadership role in the downtown community. Because she understands that her business will only succeed if the entire downtown succeeds, she is now president of the Fredericksburg Main Street Initiative, a newly formed nonprofit seeking to bolster downtown's central business district. We are all excited to see where Main Street will take us. Please join me in congratulating Scarlett Pons.


10.  Our last recipient this evening is certainly not least. This recipient brings a fun loving spirit to everything he does.  He is independent and has a mind of his own but brings passion and energy to all he sets out to accomplish. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and his JD from the University of Richmond School of Law. Since earning his JD he has been successful in the practice of Law, being named Rising Star, Super Lawyer/Richmond Magazine, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 & 2013. He is also received the distinction of “AV” Rated, Martindale Hubbard. Generated by his law peers, it is one of the most revered measures of competency in the legal community.  In addition to his professional expertise, he is a community volunteer extraordinaire as well. He is a 2013 graduate of Leadership Fredericksburg and was appointed to the Advisory Board upon graduation. He will serve as the 2014 Vice Chair for the program.  He is also serving in his locality as a King George County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors – Elect 2014. His other community service has included the Board of Trustees Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Historic Smithfield Brooke Foundation, Inc., Board of Zoning Appeals – Fredericksburg, VA, Member of the Fredericksburg Area Bar Association, Historic Preservation Taskforce - City of Fredericksburg, and former chairman of the City’s Architectural Review Board.

In his spare time he is an avid golfer and prefers a nice bottle of wine…as long as some else is paying for it!  His wife Keri Gusman, serves as the Commonwealth’s Attorney for King George County and they have a son. Please join me in congratulating Barry Waldman.


2012 Top Ten of the Next Gen Award Winners


    •  We begin by honoring the co-owner of a local eatery that has been welcomed to the community with open arms. This graduate of Virginia Tech is relatively new in the restaurant industry.  Before starting her business with her best friend, she worked for years as an Emmy Award Winning and Edward R. Murrow Award Winning Producer and Executive Producer at one of the top Fox stations in the country, WAGA / Fox 5 Atlanta.  In her role today, she uses her background in communications to help spread the message that fresh,    regional,  and seasonal foods of the highest quality should be accessible to everyone. She researches farms, studies the region and locates farm-fresh ingredients. Her research plays an integral part in keeping costs down and quality at its peak for their clients. She is also the marketing and promotional force behind their restaurant. Congratulations Beth Black, Co-owner of FOODE.


    • The next recipient represents the non-profit segment of our region. She grew up in Spotsylvania County. Her interest in building a better community began at an early age. At five, she joined her parents in serving meals to community homeless staying in a shelter that rotated between area churches. As a teenager, she went with a church youth group to a workcamp that helped fix homes of low-income people in Petersburg, VA. On the way home, she asked her youth leader why the group had to go so far away to help people in need, when there were surely people in need of their help in Fredericksburg. Inspired by the question, the youth leader worked with her and many other parent leaders to develop a similar housing restoration project that is today known as FREDcamp.  She graduated from Emory & Henry College in 2004 with a degree in Mass Communications and Public Policy & Community Services. She spent her early career as a reporter for the Free Lance-Star, but kept finding herself called to make change in the community rather than write about those being driven by others. In 2005, many of the downtown church clergy came together to pool services and resources so that the street homeless had a better chance of having their needs met and improving their lives. They recruited this recipient to help with some of the initial grant writing and later offered her the organization’s lead position. She always enjoys the opportunity to help new partners and volunteers find ways of using their gifts to care for the community’s neighbors in need.  She believes working together is what will help bring an end to homelessness someday.  She is now the Executive Servant-Leader for Micah Ecumenical Ministries, a local non-profit that assists people who are homeless in taking steps toward their greatest potential. Agency work includes a daytime hospitality center that meets basic needs and provides case management, a cold weather shelter, a respite program for homeless leaving the hospital in need of temporary or terminal care, employment placement and supportive housing. She is a graduate of Leadership Fredericksburg and a Chamber member. She is married to her husband of five years and they have son who will be one in February! Please congratulate Meghann Cotter.


    • The industries represented by the 2012 winners are as diverse as our region.  Commercial real estate should come as no surprise to the list.  The next winner is a lifelong Fredericksburg resident and graduate of the University of Mary Washington.  He has witnessed the tremendous growth in the area and is intricately tuned into the existing trends in the marketplace and is well positioned to anticipate future trends. He is a member of the Thalhimer Fredericksburg brokerage team specializing in office leasing and sales as well as industrial properties and investment sales. He has worked with office users and owners in the Quantico and Fredericksburg markets. In industrial properties he has experience in the flex office product in addition to industrial zoned property sales.  He is a CCIM designee and since joining the industry in 2006, Wilson has closed over $100,000,000 in transactions.  His community service includes Fredericksburg Parks and Recreation youth programs, the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber’s Military Affairs Council, Potomac Gateway Alliance and most recently the Fredericksburg Main Street Initiative.  The future is bright for Wilson Greenlaw.


