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Distinguished Graduate Award
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2019 Distinguished Graduate Honoree

The purpose of this award is to recognize exceptional Leadership Anne Arundel graduates. Recipients are individuals who have adopted “the heart of community trusteeship” and have made significant and notable contributions for the betterment of our community.



Rick Hutzell, Editor, Capital Gazette

Rick Hutzell (FLG08) is the editor of Capital Gazette Communications in Annapolis, MD, part of Baltimore Sun Media and Tribune Publishing. He oversees the editorial staff of The Capital, the Maryland Gazette, the Crofton West County Gazette and the Bowie Blade-News. 

Hutzell was nominated by Tom Marquardt (ELS05) for his visionary leadership in the wake of the tragic Capital Gazette mass shooting on June 28, 2018, where staff members Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, Rebecca Smith, Wendi Winters and John McNamara were killed and six additional staff members survived the attack.





The Distinguished Graduate Award is the longest standing award at Leadership Anne Arundel, and is most significant in that it is the only award based on open nominations to a selection committee of Leadership Anne Arundel graduates and award recipients.  The Distinguished Graduate(s) will be recognized and honored at the Tribute to Community Leadership Celebration in June.

Nominations are welcome from any Leadership Anne Arundel graduate, current class member, or member of the community.


The recipient must be a graduate of any Leadership Anne Arundel program.

The recipient must live or work in Anne Arundel County.
The recipient must have exhibited his/her commitment to volunteerism and community service.
The recipient must have demonstrated the application of leadership principals.


The Committee is interested to know the nominees’ level of commitment and contribution in terms of time invested, leadership roles assumed, and significant contributions to the advancement of the mission of the organization or cause.  The selection process considers the nominee’s body of work in the community and breadth and depth of the contributions to the good of the community.

Please complete the nomination form and return it by May 15th, 2020. (Online nomination form coming soon!)


Past LAA Distinguished Graduate Award Recipients

Erwin Abrams – FLG97

Wendy Beavers – NLA07

Pam Beidle – FLG96

Ken Brannan – FLG00

Vicki Callahan – FLG96

Vanessa Carter – FLG95

Carlessa Finney – FLG94

Marc Gilbert – FLG00

Melanie Graw – FLG02

Lisa Hillman – FLG95

Alli Holstrom – FLG10/NLA09

Penny Hopkins – FLG97

Barbara Huston – FLG99

Bill Kuethe – FLG95

Tricia Lehmann – FLG97

Nadja Maril – FLG02

Tom Marquardt – ELS05

Patty McManus – FLG97

George Moran – FLG94

Bruce Morgenstern – FLG12

Ed Reilly – FLG03

Diane Sancilio – FLG14

Tony Spencer – FLG95

Pat Troy – FLG94

Larry Ulvila, Jr. – FLG95

Tad Wood – FLG99

LAA, a nonprofit 501c3 organization, is the premier leadership training and networking institute in Anne Arundel County since 1993. The Mission of Leadership Anne Arundel is to provide people of diverse backgrounds with education, resources and networks necessary to become successful proactive leaders. LAA inspires, develops and connects community leaders through education, training, information, events and networking. Please support LAA by investing in Membership.
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