Winners of A. Heath Onthank Award

Three employees receive the county’s highest government honor award.

Community News at a Glance

Fairfax County

Award recipient Leila Gordon, executive director of Reston Community Center; John Townes, commissioner of the Civil Service Commission; Paul Davis, chairman, A. Heath Onthank Committee; Linnaea Jablonski, director of Department of Human Resources; Jeffrey McKay, chairman of the Board of Supervisors and Bryan J. Hill, county executive.


The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recognized Tajweer Beaufort, Leila Gordon, and Kim Young with the A. Heath Onthank Award, the highest government employee honor. 

Tajweer Beaufort, Fairfax County Police Department, developed and led new police employment expos that enhanced recruitment. He focused on the “30x30 Initiative” to target 30 percent female police representation in recruiting classes by 2030 and launched the Fairfax Experience to hire diverse law enforcement professionals from college. His initiatives increased recruiting and hiring, creating the largest and most diverse Fall Police Academy cohort ever. Tajweer Beaufort was unable to attend the Onthank award recognition ceremony.

Leila Gordon leads the Reston Community Center. She has created a collaborative, multi-faceted art scene, reaching almost 100,000 community members through yearly arts programming. Gordon chaired the Fairfax County Public Arts Master Plan Facilities Task Force from 2011 to 2023. Last year, Gordon’s community engagement efforts, in collaboration with the Department of Public Works staff, culminated in accepting a proposal for land for the planned Art Center. She guided the creation of a county COVID Memorial and advised on Mount Vernon High School theater renovation.

Kim Young is a senior interpreter at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. She supervised volunteers, students and staff in building and managing native gardens at the center, promoting native flora and public education. She has provided meaningful watershed education experience for close to 2000 elementary and middle school students, webinars, local garden clubs, and Eagle Scout candidates. The Hidden Oaks Nature Center Master Gardeners' native plant acreage has risen 1,000 percent in five years and 150 percent in 18 months.