A year ago during the Chesterfield Education Foundation’s (CEF) largest attended Bravo! Awards Gala, honorees were sharing their personal and inspirational stories of how a Chesterfield County Public Schools education contributed to launching them on their path to success. This year’s celebration on Thursday, Nov. 19, will look a little different due to the COVID-19 world-wide pandemic.
The 2020 Virtual Bravo! Awards celebration will be just as heartfelt and inspiring as it has been in the past, but instead of filling the James River Ballroom at the DoubleTree by Hilton with 400 guests, recipients will be honored in an intimate, in-person banquet while friends, family and the public can attend via a virtual setting.
“Every year, the Chesterfield Education Foundation celebrates the successes of our school division’s outstanding alumni, and while this year may look different, we appreciate the extra efforts they have taken to honor these exceptional individuals during these unprecedented times, ” Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty said. “We are appreciative that the Foundation is taking time to recognize the profound impact that each of these graduates’ have had within our local community and in other communities across the nation.”
The virtual gala will be live streamed on CEF’s Facebook page and YouTube channel from 5:15-7:30 p.m. Friends, family and the public are invited to join in the celebration of these outstanding alumni as the event kicks off with the local band, 64 Crayons, playing live from their studio.
Like past events, there will be a welcome followed by the introduction of this year’s award recipients. While the honorees are served dinner, both in-person and virtual guests will be treated to more live music. At 6:45 p.m. the 2020 Bravo! Awards Presentations will begin, and each recipient will share their inspirational stories with the live viewers.
Throughout the evening, viewers will have the opportunity to engage in the online raffle by purchasing tickets for prizes donated by generous community partners. All proceeds benefit K-12 students attending Chesterfield County Public Schools.
Just like past Bravo! Award recipients, this year’s honorees will be visiting their alma maters next week; however, this year’s school visits will be virtual. Each Bravo! Award winner will meet virtually with students to share their experiences in Chesterfield schools that helped lay the foundation for success, as well as guidance and tips for making a difference in the world.
“On behalf of the School Board, I would like to extend our thanks and congratulations to these honorees,” School Board Chair Debbie Bailey said. “Each one of these honorees is more than just a graduate. They are emblematic of what it looks like to live out the School Board’s vision of creating a better tomorrow. The Bravo! Award winners’ positive contributions are indicative of Chesterfield County Public Schools’ ability to equip students with the skills they need to be successful after graduation, and demonstrate the high return on investment they receive from a strong public education system.”
Since 2009, the Chesterfield Education Foundation has recognized more than 60 professional and community achievements of outstanding Chesterfield County Public Schools alumni. During the past 11 years, recipients have ranged from professional athletes, musicians, and doctors to entrepreneurs and business leaders who have made an exceptional impact on their professions and community.
The recipients to be honored at the virtual 2020 Bravo! Awards are:
Director of Student Activities at James River High School
James River High School, Class of 2006
Bryan Hannum currently serves as the Director of Student Activities at James River High School. Prior to his current role Bryan was a teacher at James River for nine years, where he taught World I History at the collaborative and honors level as well as teaching in the Leadership and International Relations program as their World I History teacher. Bryan was also the head varsity baseball coach
at James River for three years where they made it to the state semifinal game in the 2018-2019 season. Outside of his current role Bryan is involved in nonprofit work in effort to bring back the booster organization at James River High School. He has also helped initiate Rapids Baseball Incorporated, a nonprofit that uses baseball and other activities to benefit the James River and Midlothian community. Bryan is currently pursuing his master’s degree at VCU in their Center for Sport Leadership program.
