2022 Steps to Success Award Winners
We can’t wait to host our fourth annual Steps to Success Awards on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. We look forward to coming together and celebrating this fantastic group of winners and nominees.
Corporate Partner of the Year
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: DuPont de Nemours & Company
DuPont, a longtime United Way supporter, grew its engagement exponentially in 2021. Knowing they were in a position to help their community during the challenging COVID-19 pandemic, DuPont leadership made the United Way campaign a priority. DuPont’s CEO led a virtual fireside chat to kick-off the campaign, put United Way materials directly in the hands of all their employees and hosted a dinner at The Boathouse restaurant to recognize the company’s Leadership Circle and Alexis de Tocqueville Society donors.
Volunteers from DuPont stepped in to refurbish a United Way Early Learning Trail along with other beautification projects at the playground and community center at Mosby Court, a community of Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority. DuPont’s Young Professional Network was critical in the project planning adding additional safety recommendations for the site that proved very helpful.
At every step, the DuPont team went the extra mile to increase engagement while keeping everyone safe amid the pandemic. They even organized the campaign primarily from their parking lot to ensure the Dupont and United Way teams could comfortably socially distance in an outdoor setting. We are so grateful for Dupont’s all-around support and commitment to our community!
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: Curtis “Lewwy” Marsh, Mutual Assurance Society of Virginia
Even through transitioning the campaign to a virtual platform, Curtis “Lewwy” Marsh has a knack for generating enthusiasm for a United Way campaign, even when he has to use a virtual platform to do it. Lewwy Marsh has served as Mutual Assurance Society of Virginia’s Employee Campaign Manager (ECM) for years and has raised the bar for an outstanding United Way campaign every year, leading to a significant increase in employee giving in 2021. Utilizing virtual materials and pledge forms, Lewwy grew the campaign and used the incentive of having lunch in his famed “limousine” to encourage donations. We are so grateful for Lewwy’s unending support and for always “going the extra mile.”
For the past several years, Michelle has been drumming up support and generating enthusiasm for Genworth’s spotlight on United Way. From a “Sip & Paint” and pumpkin decorating, to a Halloween costume contest and putting together United Way Snack Packs, the amount of time and effort Michelle has dedicated to hosting fundraising events on behalf of United Way is truly a testament to her love of community.
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: Amy Bartilotti & Shelby Bartilotti
This year, we have the privilege of honoring a dynamic mother and daughter team who lead through example in the region’s education sector. Ameilia (Amy) Bartilotti works with FACE, The Office of Family and Community Engagement, in Chesterfield County building partnerships and engaging families to secure the best education for students in the Chesterfield County School System. Amid the pandemic, Amy developed the “Story Squad” program to celebrate the creativity and achievements of students feeling disconnected from the routines of in-person school.
Amy’s daughter, Shelby Bartilotti, also works in the school system as an Assistant Principal. Back when she was a classroom teacher, Shelby helped our local United Way put together back-to-school resources. She offered insight into developing a growth mindset with students, sharing “With all students I interact with, I praise the journey.“ We are grateful for the journey Amy and Shelby have taken with United Way and all that they have shared with us along the way in their combined 22 years of engagement.
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: Bob and Jan Reynolds
Bob and Jan Reynolds have been loyal United Way contributors for more than two decades – and members of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society for more than 10 years. Bob began his support while serving as the Chief Administrative Officer for what was then SunTrust Mortgage until his retirement in 2016. The Reynolds’ connection to United Way has deepened since then, with Jan serving on our WomenRise steering committee and Bob offering his financial expertise as a volunteer. Bob and Jan have attended and volunteered at countless United Way events, demonstrating their enthusiasm for United Way and its work in the community. Bob and Jan are community-minded in every aspect of their lives, even becoming a support system for several refugee families in the area. For Bob and Jan, giving is second nature, and while not their original home, they give so generously to the region because Richmond is their community.
Giving Community Award
The Giving Community Award recognizes a volunteer member of our giving communities. The individual receiving this award exemplifies the true spirit of giving: not only as a leader in the giving community, but as an active hand in United Way’s programming and an advocate for United Way’s work across the region.
