Sorensen Leadership Awards

The Sorensen Institute is pleased to announce the winners of the first annual Sorensen Institute Leadership Awards. The awards will be presented April 10th at Sorensen’s Annual Gala at Richmond’s Altria Theatre. (Gala tickets are available at, and sponsorship opportunities are still available!)

The winners of the Leadership Awards were nominated by Sorensen alumni and friends, on the basis of the following criteria:

  • They demonstrate integrity, commitment, and courage to build bridges across political, social, and/or economic divisions in the Commonwealth.
  • They deliver extraordinary service and results as an elected official, board or commission appointee, community or political leader, or volunteer within the Commonwealth.
  • They demonstrate exceptional leadership in the public, private, or non-profit sectors of our Commonwealth in pursuit of understanding and cooperation consistent with the principles of the Sorensen Institute.

Winners of the Sorensen Leadership Award

Sharon Bulova Award Headshot

Sharon Bulova is in her third term as Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Ms. Bulova has had an impact on northern Virginia and the Commonwealth in countless ways, with a leading role in the founding of and growth of Virginia Railway Express (VRE), Faith Communities in Action, Communities of Trust, Diversion First and the Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission. For more than three decades she has governed with skill, engaged with her constituents and modeled transparency.

Suzy Kelly

As the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Suzy Kelly shares her business acumen and leadership knowledge across the Commonwealth. The business she leads as Chief Executive Officer, Jo-Kell Inc, specializes in Navy shipboard and high-tech industrial automation products, systems and services. Beyond raising the standards of excellence in business, she served on the Chesapeake City Council for eight years and continues to be active in community organizations related to faith, entrepreneurship and leadership.

Emerging Leadership Award Winners

Aird Headshot


Delegate Lashrecse Aird, of the 63rd District of Virginia, is the youngest woman elected to the House of Delegates. She works in development for Richard Bland College of William and Mary and holds a master’s degree in Public Administration. A tireless community leader, Delegate Aird is actively engaged in numerous civic boards and organizations, as well as leadership positions in the Democratic Party.



Councilman Phil Miskovic currently is serving his fourth term on the Town Council of Crewe. His political career has led him to multiple roles in state and local government and he is pursuing a PhD in Public Administration and Public Affairs. Phil has served as chairman of Crewe’s Economic Development Committee and member of the Volunteer Services Committee, and chairman of the Virginia Municipal League’s General Laws Policy Committee. Phil represented Crewe as a member of the Governor’s Rural Jobs Taskforce in 2013.

Sorensen Founders Award



This award honors an individual who has made substantial contributions to building and sustaining the Sorensen Institute. This year’s Founder’s Award will be awarded to Leigh Middleditch, a cofounder and long-time board member of the Sorensen Institute. In the 25 years since Sorensen was founded, he has provided advice and support, raised money, recruited applicants and solved problems for the Sorensen Institute. Mr. Middleditch has had a long and successful career as an attorney at McGuireWoods, served on the Board of Visitors of UVA, served on the board of the Claude Moore Foundation and dozens of other boards and community organizations. His service includes time as an officer in the Navy, from which he retired as a Captain.