Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Reynolds Culinary Students Don't Just Shine 

. . . They Glow

Professors always appreciate hearing kind words about their students. So, getting a full-fledged epistle like the one below is as unexpected and rewarding as a perfect chocolate souffle.

Reynolds culinary students make their professors and their college proud. They are a dedicated, hardworking group, devoted to learning and perfecting their craft. Chef Jesse has taught them that even the smallest details matters . . . and they have learned that lesson well. 

Read what Melissa Collier of Everyday Gourmet wrote to Chef Jesse Miller about Reynolds students on not one, but two occasions. In the first email the "Sam" Melissa is referring to is Sam Bausone, one of two Reynolds students to win the 2019 Elby Student of the Year Award; "Anna" is Annamarie Zanetti. In the second email, "John" is John Bradley, the other student who won the 2019 Elby Student of the Year Award. 

Pictured here from top to bottom, Sam Bausone, Annamaria Zanetti, and John Bradley.

From: Melissa Collier 
Sent: Wednesday, May 1, 2019 11:58 AM
To: Jesse Miller <>
Subject: Everyday Gourmet and the 2019 Elby Awards

Good Afternoon,

My name is Melissa Collier and I am the office manager at Everyday Gourmet. I wanted to come down to the school and tell you this in person, but I know you are very busy and I did not want to catch you at a time that you would not have moment to really appreciate what I have to say.

On Sunday, April 28th, Everyday Gourmet catered the 2019 Elby Awards at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery for 550 people.  We had two students from your Pastry Arts program volunteer their time to assist us in executing this very important event and it would not have been a success with out them. Sam and Anna were nothing short of phenomenal. They both played key roles in making sure our diverse, delicate and intricate passed hors d'oeuvres were properly and uniformly assembled then presented beautifully on our passing trays. They both had lovely, attentive, indefatigable and helpful attitudes and showed me that they have what it takes to succeed in this industry.

In 2007, I graduated from J. Sargent Reynolds with my A.A.S in Culinary Arts. I would not be who I am today without the amazing education that I received from Reynolds and I see myself in both Sam and Anna. Having them with me, working so hard with and for me, really touched my heart.

Anna showed up on time with a smile on her face. She saw all of us setting up and everyone focused, going from here to there and immediately set her belongings down and offered her help. She was ready to hit the night head on and she knocked it out of the park.  Anna was kind, curious and I could feel her heart and soul going into everything she did.  From having a notebook with pen in hand ready to take notes when I started to explain how the hors d'oeuvres were going to be constructed to having to dance around 10+ cooks in our small tent while still making sure those delicate cucumber cups and deviled eggs were filled and garnished just right during passing time to not hesitating to get down and dirty during clean up, Anna was extraordinary every step of the way.  I personally loved her thoughtfulness of her fellow workers, offering up waters she brought from home, had bandaids at the ready for any mishap that may happen and her passion not only for her work but for her family. She must have lovingly mentioned her family ten times over the course of the evening, how they were excited for her to work this event, how much they wanted to try the food and how much they meant to her. I made sure she got some to go containers with goodies for them to try.  I wanna meet her family and tell them what a wonderful, driven, strong, kindhearted and empathetic woman Anna is and how much of myself I see in her. I have no doubt they are proud of her and have every right to be.

Sam was a breath of fresh air. From the moment he stepped foot in my tent, I knew our crew was complete. Sam was professional, on time and ready to help in any way he could. He had passion in his eyes and his attentiveness and care for detail was exquisite. Anyone around him could feel his passion and strong will to produce his best. He was gentle, kind and willing to step up when things started rolling. I was unaware that Sam was going to be receiving the title of Rising Student and did not figured this out until he came up to me and politely asked if he could excuse himself because it was time for the awards. I could see from just the few short hours that I worked with Sam that he deserves that award. I was ecstatic when he returned, told him I was so excited for him and he deserved it and his response was that he was glad he received it but the whole time during the awards ceremony, he could only think of getting back out to help and be with us. That right there really meant something to me that I can't put into words. The infectious smile he had the whole evening is etched in my heart. He was truly a pleasure to be around and work alongside of.