Executive Director, Richmond Friends of the Homeless
Midlothian High School, Class of 1997
Camille serves as Executive Director at Richmond Friends of the Homeless, a non-profit organization founded in 1986. Their mission is to strengthen and enrich the community life of Richmond’s underprivileged through a daily hot meals program. In addition, award winning services are offered to the many inner-city children seen each day. Since joining the organization
in 2003 when she opened its second permanent location at Greater Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in the neighborhood of Jackson War/Gilpin Court, her primary responsibilities include daily management of on-site service provision to thousands of monthly recipients, recruiting and overseeing hundreds of volunteers at the church each month, developing a team of support staff for food delivery, and creating a base of fundraising support for program operations. Camille is a 2001 Graduate of Longwood University with a B.S, in Social Work.
Director of Product Management at Dotdash
Matoaca High School, Class of 2000
Quentin is currently the Director of Product Management at Dotdash, where he leads the product design and development of Dotdash’s portfolio of publications in tech, education, and sustainability. He also leads the company’s accessibility program, ensuring that its digital content and technology are accessible for people with all spectrums of ability and access. Quentin received his B.S in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia, and his M.S. in Engineering Management from The George Washington University. Quentin
serves his community, in New York and Virginia, through his many mentorship and advocacy efforts, with increasing awareness and excellence in STEM education. Quentin is a founder and organizer of Hoos Against Hate, a grassroots movement of students, alumni and supporters committed to standing up against Hate groups, crime and efforts that impact the UVA and Charlottesville communities.
Principal, Emerson Companies
Thomas Dale High School, Class of 1974
George Emerson, Jr. was born and raised in Chester, VA, and he and his wife Darlene continue to live in Chester. George graduated from Thomas Dale High School in 1974; received his B.A. degree from VCU in 1978 and immediately pursued real estate as a career. In 1980 he founded Emerson Builders, Inc. In 1996 he founded Emerson Construction Group which focused on commercial, industrial, and institutional development projects. Today, he is the principal of Emerson Companies which focuses on development projects throughout the Richmond
metropolitan region. George’s recent focus has been on housing revitalization along the Jefferson Davis corridor in Chesterfield County, including the construction of Colony Village Apartments and Moore’s Lake Apartments with
$45,000,000.00 and $60,000,000.00 investments in these projects. George has developed many notable residential neighborhoods in Chesterfield including River’s Bend, Chester Village Green, The Highlands, and Meadowville Landing communities. He is also heavily involved with cancer research and is the Chairman of the Legislative Committee for the VCU Massey Cancer Center Advisory Board.
Director, Catalysis and Separations Sciences Laboratory at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering
Lloyd C. Bird High School Class of 1995
Dr. April Ross is the Director of the Catalysis & Separation Sciences Laboratory at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and her Master’s and Doctorate degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, all in chemical engineering. Since joining ExxonMobil in 2005, she has held numerous technical positions in new catalyst and process technology development that
delivered cleaner fuels, improved process efficiency, and new products. She is a co-inventor on nine granted technology patents and in 2017 was awarded the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award from Research & Development Council of New Jersey. In her current role, Dr. Ross leads scientists developing core capabilities in novel catalysts and process technologies, including membranes and other advanced separations, focused on long-term fundamental research and knowledge building to address global energy challenges. In 2011, she was inducted into the L.C. Bird High School Hall of Fame as an All-State volleyball athlete.
Please note: Due to the Governor’s recent executive order, only 25 guests will attend this year. Should you have any questions regarding this event, please contact the Chesterfield Education Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Chesterfield Education Foundation provides private support for the public schools of Chesterfield County through classroom grants, scholarships, teaching awards, project start-up funds as well as through the expertise and knowledge of professionals in the community. MCD Awards, MEGA Mentors, and Chesterfield STAR are among the Foundation’s partner programs that serve the students and teachers of Chesterfield County Public Schools. The Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in 1989. For more information, visit www.cefva.org.
To watch CEF’s live 2020 Bravo! Awards Gala, visit:
Chesterfield County Public Schools and the Chesterfield Education Foundation appreciate the support of the 2020 Bravo! Awards gold level sponsors. We are grateful that they stepped up during these unprecedented times to sponsor this event that benefits our students.