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2021 CEO of the Year Awards

Awards to Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC
Top Executives for Outstanding Work Over the Past Year

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Washington Business Journal

Deadline Date:

09/17/21 Midnight


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Awards to Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC outstanding business and nonprofit executives in eligible regions to recognize their exceptional work over the past twelve months. Awards will be given to established small business owners or top executives who are an example to their colleagues. The nominee's company or organization must be headquartered in Washington, DC; Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, or Prince William Counties in Virginia; or Montgomery or Prince George’s Counties in Maryland.

This year, Washington Business Journal will honor not only the annual CEO of the Year but some additional leaders, each meeting some of the specific challenges that this past year and a half has brought.

If your company, small business, or nonprofit is led by someone who stands apart in their dedication to philanthropy, is taking action on racial equity, has supported their team through the challenges of COVID-19, or is keeping their small business afloat in unique and inspiring ways — please consider a nomination for this year’s program.

2021 CEO of the Year Categories:

  • CEO of the Year: A for-profit CEO who exemplifies skills and leadership widely across all categories.
  • Nonprofit Leader of the Year: CEO of a nonprofit organization that has made a specific, tangible impact on COVID-19 recovery and/or the fight for racial equity in the region.
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Champion: This CEO has made not only a commitment, but clear steps toward racial equity at their company and within the wider community
  • COVID-19 Response Leader: This CEO has gone above and beyond to retain and support employees through the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Small Business Owner of the Year: A small business owner in Greater Washington that exemplifies resiliency in the face of the tremendous obstacles through the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • C-Suite Spotlight Award: A c-suite candidate who has had a major year in 2021 — perhaps a CFO that’s navigated an acquisition, a CMO who launched a major ad campaign, etc. - all in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is a chance to honor a peer or a mentor. It is also an opportunity to share an inspiring story of success with others. If you know someone who serves as an example to you, this is your chance to help share that person’s story with a larger audience. The judges look for inspiring stories from inspiring people. They also look for specific examples from the nominee’s professional life.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181949

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Established CEO-level executives, nonprofit executives, or small business owners who exemplify the characteristics in the descriptions above may be nominated.

The nominee's company must be headquartered in Washington, DC; Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, or Prince William Counties in Virginia; or Montgomery or Prince George’s Counties in Maryland.

Note: Previous winners of the Washington Business Journal's CEO of the Year award are ineligible for this award.

Pre-Application Information:

Nominations are due by September 17 at midnight.

After the nomination close date, the Washington Business Journal and an independent panel of judges will select the honorees. Honorees will be announced in October 2021.

Honorees of the 2021 CEO of the Year Awards program will be featured in the Dec. 3 issue of the Washington Business Journal. All honorees will be celebrated at an in-person awards ceremony on Tuesday, November 30 at the Four Seasons, Washington, DC. Honoree attendance is mandatory. Past CEO honorees will also be in attendance.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Create an account to submit a nomination:

Washington Business Journal
1100 Wilson Blvd.
Suite 800
Arlington, VA 22209-2405

Phone: 703-258-0800
Fax: 703-258-0802

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Maryland: Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties;   Virginia: Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties ;   Washington, DC

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