This industry is special and it takes people with heart and soul and passion to succeed and be happy in their lives simultaneously and I can tell you that Sam and Anna have what it takes, hands down, and I can not wait to see the amazing, wonderful, chart topping, heart stopping things that they will produce in their careers. I was truly blessed to have the privilege of work with them.  I teared up releasing them that evening, I didn't want them to go but the event was over.

I would be honored if they would be willing to join me again on Saturday, May 11th at Dorey Park in Henrico for the Virginia Capital Trail Foundations' Annual Cap2Cap Trail Ride presented by Hardywood Brewery. We will be feeding 2,000+ cyclists and their families a salad buffet lunch at the Post Ride festival held at Dorey Park.  The hours would be from 10 a.m. to around 3 p.m.  Myself and one other employee from Everyday Gourmet will be there with the Glee Club from a local high school to help us.  This will be an amazing event and I know that they would enjoy it and learn some valuable things from being part of it. (See Melissa's follow up email below that give a recap of the May 11 event.)

I would greatly appreciate it if you would personally ask them to be part of this event with me. I want them to know how amazing they are and that you are aware of the exceptional job they did Sunday.

Thank you so much for taking the time to hear what I had to say and I eagerly await their responses regarding May 11th.

Melissa Collier
Everyday Gourmet

From: Melissa Collier 
Sent: Monday, May 13, 2019 12:03 PM
To: Jesse Miller <>
Subject: Re: Saturday May 11th Everyday Gourmet

Thank you for reaching out to John, he saved my life Saturday! Out of the nine volunteers we were supposed to have, only two showed up and an hour late.  

John was amazing and there was no way that we could have pulled off feeding the 1,400 plus we fed without him. He was there, ready to work when we arrived. We had an hour to set up two salad buffet lines and prep area with just three of us.  I think I may have said five non-work related words to John in the five plus hours he busted his butt for me. He single-handedly took care of a whole buffet line. He had no less than 200 people go through his line with no help other than me keeping his items full before our two high school student helpers showed up. I put half this event solely on John shoulders from the get go and he took it with a smile. 

He rocked through standing in the very same spot for four and a half hours straight with no breaks, no down time and was happy, talked and joked with customers and kept his non stop line rolling. John toughed through serving while getting rained on for two hours straight.  We had our tent pulled over our customers heads while they were in line receiving food and getting rained on and John did not hesitate to accommodate and be flexible. 

So many different things happened at this event and it's all still a blur. I had no time to breathe let alone be the face of our company because I was behind the scenes keeping the lines stocked and I thank God John was there. I was proud to have him there. I felt his confidence and I knew, when we were 30 min away from guests arriving and all I had was him, my husband and myself, that he was going to be amazing.  I literally put him in the weeds, close to drowning, after only having met him 30 minutes prior.  I have to work with him again. I feel speechless regarding him and his performance.  I am still in AWE. 

Thank you again for reaching out to your students.  I will contact you again soon, I know we have more events coming up that I would love to have students at. 

Melissa Collier

Note: Several Culinary students will be helping Melissa again at Broad Appetite on Sunday, June 2. If you plan to attend, please stop by the Everyday Gourment booth and let them know you are part of the Reynolds community.

What's Cooking in The Kitchens at Reynolds this Summer

Building Update
The building that will house the Kitchens at Reynolds in the Church Hill area of Richmond is really taking shape. All the exterior concrete walls have been poured, and the large openings in those walls are awaiting the delivery of the curtain wall/glass systems. The floor slabs have been poured on all four levels of the building. The only concrete slabs remaining to be poured are some of the roof areas.

As you go within the walls of the building, you will see several of the interior systems taking shape. The erection of metal stud framing for the interior partitions is in progress on every floor. Permanent stairs are only in place between the first and second floors. Access to other floors is only by means of temporary stairs. The mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems are well underway. Mechanical ducts and air handler units are being hung from the underside of the floor slabs. Conduit lines are being routed overhead in the above ceiling spaces and within the metal stud framing. Electrical cable is also being routed from the electrical panels into the conduits throughout the building. There is a vast network of hot water, cold water and sprinkler pipes being installed.  The building is becoming the wonderful facility it was designed to be! 

Building Update courtesy of John Mitchell, Senior Project Manager | CBRE | HEERY; Aerial photo courtesy of Horrigan.

