May 12, 2015

Five young professionals were honored for their outstanding professional and community contributions at the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards dinner on Monday night.  The PACE (Professional and Community Engagement) Awards were presented to exceptional young professionals who have made significant contributions to our region through professional achievements as well as through community/volunteer service. 

Recipients of the awards were Jeffrey Bond, Alexis Ehrhardt, Richard Gary, Steven Gould, and Fred Wydner III.  This is the third year that the Chamber has recognized outstanding young professionals in our region.

Nominations were solicited from the community for young professionals who are 25 to 40 years old and either reside or work in Danville or Pittsylvania County.

Criteria for the award included at least three years of professional work experience, demonstrated leadership within their profession, and contributions to this region through volunteer/community activities.

Jeffrey Lee Bond

Jeffrey Lee Bond, a Gretna native, returned to the region to work in Danville after graduating magna cum laude from the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech in 2007.  In addition to being a licensed architect in Virginia and North Carolina, he is a LEED accredited professional focusing on sustainability and energy efficiency. This carries over into his passion for historic restoration projects.

In late 2013 Bond opened his own professional firm providing architecture, planning and design services. Solex Architecture has been located in Danville’s River District since its inception which underscores Bond’s commitment to this community and the prosperity of the entire region.  Solex Architecture is continuing to grow its customer base with projects stretching along the North Carolina border from Roanoke to Newport News and from Charlottesville to Greensboro.

Bond is a board member of Danville’s Commission of Architecture Review and the city’s Building Code Board of Appeals. He is the past president of the Downtown Danville Association, chairs the Chamber’s bi-annual night golf tournaments, is a past board member of the Danville Historical Society and a past member of the Chamber’s Young Professionals Committee.  He is a member of West Main Baptist Church in Danville.

Bond and his wife, Megan, reside in Danville with their 14-month-old son, Alexander Kenneth.

Alexis I. Ehrhardt

Alexis I. Ehrhardt currently serves as the Executive Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness at Averett University. She leads a team focused on connecting students, faculty and staff with community partners to build initiatives related to career development, experiential learning, volunteerism, and leadership development. Prior to joining Averett in April 2012, she spent four years at Danville Community College.

Ehrhardt moved to the Dan River Region in 2000. Raised in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Rockville, MD, she graduated magna cum laude from Emory University with a B.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Spanish, and holds a Masters degree in Higher Education from the University of Virginia. Ehrhardt expects to complete her doctorate from Lynchburg College in May 2016.

Ehrhardt enjoys engaging with the community in a variety of ways, including serving as a Fellow and Board Member of Middle Border Forward, a member of Riverview Rotary, and a volunteer with the Danville Concert Association. She previously has served terms on the boards of Habitat for Humanity, Stratford Tennis Club, and was an advisory member of the Danville Regional Foundation board.

Ehrhardt lives in Danville with her husband, Scott, and their two sons.

Richard G. Gary

Richard G. Gary graduated from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a Bachelors of Education with a concentration in Special Education in 2007.  He received his Masters of Arts in Human Services Counseling/Business from Liberty University in 2013.  He is currently pursuing a Masters of Arts in Executive Leadership from Liberty University with a projected completion date of August 2015.

Gary is a graduate of the Chattanooga Leadership program and Leadership Southside.  He anticipates completing the Duke Nonprofit Management program in December 2015.

Gary is the Director of Intellectual Disability Services for Danville Pittsylvania Community Services.  Prior to joining the agency in 2010, he worked with the intellectual disabilities and behavioral health populations in South Boston and in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

He is an active member of The Commonwealth of Virginia Cultural Competency Steering Committee and the agency representative for Health Region Three Special Needs Council.

Steven Gould

Steven Gould is an associate with Clement Wheatley, where he practices civil litigation, employment law, and administrative law.  Prior to returning home to Danville, he practiced with the Richmond firm of Williams Mullen.

In May 2014, he was elected to a four-year term on the Danville School Board, where he serves on the Finance, Communications, and Human Resources committees.

Gould serves as Chair-Elect of the Young Lawyers Division of the Virginia Bar Association; as a Board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Danville Area; and as an adjunct faculty member for the University of Richmond's Weekend College Program based in Danville, teaching a course entitled "The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship."

He is a 1999 graduate of George Washington High School and received his Bachelor's Degree in Political Science, with a Minor in Information Systems, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (with honors and highest distinction) in 2002.  He is a 2010 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law.

Prior to attending law school, Gould served for five years as a policy adviser in the administrations of former Governors Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, concentrating on economic development, agriculture, technology, and workforce development.

He is a 2006 graduate of the Political Leaders Program sponsored by the University of Virginia's Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership.  He was recently named a Rising Star in Business Litigation by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Gould is married to Missy Neff Gould; enjoys tennis, kayaking, and running; and loves spending time with his and Missy's two rescue dogs, Truman and Cooper.

Fred P. Wydner, III

As the Director of Agribusiness Development for Pittsylvania County, Fred P. Wydner III wears many hats.  Marketing, promotions, economic development in the form of agribusiness, farmers' market manager, liaison between the ag community and the county, ordinance development and review, along with state and national government interaction are just a few of the areas he covers. 

As a Pittsylvania County employee for more than seven plus years, Wydner is a member of the Virginia Agribusiness Council.  In partnership with Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore, Wydner successfully developed the VADO (Virginia Ag Development Officers) group as a subset of VDACS, which consists of Ag Directors from all over the state. 

Wydner and his wife, Amanda, are the proud parents of Preston, Abbi Laine, and Ginny Gray.  Wydner also manages their 120 acre farm utilizing the most advanced silvilcuture and conservation techniques to bring value and net worth to the family.              He also serves as Payneton United Methodist Church’s finance chair, lay speaker, and trustee.