Montgomery Serves Awards 2016

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(From left ): Susan Nix Webster; Veretta Nix; Keith Haller, Chair of Fund for Montgomery; Gustavo Torres, Roscoe R. Nix Distinguished Community Leadership Award honoree; Andrea Roane, WUSA anchor and event emcee; Vivian Bass, Roscoe R. Nix Distinguished Community Leadership Award honoree; Andrew Cassidy, Executive Vice President Early, Cassidy & Schilling, Inc., Montgomery Serves Award honoree; Natasha Carter, Director, The Armand Center for Conflict Resolution, Montgomery Serves Award honoree; Judge DeLawrence Beard, Roscoe R. Nix Distinguished Community Leadership Award honoree; Najma Thomas, Montgomery Serves Award honoree; Mansfield Kaseman, Interfaith Community Liaison, World of Montgomery Public Citizen of the Year Award honoree; County Executive Ike Leggett; Andrea Jolly, The Armand Center; Sarah Gotbaum, Neal Potter Path of Achievement Award honoree; Josh Gotbaum; Stuart Rosenthal, Publisher, The Beacon; Debbie Tipton, The Armand Center; Jan Jablonski, Montgomery Serves Awards honoree; Geovanni Munguia, The Armand Center; Briana Henderson, The Armand Center; Gene Counihan, Neal Potter Path of Achievement Award honoree; Senator Cheryl Kagan.  

View Winners Bios

Roscoe R. Nix Award       Neal Potter Award Montgomery Serves Award
Vivian Bass Gene Counihan Najma Thomas
DeLawrence Beard Sarah Gotbaum Early, Cassidy & Schilling, Inc.
Gustavo Torres   Jan Jablonski
    The Armand Center for Conflict Resolution
  World of Montgomery Award  
  Reverend Mansfield "Kasey" Kaseman  

Thank you to Fund for Montgomery for sponsoring this event!! 




County Executive Ike Leggett has established the Roscoe R. Nix Distinguished Community Leadership Award to honor the legacy of leadership of former School Board Member and NAACP Branch President Roscoe Nix. The award, the County’s equivalent of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, is presented by the County Executive each year to honor an individual or individuals who over the course of their distinguished lives of community service have made extraordinary contributions to the quality of our community at the very highest levels of excellence. 

Roscoe R. Nix Distinguished Community Leadership Award Winners



Vivian Bass

Vivian Bass, executive director of the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes (JFGH), has worked to ensure the quality of life, independence, community inclusion, and dignity of people with disabilities for nearly four decades. JFGH’s programs support more than 200 individuals with disabilities, regardless of faith or creed, in more than 70 residential locations, and have served as a model for more than 25 communities across five continents. 



DeLawrence Beard

After earning a law degree through night school, DeLawrence Beard worked as both a prosecutor and public defender before making history to become Montgomery County’s first African American judge. As part of his life’s dedication to providing fairness and justice for all, he has served on a number of county and state commissions, including Montgomery County’s Criminal Justice Commission, and co-founded the J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association to empower youth of color to pursue a legal education.



Gustavo Torres

Gustavo Torres is an internationally recognized leader of the immigrant rights movement. An immigrant himself, he became executive director of CASA in the early 1990s, and has since built the organization from a small group working out of a church basement to the largest Latino and immigrant service and advocacy organization in the Washington region. CASA’s advocacy has helped Montgomery County become a national model of welcoming communities.

Click Here to View All Roscoe R. Nix Distinguished Community Leadership Award Winners



In partnership with the Montgomery County Commission on Aging and 
The Beacon Newspapers 

The Neal Potter Path of Achievement Awards will honor two recipients 60 years of age or better whose accomplishments and lifelong commitment to volunteer service make them outstanding roles models for young and old alike. The name of the award honors former County Executive Neal Potter.  Click here for a bio of Neal Potter

Neal Potter Path of Achievement Award Winners



Gene Counihan

In addition to working many years as an MCPS teacher and administrator as well as a state legislator, Gene Counihan has spent decades of his life in service to a wide variety of Montgomery County organizations dedicated to everything from the arts to business to cultural understanding. Considered one of the “founding fathers” of the Universities at Shady Grove, Counihan has also been a mentor to countless students, activists, community leaders, and political candidates.



