Three Receive Highest County Employee Award

June 18, 2013

News Highlights

  • Three Fairfax County employees receive the 2012 Onthank Award, the highest county honor for employees.
  • The award was established by the Board of Supervisors to honor the memory of Col. A. Heath Onthank, the first chairman of the Fairfax County Civil Service Commission (1957-1962).


Three employees have been selected to receive the A. Heath Onthank Award, the highest honor Fairfax County bestows on its employees. The awards were presented today at the regularly scheduled meeting of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

The 2012 recipients are:

  • Thomas Fleetwood, associate director, Housing and Community Development — Fleetwood led development of the annual "Housing Blueprint," which sets specific goals in the areas of preventing and ending homelessness, providing affordable housing to persons with special needs, reducing the waiting lists for Fairfax County’s affordable housing and creating work force housing.
  • Lenny Wright, Public Works and Environmental Services, Solid Waste Management — Under Wright's supervision in 2012, Fairfax County’s I-66 Transfer Station received and processed more than 665,000 tons of material (equivalent to the weight of nearly 3,000 Statues of Liberty); hauled more than 42,000 loads of waste — traveling more than 2.2 million miles (equivalent to 88 trips around the world); and served more than 350,000 customers.
  • Renee Edwards, manager, Library, Early Literacy Outreach Office — Edwards' initiatives included a project to offer early literacy kits to new mothers at area hospitals; providing Nooks for early literacy programs in library branches; partnering with Fairfax County Public Schools to bring an early literacy program designed for African and African-American families to library branches; and partnering with Wolf Trap to develop an early literacy arts series for Head Start parents and preschoolers.

The Onthank Award was established by the Board of Supervisors in 1966 to honor the memory of Col. A. Heath Onthank, the first chairman of the Fairfax County Civil Service Commission (1957-1962) and guiding force of the county’s career merit system.

The award recognizes accomplishments of outstanding worth by an individual county employee, in advancing and improving public service in Fairfax County Government and the school system.

Eligibility for the Onthank Award is open to merit system employees of county government and contracted, unified salary scale and food service employees of Fairfax County Public Schools. Nominations come from residents, fellow employees, civic groups and business and professional organizations.

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(Click for High-Res Version)

Onthank Award recipients
(l-r: Thomas Fleetwood, Renee Edwards
and Lenny Wright) received plaques
at the Board of Supervisors meeting.

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