Mayor & Vice Mayor 2016 Award of Excellence Recipients

After moving to Lynchburg, Tracy Baker decided the best way to make friends was to volunteer. She did so by getting involved with her children’s schools and served as volunteer coordinator and newsletter editor for Paul Munro, RS Payne and Dunbar Middle Schools. Currently, she is the PTO President for EC Glass and assists at the Guidance Office and copy room. She has served as president for the Lynchburg Symphony Youth Orchestra and is also the concert program editor. Tracy has coordinated Red Cross blood drives, volunteered at the Free Clinic and is past president of the Lynchburg Academy of Medicine Alliance. Today, and many days, you’ll find Tracy at the Tools4Schools Warehouse, organizing free supplies for teachers. 

Virginia born, Don and Frances Giles met while in college and have been married for 51 years. If you name a board in Lynchburg, there is a good chance that one or both have served or are serving on that board! Together, this couple has made a huge impact on the Lynchburg community through their volunteer work. Frances, a graduate of Randolph Macon Woman’s College, established the Helen and Ruffin Jones Global Studies Scholarship for students and faculty members to study abroad. She has also served on the boards of United Way, the Awareness Garden, the Junior League and Amazement Square. She holds the distinction of being named an Honorary Goddess for her community service. Don is also heavily involved in volunteer work.  As the chairman of the board of the internationally known company, Moore and Giles, Don has lent his time and expertise to Randolph College, United Way, the Craddock Terry Shoe Corporation and Craddock Terry Shoe Foundation and many other charitable and civic organizations. This power couple believes in family and community. 

Shaun Spencer-Hester is a neighborhood leader and an historian. Her grandmother, famed poet Ann Spencer, left a legacy of poetry and other writings, and her granddaughter is also leaving a legacy of historic preservation. Her passion for history is inspiring others through tours of the Ann Spencer House and Gardens and by serving on the Academy Center of Arts Board of Directors. She organizes events to engage the neighborhood children including holiday parties, summer cookouts, spruce-up activities, and restoring the neighborhood’s “Old Store” which boasts a freezer full of free popsicles for all the neighborhood kids.

Hylan Hubbard. “Hank”’ as he is known, moved to Lynchburg nine years ago, but he didn’t waste any time getting involved in the community. Hank is a member of the Centra Health Board, chairs the Boys and Girls Club “Caring for Kids” Golf Tournament, and serves as the Selection Committee chair for the Dunbar High School Legacy Scholarship Fund. He is a Randolph College Trustee and is Treasurer and board member for STEP with Links.

Tom Webb is a lifelong resident of Central Virginia. Young people have always been important to Tom, and most of his career has been spent educating, mentoring and supporting students. As an educator and principal for the Campbell County School system, he made such a lasting impact that he had a street named after him known as “Webbs Way.” He spends much of his time volunteering in the Lynchburg community including serving three terms on the Lynchburg School Board.  

Jack Edma, known professionally as “DJ Ed.” is CEO of MG Productions, which is named after his mother, Jack has leveraged his talents to assist with a number of local projects including the 2015 Lynchburg Food Truck Rodeo, the International DJ Festival and MG Cares. MG Cares has supported programs of United Way, CASA, STEP with Links, Out of Darkness Walk, the Junior League, and IRON Lives, just to name a few. Born and raised in Haiti, Jack led a team of 13 volunteers on a humanitarian mission after the devastating earthquake that violently shook Haiti in 2010. He also assisted his home country through Haiti Harvest Distribution which helped improve agriculture production through technical and financial support services. His love of music and DJ’ing has given him a platform to make a difference in the lives of many—both here and abroad. 

Philipp Gabathuler was born and raised in Lynchburg, He graduated from EC Glass High School in 2002. His college studies in Environmental Policy and Planning and his post graduate studies in Urban and Regional Planning helped steer his philanthropy as an advocate for building stronger communities by making healthy choices. To this effort, Philipp serves on several local boards including the Daily Bread, Lynchburg Grows, Friends of the Community Market and the Lynchburg Area Food Council—where he volunteers his time regularly. In making healthy choices, he starts with himself by biking to work every day! As an avid outdoor enthusiast, he’s even hiked the entire Appalachian Trail.