Steve Markel says Church Hill project, which includes grocery store, 'is truly a philanthropic operation'

Steve Markel said he and his wife, Kathie, are trying to make a difference in Richmond’s East End.
The couple are financially backing a mixed-use development in north Church Hill that includes a new 27,000-square-foot grocery store, a culinary school operated by J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, retail and office space, and 42 apartments.
“This is not a typical real estate project where one expects to get rich. This is a not a typical real estate project where one hopes to make money,” Steve Markel told the 150 people attending a breakfast meeting of the Greater Richmond Association for Commercial Real Estate held at the Country Club of Virginia.
“This is truly a philanthropic operation,” said Markel, the vice chairman of the Henrico County-based specialty insurer Markel Corp. “My goal in this project is to lose as little money as possible. One important point is for the long-term sustainability for the project. It is important that the grocery store, which is the center of this project, becomes self-sustaining.”
The Market @ 25th grocery store opened three weeks ago at North 25th Street and Nine Mile Road with a pharmacy, deli, fresh fish and seafood, sushi counter and salad bar. A credit union branch is expected later.
“A lot of sweat equity will go into making this happen,” he said. “For it to stay in place for the next 10, 20 and 30 years, it doesn’t have to make a lot of profit but it does need to be financially viable.”
It is too early to say how the store is doing, but Markel is pleased with the initial results. “The community reception has been very positive.”
Markel said he and his wife decided to look at the poverty issue in Richmond’s East End and find a way “we could make a difference.”
That part of Richmond, he said, has the highest concentration of poverty on the East Coast between Philadelphia and Atlanta. “It is sad that we have let that evolve like that.”
It also is home to four large public housing communities — Mosby, Whitcomb, Fairfield and Creighton courts. And the life expectancy in that area is 62 years old compared to suburban neighborhoods where residents on average live beyond 82 years old.
“We had two goals,” he said about the couple’s plan.
“Try to make the neighborhood healthier with a grocery store and fresh food. And to provide jobs. The store employs about 100 people, which has an impact on jobs in the community. The second goal for Kathie and I was to get more engaged in the community about the problems that exist and get a great understanding of the issues,” he said. “The first goal has not been met, but the second one certainly has.”
The grocery store is part of the Church Hill North project that the Markels are developing.
The building for the culinary school operated by J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College is under construction and should be ready in early 2020, he said.
It will have state-of-the art culinary kitchens, classroom space, offices and a greenhouse facing Nine Mile Road.
A 5,000-square-foot restaurant is planned for the fourth floor of the building that Markel said will have “absolutely incredible” views of downtown Richmond.
Attached to the grocery store are The Flats @ 25th apartments, a 42-unit complex that is above the store, and the VCU Health Hub @ 25th community resource center. Residents started moving in last weekend, Markel said.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Meet Ariel Cole

Special Events Manager, Advancement

Where did you grow up and what was it like?
I grew up in Fairfax, VA and it was wonderful! But I think my family had more to do with that than location. I grew up in a close family with amazing parents, a brother and a sister and close extended family. My grandmother, aunt and cousins all lived in our neighborhood. As a kid it was great!

How long have you worked for Reynolds and have you always been involved with events planning at the college?
I have been at Reynolds for four years now and have been the Special Events Manager from the beginning!  Before Reynolds, I was the Assistant Director of University Events at William & Mary.

