Each year, the Loudoun Laurels’ Founders Committee awards the Loudoun Laurels Medal to the honorees they have selected to become Loudoun Laureates. The medal is worn suspended from a scarlet ribbon, an ancient symbol of courage, passion, strength and self-sacrifice.

Medal Front

The laurel wreath on the front of the medal embraces the program’s motto, Ductus Exemplo, Leadership by Example.

Medal Back

The reverse displays the coat of arms and family motto of John Campbell, 4th Earl of Loudoun, after whom our county is named.

Newest Honorees

Sheila Johnson

Sheila Johnson is widely known as the co-founder of Black Entertainment Television and is the only African American woman to have ownership in three professional sports teams—the Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, and Washington Mystics. She is also founder and CEO of the Salamander Collection, whose portfolio includes the resort and spa in Middleburg, Virginia, a Forbes Five-Star-rated hospitality destination that draws influential guests to the region, promoting the local community, and employs many residents from our area.

In keeping with Sheila’s lifelong commitment to the arts, which began with her own training and performance as a concert violinist and later as a music teacher, her philanthropic work includes promoting arts and education to underserved communities. A strong believer in women’s empowerment, she has served as a global ambassador for CARE, a leading humanitarian organization that combats poverty around the world through the involvement of women. She also spearheaded the formation of WE Capital, a venture capital consortium dedicated to supporting and investing in female-led enterprises.

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Lew Parker

Lew Parker’s careers in two independent industries have had lasting positive effects on Loudoun County’s economic base and overall prominence in Virginia and nationally. In the role of engineer, technologist, and business executive, Lew’s contributions in the medical device arena have improved the lives of millions of individuals suffering from debilitating orthopedic conditions. The company he and his son-in-law Eric Major founded with other global leaders to produce the devices, K2M, grew quickly to become a leading high-tech employer in our region.

Lew’s other passion is winemaking, a craft he learned opportunistically from outside experts and through considerable trial and error in his pioneering efforts. His Willowcroft Farm on Mount Gilead would become the first winery established in Loudoun County, spawning an industry now populated with scores of growers and wineries, many producing award-winning wines and supporting a robust local tourist trade.

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