2020 Steps to Success Award Winners

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, we shifted our 2020 Steps to Success Awards to a virtual celebration that recognized the terrific accomplishments of our winners and nominees in a safe and healthy way. Our virtual Steps to Success Awards took place over the course of five days, September 21-25. The original event was scheduled to be held at the Jefferson Hotel in conjunction with United Way’s Board of Directors’ Annual Meeting.

While the 2020 Steps to Success Awards event format may have been different, the purpose remains the same: to celebrate a year of success and impact and recognize the important role that our partners have played in supporting United Way’s work in the region. As we grapple with the evolving community needs during the pandemic, it is more important than ever to recognize the individuals and organizations that stand with their local United Way and believe in our mission.


Corporate Partner of the Year Award

United Way’s Corporate Partner of the Year Award recognizes an organization that exemplifies what it means to support United Way through a workplace campaign. This award goes to an organization that understands a successful campaign requires close coordination with United Way staff, advanced planning, support from senior leadership and a healthy dose of creativity.  

Winner: NewMarket Corporation

NewMarket Corporation did all the right things to run a successful 2019 campaign. The NewMarket team met with United Way leadership to confirm and strengthen the partnership. To energize staffNewMarket gave employees the afternoon off to enjoy an Oktoberfest-themed celebration which included raffles, silent auctions, gifts, music and food. 

NewMarket’s staff and leadership are champions for our local United Way, and they continued to show their commitment to community through their strong campaign. 

Fishel Company has been committed to a strong United Way campaign for years. Founder Ken Fishel was a longtime United Way supporter, a commitment shared by the entire Fishel Team. In 2019, they hosted kickoff events at their three locations, allowed United Way staff to share the importance of our work and had the endorsement of CEO John Phillips. They concentrated on creating incentives and finding ways to get staff involved, which led to a 17% increase in their campaign.  
W.M. Jordan employees rallied around United Way and made their campaign fun for their employees. The “Fun Committee” made a calendar of United Way events including a breakfast, poker tournament, chili cook-off and moreThis commitment to their employees helped them see a 10% increase.  
Bremo Pharmacy knows that a strong campaign has strong support from leadership. Catherine Cary, Bremo Pharmacy’s CEO, made their United Way campaign about the importance of giving back to the community. This focus and energy have paid off in the form of a 40% increase in recent years.   

Community Champion Award

United Way’s Community Champion Award recognizes an outstanding individual that invested time and talent to engage, excite and unite colleagues in support of United Way. Community Champions do everything possible to ensure their organization has a successful campaign. 

Winner: Sarita Henry – Troutman Pepper

For the second year in a row, Sarita Henry led a successful United Way campaign for Troutman Pepper. She started planning early and included United Way staff in her meetings and plans. After a successful meeting with leadership from United Way, Sarita and her team at Troutman Pepper focused on improving upon previous efforts and making real change in the community. 

To make those changes possible, Sarita focused on encouraging staff to give and maintain a high level of energy throughout the campaign. She planned a kickoff breakfast that included information on community issues, hosted Todd “Parney” Parnell of the Richmond Flying Squirrels and coordinated raffle prizes for each day of the campaign. Prizes ranged from VCU sports tickets to a month of a reserved parking spot 

Sarita worked diligently, followed United Way best practices and collaborated with the United Way team to ensure Troutman Pepper’s campaign was a success.  

long-time employee campaign manager, Curtis “Lewwy” Marsh works hard to ensure every United Way campaign is a success at Mutual Assurance Society of VirginiaLewwy keeps United Way staff informed and engaged and knows how to set goals for his team. Their campaign featured a breakfast presentation from James Taylor, President & CEO of United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg. Lewwy and Mutual Assurance Society of Virginia have been invaluable United Way partners for many years, and we are grateful for their support. 
Stacey Guard began her role as Padilla’s employee campaign manager committed to ensuring a successful United Way campaign. Stacey planned Padilla’s annual “bake auction” and shared information about United Way’s Kindergarten Countdown Camp with staff. She worked closely with United Way staff and worked hard to create a memorable, fun campaign. 
For the second year in a row, Deborah Silver planned and coordinated NAPA’s United Way campaign and ensured it was fun and engaging for staff. She was determined to see campaign growth in 2019 and worked with United Way staff and HR managers across the country to see what she needed to do to accomplish her goal. The key to Deborah’s success came from utilizing creative strategies such as volunteer involvement to boost employee morale and a paid day off incentive. 

Leadership Circle Award

United Way’s Leadership Circle is the foundation of the work we do. The Leadership Circle Award is given to a member who demonstrates a shared commitment to improving our region through generosity, advocacy and community engagement. This individual recognizes the power that each of us has to improve the lives of our neighbors. 

Winner: Terressa Campbell Oten – The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

As the 2019 Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s United Way Campaign Team, Terressa Campbell Oten exhibited true dedication to the United Way mission throughout the entire campaign process. She made every effort to involve senior leadership in the process and was a terrific ambassador for United Way’s Leadership Circle. Terressa was a motivated team leader – electing to lead by inspiring her team of volunteers to find their own personal connection to United Way’s mission.  