Winner: Mary Virginia Overholser, Capital One
Mary Virginia Overholser learned about United Way’s WomenRise program through a ChamberRVA event in 2021 and has been a dedicated volunteer ever since. Mary Virginia, who currently serves as a contract attorney at Capital One, not only pledged to give a Leadership Circle gift to support the cause but also volunteered to join the newly formed steering committee. Since then, she has garnered support from her community, spent hours tabling at community events and most recently helped United Way to receive a grant of $35,000 from Capital One to support the WomenRise program. As a former criminal and immigration defense lawyer, Mary Virginia has had the chance to see firsthand the types of challenges faced by individuals in our community, especially young mothers. As a new mother herself, she also connected with WomenRise on a personal level, recognizing the challenge and responsibility of motherhood for everyone. Mary Virginia embodies what it means to be an advocate and volunteer.
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: Pitney Bowes
Pitney Bowes has consistently been one of our most spirited supporters, bringing enthusiasm and joy to every United Way engagement. Pitney Bowes has led an exceptional group of volunteers and we are happy to honor their entire team. This year, Pitney Bowes worked together to create 80 United Way Literacy Kits for incoming kindergarteners in our region. In addition to the generously donated supplies, Pitney Bowes volunteers took to time to carefully decorate the materials making sure that each child received a well-crafted kit to begin their time in school. Every year, even through the challenges of the pandemic, their team continually prioritizes giving back to their community.
General Electric continues to grow its engagement with United Way with fun, creative campaigns and heartfelt volunteerism. This year, a team from the GE Information Security Technology Center came together to help St. Joseph’s Villa, one of United Way’s funded partners, to tend to their garden and build a composter — quite literally digging in and getting their hands dirty to support our community. In addition, GE staff donated their time to construct United Way Literacy Kits for incoming kindergarteners. In each volunteer opportunity, GE goes above and beyond to make something special for their community.
From Literacy Kits to financial education workshops, Truist volunteers have done it all with United Way. Truist is a purpose-driven company that strives to inspire and build better lives and communities. In its transition from its predecessor banks, Truist has continued its Lighthouse Project, a leading corporate volunteer program. This year, a Lighthouse group assembled a United Way Little Free Library and installed it at Mosby Court, a community of Richmond Redevelopment Housing Authority. Additional Truist groups packed backpacks of school supplies to support our United Way Literacy Kits effort that supports schools from the 11 different school districts we serve.
Community Impact: Individual Award
United Way relies on hundreds of individual volunteers supporting our work. The Individual Community Impact Award goes to an individual that shares our commitment to transforming lives in the community.
Winner: Kwokwah “KW” Cheung
KW Cheung has been a volunteer with our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program since 2010 and has donated countless hours of his time to helping others accurately file their tax returns after experiencing personal challenges when first filing his own tax return. KW enjoyed helping others at the Meadowdale Library tax site and when the pandemic hit in 2020 he switched to the virtual tax site, which allows him to continue helping others from home. KW brings a great deal of knowledge, determination and commitment to his new role as a remote tax preparer and volunteers daily!
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 improving our region for everyone who lives here and exemplifies our mission to empower individuals and drive systemic change.
Winner: Dominion Energy
Dominion Energy’s EnergyShare program helps people across the region through bill pay assistance and weatherization. EnergyShare provides assistance with heating and cooling costs and has helped more than 15,000 individuals and their families this past year alone, including more than 1,100 military veterans and 1,500 individuals living with disabilities. The program provides free home energy efficiency upgrades, which decrease energy usage, increase savings and ensure more manageable energy bills. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dominion Energy stepped in to provide energy bill relief for more than 780 small businesses, nonprofits and houses of worship.
United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg has partnered with Dominion Energy to provide financial management of the program since its inception in 1982. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the EnergyShare program and United Way’s partnership with Dominion Energy.
Dominion Energy also generously supported United Way’s WomenRise program, donating funds for ten additional scholarships for single mothers who are going back to school to achieve their goals and support their families. We are thankful to have a strong partnership with Dominion Energy that allows us to work towards a shared vision of thriving communities.