Some 80 guests celebrated with four local leaders as they received career achievement awards presented during a dinner ceremony at George Mason University’s Mason Square. The Regional Leadership Awards were presented on December 7, 2022, by the Regional Elected Leaders Initiative (RELI) and hosted by the Schar School of Policy and Government.
RELI was created in 2018 to enhance regionalism and support Northern Virginia’s regional elected leaders, including General Assembly members, city and town mayors and council members, county supervisors, and school board members, among others.
Several of those office holders were in attendance during the ceremony that saw longtime Virginia Delegate Ken Plum (D), City of Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson, Fairfax County School Board member Karen Corbett Sanders, and Executive Director of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Chuck Bean recognized for distinguished leadership in Northern Virginia.
The dinner and awards are among the programs and events RELI hosts throughout the year in an effort to help elected leaders engage, learn, and connect in order to effect positive change for their communities and the Northern Virginia region.
As such, the dinner awards included an educational component: The evening was topped off with a Leadership Conversation between former lieutenant governor of Virginia William Bolling (R), an adjunct instructor at the Schar School, and former Virginia Secretary of Education James W. Dyke, Jr. (D), who stepped in at the last minute for U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D) when he was called away to vote on the House floor. The conversation was moderated by Schar School dean Mark J. Rozell.