Good People Doing Good Work

2021 Volunteer Of The Year Awards

As a continued reflection of our pursuit to give back to our communities, we recently held our 4th Annual Volunteer of the Year Awards. This program recognizes and celebrates our most dedicated and inspirational employees who engage in meaningful volunteer activities in our local communities. They help to build a local brand and inspire employee engagement. 

Giving back is what drives us.

We constantly evaluate our communities’ ever-changing needs, providing support to educational, cultural, military, and civic organizations in the areas where our employees live and work. 

Many employees enjoy working at Parsons because we have a strong sense of corporate social responsibility and employ individuals who make the world a better place.

Congratulations to all the award winners and to all our employees who continue to make an impact! Parsons will donate to the charity of choice for each winner and provide paid time off to volunteer in their communities.

Awards were presented in three different categories to exemplify the social efforts of the volunteers best:

W.J. Williams, Jr. – Changing the World Award
Springfield, VA

W.J. volunteered a total of 1,300 hours in 2020, which amazed our selection panel and earned him the top prize—the Changing the World Award. He consistently dedicates 25 hours a week to several charities: 100 Black Men of Greater Washington, DC; Aspire 2 Inspire Foundation, Inc; and the Bernie L. Bates Foundation, Inc. He supports diversity initiatives by getting involved in communities that are unaccustomed to youth who value education and mentorship and wish to pursue successful careers. W.J. contributes innovative ideas to provide exposure to these students, including visiting college campuses, competing in talent competitions, conducting scientific experiments, and learning to code.

W.J. was selected to be a keynote speaker at the upcoming 100 Black Men’s Education/STEM Series Workshop, where he will speak to students about STEM field careers. He was awarded “Volunteer of the Year” by the Aspire 2 Inspire Foundation, Inc for going above and beyond expectations by rallying volunteers to commit extra hours and by planning events that hosted more than 50 students at a time. He was also recognized as an Alexandria Chamber of Commerce “Top 40 under 40” awardee for his work in the Alexandria, Virginia community.

Brittanny Belanger – Making a Difference Award
Ottawa, Ontario

Brittanny is the Founder of Earthub, an environmental organization dedicated to demonstrating the impact that each of us has on the Earth with the goal of working together to reduce our consumption, decrease our carbon footprint, and recognizing that there is no ”planet B.” One of Earthub’s initiatives is the ‘Items to Keep Out of The Landfill’ where hard to recycle or landfill items are kept out of the landfill for reuse. The collection spans from 51 drop-off locations in Canada and two drop-off locations in the U.S. Frustrated with the use of prescription pill bottles not being reused for the same medication, for the same person, with the same bottle, Brittanny found a disaster relief organization that accepted them to reuse as medical supplies, and to date, she has sent 4,224 bottles at the cost of $611.21.

The collection expanded for local items – egg cartons go to food banks, milk bags go to organizations that make milk bag mats for the homeless, crayons get melted down and remade for the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, and much more. All operational and shipping costs come out of her own pocket.

Brittanny was a finalist for “Best Activist/Activist Group” in The Ottawan Best of Ottawa Awards; Runner Up for the “Best Green Initiative” in the 2021 Faces Magazine Ottawa Awards; winner of the “Ottawan of the Day” in The Ottawan, January 2021 . Learn more about Brittanny on our Innovation page.

Martino Tangkar – Making A Difference Award
Chicago, Illinois

Martino has dedicated his life to trans-cultural diffusion and promoting diversity through long-standing service. Martino is currently the National President of the Indonesian Diaspora Network, which focuses on fostering Indonesian American connections in both the private and public sectors to bring people together through advocacy and educational programs.

When COVID began impacting his community, Martino started to organize food distribution for seniors and the less fortunate, lending a hand to all those that he could reach. He has organized several fundraisers for natural disasters and has served as the Illinois Secretary of State’s Asian American Advisory Council Past Chairman and Executive Committee Member. Martino has received multiple community service awards and congratulatory letters from various Illinois political figureheads. Martino takes Martin Luther King’s quote to heart: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”

Philip Hicks – Hometown Hero Award
Fort Belvoir, Virginia

Phil is the current Board of Directors President for the Veteran Project Manager Mentor Alliance. VPMMA is a non-profit empowering and equipping military service members, veterans, and spouses to achieve project management career greatness through mentoring and professional development. Phil serves as the Chair of the Society of American Military Engineers Northern Virginia Post Emergency Preparedness & Infrastructure Resilience Committee.

