The National Cherry Blossom Festival held it’s 2nd Annual Barbara Ehrlich Volunteer of the Year Award Ceremony this past month at our Volunteer Appreciation Event.
The Barbara Ehrlich Volunteer of the Year Award (BEVY) recognizes an outstanding volunteer whose unselfish and dedicated service to the National Cherry Blossom Festival has made a significant difference and mirrors the commitment to Festival Values of Friendship friendship and community spirit. Volunteer must meet at least one of the following requirements:
- Provided long term exceptional service to the National Cherry Blossom Festival
- Performed a single action that has had a large impact on the success of a Festival event or events
- Advanced the Festival Mission through talent and service
We had 11 amazing volunteers nominated for the BEVY, and it was very hard for our Event Execution Committee (EEC) to choose the recipients. Each of these volunteers have put so much into this Festival, and each deserve to be recognized for their efforts and support throughout the entire Festival.
Congratulations to all of our recipients and nominees!
Dawn French (recipient of the Barbara Ehrlich Volunteer of the Year Award) is a librarian and a ballet lover. She has been a volunteer with the National Cherry Blossom Festival for quite some time and is a huge help to the Tidal Basin Welcome Area Staff.
From Left to Right: Michael Blackwell (BEVYRB), Dawn French (BEVY), and Tidal Basin Welcome Area and ANA Performance Stage Info Tent Manager Kassandra Kearse
Michael Blackwell (recipient of the BEVY Rising Blossom Award) The Bevy Rising Blossom Award recognizes outstanding volunteerism and dedication from a first year volunteer with the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Michael volunteered almost every day at the Tidal Basin Welcome Area and ANA Performance Stage in addition to the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade(r).
Mike Auldridge (recipient of the BEVY Leadership Award) Mike Auldridge has been volunteering with the National Cherry Blossom Festival since 2012 and currently serves on the Event Execution Committee as one of the Co-Chairs of the Information Subcommittee.
Jacqueline Giraldo-Smith is a long term volunteer with the National Cherry Blossom Festival and looks forward to assisting the Festival in any way (and there are quite a few different ways) she can every year.
Dee Johnson De’Anzlo Johnson was born in Washington D.C. He is the oldest of 5 children. He attended Whittier Elementary and Backus middle school. He moved to Montgomery County and graduated from Kennedy High School. DeAnzlo went on to obtain his associates degree in criminal justice. He also holds a certification in suicide prevention. He is currently working on his bachelor’s degree in psychology. He works at the DC department of health.
De’Anzlo was a EMT candidate in Montgomery County. He volunteers at the DC Reeves center located in DC as the chair of the health group. He also works with a youth group that is also held at the Reeve’s center.
He has worked with the National Cherry Blossom for the last two years and was instrumental in helping with this year’s Parade.
Sylvia Lee is a first year volunteer with the National Cherry Blossom Festival but showed great leadership onsite at Petalpalooza and the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade(r).
Kristie Primmer Kristie L. Primmer is the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO at Aerospace Industries Association. Providing high-level assistance to the Office of the President at AIA, she manages and supervises all support for the President enabling AIA to meet its strategic objectives. In addition to serving as a liaison to the AIA Executive Committee and senior leadership, she coordinates executive outreach, organizes external relations efforts and overseas special projects and events.
Primmer joined AIA from Exelis Inc., where she was the Executive Assistant to the CEO and President since 2008. In May 2015, Primmer received The Gold Ring of Quality Award for her outstanding quality contributions to Exelis.
Primmer has a bachelor’s degree from Gettysburg College, a master’s degree in human resources development from George Washington University, and has her Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification . Recently her rescue beagle, Charlie, became a certified People. Animals. Love. (PAL) therapy dog and is looking forward brightening the lives of others. Kristie was a standout volunteer at the FDR Memorial with the MARS Petcare Team.
Cherie Nichols Cherie Nichols is a native of Prince George’s County, Maryland. She enjoys living in the Washington, DC area because of its rich culture and diversity. Plus, there is always plenty to see and do throughout the year. Cherie has volunteered with the Cherry Blossom Festival since 2013 and served as a subcommittee member this past year on the Volunteer Engagement committee. Her favorite hobbies include traveling and volunteering because it gives her the opportunity to meet new people and try new things. This is her second year being nominated for the BEVY.
Diana Nichols Has been one of the most active and reliable office volunteers for the past 3 years. It is largely because of her, that the National Cherry Blossom Festival organization was able to have a successful move to the new office space at the end of 2017. She was also very helpful at the Tidal Basin Welcome Area and ANA Performance Stage.
Josh Strenger Has been an active volunteer for the past 3 years with leadership positions at the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival, Petalpalooza, and Pink Tie Party. This is his second year being nominated for the BEVY.
Jwalifa Veeramachaneni Jay Veeramachaneni is a Cyber Risk Consultant at Deloitte. Having grown up in the area, she always enjoyed the events of the National Cherry Blossom Festival and was happy to be able to give back as a volunteer this year. Jay was nominated for her amazing volunteerism at the Union Station Merchandise Kiosk.