As Special Events Manager you have a reputation for being extremely detailed, incredibly organized, and always appearing to remain calm in the face of any and every challenge.  Does this come naturally to you, or did you have to develop these valuable skills?
I have always been a detailed and organized person, that has come naturally. If it involves file folders and color coding, I’m in! 
Remaining and appearing to remain calm in the face of challenges, however, has come with experience. Before higher education, I managed events in several hotels and at Busch Gardens Williamsburg . . . let’s just say working in the hospitality industry will teach you some things!  I’ve encountered my fair share of challenging customers (ahem, mother-of-the-brides), inclement weather emergencies, hotel renovations and other obstacles that can impact the success of an event. 
I learned three key things: 
1.  Don’t freak out.  It doesn’t help anything. 
2.  Plan, plan, plan. Plan ahead for different scenarios and everything that you CAN control. This way you will have the time and flexibility to adjust to things that come up that you CAN’T control.  
3.  You can’t do it alone. I depend on a team of colleagues, vendors and other industry partners for every event that I manage.  Building and maintaining good working relationships is essential. I need partners that I can trust to get the job done and who I can call on a moment’s notice if needed.
How many events do you orchestra each year at Reynolds? 
Do you have a favorite one, and why?
On average, I am involved with about 50 events each year. My favorite annual event is our Scholarship Luncheon. It is lunch for about 200 scholarship donors and recipients where they get to meet each other. Donors are so excited to meet all the amazing students and learn what they are studying and what they plan to accomplish. The students are equally as eager to express their appreciation - it is a powerful event.
Every year there are also some fun things that pop up – a visit from the Governor, a building grand opening or, my favorite from this year, a presidential inauguration! 

What are the most challenging and most 
rewarding parts of your job?
I think the most challenging sometimes is letting go and trusting other people to do their part for an event – hard to do for a planner! The most rewarding part is seeing an event go from concept to live event and knowing all the little pieces that had to come together to make it happen. 

What is your favorite book or movie, and why?
Too many to choose from! I’m going with one of my childhood classics, Home Alone.  My siblings and I were obsessed with it and still quote it to this day. My poor dad had to endure years of Home Alone “traps” in the house.

What is your favorite activity outside of your work at Reynolds?
Love the beach, being outdoors and just spending time with my family. We have a son who is five and a daughter who is one and a half who keep things fun and interesting! 

What do like most about Richmond?
Food and craft beer! 

If you won $100 Million in the Mega Millions lottery what would you do with the money?
Support The Kitchens at Reynolds! I would help my Development team with a major gift to finish the fundraising campaign for The Kitchens. And then pay off the mortgages of everyone in my family, buy my dad a pickup truck that he’s always wanted, and travel!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Two Reynolds Students Named 

"Culinary Students of the Year" at Elby Awards

Reynolds Culinary Arts Students Sam Bausone and John Bradley
John Bradley (center) and Sam Bausone (right)
receive their Elby awards.
Reynolds Culinary Arts students Sam Bausone and John Bradley were named Culinary Students of the Year at the 8th Annual Elby Awards hosted by Richmond Magazine.

The Elbys, Richmond's Oscars for food, recognize the work of the city's dining community visionaries, staffers, chefs, restaurateurs, producers and beverage makers.This year over 600 Richmond Food Scene Lovers came out to witness the awards. Reynolds is proud to have Sam and John recognized for their hard work and dedication as students of the culinary craft.

Sam Bausone
Sam Bausone
Sam said this about his award: "I was honored hear that I was student of the year. The staff at Reynolds has helped me to become much more confident and able it the kitchen. I want to thank Chef Miller and Chef Rounds for all of the knowledge they share with us. I look forward to continue growing in this industry." Read Sam's Culinary Profile.
John Bradly in Reynolds Cooking Uniform
John Bradley
John had this to say about his award: "I'm humbled to have received this year's Elby for Culinary Student of the Year. I am especially thankful for the Culinary and Pastry Arts program at Reynolds, and to my internship with Chef Jannequin at Camden's Dogtown Market. I also greatly appreciate Chef Cook and his team at ZZQ for opening their kitchen to me. All of them have given me something to aspire to as a professional, and I'm honored to have the opportunity to learn from them." Read John's Culinary Profile.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Meet David Seward

Associate Professor - Horticulture

Where did you grow up and what was it like?  
I grew up in Richmond.  I’m 59 now and it was a different time then. My parents weren’t worried about where I was (even without cell phones) since they knew I’d be home when I got hungry. It was a simpler time then.

How long have you worked for Reynolds and have you always been on the Goochland campus?  
I worked as a Horticulture faculty member for four years back in the late 1990’s, and went back into industry for a few years. I came back to Reynolds in 2006 as the Horticulture Program Head and have been here since. I was always based at the Goochland campus, but the Horticulture Program was originally at the Parham Road campus, but that was at least 30 years ago.

