April 11, 2019

Ellen Victoria Luckey, Ian Bodkin and Gather among winners at ChamberRVA’s 2019 Icons Awards

Awards honor innovative young professionals and the companies that support them

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA – ChamberRVA awarded its annual Icons Awards to eight individuals and companies this evening. Winners included Baylee Mabe of Workpath for the Business Innovator award and the Hodges Partnership for the Young Professional (YP) Workplace award, small business category. Kroger presented the event, which was held at the Science Museum of Virginia and hosted nearly 450 attendees from the Richmond region’s young professional community.

All the evening’s honorees were as follows:

The YP Workplace award recognizes organizations in the region that excel at attracting, retaining and developing young employees.

YP Workplace – Large Business

Winner: Markel
Nominees: Altria, EAB

YP Workplace – Small Business

Winner: The Hodges Partnership
Nominees: Brandito, JMI

New in 2019, the Corporate Innovator award recognizes a business two to five years old that has shown amazing growth, innovation and potential.

Corporate Innovator

Winner: Gather
Nominees: Atlas Financial, Totem Insights

The Front Runner award honors a career-bold YP who is a driver, pacesetter and pioneer in their industry.

Business Front Runner

Winner: Nathan Wethington of ColonialWebb
Nominees: Laura Bowser of TMI Consulting, Inc.; Kevin Mullaney of Brandito; Benjamin Waksmunski of Capital Center LLC

Nonprofit and Community Front Runner

Winner: Ellen Victoria Luckey of Victoria’s Kitchen LLC
Nominees: Cynthia Pantaleo of Junior Achievement of Central Virginia

The Innovator award honors a YP who is imaginative in their approach to identifying new avenues of thought and action.

Business Innovator

Winner: Baylee Mabe of Workpath
Nominees: Nicole Kappatos of Richmond Times-Dispatch

Nonprofit and Community Innovator

Winner: Ian Bodkin of John Tyler Community College
Nominees: Morgan Rhudy of Girl Power Grants; Shayla Varnado of Black Girls Wine

New in 2019, the Mentor Award honors an individual of any age who has served as an invaluable mentor to a YP in RVA – someone who provides an exceptional level of guidance as they support and contribute to the professional development and advancement of their mentee.

The Mentor Award

Winner: Tracy Lewis of BDO
Nominees: Shelley Nichols of Markel; Thomas Weingertner of ColonialWebb

“We’re thrilled to celebrate RVA’s bold young professionals and the companies that support them,” said Pat Gottschalk, partner at Williams Mullen and chair of the ChamberRVA Board of Directors. “We know the continued growth of the entire region depends on a thriving pipeline of YPs to fuel our workforce, so we very much want to recognize not only the innovative young people who are shaping their companies, but also the companies that are creating a structure and culture that allow young professionals to succeed. It all translates into continued growth for the Richmond region, and it’s something to celebrate in a big way.”

Attendees this year heard from keynote speaker Yewande Austin, an artist, activist and ambassador who has sung alongside the likes of the Black Eyed Peas and Maroon 5 while also teaching diversity and inclusion worldwide through her Global Institute for Diversity and Change. The evening was hosted by comedian Micah “Bam-Bamm” White, the founder of RVA Has Talent.

The Icons Awards are presented by HYPE, ChamberRVA’s program for young professionals. Since 2015, HYPE has presented the Icons Awards to career-bold young professionals and the companies that support them. This year marked the introduction of two new awards: the Mentor Award and the Corporate Innovator Award. Although the Mentor Award is open to professionals of any age, the other individual awards are open to those age 35 or younger.

The Hodges Partnership, winner of the YP Workplace award in the small business category at the 2019 HYPE Icons Awards.

The Hodges Partnership, winner of the YP Workplace award in the small business category.


Markel, winner of the YP Workplace award in the large business category at the 2019 HYPE Icons Awards.

Markel, winner of the YP Workplace award in the large business category.


Gather, winner of the Corporate Innovator award at the 2019 HYPE Icons Awards.

Gather, winner of the Corporate Innovator award.


See more photos on the HYPE Facebook page.


About the Icons Awards: The Icons Awards honor career-bold young professionals in RVA and the companies that support them. Learn more about the Icons Awards at

About HYPE: HYPE (Helping Young Professionals Engage) works to develop talent and strengthen the YP culture in RVA through events and programming designed to empower and ignite the passions of Richmond’s future decision makers. HYPE’s mission is to connect and engage YPs to develop individual, business and community success for a vibrant RVA. Learn more about HYPE at

About ChamberRVA: ChamberRVA is the chamber of commerce representing the entire greater Richmond region – one city, seven counties and one town ­– since 1867. The chamber’s mission is to build a thriving regional community by supporting the success of members, providing a strong business voice and developing RVA’s future leaders. Learn more about ChamberRVA at

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