Alexis de Tocqueville Award

United Way’s Alexis de Tocqueville Society is an elite group of local leaders dedicated to creating positive change and fueling high-impact work in the Greater Richmond and Petersburg region. The Alexis de Tocqueville Society Award is given to a member who embodies the American spirit of giving and volunteerism witnessed by Alexis de Tocqueville as he traveled to the United States in the mid-1800s. 

Winner: Ed & Shannon Venable

Edward and Shannon Venable exemplify giving and volunteerism as dedicated members of the Alexis de Tocqueville SocietyShannon was a member of United Way’s Leadership Circle giving community during her tenure at Dominion Energy, then went on to serve on the United Way Board of Directors for nearly a decade. The Venables continue their legacy of generosity as members of the Tocqueville Society. In addition to their financial commitment to United Way, the Venables have hosted two Women United eventat their home and Shannon was a keynote speaker at our Fall 2019 Alexis de Tocqueville and Young Leaders cocktail party.

Young Leaders Society Award

United Way’s Young Leaders Society brings together the next generation of community leaders that work to create a better Richmond and Petersburg region. The Young Leaders Society Award is given to an outstanding individual who has demonstrated commitment and enthusiasm for giving, volunteering and advocating. 

Winner: Jamie Nowakowski

Jamie Nowakowski has been a dedicated member of United Way’s Young Leaders Society for years and spent two years in a leadership role on the Young Leaders Society steering committee. In addition to helping guide the group as a whole, Jamie served as the chair of the mentoring program, was a lead volunteer for our Literacy Kit Drive, hosted the society’s members for a YLS social in his home and has represented United Way at various speaking engagements. Most recently, we were moved by his remarks at the Fall 2019 Alexis de Tocqueville and Young Leaders cocktail party. Jamie explained his motivation for giving by describing how United Way made a difference in his childhoodJamie undoubtedly embodies the spirit of the Young Leaders Society in his commitment to giving, volunteering and advocating.  

Community Impact: Group Award

None of our work would be possible without outstanding partners and volunteer groups that display a strong dedication to the work of United Way. The Group Community Impact Award goes to a team of volunteers that shares our commitment to transforming lives in the community. 

Winner: Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo partnered with United Way on their first Dedicated Day of Service, a company-wide volunteer initiative. A culmination of a long history of partnership, United Way was proud to organize this multi-market effort with Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo employees from local branches, call centers, and corporate offices came together to increase the number of students in our area who can read at grade-level by third grade – a key component of our Steps to SuccessThis inaugural effort was quickly one of the largest days of service in our region. 

UPS Freight employees challenged themselves to create more than 750 United Way Literacy Kits, the most of any volunteer group. They fostered friendly competition across departments to raise books, collect school supplies, assemble and decorate kit boxes. The effort of the UPS team will help more students in our area get ready for kindergarten. 
The Chesterfield County Government has a strong commitment to volunteerism, which is evident in their partnership with United Way. Chesterfield County Government employees raised the funds and volunteered to install a Steps to Success Early Learning Trail at the Chesterfield County government center complex. At Employee Engagement Day, United Way and Chesterfield County encouraged employees to make a difference in their local community and shared opportunities to get involved. Additionally, the county partnered with United Way to create United Way Literacy Kits and refurbish the home of an older adult. 

Community Impact: Individual Award

United Way relies on hundreds of individual volunteers to support our work. The Individual Community Impact Award goes to an individual that shares our commitment to transforming lives in the community. 

Winner: Peter Perkins

Peter Perkins has been one of United Way’s most dedicated volunteers for more than a decade. He currently serves on the Board of Directors and Community Impact Council, dedicating numerous hours monthly to United Way. Peter makes the time to engage with United Way staff, attends every event, and never fails to provide positive feedback and words of encouragement to our team. He is knowledgeable, affable and committed – key ingredients for a fantastic volunteer.   

John Reilly is a long-time volunteer for United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, dedicating countless hours to the program from February through AprilAs a 10+ year volunteer, John has committed nearly 1,520 hours of volunteer service to United Way.  
Miki Annamanthadoo has been a dedicated volunteer for United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. Over the course of 10 years, Miki has committed roughly 1,400 volunteer hours at tax sites across our region. Miki is dependable and shows great compassion toward others in all situations. 

Steps to Success Award

United Way brings together our region’s nonprofits, businesses, schools and volunteers. We identify key areas of need and create community-based and community-led solutions that provide everyone in our region with a clear path to success. 

The Steps to Success Award is given to an outstanding partner, group or organization that shows their commitment to improve our region for everyone who lives here and exemplifies our mission to empower individuals and drive systemic change. 

Winner: Bob and Anna Lou Schaberg Foundation

The Bob and Anna Lou Schaberg Foundation demonstrates an unwavering commitment to the community by supporting programs that address critical needs that include improved housing, human services, workforce skill development and community partnership. The Schabergs are committed United Way supporters that truly care about the community and understand the importance of building capacity of nonprofit organizations. Most recently, they demonstrated this commitment through support for the Workforce Partnership Team at United Way, which brings together workforce professionals and service providers to remove barriers to employment and help everyone in our region secure a steady, sustainable job with a livable wage. 

The Schabergs have changed lives across our region with their generosity and understanding that we must all come together to make real change.