How did you get interested in horticulture?  
I was a Biology major at ODU. My last year there I took a Greenhouse Management class and got hooked. Since I didn’t have a strong background in Horticulture I continued my education at Virginia Tech, and acquired my MS degree in Horticulture in 1985.

What are the most challenging and most
rewarding parts of your job?

Most challenging:  Dealing with the bureaucracy of a state agency like Reynolds (there’s a form for everything) and delivering a high quality experience for students within the budgetary constraints of late.
Most rewarding: I love the ability to help students with their career goals and bring my experiences to the classroom. I also love working with so many good people that are willing to help get things done.  

You are just wrapping up the 15th Annual Garden Fest.
Please tell us about this event.

I was involved from the beginning. It started out as a way to pull in the community and let people see our wonderful campus. It has changed over the years to become a signature event at the college. Every year we seem to draw more people to the Goochland campus. We just wrapped up another successful event last Saturday (April 27th) and the weather was amazing. The gardens were at their best. My motto has been “grow it and they will come”.  So far that has worked out well.

What is your favorite book or movie, and why?
The Big Chill. It’s a comedy-drama about baby boomers that are reunited after a friend’s tragedy and I think it is a very telling and humorous look at that age group. (Which I’m one of). 

What is your favorite activity outside of your work at Reynolds?
Gardening (of course), hiking and hanging at my pool. Summer used to be my least favorite season with the heat and droughts, but as a nine month contract employee at Reynolds my summers have improved greatly.

What do like most about Richmond?
Richmond today has become more of a “Foodie Experience”, and I do like all of the Microbreweries that have popped up. It has embraced the “farm to table” movement as well, and I am lucky to have been a part of that.  We have been teaching Sustainable Agriculture over 20 years. I also love all of the history in Richmond, making it a great place for “Staycations”.

If you won $100 Million in the Mega Millions lottery
what would you do with the money? 

I hate to say it but I would probably not be working full time. I would love to do more for our veterans and battered women in our area. For many veterans working in the soil and living sustainably is a new focus of theirs when they return from the military, and I would like to help them adjust to their new role in society. I have the facilities at home to do this and would expand on this by having housing available nearby for a full immersion experience in horticulture and food production.  
Women that are not feeling safe and need help (particularly those with small children) are a group that I think just really need someone they can count on. I would use the extra money to make sure they were housed and fed and had counseling to get them ready for an independent life.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Her Future’s So Bright She's Gotta Wear Shades
Honors Student Stephanie Cull

Things are going great, and they're only getting better
I'm doing all right, getting good grades
The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades
Lyrics: Patrick Lee MacDonald

It’s hard to imagine anyone more upbeat, positive, and involved than Reynolds Honors student Stephanie Cull. But, being an Honors student is just a start.

Stephanie’s calendar includes JSR Leads, PTK – she is the outgoing PTK Vice President and a recipient of the All-Academic Team Scholarship, she’s VP of the Spectrum Club, she’s on the Honors Steering Committee, and she’s on the Food Pantry Implementation Team. This spring she traveled with several other Reynolds Honors students to the Virginias Collegiate Honors Council Conference and gave her first presentation to a large audience in an academic setting. And, if that isn’t enough, she was one of five Honors students recently presented with the Honors Designated Scholar medallion (and yes, it’s literally heavy metal).

“Probably not,” she says when asked if her life has always been an involvement whirlwind. “It’s really only the past two years since I came to Reynolds that I’ve been so engaged. Reynolds has really changed me. Saved my life. I’ve taken advantage of all the opportunities the College offered and it’s been great. Everything has changed for me.”

Stephanie continues, “As I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten a greater appreciation of life and its special gifts, not gifts like the Honors medallion although it’s very special and I am so proud to have it, I mean life’s simple gifts like a sunset or being with friends. I’ve always been one of those eternal optimists, but more so now than ever.” Given the challenges Stephanie has faced, she’s needed every ounce of optimism she could muster to keep moving forward, much less achieve all she has achieved. But, she keeps her focus forward, and as the song goes, the future’s so bright she’s gotta wear shades.

