Citizen of the Year Banquet


The Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations, hosted the 69th annual Fairfax County Citizen of the Year Awards Banquet at the Crowne Plaza Tysons Corner hotel. The Federation recognized Catherine Ledec as the 2018 Citizen of the Year for her service to and for the citizens of Fairfax.

Catherine Ledec is a force of nature - by being a force FOR nature, with an intensity and focus that is truly remarkable. She has behind her a lifetime of volunteerism that began when she was 14. Once she retired in 2015, the whirlwind that had been Cathy's volunteer work became a tornado of volunteerism that benefits all of us in Fairfax County and Northern Virginia. The hallmark of her accomplishments has been not just volunteering, but taking on steadily increasing roles in organizing and motivating others. What is typical of Cathy is that she volunteers with a group, then gets more involved, and soon she is organizing, coordinating, leading, and empowering others to get involved. Cathy has received many awards for her extensive volunteer work since the early 2000s, both as an individual and as part of Friends groups in which she led activities and projects. She frequently provides public testimony and comments to influence land use planning cases, seeking improvements to environmental conditions that will benefit us and future residents of Fairfax County. She volunteers with several Fairfax County Park Authority Programs and you might find her "deep in the weeds" pulling English ivy from our trees and working to restore our forests and woodlands. She is actively engaged in numerous citizen science activities with the Fairfax County Park Authority and the National Audubon Society. Cathy is frequently asked to serve on advisory boards and make presentations inspiring and empowering others to make a positive difference. For her many and diverse volunteer efforts behalf of the Fairfax County Parks and our environment, the Fairfax Federation is honored to recognize Catherine Ledec as Citizen of the Year.

Federation President Bill Barfield served as Master of Ceremonies. Here is a copy of the banquet program.

In addition to the Citizen of the Year Award, the Federation presented Citations of Merit to Alberto Figueiredo-Sangiorgio, and Tania Hossain. Alberto Figueiredo-Sangiorgio serves as the executive chef and general manager for Wildflour Caterers. Wildflour operates as a bakery and deli shop, and primarily employs individuals with developmental disabilities. Overseeing the chef-in-training program at Wildflour as well as daily operations, Chef Alberto ensures that these individuals receive valuable training and employment in a positive and accepting environment that allows them to build independence, strengthen their skill sets, and have a strong sense of community in their daily lives. For his many and diverse volunteer efforts in support of individuals with developmental disabilities, the Fairfax Federation is honored to recognize Alberto Figueiredo-Sangiorgio with a Citation of Merit. Tania Hossain Is a thought leader who applies her grand ideas as practical solutions and who does not shy away from the everyday grinding work that exemplifies the spirit of the volunteer leader in Fairfax County. She has worked as a volunteer leader for over two decades, with various organizations, to enhance the quality of life for everyone. While working on two master's degrees and a full-time job, Tania led the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens' Associations with much passion in her vision to ensure that each Magisterial District had their own district council - a platform for the community to engage and act on issues that are important to them. In her role as President, Tania was instrumental in revitalizing not only the Federation's organizational effectiveness but also in promoting the revitalization of the Providence, Mason, Lee, and Springfield District Councils. Tania served as Chair of the Fairfax Cooperative Extension Leadership Council where she was responsible for advocating and fundraising for programs such as the 4-H Clubs and Master Gardeners. In addition, she served two terms as At-Large Advocacy Chair for the Commonwealth's Cooperative Extension Leadership Council during which time, her leadership was critical in securing funding for Extension Agents located around the State, including two Fairfax County. For her many and diverse volunteer efforts in the areas of citizen activism, the Fairfax Federation is honored to recognize Tania Hossain with a Citation of Merit.

In addition to the Citations of Merit, the Federation presented a Special Gratitude Award to John F. Ribble, III.  John has been a member of the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals [BZA] since 1982, vice chairman for several years, chairman since 2012 [approximately], appointed and reappointed by the circuit court for several 5 year terms. John has been active in Riverside Gardens Civic Association in Alexandria for many years, and has served as President four times. He remains active Active in the Mount Vernon Council of Citizens Associations [MVCCA], currently serving as one of 3 co-chairs. He served as Co-Chair, Mount Vernon Visionary Task Force, and as a member of Fairfax County Council of the Arts, umbrella arts association, now know as Arts Fairfax. He has served in multiple other positions, such as Past President, Belle Haven Country Club and as a volunteer firefighter for Arlington County, For his many and diverse efforts land use and community activities in the Mount Vernon area, and countywide with the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals, and on the occasion of his retirement from the Board, the Fairfax Federation is honored to recognize John F. Ribble with a Special Gratitude Award.

Representative Gerry Connolly inserted into the Congressional Record a brief description of each honoree’s achievements.

All photographs (C) 2019 Fairfax Federation were taken by Sharon and Steven Okrend who we thank, page date 17 July 2019 V1

7 April 2019