    • Our next recipient has a wonderful sense of humor, which will show through in his bio.  He was born in Minnesota, but matured in Boulder, Colorado. Raised on only wild honey, yogurt, and granola, he managed to attend and graduate after dropping his Minnesotan “you betcha and dontcha know accent” from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Triple majoring in Integrative Physiology, Economics, and snowboarding, he developed a passion for health care and decided to pursue a masters of health administration degree at VCU in Richmond, where he attended as an HCA Scholar for Emerging Health Care Leaders. He traded in his dreadlocks and Birkenstocks for a suit, tie, and a fresh haircut and graduated with his master’s degree in 2011 after completing his residency at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center. He works at SRMC and has had a variety of roles including Leader of Process Improvement, Interim Senior Leader for Laboratory Services and he currently serves as the hospital’s Assistant Administrator. In addition to the typical Colorado winter sports, he enjoys running, live music, opera, and theater. He is a 2012 graduate of Leadership Fredericksburg and active in many different activities of the Chamber. Please join us in honoring Sebastian Haines with a Top 10 award.


    • Our next recipient is no stranger to this scene. She is the Managing Partner of Stevenson Ridge.  Having grown up in Fredericksburg, she moved back from San Diego in 2008 to coordinate the start-up of the business.  Since her return to the region, she has focused on not only building her business, but on personal development and community involvement.  She is a graduate of the 2011 Class of Leadership Fredericksburg and now a member of the Leadership Fredericksburg Alumni Association.  She currently serves on the board of the Next Generation of Business Leaders and the Chamber’s Green Business Initiatives Advisory Commission and is an active member of the Fredericksburg Regional Hospitality Council.She strongly believes in supporting the community.  She has organized holiday toy drives for the last five years, collecting over 1000 toys, as well as organizing Thanksgiving food drives, donating more than 500 pounds of food to the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank.  She is a big sister through Rappahannock Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, has prepared meals at Micah’s Respite House, and most recently volunteered with the Salvation Army as a bell-ringer.  She is an advocate of green living and tourism, and in 2011, organized a recycling and “safe disposal” drive, collecting three truck-loads of computers, stereo equipment, printer ink and light bulbs. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration from James Madison University with a concentration in marketing and spent a semester at the University of Salamanca in Spain completing her minor in Spanish Translation.  She currently lives in Spotsylvania with her husband of two years, Michael.  When not working, she enjoys old movies, wine tasting, and anything to do with animals!  Congratulations to Jennifer LaRock!


    • Our next recipient moved to Fredericksburg in 1997 to join The Free Lance-Star as an assistant news editor. In 1999, he became the first editor of  He left the area in 2005 to serve as vice president for Internet operations at Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. in Birmingham, Alabama, which owns and operates more than 90 daily newspapers across the country. Lucky for us, he returned to the Fredericksburg area and to The Free Lance-Star Publishing Co. at the end of 2010 to fill the new role of Chief Digital Officer. His job is to build new digital businesses and to grow digital audience and revenue on top of the existing newspaper and radio operations owned by the company. He can often be found in downtown Fredericksburg traveling from meeting to meeting on his awesome fold up bicycle! He is married to Tamara and is father to Grey and Bess. He was the president of the 2012 class of Leadership Fredericksburg, and is the Cubmaster of Cub Scout Pack 802.  Chris Muldrow, is certainly a deserving recipient of the Top 10 of the Next Gen award. Congratulations Chris.


    • The next recipient is responsible for projects that we are all grateful for in today’s economy. He is Vice President for the Quantico Corporate Center, a commercial office development in Stafford, Virginia, and an entity of the Silver Companies.  He joined the company in May 2005.  He holds the concurrent position of Executive Vice President for Silver Commercial Brokerage.  He specializes in commercial office sales and leasing and has completed transactions with leading global defense corporations in the United States to include: QinetiQ North America, Inc., Computer Sciences Corporation, SAIC, BAE Systems, General Dynamics, The MITRE Corporation, ManTech International and URS Corporation.  He was directly involved in the development of over 450,000 square feet of completed Class A office space at the Quantico Corporate Center.  He also leads a team of ten sales agents at Silver Commercial Brokerage representing approximately seventy properties located in the Rappahannock Region. Preceding his work at the Quantico Corporate Center, he was involved in the development of retail properties in Fredericksburg, Virginia to include banks, restaurants and small businesses.Prior to joining Silver Companies, he worked for Northrop Grumman Corporation where he handled the accounting of specific contracts in a government contracting arena.  He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Marymount University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance.  In the spring of 2012 he received a Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate degree from Georgetown University.  He recently finished his two year term as co-chairman of CoreNet Global’s young leaders group and is an active member in the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, Fredericksburg Regional Alliance and the Chamber’s Military Affairs Council. Please join me in congratulating David Newman.


