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Volunteer Alexandria Announces Award Winners

Community Leaders Honored at April Business Philanthropy Summit

Volunteer Alexandria announced today the winners of their community awards, which will be presented at the 19th annual Alexandria Business Philanthropy Summit on Thursday, April 27th. The Business Philanthropy Summit marks the first of three Spring for Alexandria events this season. “We are incredibly pleased to have such an accomplished and distinguished group of awardees. They all have made a difference and changed the lives of many people in a way that matters to them.” said Marion Brunken, Executive Director, Volunteer Alexandria.

The 2017 award winners are:

  • SunTrust Bank is the 2017 Large Business of the Year. SunTrust Bank is a purpose-driven organization dedicated to Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being and giving back to help build and sustain its communities. As part of their purpose-driven mindset, SunTrust Bank empowers its 24,000 employees to participate in its onUp Together Volunteerism Program. This program provides 8 hours of volunteer time for teammates to support local non-profits and educational institutions. These teammates assist in a variety of causes, including serving on local non-profit boards, participating in community service days, mentoring children and teaching financial literacy. In 2016 SunTrust’s teammates logged 237,000 volunteer hours of which more than 17,000 were in Northern Virginia. In addition to volunteering their time, SunTrust teammates also generously donate funds. As part of the SunTrust Foundation, SunTrust teammates made a financial pledge of more than $6.5 million to support the United Way to help people take steps toward financial confidence. Established in 2008, the Foundation’s grants and activities focus primarily on financial empowerment, but also include education, health and human services, civic improvement and cultural growth. “SunTrust has a long and proud history in the city of Alexandria – from our teammates’ support of organizations like Capital Post, Dunbar Boys and Girls Clubs and Volunteer Alexandria, to the Foundation’s giving of more than $320,000 to non-profits in 2016 in the city of Alexandria,” said Muriel Garr, Senior Vice President, SunTrust Bank Greater Washington. “We are committed to advancing financial well-being in the communities we serve, and we’re honored to receive this recognition.”
  • The extensive volunteer efforts of Elizabeth Lucchesi and her LizLuke Team are a community inspiration. Courtesy photo.

    The LizLuke Team, Elizabeth Lucchesi is the 2017 Small Business of the Year. For over a decade, the LizLuke Team has assisted in real estate ventures ranging from high-end luxury properties to first-time condo buyers. They pride themselves on exceptional customer service, years of experience, and strong negotiating skills. Additionally, the LizLuke Team is a proud sponsor of the Old Town Boutique District and the Del Ray Business Association as well as a long-standing member of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, where Elizabeth Lucchesi sits on this year’s board. In order to give back to the small business community of Alexandria, the LizLuke Team hosts several business mixers in the area for professionals utilizing local restaurants and services for each event. They have donated funds, goods and time to a number of Alexandria organizations including: Rebuilding Alexandria Together, the Boys and Girls Club, Alexandria Little Theatre, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Alzheimer’s Associations, Marine Corp Marathon, National Children’s Hospital, Veterans of Foreign Wars and various Alexandria City, Fairfax County, and Alexandria private schools. Immediate past president of Maury Elementary PTA, Emily Schell Jones said, “Without hesitation, Elizabeth is an eager supporter of Maury and the youth of Alexandria…We so appreciate and rely on the kindness of a community partner like the Elizabeth Luchessi team.” 

  • John O. Woods, Jr.

    John O. Woods Jr., is the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Veteran of the Year Award. John is a disabled Vietnam War veteran who has an illustrious engineering career coupled with extensive community service. Prior to co-founding his own firm Peacock Engineering nearly twenty years ago, Woods spent 29 years with the FDE Ltd. Consulting Engineers in Alexandria, Virginia. Throughout the course of his 40-year career, Woods has designed and consulted on hundreds of significant structures throughout the greater DC region and over 40 countries on behalf of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Overseas Building Operations and tenant organizations. Active in professional societies, he has served as president of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Metropolitan Washington, and numerous committees and task forces of ACEC national and the Coalition of American Structural Engineers. He is also a large complex case commercial (construction) panel member of the American Arbitration Association. Woods previously served on both the Governor’s Council and the Alexandria Commission for the Disabled and completed his Presidential appointment in 2008 as a Public member of the U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Access Board. He is currently the treasurer and a director of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, has served as the chairman of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, and president of the Alexandria Rotary Club. He is an active member of Westminster Presbyterian Church. When Woods was notified that he was chosen for the award he replied, “I am both flattered and honored to be chosen for this award, particularly when I feel there are so many more deserving…I love this city…You cannot live here and not give back in any number of ways when you receive as much as my children and I have. I hope I can continue to be worthy of the award.”

The Alexandria Business Philanthropy Summit will take place on April 27th from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. The event will be keynoted by David Gardner, Co-Founder of the Motley Fool. If you are interested in attending, tickets are $35 and can be purchased online

About Volunteer Alexandria

Volunteer Alexandria strives to build a stronger community by inspiring and mobilizing people to volunteer. With a 36-year legacy of caring for the heart of Alexandria by mobilizing helping hands, Volunteer Alexandria is in the business of helping Alexandrians give back to this city with their whole heart, through volunteering. The organization serves as a matchmaker, providing connections between volunteers and nonprofits or City agencies needing volunteer assistance. From creating and maintaining green space, preparing for emergencies, promoting culture and the arts, developing hands-on job and leadership skills to feeding the hungry, Volunteer Alexandria plays a critical role in providing volunteer assistance, where it is needed, throughout the community.


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