Consider this. “I came in to the downtown campus one day just to ask a question,” Stephanie says. “All I wanted to know was if it was possible for me to enroll. That day, when I walked out the door I was enrolled, had applied for financial aid, and would be starting classes in a few weeks. I needed help, and the Reynolds staff got me through the process each step of the way. From there, other students and faculty encouraged me to get involved. I went to a JSR Leadership Retreat just to check it out. That was the catalyst that began my student leadership addiction. I was elected VP of Spectrum that same fall, and VP of PTK the following spring.”

Graduation is around the corner for Stephanie and overshadowing the push of exams she is waiting, like many students, to hear about acceptance to her college of choice. “I only applied to VCU and VCU Honors College. VCU is my home. I grew up there. My Mom has worked there for 36 years. She used to take me to work with her when I was a toddler and I played in the halls. She worked in the warehouse then. Imagine this, now she is the Director of Budgets and Finance for Health Sciences in the Dean’s Office. She is just incredible.” Not too hard to see where Stephanie gets her drive and dedication.

Stephanie will take her commencement walk to pick up a dual degree: an AA in Social Science and an AA in Science. So, what’s her favorite subject? “That’s a hard one. I’ve got two . . . makes sense with my degrees. My “go to” is Geology. I’ve loved rocks since I was a kid. I never thought there would be a class to study them. Dr. Layou calls it “nerding out” when the Geology students get together to talk rocks with her. She is so excited and passionate about her work it really rubs off on you. But, I also loved Honors Sociology. Dr. D’Andrea is fantastic, and we got to do actual research like the campus study that revealed student food insecurity, and led to the opening of the Food Pantries. Taking an active part in a solution to a problem is so incredibly rewarding.”

After such a busy year, what about summer? “It’s been a really hard year, but very, very good. I’m ready to kick my feet up and relax for a few weeks. I’ll be hanging out with my seven-year old grand-nephew, going to the pool a lot, and doing what kids like to do first. I’ll also be volunteering with the Food Pantry team. I’d really like to find a part-time job, preferably here at Reynolds, and have been asking around.”

Stephanie, you’re gonna need those shades for all that pool-time you’ll be putting in this summer . . . and you’re gonna need them for your next whirlwind round of classes, studying, and involvement coming in the fall. Best of luck to you and all the other Reynolds 2019 graduates.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Student Expo 2019

During the three April days of the Student Expo 2019 over 500 visitors came to the Reynolds Libraries to catch a glimpse of what Reynolds students learn, think about, and do in their classes. 188 student projects were on display, representing 24 courses and the combined efforts of 338 students

If you missed the Expo, you can view additional photos in the Expo photo album. Be sure to look for the video of the Rocking Crib.

A big "Thank You" to the following faculty members for their support:
Janet Aams, Maxie Cannon, Sylvia Clay, Rachel Jascizek, Karen Layou, Gretchen Mandley, David Minoza, Karen Neal, Jill Newbauer, Carolyn Parrish, Mary Penzer, David Pippin, B.T. Pryor, Anthony Roe, Stephen Sowulewski, Karin Stretchko, Christopher Thomas, Shalini Upadhyaya, Mike Vaughan, Piumini Wanigasundera, Sheryl White.

Congratulations to the following 
“People’s Choice” winners:

The Downtown Campus Expo had a three way tie:
“Life Cycle of a Butterfly” – CHD 120 
Student: Joszette Eddy; Instructor: Sheryl White

“Diabetes”NSG 200
Students: Tamika Coleman, Courtney Lund, Sarah Motley, Dominique James, Shannon Ennis and Stephen Ford; Instructor: Jill Newbauer

“Need Sleep?” – NSG 200
Students: Whitney Lewis, Courtney White, Belle Kazikewe, Kaylyn Sullivan, Tamara Turner, Kathleen Cumiskey, Katrina Woodson
Instructor: Jill Newbauer

Goochland Campus Expo
“Airplane” – WEL 155
Student: Turner Parrish; Instructor: Mike Vaughan

Parham Road Campus Expo
“Brain Match” – BIO 102
Student: Aaron Czerniawski; Instructor: Karen Neal  

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Community College Philanthropists Honored with 2019 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy

Pictured here left to right:
Bess Littlefield, Executive Director, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Educational Foundation;
Dr. Paula Pando, Reynolds President;

