“And the winner is…”

Last week, Amy Owen, President and CEO of the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties, was named Entrepreneur of the Year at the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce 2018 Small Business Awards.  One of the top honors of this annual event, this prestigious award recognizes Owen’s hard work, dedication, and business savvy that has led the Community Foundation to incredible growth in her tenure as the organization’s leader.

How did she do it?  “I followed the path that almost every entrepreneur follows: overtime galore; walking the balance beam between networking and must-do desk projects; establishing best practices and finding practical solutions; and wooing and cultivating the team willing to volunteer and own the vision,” Owen stated.

Celebrating with over 500 of Loudoun’s small business leaders, Owen gave the following remarks during her acceptance speech:

[box] WOW!  In one of the most entrepreneurial communities ever, this is such a high honor.

Thank you to the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce, in the biggest way, for its culture of building its own reputation by showcasing the reputation and work of others.  And, thank you to the Chamber for recognizing that nonprofits are businesses and entrepreneurial, too.

We do have one difference.  Nonprofits have volunteer Board of Directors that are part of the Leadership Team.  And, the Community Foundation’s Board is a starship enterprise.  This honor is shared with them.

So many fellow nonprofits could share this stage.  Just like any business, it takes grit and ingenuity to keep a nonprofit running well.  That’s especially true in Loudoun County.  Did you know that Loudoun has some of our lowest household charitable giving rates in the United States?

Amazing, right?  That’s why we started the Faces of Loudoun community service campaign.  You’ll find it at FacesOfLoudoun.org.

I’m so proud of that program and the many programs and services the Community Foundation delivers.  From workshops, seminars, and training for nonprofit leaders…to personalized, philanthropic services for donors who care about local community–that’s what we are here for.

If you’re thinking of starting a nonprofit, or wonder what the key needs are here at home, or thinking about setting up a donor advised fund, or scholarship fund, or foundation, will you reach out to me or my excellent staff?  I think we can help.

Before I thank you one more time, I’d like to leave you with this beautiful thought from the Talmud:

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief
Do justly, now.
Love mercy, now.
Walk humbly, now.
You are not obligated to complete the work,
But neither are you free to abandon it.

Thank you so much![/box]

The Small Business Awards also recognize Loudoun’s nonprofit organizations for their leadership and excellence.  This year, Loudoun Habitat for Humanity was honored as Nonprofit of the Year, joined by the category’s finalists A Place To Be, Loudoun Free Clinic, and Mobile Hope.

Check out the following news stories about the event, as well as our event photos:

Chamber Honors Owen, Northern Virginia Orthodontics (Loudoun Now)
Northern Virginia Orthodontics claims Small Business of the Year at Loudoun Chamber awards (Loudoun Times-Mirror)