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The Fairfax County Federation of Citizens' Associations

requests the pleasure of your company at the

Sixty-Seventh Annual Awards Banquet

Banquet Program


2016 Fairfax County Citizen of the Year

Joseph Chudzik
Joseph Chudzik

Citation of Merit Honorees

Cheryl Ellsworth
Cheryl Ellsworth

Emily McCoy
Emily McCoy

Ken Balbuena
Ken Balbuena

Sunday, the Second of April, 2017

at the

Crowne Plaza Tysons Corner

1960 Chain Bridge Road, McLean, Virginia

Cocktails 5:30 p.m.

Program 6:30 p.m.

Please click here to register for the Banquet

Joseph Chudzik

Joseph Chudzik,
the 2016 Fairfax County Citizen of the Year

Joe is a model citizen with a passion for serving his community. He serves as a volunteer at polling stations, local Boy Scout troops, the Mason Neck Lions Club, and various other groups in Fairfax County. He also personally organizes multiple road and highway cleanups throughout the year. Joe is a strong advocate and constant proponent for improving our community and helping others.

Joe doesn’t just participate in these organizations, but actually holds leadership roles in them, as well. Since 1995, Joe has served as either the Chief or Assistant Chief Election Officer of the polling stations at Gunston Elementary School and Lorton Regional Library. He has also served as President, Director, and Chairman of several other service-oriented organizations such as the Mt. Vernon Council of Citizen’s Associations, Mason Neck Citizens Association, Mason’s Collar Community Association, Fairfax County Airports Advisory Committee, Clean Fairfax Council, Inc., Lorton Federation of Citizen’s Associations, and Mason Neck Lions Club.

Joe is such a respectable and kind individual who is always friendly, enthusiastic, and passionate about helping others. Therefore, there is truly no one more deserving of this award than Joseph Chudzik.

  • Joe is very active with the Mason Neck Lions Club. He has organized several Mason Neck Lions Club-sponsored community service projects to benefit the Lorton Community Action Center - Youth Activities Group, including park litter clean-ups, graffiti removal, tree planting, storm drain marking, and biological stream water quality projects.
  • Additionally, Joe serves as Chairman of the Cultural and Community Activities Committee for the Mason Neck Lions Club, and has organized and managed 155 community service projects since 2002. In 2008, Joe applied to Fairfax County for a Neighborhood Enhancement Partnership Program grant on behalf of the Mason Neck Lions Club to construct a park bench. After being awarded the grant, Joe used the funds to create molds for the concrete bench supports and to build benches which the Lions Club installed at parks and bus stops. Joe has built 39 park benches that have been installed at seven bus stops on Richmond Highway in Lorton, parks, trails, schools, community centers, and the LCAC. Joe continues to build and deliver benches on behalf of the Mason Neck Lions Club.
  • Joe supports Eagle Scout leadership projects for Boy Scout troops at Burke United Methodist Church and Ft. Belvoir. Joe coordinated support from Fairfax ReLeaf, and assisted aspiring Eagle Scouts with selecting meaningful community service projects.
  • Joe performs regular Adopt-a-Highway litter clean-ups along the “Chudzik Family” adopted section of Gunston Road. Since 2009, he has personally performed 16 roadside litter collections.
  • Joe championed the Mason Neck Trail project, a six-mile long, asphalt paved, and non-motorized trail along Gunston Road. The Mason Neck Trail is designed to improve pedestrian access from the more densely developed neighborhoods of Lorton to the many parks, recreational, and historic heritage areas on Mason Neck. Since 1996, Joe has successfully obtained over $1,650,000 in federal funds for the Mason Neck Trail. Section 2B of this trail is currently under construction and expected to be completed by August 2017. Joe continues to work with the Fairfax County Transportation Division toward completing the remaining sections of the Mason Neck Trail.

Joe was a Peace Corps Volunteer teacher in Thailand; a B-52 pilot in the USAF Strategic Air Command; and a Foreign Service Officer in the U.S. Department of State. Not many can say they have served in the Peace Corps, War Corps and Diplomatic Corps!

For his many and diverse volunteer efforts, including his strong advocacy for improving our community and helping others, the Fairfax Federation is honored to recognize Joseph Chudzik as 2016 Citizen of the Year.