Sabine Neumann; Mitch Haddon, Foundation Board President

Richmond – The Virginia Community College System and Chancellor Glenn DuBois presented Mitch Haddon and Sabine Neumann, of Richmond, Virginia, with the 14th Annual Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy. They were nominated for the award by Reynolds Community College.
Mr. Haddon and Ms. Neumann were recognized along with two dozen other individuals, families, and businesses from around Virginia for their exceptional support of Virginia’s Community Colleges. The awards were presented at a luncheon sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education in Richmond on Tuesday, April 16th, 2019. As part of the award, each college will be given funds for the Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship, to be named in honor of the college’s 2019 Chancellor’s Award recipient.
Now in its 14th year, the Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy recognizes outstanding leaders who have helped support Virginia’s Community Colleges and their respective foundations. This year, among those to be honored are four members of VCCS faculty, all of whom have made contributions that have helped their colleges and their students grow. This year’s class of distinguished philanthropy leaders has contributed a combined total of more than $18 million dollars to Virginia’s Community Colleges.
The CEO of ColonialWebb, Mitch Haddon serves as the President of the Educational Foundation Board and is an alumnus of Reynolds. He and his wife Sabine established a nursing scholarship and have been instrumental in fundraising for The Kitchens at Reynolds.

Donald Graham, keynote speaker and Chairman of the Board at Graham Holdings Company and Co-Founder of TheDream.US, spoke about the importance of Virginia’s Community Colleges and the ways that the philanthropists have contributed to the Commonwealth.

“We are in this room today to tell you, whether you work for one of the colleges or have given to one of the colleges, that what you are doing is absolutely right,” Graham said during his remarks. “I am so proud of this crowd for what you’re doing, and I hope you are proud of yourselves and your fellow donors and of the leaders and teachers at the community colleges you serve.”

Recipients of the 2019 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy:

BLUE RIDGE                                Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth D. Bowman
CENTRAL VIRGINIA                    Donna Schewel Clark Charitable Lead Annuity Trust
DABNEY S. LANCASTER            Stephen and Donna Vaughn
DANVILLE                                     Danville Kiwanis Club Foundation
                                                       Lions Club of Danville Foundation
EASTERN SHORE                        Tom and Page Young*
GERMANNA                                  Mary Jane Pitts O’Neill
J SARGEANT REYNOLDS           Mitchell F. Haddon and Sabine Neumann
JOHN TYLER                                Amsted Industries
LORD FAIRFAX                            The Jenkins Family – Russell, Elta Rae, Rodney and Karen
MOUNTAIN EMPIRE                     Ralph T. and Shirley M. Fisher
NEW RIVER                                  Dr. and Mrs. Lee Wheeler
NORTHERN VIRGINIA                 Dr. Glenn Fatzinger
PATRICK HENRY                         The Harvest Foundation
PAUL D CAMP                              Charles R. Henderson, Jr., Bank of America Foundation     
PIEDMONT                                    H. Gordon* and Mary Beth Smyth
RAPPAHANNOCK                        Rick and Sue Farmar
SOUTHSIDE VA                            Microsoft                               
SOUTHWEST VA                          Mary W. Lawson
THOMAS NELSON                       Newport News Shipbuilding
TIDEWATER                                  Stanley Black & Decker
VIRGINIA HIGHLANDS                 David and Schéry Collins
VIRGINIA WESTERN                    Maury and Shiela Strauss Family
WYTHEVILLE                                Floyd and Hilda Jonas
VFCCE                                           The Petters Family Foundation

*honored posthumously

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About the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education:  Working hand in hand with Virginia’s 23 community colleges, the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education seeks to guarantee financial assistance to all students who dream of attending college. The foundation is building an endowment that is already generating interest to provide full scholarships to selected community college students; helping more Virginia foster youth pursue and complete higher education through the Great Expectations program; and leading a partnership to improve rural Virginia’s education pipeline through the Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative. Learn how the Virginia Foundation for Community College is building the future of Virginia. Visit

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Meet Reynolds Culinary Arts Student

Vanessa Lorenzo

What motivated you to study culinary arts?
My culinary interest has been on hold for many years because I was pursuing a different career. I started writing about food and recipes back in 2015 and it’s been a good creative outlet. However, I wanted to know more. My motivation to study culinary arts was to have an in depth knowledge of cooking, baking, and food entrepreneurship.

