2023 Bravo! Honorees
During the past thirteen years, recipients have ranged from professional athletes, musicians, and doctors to entrepreneurs and business leaders who have made an exceptional impact on their professions and community. On Thursday, November 16, 2023, at the DoubleTree Hotel in Midlothian, Virginia, a gala will be held to honor our 2023 recipients. (Tickets will be on sale in September.)
Recipients to be honored at the 2023 Bravo! Awards are:
Nkanta N. Hines, Sr., MSc., MBa
Matoaca High School, Class of 1991
President and CEO of Capital Strategy Group, LLC
Nkanta’s firm, Capital Strategy Group, LLC focuses on leadership development and organizational strategy as an advisor that coaches, builds and develops capabilities within organizations around the world. Upon graduating from Matoaca High School in 1991, he pursued his bachelor's degree in Biology from Virginia State University, followed by a master's degree in Biomedical Science from Eastern Virginia Medical School and an MBA degree from Averett University. Nkanta's advanced training and certifications (post graduate school) include the areas of: Diversity & Inclusion, High Performance Leadership, Executive Leadership - all from Cornell University; Executive Coaching from the Neuroleadership Institute and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt from the Dupont Corporation. Nkanta has served in C-suite positions at HCA Inc., Fresenius North America, The American Board of Internal Medicine, leading large teams across multiple regions and brings over 25 years of healthcare and research operations, culture and strategy experience with a focus on leadership as the impetus to change.
Quote from nominator:
“Ethical behavior is doing the right thing, even when no one else is around to witness it." This statement is one that truly describes Nkanta's character. Just recently he partnered with a student at James River High School to start a new HOSA (Healthcare Opportunities Student Association) chapter. Dedicated to the cause they worked throughout the pandemic and successfully chartered the school's first HOSA chapter this current school year. Ethical behavior is being generous without an ulterior motive or expecting something in return traits that Nkanta exhibited as he took time out of his personal schedule to mentor and financially support all charter members.”
Meadowbrook High School, Class of 1968
Director of Student Activities, Retired, Cosby High School, Chesterfield, VA
Ted Salmon is the ultimate example of what Chesterfield County Public Schools can produce. He attended CCPS from kindergarten through high school graduation, and earned a college scholarship to East Carolina University. He worked almost all of his career giving back to the county, including opening a brand new school--hiring the faculty and coaches, leading the selection of colors, mascot, traditions. Ted came up with plans to get the community to support the new school, especially area senior citizens who had no connection to the area. He is the role model for all who followed him, both as teachers and coaches. Upon retirement from his first career, he started another that also helps Chesterfield County students by recognizing their achievements in school. Ted Salmon has used his education and love of Chesterfield to give back to his home county for many years.
Quote from nominator:
“As a teacher, a coach and an athletic director, Ted Salmon has influenced many, many students. He has encouraged would-be players who were cut from teams to be student managers, where they could feel included while learning valuable skills. He trained many young teachers to be good coaches. He has helped new students find clubs and other organizations to join to feel welcome in their new school. Even though he himself was involved in athletics, as activities director, he gave equal attention to theater and music, according to the drama coach. He has sponsored youth for Confirmation. At Herff Jones, he has trained teens to be greeters, teaching them the manners needed to deal with the public, and the responsibility needed to have a successful career.”
Lisa F. Waddell, MD, MPH, FACPM
Lloyd C. Bird High School, Class of 1980
Chief Executive Officer, LFW Public Health Connections, LLC, South Carolina
Dr. Lisa Waddell, MD, MPH, FACPM is a board-certified preventive medicine and public health physician with over 30 years of local, state and national public health leadership experience. She is the former Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for the CDC Foundation. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic response, in her former role as CMO, Dr. Waddell provided leadership for the development of the COVID-19 Corps Nationwide Surge Staffing initiative and the Foundation’s overall COVID-19 response efforts including the development of a capacity building initiative to support Community Based Organizations. She served as the moderator for a national webinar series designed to support CBOs. Also, she served as a science advisor to the foundation and as a spokesperson for initiatives such as the Million Hearts/”Live to the Beat” campaign.
Having recently retired from full-time employment, Dr. Waddell founded and is the Chief Executive Officer of LFW Public Health Connections LLC; where she provides public health consultative services centered around leadership, mentorship and partnerships.
Prior to the CDC Foundation, she served as the Deputy Commissioner for Health Services for the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control – the state’s public health agency, the Chief Program Officer for Community Health at ASTHO, the Senior Vice President for Maternal and Child Health & Deputy Health Officer for March of Dimes nationally, a district public health director in SC and deputy public health director in Richmond, VA.
Dr. Waddell is a graduate of the Medical College of Virginia, the UNC School of Public Health at Chapel Hill, the University of Virginia and Lloyd C. Bird High School. She a member of several professional organizations including the American College of Preventive Medicine, the American Public Health Association and the SC Public Health Association.
Dr. Waddell has a passion for public health and is committed to promoting and protecting the health of populations. She has a special interest in addressing the needs of vulnerable populations, moms and babies, and those with disparate health outcomes. She enjoys traveling, family events and serving her community through her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Quote from nominator:
“Lisa is passionate about her work for both professional and personal reasons. As a professional, she has a particular interest in addressing the needs of vulnerable populations, the needs of moms and babies, and those with disparate health outcomes. But public health issues have also touched our family in a very personal way.”
