Kathleen K. Seefeldt, the first elected at-large chair of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, received the Charles J. Colgan Visionary Award from the Prince William Chamber of Commerce at its annual awards banquet Feb. 26.
The award, named in memory of the state senator who passed away in January 2017, recognizes individuals for their service to the business community.
Also at the awards banquet, at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, the chamber recognized winners in 10 other categories. The top excellence in business prize went to DuvallWheeler LLP in the category for businesses with 11 or more employees, and the top small business award was presented to Loveless Porter Architects.
Seefeldt, a Democrat, was first elected to the Board of County Supervisors from the Occoquan District, which she represented from 1976 until 1991. Until that point, the chair of the board was selected from among its members, but in 1991, Seefeldt was elected chair in a countywide vote. She served as chair until 1999, when she was defeated by Republican Sean Connaughton.
During her tenure on the board, Seefeldt was a leader in efforts to build the Prince William Parkway, which connects the eastern and western ends of the county. Part of the parkway is named after her. She also was critical in efforts to persuade George Mason University to establish a campus in the county. That campus, near Manassas, helped the county land the headquarters of the American Type Culture Connection and now includes the Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center as well as the Hylton Performing Arts Center.
In a 2014 interview with George Mason, Seefeldt recalled that effort.
“Prince William County had developed a keen interest in attracting a university in conjunction with information technology as some kind of complex,” she said. “At one point we did travel to New York and visit and talk with some people from Rensselaer Polytech. They got us very excited about the synergy that develops between a university and the surrounding community. So we were eager to have something happen because we felt it would benefit the community for decades to come as well as be a big asset for our economic development effort and job growth goals.”
DuVallWheeler, winner of the Excellence in Business Award for large companies, is a full-service accounting and consulting firm founded in 1992. Based in Manassas, the firm has 16 employees, led by William S. Duvall, Regina N. Jessop and Shannon D. Hagerich.
The firm emphasizes its community service by supporting a number of local organizations and nonprofits and encouraging its team members to give of their time and resources to make Prince William a better place to live.
Over the past year, the firm’s biggest challenge has been adapting to the biggest federal income tax law changes in 30 years while allowing its employees to maintain a good work-life balance.
Loveless Porter Architects, winner of the Excellence in Small Business Award, was started in 1975 and is a full-service architectural and engineering firm with eight employees.
Led by Chief Executive Officer Sean Porter, the firm serves commercial clients throughout the Washington region and the Mid-Atlantic in programming, design development, construction documents, bidding and construction contract administration. The firm’s projects include medical facilities, churches, breweries/distilleries, schools, fitness centers and manufacturing plants.
Over the past year, Loveless Porter moved from its previous home on Main Street in Manassas into a former church building that it renovated on Center Street. The church, built in the early 1900s, at one time featured a traditional steeple and had later been used for a belly-dancing school.
Winners in other categories were:
Emerging Business: Avision Worldwide
Innovative Practice or Partnership of the Year: Leadership Prince William and Comcast
Community Outreach: A tie between Apple Federal Credit Union and Mr. Handyman
Excellence in Hospitality & Tourism: MurLarkey Distilled Spirits
Excellence in Construction or General Contracting: Mike Garcia Construction
Tech Company of the Year: Lockheed Martin Rotary & Mission Systems
Agnes L. Colgan Award for Arts and Education: HireGround Inc.
Agnes L. Colgan Award for Health & Human Services: CASA-Children’s Intervention Services