From the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce:
Community Impact Award
Mary Washington Health This award recognizes an organization whose mission has a significant impact in our community. This not-for-profit corporation has played a vital role in our community for 123 years. Their employees work tirelessly to improve the health of people in the communities they serve, which was evident throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The MWHC created a field hospital unit in anticipation of the crisis. MWHC has treated over 6,000 COVID patients and administered over 100,000 COVID tests. Once the vaccine became available, the MWHC, for a time, administered 2,000 vaccines per day, with over 212,000 doses administered. 794 MWHC staff members supported the vaccination clinic and 437 community volunteers supported their efforts.
Mary Washington Healthcare received the Community Impact Award for her incredible commitment to the well-being of the Fredericksburg regional community as we navigated through two of the most challenging years in modern history.
Entrepreneur of the year
Debby Girvan won the Entrepreneur of the Year award, which recognizes an innovative business owner who recognizes and addresses a market need by successfully launching and growing a new business. Debby Girvan, an executive who started her company in 2010 with the original concept of a marketing consultancy firm, has since grown her business into an award-winning digital marketing website design, development and maintenance firm. Debby’s company now has 9 employees and over 175 customers in 19 states and 3 countries.
Debby Girvan had the foresight to develop a very diverse client base early on and therefore ensure there was no one-size-fits-all dependence on any particular industry or client. In addition, the structure of this small business offers well-paying jobs with significant benefits, which allows employees to live where they work, right here in our region.
Of particular note is Debby’s commitment to providing full-time employment and professional development opportunities with benefits to many young professionals. Nearly 20 local college students have launched strong careers in technology thanks to Debby’s commitment to their success.
At the start of the pandemic when everything was shut down, Debby started the Fred Gift Card website which was the design, development, hosting, maintenance and promotion of a website to help small businesses locals to sell gift cards online through the website. This free service, paid only by our winner, has enabled struggling companies to maintain their cash flow in difficult circumstances. More than 80 local businesses participated. Feedback suggests the service has been instrumental in keeping many businesses open.
Small Business of the Year Awards
Stafford Print This award is given to a company that balances business success with a dedication to improving the quality of life of the community. This company was founded 35 years ago and over the years has expanded its equipment and services to meet the ever-changing changes in printing services. Stafford Printing tells its customers that they stand for simplicity, responsiveness, honesty, principled service and helpful, friendly attitudes at all times. Stafford Printing owner Howard Owen has always believed in giving back to the community he serves, and he has done so in a big way. He is a member of the Rappahannock Rotary Club, Stafford County Economic Development Authority; and serves on the board of the Stafford Hospital Foundation, Loisann’s Hope House and the Fredericksburg Symphony Orchestra. Howard encourages his team to give back to the community, both corporately and personally.
Big Business of the Year Awards
Flatter, Inc. received the Big Business of the Year award. This family business has been serving the community for 20 years and has won 150 separate contracts with the federal government. Flatter, Inc employs over 200 people, both locally at their Spotsylvania headquarters and around the world. Flatter, Inc. is a federal service provider, the company excels in the areas of training and development, acquisition support, and complex government program management offices.
At the height of the pandemic, the company expanded its leadership development arm, Two Roads Leadership, and offered coaching and leadership development services to a global community of leaders.
The company has grown over 300% in the past 5 years; today, they continue to exceed 10% year-over-year growth. They recently won their biggest contract yet, which was $30 million to support Army training at Fort Lee, Virginia.
This society gives back to the community in many ways, including filling local families’ Christmas lists through the Fredericksburg Department of Social Services; serving in the United Way and having high-level leaders provide free executive services to Leadership Fredericksburg. The company motto is “Excellence is our baseline”, and Flatter, Inc. exemplifies this in everything they do.
Prince B. Woodard Leadership Award
Joel Griffin won the Prince B. Woodard Leadership Award, which honors an individual who has provided a lifetime of service and commitment to the Fredericksburg area. It is named after the former president of Mary Washington College whose vision, integrity and dedication to serving others made her a pillar of the community. Joel calls himself a “serial entrepreneur” and has founded several for-profit entities and a non-profit organization.
Companies have ranged from investments, venture capital, real estate, restaurants, and include 25 years in private industry consulting and 20 years in government contracts. Throughout this commercial success, Joel has made Stafford his home. Even when it was a daily commute to Northern Virginia, he made time to give back to our community.
Joel was an early adopter of Leadership Fredericksburg, attending the House’s second class 14 years ago. He learned about the program through the Stafford County Economic Development Authority, of which he is still a member today (as chairman).
Joel also sits on several boards: Fredericksburg Regional Alliance, Chamber, Germanna’s Educational Foundation, Virginia Community College System’s Cyber Security Advisory Council, GO Virginia, to name a few.
Joel and his wife co-founded Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and education about cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in honor of their eldest daughter, Gwyneth. His extraordinary commitment to this cause literally SAVED LIVES – and inspired our entire community.
He previously received the Patriotic Civilian Service Award from the U.S. Army for immediate and post-9/11 action, and in 2015 he received the Joe Dangler Leadership Award for his support of community leadership.