    • The next winner is another lifelong Fredericksburg resident. After attending Mary Baldwin College for two years, she returned to Fredericksburg to attend Mary Washington College.  She graduated with a degree in International Affairs in 2003. In 2000, she began working as a bank teller while attending MWC.  She has held several positions on both the branch and operations side of a few of our local community banks.  Through her work at the bank, she developed a passion for financial literacy especially for young adults. To that end, she has worked with the Get Smart About Credit and Teach Children to Save initiatives through VA Bankers Association.  Currently she is an Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager for Virginia Partners Bank’s newest location on Cowan Blvd.  She is a 2012 graduate of Leadership Fredericksburg and represents her class on the Leadership Fredericksburg Advisory Board. She is the President of the Board of Directors for Healthy Families Rappahannock Area.  We are glad that Leigh Snyder considers herself lucky to have had the opportunity to not only grow up here, but to not be part of its business community.  Congratulations, Leigh.


    • A native of Fredericksburg, Virginia, he graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations, Communications with a minor in Business Management.  He has been at the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance for almost five years and currently serves as the Director of Marketing and Global Business Development. His role at the Alliance is to facilitate the creation of jobs for the Greater Fredericksburg Region’s tax base.  Some of his accomplishments over the last 4 years include facilitating the creation of over 1400 jobs with capital investments of over 100 million dollars for the region.  He also lobbies for utility and infrastructure legislation that will help the region grow and expand. He has been an active Rotarian, has served on the Fundraising Committee for the Rappahannock United Way, and Ducks Unlimited, and is completing his certification as an economic developer through IEDC.     Anyone who knows him recognizes his humble attitude in all dealings.  He credits this to his parents, and grandparents for instilling in him the importance of hard work and persistence at a young age.  Currently he is in the 2013 class of Leadership Fredericksburg, and will take the reins as Chairman of the Next Generation of Business Leaders in January. Please join me in congratulating Linwood Thomas!


    • And our last recipient for 2012. This winner is a Human Resources professional with a psychology degree from the University of Mary Washington.  She worked in the mental health field while attending school, and began her career in Human Resources in 1994 when she went to work for an international government contractor in Northern Virginia.   Since moving to Fredericksburg in 2001, she has worked for the CVS Distribution Center, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, and is currently the Director of Human Resources for Hilldrup, headquartered in Stafford, VA.  Her first three years at Hilldrup have provided her with many professional opportunities; she established the company’s first leadership development program, expanded the on-boarding program for new employees, chaired their United Way campaign each year and coordinated their volunteer teams for the annual Day of Caring, to name a few. This year she is a Campaign Executive for the non-profit team of the Rappahannock United Way workplace campaign. She graduated as president of her Leadership Fredericksburg class in 2011, she is currently president of the Leadership Fredericksburg Alumni Association, and is in her second year of mentoring for the program. She is a past board member of the Fredericksburg chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management, and currently serves on the board of directors for Workforce NOW, a Chamber program that supports workforce readiness. She has a strong commitment to personal and professional development, and enjoys the growth opportunities afforded by maintaining a challenging career and being the mother of two school-aged children.  Her desire to make a positive difference in the organizations where she’s worked, and in the lives of others, has fueled her HR career, and led her to become a Certified Professional Coach. She frequently uses her coaching skills in her role in HR, and dreams of one day establishing her own coaching practice.  Beth Williams lives in Fredericksburg with her husband, their two children, and black lab.  