Sarah Gotbaum

Sarah Gotbaum has devoted her life to working--professionally as well as through volunteer pursuits--on behalf of women, equality, and aging issues. Among her accomplishments, she served as the founder of the Montgomery County chapter of the Older Women’s League, where she advocated for policies and programs to improve the lives of seniors in the region. Today, in her 90s, she continues to volunteer to better the lives of those around her.


Click Here to View All Neal Potter Path of Achievement Award Winners


These awards recognize those who have given extraordinary community service or volunteerism during 2015. The award is given in four categories. Nominees must either live, work, or serve in Montgomery County, service must have been performed outside the context of a nominee’s paid employment, and recognizes service, rather than philanthropy. Past winners are ineligible to win in the same category.

Montgomery Serves Award Winners



Najma Thomas - Youth Award

Najma Thomas, a senior at Wheaton High School, created a legacy of service to her community in 2015 with the founding of a STEM-based elementary school mentoring program to help instill an appreciation for science and engineering in younger students. In other volunteer pursuits, she works with students with special needs and promotes cancer awareness.



Early Cassidy & Schilling, Inc. - Business Award

Early, Cassidy & Schilling, Inc. is a small business with a very large heart. Referring on its website to community service as “a privilege, not an obligation,” the company worked on behalf of several nonprofits in 2015 and built a special relationship with the Community Ministries of Rockville. There, EC&S employees and their families have undertaken a variety of service projects, including planning and implementing a complete renovation of the living room of a supportive housing program facility.



Jan Jablonski - Community Service Individual

Distinguished early childhood educator and Co-Founder of the Noyes Children’s Library Foundation Jan Jablonski (center) has long advocated on behalf of libraries, early childhood literacy, and special needs children. This year, she spearheaded a major campaign to fund a universal design renovation plan to make the 123-year-old library building not only ADA-compliant, but a model of true accessibility and inclusion. 



The Armand Center for Conflict Resolution - Commuity Service Group

Briana Henderson, Kesha Matthews, Debi Tipton, and Andrea Jolly (Volunteer Group)--all volunteers at the Armand Center for Conflict Resolution--have made possible the center’s mission to provide a safe, affordable, and family friendly environment for supervised visitation and monitored child custody exchange visits. Together, this group provided more than 2,800 hours of volunteer services in 2015, helping ensure that parents have an opportunity to spend time with their children in a safe, compassionate environment while holding abusers accountable.


Click Here to View All Montgomery Serves Award Winners


This awards honors those who inspire selfless service and volunteerism enriching Montgomery County’s global community .

World of Montgomery Public Citizen of the Year Award



Reverend Mansfield "Kasey" Kaseman

The Reverend Mansfield “Kasey” Kaseman has been engaged for 50 years in ecumenical and interfaith work connecting all sectors of community life in service of the common good. As a graduate student he established a new model for Theological Education in the Urban Setting and helped organize the first initiative of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the North.  His engagement in the Civil Rights Movement included providing security for Rev. King and establishing nonprofits for overcoming inequities and creating the Beloved Community.  

His early years as a pastor and community minister were in New England where he revived historic meetinghouses.  Next came a new church start in Tallahassee, Florida where he simultaneously formed a statewide network for impacting the state legislature.  In moving to Rockville in 1979 he revitalized Rockville United Church and incorporated Community Ministries of Rockville. 

Since his alleged retirement in 2006 he has served as vice president of companies upgrading their status as corporate citizens.  He currently serves as the Montgomery County Interfaith Community Liaison in the Office of Community Partnerships. 

Check out these amazing videos from last years event.

Comcast Video MCM Video El Tiempo Latino Video