Cheryl Ellsworth

Citation of Merit Recipient Cheryl Ellsworth

Cheryl Ellsworth is an attorney who spent 25 years practicing international trade law in the nation's capital. She specialized in representing companies, business associations, and foreign governments in administrative and judicial proceedings, as well as in trade negotiations. She made numerous presentations to corporations and business groups on international trade issues, and assisted clients to implement internal audit procedures to minimize their risk of exposure under the U.S. trade laws.

From 2006-15, Cheryl served on the board of directors of Good Shepherd Housing and Family Services (GSH). She served as Chair of the Development Committee, Board Chair, and Chair of the Board Development Committee. Cheryl also served as Chair of GSH’s Executive Search Task Force. During the period in which Cheryl served as Board Chair, GSH won the 2012 Center for Nonprofit Advancement Board Leadership Award, the 2012 Fairfax County Nonprofit of the Year Award, and the 2013 Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management.

Beginning in 2016, Cheryl was elected to serve on GSH’s Community Leadership Council.

Currently, Cheryl is an owner-member of Hollin Hall Curves, a women’s fitness center. As President of the organization, she and her team are dedicated to providing a supportive, community-based environment for women to reach their health and fitness goals. Hollin Hall Curves regularly solicits member’s donations of school supplies, food items, books and monetary gifts that are channeled to area nonprofit organizations.

For her many and diverse volunteer efforts to increase access to affordable housing for working households in Fairfax County, the Fairfax Federation is honored to recognize Cheryl Ellsworth with a Citation of Merit.

Emily McCoy

Citation of Merit Recipient Emily McCoy

Emily McCoy has been an effective activist for the rights of women and girls for decades, on a variety of issues and through a number of volunteer organizations. She is an incredibly dedicated member of the Fairfax County Commission for Women, now serving her 35th year on the Commission. She provides a depth of knowledge and historical context that are crucial to the work of the Commission. She inspires others through her service and her knowledge of the steps it has taken to bring about concrete change.

Emily has led or participated in a number of Commission-related projects that have yielded long-term benefits to residents of Fairfax County. For example, she was part of the Fairfax County Girls’ Softball Equity Action Review Team that resulted in equal playing fields for female athletes in the county. She engaged a wide range of allies to build a team, and worked effectively with decision makers in the schools, county government, and youth and athletic organizations. This helped to build a community-wide recognition of the value of girls’ sports.

Emily has led many efforts to improve the County’s response to domestic violence, and has served for five years as the Commission for Women’s representative on the Domestic Violence Prevention, Policy and Coordinating Council, which provides the county’s leadership on this important issue. On the DVPPCC’s Community Engagement and Outreach Committee, she established a joint project between the DVPPCC and the Commission for Women that is providing private companies operating in the county with the resources to create workplace violence policies that includes provisions for the rights and safety of victims of domestic violence, and makes clear the connection between domestic violence and workplace violence. This project will make victims and workplaces safer.

Emily was a member of the Commission for Women’s Domestic Violence and Housing Committee 2010-2013, which brought the issue of the lack of emergency domestic violence shelter beds in the county to the attention of the Board of Supervisors, which is now addressing this crucial need. This committee engaged and activated a wide range of partners to help develop housing priorities for domestic violence victims.

Emily has devoted her time, energy and skills to the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association, a nonprofit set up to design and build a memorial to honor the suffragists who won the right to vote for women in 1920. The memorial will tell the history of American suffrage through 19 informational stations and will honor the dozens of suffragists imprisoned at Lorton, Virginia for picketing the White House demanding the right to vote. Ms. McCoy chaired this group 2013-2015 and has served as Co-Chair of the Interpretation and Design Committee since 2010. She has brought in numerous partners through her fundraising and design efforts. Ms. McCoy has educated many groups and individuals about the suffragists’ struggles and strategies, highlighting the fact that suffragists developed many of the social change techniques later adopted in the civil rights movement. She created and led a project with Commission for Women members, staff at Channel 16 and partners with historical expertise to develop two short films on suffragist history and the memorial. These films have been used by groups, on Channel 16 and online to spread knowledge of this history and the important role of women in creating change.

In addition to leading these important efforts, Emily continually supports others in their efforts to improve the status of women and girls in the county.

For her many and diverse volunteer efforts advocating for the rights of women and girls, the Fairfax Federation is honored to recognize Emily McCoy with a Citation of Merit.

