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Fredericksburg Regional Chamber honors business leaders at 31st annual Awards & Gala

From the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce:

Community Impact Award

Mary Washington Healthcare This award recognizes an organization whose mission makes a significant impact in our community. This nonprofit corporation has played an integral role in our community for 123 years. Their employees work tirelessly to improve the health of the people in the communities they serve which was evident throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. MWHC created a Field Hospital unit in anticipation of the crisis. MWHC treated more than 6,000 COVID patients and administered more than 100,000 COVID tests. Once the vaccine became available, MWHC, for a period of time, administered 2,000 vaccines per day, with more than 212,000 doses given. 794 MWHC staff supported the vaccine clinic and 437 community volunteers supported their efforts.

Mary Washington Healthcare received the Community Impact Award for their incredible commitment to the Fredericksburg regional community’s well-being as we’ve dealt with two of the most difficult years in modern history.


Entrepreneur of the Year

Debby Girvan won the Entrepreneur of the Year award, which celebrates an innovative business owner who recognizes and meets a market need by successfully launching and developing a new business. Debby Girvan a leader that founded her company in 2010 with the original concept of a marketing consulting firm, has since evolved her company into an award winning website design, development, and maintenance digital marketing enterprise. Debby’s company now has 9 employees and over 175 clients spanning 19 states and 3 countries.

Debby Girvan had the foresight to develop a highly diversified client base early on and therefore ensure there was no singular reliance on any one industry or client. Also, this small business’s structure provides for high paying jobs with significant benefits packages, making it possible for employees to live where they work – right here in our region.

Of special note is the commitment Debby has made to provide full time employment and professional development opportunities with benefits to many young professionals.  Nearly 20 college students from the local area have begun solid careers in technology due to Debby’s commitment to their success.

During the early days of the pandemic, when everything was shut down, Debby created the Fred Gift cards website which was the design, development, hosting, maintaining and promotion of a website to help local small businesses sell gift cards online through the website. This free service, paid for solely by our honoree, provided an opportunity for struggling businesses to maintain cash flow under dire circumstances. Over 80 local businesses participated. Feedback suggested that the service was instrumental in keeping numerous business open.

Small Businesses of the Year Award

Stafford Printing This award is presented to a company that balances business success with a dedication to improving the community’s quality of life. This business was founded 35 years ago and over the years has expanded its equipment and services to meet the ever-evolving changes in printing services. Stafford Printing tells their customers that they stand by simplicity, responsiveness, honesty, principled service, and helpful, friendly attitudes at all times. Stafford Printing’s owner, Howard Owen has always believed in giving back to the community that he serves, and he has done so in a big way. He is a member of the Rappahannock Rotary Club, the Stafford County Economic Development Authority; and serves on the board of the Stafford Hospital Foundation, Loisann’s Hope House, and the Fredericksburg Symphony. Howard encourages his team to give to the community, both through the company and personally.

Large Businesses of the Year Award

Flatter, Inc. received the Large Business of the Year award. This family-owned company has been serving the community for 20 years, and has been awarded150 distinct contracts with the federal government. Flatter, Inc employees more than 200 individuals, both locally at their Spotsylvania headquarters and throughout the world. Flatter, Inc. is a federal services provider, the company excels in the areas of training & development, acquisition support, and complex government program management offices.

During the height of the pandemic, the company expanded its Leadership Development arm, Two Roads Leadership, and offered coaching and leadership development services to a worldwide community of leaders.

The company has grown over 300% in the last 5 years; today, they continue to exceed 10% growth year over year. They recently won their largest contract to-date, which was $30 million in support of Army training in Fort Lee, VA.

This corporation gives back to the community in several ways, including fulfill Christmas lists of local families through the Fredericksburg Department of Social Services; serving at the United Way, and having top leadership provide executive services free-of-charge to Leadership Fredericksburg.  The company motto is “excellence is our baseline,” and Flatter, Inc. exemplify this in all they do.

Prince B. Woodard Leadership Award

Joel Griffin won the Prince B. Woodard Leadership Award, which honors an individual who has provided a lifetime of service and commitment to the Fredericksburg region. It’s named for the former Mary Washington College president whose, vision, integrity and dedication to serving others made her a pillar for the community. Joel calls himself a “serial entrepreneur,” and he has founded several for-profit entities and a non-profit organization.

The businesses have ranged from investments, venture capital, real estate, restaurants, and include 25 years in private industry consulting and 20 years in government contracting.  Throughout all of this business success, Joel has called Stafford his home. Even when dealing with a daily commute to Northern VA he made time to give back to our community.

Joel was a Leadership Fredericksburg “early adopter,” participating in the Chamber’s second class 14 years ago. He learned about the program through Stafford County’s Economic Development Authority, which he still serves on today (as chairman).

Joel also serves on several boards: the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance, the Chamber, Germanna’s Educational Foundation, the Cyber Security Advisory Board for the Virginia Community College System, GO Virginia – to name a few.

Joel and his wife co-founded Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness and education of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and the use of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in honor of their oldest daughter, Gwyneth. His extraordinary commitment to this cause has literally SAVED LIVES – and inspired our entire community.

He has previously been awarded the Patriotic Civilian Service Award by the U.S. Army for actions taken immediately and following 9/11, and in 2015, he received the Joe Dangler Leadership Award for his community leadership support.

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