Danielle Gilbert, MBA, MPA, PHR
James River High School, Class of 2000
Chief Human Resources Officer, Manifest In You Consulting, LLC, Richmond, VA
Danielle's journey in the business world began with her formal education in Business Administration, where she honed her skills in leadership, strategic planning, and organizational development. Her academic foundation, combined with years of hands-on experience, has equipped her with a deep understanding of the challenges businesses face and the strategies needed to overcome them. Known for her exceptional communication and interpersonal skills, Danielle has a unique ability to connect with people at all levels of an organization. Her approachable nature, coupled with her expertise in emotional intelligence and conflict resolution, allows her to foster positive and productive relationships within teams, resulting in improved collaboration and a stronger organizational culture. With a genuine passion for continuous learning and growth, Danielle is constantly staying updated on the latest industry trends and best practices. She believes in the power of education and regularly shares her knowledge and insights through speaking engagements, workshops, and publications. Her ability to simplify complex concepts and deliver practical advice has made her a sought-after speaker and consultant in the business community. Outside of her professional endeavors, Danielle is actively involved in giving back to the community. She volunteers her time and expertise to nonprofit organizations, supporting their missions and making a positive impact on society. With her unwavering commitment to excellence and her drive to make a difference, Danielle M. Gilbert is a visionary leader who inspires others to unlock their full potential and achieve remarkable success. Her passion, expertise, and dedication make her a trusted advisor and a catalyst for positive change in the business world.
Quote from nominator:
“Danielle Gilbert could have been a statistic. Instead, she is a survivor. She hasn’t just observed community problems, she’s lived them. And she’s made it her life’s work to ensure that other young people have the resources and knowledge to overcome and succeed, too. Mentoring an eighth-grade student was the beginning of a lifetime of service for Danielle. “It changed my perspective,” she said. “It showed me how important it is to show someone that they are loved. Danielle exemplifies the values of honesty, respect, determination, and a positive attitude. She is a hard worker who constantly gives her best in her career and with those she mentors.”
Mayor Johnny Partin
Thomas Dale High School, Class of 2010
Mayor, City of Hopewell
Johnny graduated from the Virginia Military Institute with a Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering with an emphasis in water resources and wastewater treatment. While at VMI, Johnny served as the Vice President of the Honor Court and President of the VMI Chapter of Engineers Without Borders. After VMI, he worked for Shoosmith Construction as a Construction Estimator and Project Administrator. After four years in the construction business, he took a position at Advansix as a Capital Engineering Estimator. While working at Shoosmith and Advansix, he went back to school to earn his Masters degree in Economics from VSU. After 4 ½ years with Advansix, he was hired on at Fort Gregg-Adams as a General Engineer in the Master Planning Division.
Johnny is also a logistics officer in the Virginia Army National Guard and holds the rank of Captain. He has held various leadership positions at different echelons (from platoon to division level). During 2020-2021, he was activated as part of the state’s response to the pandemic. He has received multiple awards for his selfless service in the National Guard. Currently he serves as the Public Affairs Officer for the 329th RSG based out of Virginia Beach. He has served in the National Guard for over 10 years.
In 2018, Johnny was elected as one of the youngest members to serve on Hopewell City Council and in January 2023, he was tapped to serve as the Mayor of Hopewell. At the age of 30, he is the city’s youngest mayor.
Johnny is a small business owner and active volunteer in the Hopewell, Prince George, and Enon communities. He is the founder of several endowed scholarships and the chief founder of the Tri-Cities Environmental Endowment with the John Randolph Foundation.
Quote from nominator:
“Johnny is the true embodiment of a selfless public servant and a small business owner. He goes out of his way to help people in need. He was blessed with the opportunity to receive multiple scholarships to make his college education more affordable. As a result, he worked hard to establish three endowed scholarships to assist students with making their education more affordable. He has held fundraisers and events to raise funds and increase his positive impact. After winning his election to Hopewell City Council, he donated all the remaining campaign funds to one of his scholarships and to the Hopewell Kiwanis Club's youth programs. He has served faithfully over 9 years in the Virginia National Guard and is the third generation in his family to serve in the Virginia National Guard. His commitment to service doesn't stop there. He has organized dozens of supply drives to send care packages to service men and women who are deployed overseas in combat zones.”
William Collins, PhD
Manchester High School, Class of 2002
Associate Professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering at the University of Kansas
A 2002 graduate of Manchester High School, Dr. William Collins, received Civil Engineering degrees (BS, MS, and PhD) from Virginia Tech, followed by work as a post-doctoral scholar and research engineer at Purdue University. He is an expert in fracture toughness testing and characterization, field testing and monitoring of highway structures, large-scale examination of structural components and systems, bridge engineering, and the fabrication and inspection of metallic infrastructure, and he conducts research and teaches courses in these areas. Dr. Collins has led numerous research projects related to fatigue and fracture detection, characterization, and performance, as well bridge inspection, evaluation, and repair. Awarded the Fulbright-VTT Award in Science, Technology and Innovation, co-funded by the Fulbright Finland Foundation and the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, he spent 2023 conducting research with collaborators at the VTT Center for Nuclear Safety in Espoo, Finland. He serves in many roles at the University of Kansas including the faculty advisor for the student chapter of the American Society of Engineers and the University Senate Athletic Committee, and is active in many professional organizations including the Transportation Research Board, ASTM International, the AASHTO/NSBA Collaboration, and the AISI Bridge Task Force.
Quote from nominator:
“Dr. Collins has been involved with students, young professionals, and other youth since early in his academic career. Particularly noteworthy is his belief in the importance of developing the potential of others. He has demonstrated through his community and professional work that being involved and sharing one's gifts lifts the hopes of everyone for our common future. The success of his mentorship has been well documented in his professional capacity as he has assisted his graduate students in the pursuit of their professional goals. He has included his students as he has become a recognized leader in steel bridge design. And he has worked with young colleagues to help people in difficult situations to find hope. An important contribution that should not be overlooked is his involvement in elementary schools and churches, as he has helped young children imagine how their own ideas can change the world.”