Ken Balbuena

Citation of Merit Recipient Ken Balbuena

Ken Balbuena’s many contributions to Fairfax County demonstrate the selfless acts of service by one citizen to his greater community. As President of the North Springfield Civic Association (NSCA), Mr. Ken Balbuena has continuously shown himself to be an instrument for positive change. In 2015, Ken acted on behalf of the county to draft a resolution calling for the reinstatement of funding to the grass ordinance (Fairfax County Code §119-3-1), which was absent from the proposed FY16 advertised budget in March 2015. This resolution was passed by the NSCA board and brought to the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations (The Federation). Since civic associations are disproportionately impacted, this resolution and proposed amendment to the FY16 budget was especially important for communities across the County. Civic associations, unlike homeowner associations, do not have the empowerment to develop or enforce grass height ordinances, thus making them solely dependent on County enforcement. The Federation reviewed the resolution, and ultimately adopted it with minimal amendment. The resolution was then submitted as part of The Federation’s budget recommendations to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. As a result of this county-wide support, funding to the grass ordinance was restored to the FY16 budget in the amount of $120,000 (of a $3.8 billion budget). The actions of Mr. Balbuena were successful in restoring communities across the county with the tools to enforce their regulations. His keen attentiveness and initiative were tantamount to giving back power to his fellow county citizens.

Other accomplishments Ken has made as President of the NSCA include forming an Ad-Hoc Traffic Calming Committee to address neighborhood speeding, successfully advocating for a school crossing guard to receive proper traffic control and direction training (only 1 of 5 in the entire county authorized for such training), the creation a standing Minority Outreach Committee and a Senior Citizens Committee to meet the needs of these under served populations of the community, and starting the neighborhood's participation in the National Night Out program. Last year Mr. Balbuena also organized a special NSCA membership meeting to address neighborhood concerns regarding recent petty crime in the community. The special meeting invited Fairfax County police officers and detectives, as well as specialized home security vendors to present key talking points, address citizens’ questions, and overall help the North Springfield neighborhood to better secure its homes and personal property. The meeting was hailed as one of the most in-touch, informative sessions, and, unsurprisingly, was one of highest attended NSCA membership meetings to date. Mr. Balbuena even utilized state-of-the-art technology leveraging the innovative Facebook Live application to live-stream the meeting for those citizens who could not physically attend. All attendees – both those physically present and those citizens who virtually participated in the meeting from home – regarded the special session with high praise.

Ken has also co-authored two grants for neighborhood improvement projects that garnered a total of more than $7,000 or 3/4 of the NSCA’s normal operating revenue. His leadership efforts and vision over the last few years has resulted in a 31 percent increase in membership, annual donations, and business ad sales. Additionally, a capital campaign to honor our 60th anniversary as a community has generated an additional 37 percent in donations. As a result, the NSCA’s overall fiscal picture has gone from a net operating income deficit of 14 percent over the three years prior to his election to a 9 percent net operating income surplus in the year & a half since.

Ken secured a five-year, $3,000 corporate sponsorship to award merit-based cash awards to recipients of NSCA's newly-created Community Service Youth Awards program. These awards recognize elementary, middle, and high school students (one per level) who demonstrate community service. The goal is that they will continue to give back to others as they grow.

Ken was a 2016 inductee into the Bishop Sullivan Alumni Service Hall of Fame (his alma mater). He was one of only three people inducted in the school's 68-year history and the first since 2013.

For his many and diverse volunteer efforts championing neighborhood improvement, Fairfax Federation is honored to recognize Ken Balbuena with a Citation of Merit.

US Senator Mark Warner recognized the honorees with letters

COY 2016 Senator Warner Letter to Ken Balbuena
Senator Warner Letter to Ken Balbuena
COY 2016 Senator Warner Letter to Joseph Chudzik
Senator Warner Letter to Joseph Chudzik
COY 2016 Senator Warner Letter to Cheryl Ellsworth
Senator Warner Letter to Cheryl Ellsworth
COY 2016 Senator Warner Letter to Emily McCoy
Senator Warner Letter to Emily McCoy

The Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations, established in 1940, is the countywide voice for homeowner, civic, and community associations. An all-volunteer organization, The Federation works on issues that impact Fairfax County residents, including education, transportation, the environment, human services, land use, the county budget, and state and federal legislative issues.

PRESS CONTACT: Jeff Parnes, COY Chair, FedCOY2017 @ Fairfax Phone: 703-424-2956

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