2011 Man and Woman of the Year Announced!

Lavern J. Chatman-Brown

Mrs. Chatman-Brown has been involved with philanthropic efforts to benefit youth, education, healthcare, and arts in the Northern Virginia area.  Immediate past President of The Arlington Chapter, The Links, Incorporated; President/CEO of Northern Virginia Urban League (NOVAUL) since 2004; Board of Directors — Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce; INOVA Alexandria Hospital; National League of Cities; Northern Virginia Community Foundation, Inc.; WETA Public Broadcasting and Chair, Diversity Council AARP for Virginia, to provide examples; in all, she is a member or serves on 16 boards.

She began her career as a marketing representative with IBM Corporation.  She has served as general manager, Washington, DC gospel radio station (WUST-AM) and was also an associate producer for the renowned talk show “Petey Greene’s Washington” on WDCA Television.  Mrs. Chatman-Brown served as a full-time volunteer for various charities and non-profit organizations, including America’s Promise – The Alliance for Youth.  An organization dedicated to improving the lives of the nation’s at-risk youth, then chaired by General Colin Powell.  She and her late husband, James I. Chatman, established the Chatman Fund with a $400,000 donation to the Northern Virginia Community Foundation to support youth.  The Grandfather’s Group, is one of its main programs where African-American men act as surrogate grandfathers to boys living in single-female households – four monthly contacts with mentee.

Mrs. Chatman-Brown spearheaded the NOVAUL’s building of the Freedom Slave Museum.  Under her leadership in a two year period the project raised $300,000 to build, design and create a permanent memorial to tell the story of domestic slave trading in Alexandria.  The NOVAUL has made 1315 Duke Street its home.  Educational tours to the Museum are available without cost.

She has implemented a successful five-point strategy Empowerment Program in Northern Virginia:  Education and Youth, Economic, Health and Quality of Life, Civic Engagement and Leadership, and Civil Rights and Racial Justice.  “College Survival” was implemented in 2010 where 82 students and their parents benefitted from the one-day workshop.

Mrs. Chatman-Brown is a visionary person, always thinking outside of the “box”.  She has implemented 17 community-based partnerships which came from her vision as to making the NOVAUL and The Arlington Links community resources.  Examples:  Hoffman-Boston Elementary School – “Girls on the Run” curricula couple physical activity with a whole person philosophy to provide positive benefits without increasing the risk of unhealthy attitudes about body images and eating, donated books for School Library; “Book Buddies” to second grade students (reading); Hammond Middle School – “Hammond Links Girls Program” taught social graces, etiquette and protocol, teambuilding and arts; Youth Offenders Project – During 2010, 112 offenders were served; World Vision Dangler Project – Party with a Purpose where with matching funds $38,000 for Africa and Haiti for food, shelter, long term educational support and teacher training;  Go Red Connect  – over 150 community citizens in attendance of educational program on heart disease; Scholarships – Northern Virginia Links gave $20,000 and $70,000 from NOVAUL in 2010; Census and Voter Empowerment – coordinated 31 non-profit and non-partisan to increase census count; provided more than 1500 volunteers hours in 2010.

Thomas W. Grantham

Tom has been very active in every aspect of the Club’s activities since joining in February of 2010. He serves on the Board of Directors, is the current President-elect, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Kiwanis Club’s Foundation. Since becoming a Kiwanis member he has rejuvenated the Swanson Middle School Builders Club, which is now a very active middle school Club in Arlington.

Born in Washington, D.C., Tom grew up in Arlington and graduated form Yorktown High School. Tom continued his education at George Mason University while beginning his career in banking. He attended Banking Institution classes for many years while working his way “up the ladder”, becoming a Senior Vice President before age 30. He has been in banking for 36 years, currently serving as Senior Vice President / Market Executive at Cardinal Bank in Arlington, and is held in high esteem by his professional colleagues. He and his wife Elaine live in Arlington and have two grown sons.

Tom has been a stalwart in the Kiwanis Club’s fundraising activities that support the many charities which benefit from the financial grants given by the Kiwanis Club. The Kiwanis Antique Show, Oyster and Pig Roast, Peanut program, bell ringing for the Salvation Army bagging at the Arlington Food Assistance Center each month, and the first Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast this past spring, are a few of the Club’s projects that have benefited from Tom’s enthusiasm and leadership.

In addition, he is involved in other community service programs through his work with Cardinal Bank. Tom serves on the bank’s Charity Foundation which supports the Kellar School in Fairfax County. This school offers a learning experience for children who have social, behavioral or health-related issues that significantly interfere with their ability to learn. Tom is also a leader in organizing and hosting the frequent social events sponsored by Cardinal Bank that bring community leaders together to learn about community activities that make Arlington and the surrounding area a rewarding place to live and work.

The Arlington Kiwanis Club is very fortunate to have Tom Grantham as a member. While Arlington has many citizens who do outstanding work throughout the community, few show the level of dedication and integrity that Tom Grantham brings to service in Arlington. Tom is an outstanding example of what it means to being a true servant to his community.


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