Contact: Andrea Money, Leadership Prince William

Phone: 571-765-7568 // Email:

Leadership Prince William Celebrates 15th Anniversary by Recognizing Excellence in Community Leadership

Interim Executive Director Charles Gilliam also Announced

 On Friday, June 24 Leadership Prince William (LPW) held their Evening of Excellence Gala and Awards Dinner for the first time since 2019. The event was attended by 150 alumni and supporters celebrating the 15th anniversary of Greater Prince William’s premier community leadership program. The event serves as a fundraiser and end- of-year celebration for the organization, which has to-date graduated over 500 business and community leaders, not-for-profit executives, elected officials and more. Charles Gilliam was also introduced as Leadership Prince William’s Interim Executive Director during the event.

Neabsco District Supervisor, Victor Angry –a 2019 graduate of LPW’s Signature Program–served as Master of Ceremonies for the Evening of Excellence, recognizing award nominees and recipients for the Kathy Ellington Alumni Leadership Award. He also helped LPW raise $13,000 in donations during the course of the event.

The Kathy Ellington Alumni Leadership Award (KEALA) is named for LPW’s Founding Executive Director, and honors a past graduate of the Signature Program who has used their vision, leadership, skills and talents to accomplish something notable that has positively impacted Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park.

The Honorable Cydny Neville, Dumfries Town Councilwoman, Founder of the Neville Empowerment Network, and a 2013 graduate of Leadership Prince William was named as the KEALA recipient during the 2022 Evening of Excellence.

When she graduated from the LPW Signature Program in 2013, Cydny Neville was the Director of Community Services for the Town of Dumfries. Today she serves on the Dumfries Town Council and uses her position to create policies that fight discrimination and promote equity amongst her diverse constituency.

Among the long list of her pet initiatives has been updating the Town’s nondiscrimination policy to include protections based on gender identity and sexual orientation; moving the Town’s Election Day from May to November; seeing that Election Day was named as a holiday for Town Staff (making Dumfries the first municipality in VA to do so for all staff) and championing a means for the Town’s Police Department to work with Prince William County Police to better serve citizens with disabilities.

Through her Neville Empowerment Network she helps future leaders find their voices so they can inspire others to greatness along the way. The organization’s efforts include facilitated courses in the development of Healthy School Cultures; Entrepreneur Seminars; and The Culturally Competent Leader Program–an interactive leadership development program crafted to train teams to be effective, results-driven leaders in a culturally diverse environment.

In the words of her nominator, “Cydny not only ‘talks the talk’ and ‘walks the walk,’ but she inspires everyone around her to join her in her walk and to take action, always with the goal of inclusivity and justice.”

Additional nominees for the Kathy Ellington Alumni Leadership Award were:

  • Robert Eichorn, Principal, The Independence Nontraditional School (LPW Class of 2013) for his innovative work in education serving students who do not thrive in traditional environments;
  • The Honorable Monae Nickerson, Vice Mayor, Town of Dumfries (LPW Class of 2021) for her expungement clinic benefitting residents of Dumfries and creating a template for the larger community;
  • Erika Spalding, VP of Communications, Didlake, Inc. (LPW Class of 2012) for her work in creating opportunities for Virginians with disabilities;
  • Kisha Wilson-Sogunro, Parks & Recreation and Museum Manager, City of Manassas (LPW Class of 2013) for her fundraising work on the Jennie Dean Memorial—a project decades in the making.

Nominations were submitted by LPW Alumni and Board Members, then reviewed and scored by LPW’s Executive Committee. For more information on the award, or our new Interim Executive Director, Charles Gilliam, email

PHOTO CREDIT: JHENNY MICHALEK, SIMPLY CREATIVE (Pictured are the Kathy Ellington Alumni Award Nominees–L to R: The Honorable Monae Nickerson, Dr. Robert Eichorn, Award Recipient the Honorable Cydny Neville, Erika Spalding, and Kisha Wilson-Sogunro)


 As of July 1, Charles Gilliam has stepped in to the role of Interim Executive Director for Leadership Prince William. Charles is a 2009 graduate of Leadership Prince William, a past Board member and the former owner of Okra’s Cajun Creole. For more information on Charles or Leadership Prince William, contact


Leadership Prince William is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to inspire and engage adult and youth leaders who want to make a difference in the Greater Prince William Area. Our graduates have undertaken leadership roles in business, government, the non-profit sector and community affairs. We serve Prince William County, the City of Manassas and the City of Manassas Park. The overall purpose of Leadership Prince William is simple but powerful—to make our community a better place through collaborative leadership. We offer programs for Adult and Youth Leaders. Learn more at