Where are you in your culinary studies?
This is my first semester at Reynolds and was previously at Virginia College/Culinard.

What are you working on now?
Several things. Homework and Projects which appear to be the trademark for a full time Reynolds student. I’m always working on improving my website which mostly features Filipino Food or its ingredients. I’m looking into upcoming book events I can attend for The New Filipino Kitchen Cookbook and Stories which I am a part of. Lastly, trying to balance a healthcare career while making time for school and possibly a new job in baking.

What is your favorite task as a culinary student?
My favorite is when our class is in the kitchen lab cooking. I get to practice basic kitchen skills and learn a lot of new things from the Chef. A classroom setting has always been challenging for me. When our class is in the kitchen and applying what we’ve learned in the classroom, then that’s always a favorite.

What is your favorite ingredient?

Do you have a “signature dish”?
Chicken Curry - it's the dish I've cooked the most for friends and family.

What would you most like to do in culinary arts when you graduate?
I would like to be a recipe developer or a Pastry Chef. I’m actually still discovering what avenues I can follow while studying culinary arts. Everyone thinks I want to have my own restaurant but it takes a village to build one. 

What is your favorite restaurant in Richmond? 
That’s a tough one. I would say Tiny Victory and Perch since it features what Filipino Food, which is not mainstream in the US, can evolve into.

What would you tell other potential students interested in studying culinary arts at Reynolds?
I've learned so much in my short time at Reynolds and can't wait to learn more. Cooking and Baking is just the tip of the iceberg since there's a lot more moving parts to any business related to food. I quickly realized as a student that the culinary program at Reynolds will not just teach you the skills of cooking or baking but will give you the essential tools to make it in the culinary industry.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Meet Maria Pointdexter

Coordinator, College-Wide Professional Development 

Reynolds Human Resources

Where did you grow up and what was it like? 
I grew up in the East Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia, PA. The neighborhood was and remains one of the most amazing neighborhoods I’ve ever experienced. As children, my brother, sister and I played outside with the neighborhood kids and a ‘mom’ was always watching. We lived about 1.5 blocks away from Carpenter’s woods. In the summer we would collect salamanders in the creek and in the winter we would sled through the trees on treacherous hills. It is amazing no one ever broke anything. Lots of fun and fond memories.
How long have you worked for Reynolds, where did you work before you came here? 
I started working at Reynolds in February of 2006. Prior to Reynolds I worked as an elementary school administrator in Washington, DC helping faculty integrate technology into their lessons. 

What is your typical day like in Human Resources?  
Extremely busy. The Office of Human Resources at Reynolds is proud to offer the best customer service possible, which means every question or need is addressed as quickly as possible. You’d be surprised at how frequently the phone rings or someone just pops in to ask a ‘quick’ question. As Coordinator of professional development I design and conduct training on various topics. I attend a lot of meetings to ensure the college’s training needs are met. I’m currently working on designing online training modules for different training topics. My overarching goal is to help the faculty and staff at Reynolds shine professionally.

What are the most challenging and most rewarding parts of your job? 
The most challenging part of my job is accomplishing everything I’d like to accomplish.  The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the light go off during a training session and receiving thanks from trainees who appreciate what I do.

What is your favorite book or movie, and why? 
I love reading fiction and non-fiction. Any story that transports me to another time and place will always be my current favorite. I’m currently reading Kindred by Octavia Butler, which is excellent. She is an amazing author. I also love The Color Purple, Beloved, Song of Solomon, I know why the Caged Bird Sings and anything by Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Richard Wright and Earnest Gaines. The Red Tent, Kite Runner, The Fire Next Time and Freeman are on my list too. A Reynolds librarian recently recommended The Glass Castle which I’ve added to my list. As you can see I could go on and on. My favorite movie is the Sound of Music. I love musicals.

What is your favorite activity outside of your work at Reynolds? 
Spending time with family and friends.

What do like most about Richmond? 
It’s small enough to feel like a town, but large enough to have options for anything you might want.

If you won $100 Million in the Mega Millions lottery what would you do
with the money? 
Call the Reynolds Foundation office and set up a scholarship.