He provides guidance on all EPIR issues and contributes to government and private sector collaboration to minimize the impacts to minimize the impacts of natural or artificial threats and enhance effective responses to them. He received the 2020 Mid-Atlantic Regional Vice President Award for his sustained efforts to meet SAME NoVA’s strategic goals. Phil is also an Acolyte Leader at the Nativity of the Theotokos Church in Fredericksburg, VA.

Jemma Harrison – Hometown Hero Award
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Jemma has a long and eclectic history of volunteerism in the Province of Manitoba, ranging from serving as Vice President of Native Orchid Conservation of Manitoba, President of the Geological Sciences Graduate Student Association at the University of Manitoba, and a Big Sister with the Big Brothers/Big Sister Program of Winnipeg.

For the past 6 years, she has also served as Theme Committee Chair for Manitoba Envirothon, a non-profit that organizes an annual hands-on environmental education competition for high school students, which is designed to encourage teamwork, problem-solving skills, and public speaking skills while fostering an appreciation for current environmental issues. Jemma assembles and manages a team of environmental professionals recruited from across many industries in Manitoba. She also provides training to high school students on a broad range of environmental topics each year to prepare students for the competitive elements of the event.

Jignesh Vyas – Hometown Hero Award
Orlando, Florida

Jignesh serves as the President of the East Central Branch for the  Florida Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers, monitoring all branch, institute, and committee activities and events. He is literally a jack of all trades for the branch. He serves as chair of Bridge Design competition for middle and high school students that promote interest in civil engineering at a young age. He initiated and started the Sustainability committee at the branch level, which organizes technical webinars to promote sustainability.

Jignesh served as a panelist at multiple university panel discussions with undergraduate students. As webmaster for the branch, he served as creator and also maintained the website. He is the treasurer for the branch’s Structural Engineering Institute, managing the finances for all its events. Jignesh has volunteered at multiple Toys for Tots and food drive events organized by the branch. He initiated the Scholarship Endowment Fund that will add to the almost $12,000 of scholarships that the branch currently provides to engineering students. Jignesh received ASCE’s “Engineer of the Year” branch award for 2020-2021 during Engineers Week in February.

Teresa Wolfe – Hometown Hero Award
Pasadena, California

Teresa volunteers for Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission (HOTV), a non-profit in the greater Los Angeles area that offers hope, meals, housing, employment and health services, and healing to those in need. HOTV currently operates 11 homeless shelters. At the onset of the health crisis in 2020, Los Angeles County engaged HOTV to stand up six temporary emergency shelters to accommodate the homeless. Teresa was part of the team that was very instrumental in making that happen.

Teresa became a HOTV board member in 2019, and together with the board and local councilors, HOTV opened two additional shelters (approx. 180 beds) in 2020 and is on target to further increase the number of shelter beds: 2020 ended with 507 beds; 2021 will end with 1100 shelter beds. Teresa is also a member of the Finance Committee and HOTV’s Drumstick Dash Committee, one of the largest local Thanksgiving races in Los Angeles. She is a regular blood and platelet donor with the American Red Cross.

Craig Brown – Hometown Hero Award
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Craig is the CEO of the Penguin International Rugby Football Club, an organization that fosters,  through coaching and playing, the development, goodwill, and camaraderie of the Rugby Union worldwide. The club uses rugby to improve the social life of those who live in disadvantaged communities. One example involved rugby as a conduit to improving the English of slum children in Kolkata since proficiency in English is a life-changing opportunity for these children.

As CEO, Craig motivates his teams as they head out to the communities, linking the purpose of the visit to the individuals’ skills to leverage the most effective impact. He successfully completed the World Rugby Coach Educator qualification. He obtained recognition and accreditation from World Rugby for Penguin Rugby to run various high-level rugby courses throughout the world. Craig secured funding from a major world airline to support grassroots rugby initiatives by supplying flights and funds to allow our community to continue in Rwanda and undertake new activities in Turkey, the Philippines, Uruguay, and Hong Kong.

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