    2011 Top Ten of the Next Gen Award Winners

      • Gene Brown; We begin by recognizing a young man who has called Fredericksburg home since his early teenage years.  A graduate of the then Mary Washington College, this high achiever has been working for Atlantic Builders since 2001.  As Vice President for Quality & Production he oversees multiple teams and has used lessons he learned early in his professional life on an assembly line to motivate people.  In late 2009 and 2010 his company became involved with Homes for Our Troops.  While the whole company and many of their trade partners certainly came together, it has been said that this man was the one who made it happen.   He saw to it that more than $600,000 were donated for the homes, despite being on the heels of the worst housing market in 80 years.  He also worked tirelessly to see that the home was constructed from start to finish in 31 days; a new record for Homes for Our Troops.  He was a Fellow in the 2012 Class of Leadership Fredericksburg and sits on the Board of Directors for the Rappahannock Area YMCA. Gene recently told us, "leadership is more about the journey than the destination."


      • Michael Colangelo; Executive Vice President, Johnson Realty Advisors. Specializing in Commercial Real Estate for nearly 20 years with more than 200 million in transactions, our next recipient is perhaps the epitome of community service. To name a few, he has been active with The Fredericksburg Rotary Club, Dominion Club, and Past Chairman of the Fredericksburg Area Chapter of Ducks Unlimited where he was the First Chapter in Virginia history to raise over $100,000 in a single event.  Currently he serves as a member of the board of directors for the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center, Fredericksburg Big Brothers and Big Sisters, where he is an 8 year Big Brother, and is the President of the Fredericksburg Wine Society.  In addition he currently serves on the City of Fredericksburg Economic Development Authority.  He is a 2011 graduate of Leadership Fredericksburg, and represents his class on the Leadership Advisory Board. With these accomplishments under his belt, that red 911 convertible is in his near future!


      • Janel Donohue; The next recipient and first female honored has taken quite the visible role in our community in the last year.  On July 1, 2010, she was named President of the Rappahannock United Way.  She loves working for an organization that changes lives and improves community conditions. Janel’s passion for her community is evidenced by her involvement.  In July 2011, Janel was named third vice president of the Fredericksburg Host Lions Club.  She is an active board member of the University of Mary Washington’s Leadership Colloquium for Professional Women and is a member of REDCO 504.  Janel’s involvement extends to the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce where she has been a graduate, active alumna, and mentor of the Leadership Fredericksburg program.  She is on the Military Affairs Council Board of Directors and is active with its Military Family Support Committee.  In December 2010, the Chamber honored Janel with the Laurie A. Wideman Enterprising Woman’s Award, a testament to her readiness to act in business and in the community, leading with integrity and honesty. She is a graduate of Mary Washington College.  Janel and her husband Michael live in Spotsylvania County and own Play It Again Sports.  They enjoy spending time with their two children, Alexis and Evan; volunteering with their church and in the community; and playing softball.


      • Bill Freehling; Our next star made a significant contribution to the region’s business community this year with his creation of the Fredericksburg Business Insider, a digital daily business journal designed to keep the regional business community better informed and create a new revenue stream for the company.  What a success! The average daily readership has more than doubled since launch in January and now reaches nearly 6,000 people every weekday morning, both in the Fredericksburg area and the Richmond and Northern Virginia markets. Bill Freehling has covered business for The Free Lance-Star for the past four years. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University and received his Master’s degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He lives in downtown Fredericksburg with his wife, Emily, daughter, Abby, and dog, Eddie.  We are personally very eager to welcome him to the Next Generation Board of Directors in 2012!


      • Craig Max; At the ripe of age of 27 this next recipient has covered some ground.  As both a CPA and Attorney this superstar has been working locally in the area of estate planning, tax issues that affect entrepreneurs, wealth preservation, and philanthropy.  He is an Assistant Professor with the University of Maryland where he teaches accounting, tax, and business law courses.  In addition to his many professional associations and certifications, he has presented unique strategies and solutions to state and local governments, trade associations and Fortune 100 executives.  He has a degree in both accounting and French from Butler University and his JD from Vanderbilt University Law School.  He has been selected previously by Virginia Business Magazine for their SuperCPA award, and SmartCEO Magazine as one of its SmartCPA’s of Metro Washington. In his spare time, he sits on the board of the Community Foundation of the Rappahannock Region, REDCO and is legal counsel to the Chamber’s Military Affairs Council. Another deserving young mind; Craig Max, attorney with Vanderpool, Frostick, & Nishanian.


      • Jeff Morin;  The next recipient self identifies with the following statement.  "I'm a serial entrepreneur; I get a high on taking an idea and starting new companies."  While serving in the Marine Corp aboard the USS Wasp, this young marine came across people selling old military memorabilia coins called "challenge coins."  Challenge coins are collectibles used by the U.S. military to commemorate service in a unit or participation in an exercise. Through the use of EBay, he quickly learned that there was money to be made selling military coins. During lunch breaks, he would run to his barracks, package the coins, address them by hand and walk them to the base post office for mailing.  They began to sell more quickly than he could imagine. An email from a Marine mother put his business to the next level. She had seen his coins on eBay, and asked if he could find a coin dedicated to mothers with sons in the Marine Corps? Willing to run with the idea, he paid a fellow Marine $50 to sketch out a design. Then he jumped online, and found a company that would turn the design into a mold from which he could make the Marine Mother coins. In true entrepreneur spirit, he looked at blogs to locate more mothers of Marines and found sites like Marine Parents United and Marine Moms Online. The 100 coins sold out in less than three hours.  That day he called the manufacturer and ordered 500 more. The 500 sold out in three days. The coin business outgrew his barracks at Camp Lejeune, so he recruited his mother to help from her home in Stafford. Soon, he sold coins that had meaning for every recruit who came through the Corps. By the middle of 2003, he had left the Marine Corps and was selling $15,000 of coins a month.  Then he bought a book that taught him how to advertise on Google using key advertising words. As you might imagine, the orders came in droves and he had to hire customer service staff. Within days, he got a call from retail giant Target, which led to a contract for 50,000 coins for an upcoming movie premiere the retailer was sponsoring. He was 22 years old! In the past five years, he has expanded his coin business beyond the Marines to include other service branches, weddings, sports teams, and corporations such as Starbucks, Delta Air Lines and UPS. His enterprise now includes five companies that generate millions in revenue each year, with coins and trophies representing the majority.  This year he was featured in Inc. Magazine Top 50 entrepreneurs. We are proud he calls our region home.


      • Terika Richardson,  serves as Chief Operating Officer of Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center.  In 2007, she received Modern Healthcares Up and Comer Award, placing her as one of the youngest recipients of this distinguished award which recognizes rising stars across the country in healthcare. Mrs. Richardson joined HCA in 2006. She received her Bachelors of Science in Biopsychology and Cognitive Science from the University of Michigan and her Master’s in Public Health from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She and her husband, Dr. Ibe Mbanu, have been married for four years and have a fourteen month old son and another baby anytime now! 


      • Jamie Scully; The next recipient came to the region to attend the then Mary Washington College.  Since earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Historic preservation in 2004 this young leader has set his personal bar very high.  He has been active in commercial real estate since 2004, when he began working closely with Neil Sullivan participating in retail, office, and industrial leasing; as well as investment and land sales. In early 2008 he was named Co-Manager of the Fredericksburg Brokerage of Thalhimer, Cushman  & Wakefield alongside Neil Sullivan.  Jamie Scully has had a wide exposure to all aspects of sales, leasing, and development of retail, industrial, and office projects. Using his other talents and passions, Jamie is an active Board member of the Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc., and the Central Virginia Housing Coalition as well as serving as the current Chair of the City of Fredericksburg’s Architectural Review Board.  Jamie is a member of the 2012 class of Leadership Fredericksburg and is a past participant in the United Way Citizens Review Panel.


      • Eric Watkins; Many of you have likely suspected that someone from the technology industry would appear on this list. Afterall, this is the age of technology and most of the people born in this generation do not remember a time without computers, cell phones, and technology of all types affecting their lives in so many ways. Eric Watkins fits the bill to represent a young leader from the technology industry.  He has demonstrated a pattern of personal leadership, community involvement and investment in his employees and teammates.  As cofounder and General Manager of Infinity Technologies, Eric is a graduate of Mary Washington College.  Immediately following graduation, he and 2 college buddies started Infinity.  They have successfully grown the business and it is now a leader in this region for business technology needs. Eric somehow finds time to serve his community after coaching youth soccer, golfing and traveling with his family.  He currently serves on the Chamber’s Board of Directors, the Board of the Thurman Brisben Center and the Green Business Initiatives Council with the Chamber.  He is a Past Chairman of FredTech and received the 2011 Geek of the Year Award from that group.


      • Kara Ward; Our last recipient is no stranger to the Next Generation crowd.  As co-founder and principal of The Launch Group, LLC she too is an advocate for leadership and community service. This busy woman was responsible for the expansion of her family law firm to Fredericksburg, and since that time started her own venture.  She can frequently be found at the Chamber, where she is on the communications committee, is an Ambassador, serves on the Board Selection Committee, was a member of the 2011 Class of Leadership Fredericksburg and was a mentor for the 2012 class. She is also on the Board of Directors for the University of Mary Washington’s Leadership Colloquium and serves on committees with the Children’s Home Society and the Rappahannock Area United Way. She received her BA from Tennessee.  She and her husband Marty live in Stafford with their two daughters Molly and Ellie.