7 employees making an impact in their local communities

7 employees making an impact in their local communities
Jul 1, 2024

Meet our 2024 Volunteer Award Winners who are contributing to important causes in communities around the world

At ICF, our purpose—to build a more prosperous and resilient world for all—extends beyond our professional work. Across the company, hundreds of ICFers lead philanthropic efforts supporting causes important to them. And our annual Volunteer Awards celebrates their work, passion, dedication, and service to their communities.

Feeding low-income families

Vivek Thomas headshot

Endurance Award – Vivek Thomas

senior energy industry analyst

Our Endurance Award winner is Vivek Thomas. He’s the food deliveries director managing Citylight Church’s pantry in partnership with Food for Others. Since October 2022, he’s overseen the logistics of food delivery and distribution to low-income families in the Falls Church, Virginia, area. Each month, Citylight Church receives over 2,000 pounds of groceries, including produce, frozen items, and nonperishables, to distribute to Falls Church High School students and families. Through his efforts, which include over 200 hours of service, a number of students have been able to remain in school and graduate as their families no longer rely on them for financial support.

“Vivek has played a pivotal role in making a difference in the lives of so many experiencing food insecurity. As a volunteer partner, the Citylight popup was able to serve over 6,700 individuals through Vivek's leadership. We are stronger because of his valuable partnership and support.”


Rallying ICFers to help fight hunger

Lauren Phillips headshot

Local Hero Award – Lauren Phillips

lead project management officer

Our Local Hero Award winner is Lauren Phillips. She’s been a consistent volunteer at the Central Texas Food Bank, helping to prepare over 7,000 meals for people in need. Over the past three years, she’s supported the food bank’s mobile food pantry services and warehouse operations. Inspired by her commitment, Lauren rallied dozens of ICFers in Austin, Texas, to join her in regular volunteer opportunities. She now coordinates routine team events that allow members to bond and help combat food insecurity. In total, Austin-based employees have volunteered over 300 hours at the food bank.

“Lauren Phillips has been a dedicated group volunteer liaison between the Central Texas Food Bank and ICF since 2020. Her leadership has helped at least 43 ICF volunteers provide more than 300 hours of service in that time. Her dedication has made an important impact for our neighbors facing hunger!”

Central Texas Food Bank

Sponsoring children’s education

Manorama Adhikari headshot

Platinum Award (Humanitarian Focus) – Manorama Adhikari

manager, monitoring & evaluation and resources

Our Platinum Award winner with a humanitarian focus is Manorama Adhikari. She’s an avid supporter of students at the Shree Azad Secondary School in Nepal. After a devastating earthquake hit Nepal in 2015, Manorama mobilized friends and colleagues in the Netherlands to donate £10,000 to rebuild homes in the Danuwar community in Baluwa, Kavre, Nepal. Since then, she’s gathered a community of friends to help her sponsor education for 33 children each year. Through her efforts, children in Nepal have been able to complete their education rather than dropping out of school at the primary level.

“Manorama has gone above and beyond to support students from the Danuwar Community. She visits the school annually to meet with students and parents and even supports them with hospital expenses, extra books, clothes, lunch expenses, and more. We are very glad for Manorama’s efforts!”

Danuwar Community residents

Rehabilitating marine animals

Tonya Redfield headshot

Platinum Award (Sustainability Focus) – Tonya Redfield

principal environmental planner

Our Platinum Award winner with a sustainability focus is Tonya Redfield. She volunteers as an animal care crew member at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California, where she started as a volunteer at age 16. Tonya has spent almost 500 hours over the past year tending to elephant seals, California sea lions, Guadalupe fur seals, sea otters, and other marine animals. Her duties include preparing food, preparing medications as prescribed by the onsite vets, cleaning enclosures, weighing animals, and teaching baby seals how to learn to eat fish—all in support of the center’s goal to rehabilitate and release the animals back into the wild.

“Tonya’s absolute willingness to do any kind of work necessary for the care of the animals is exemplary! Her efforts make rehabilitating critically ill or injured marine mammals possible and helps lead to their successful release.”

Marine Mammal Center

Nourishing souls for hospital patients and their families

Taylor Hamlet headshot

Rising Star Award (Humanitarian Focus) – Taylor Hamlet

communications specialist

Our Rising Star Award winner with a humanitarian focus is Taylor Hamlet. She volunteers at the SECU Family House at the University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Partnering with ICFers from our Durham, North Carolina, office, Taylor prepares and serves meals for patients and their family members, many of whom travel long distances to receive life-saving procedures and treat serious illnesses. Her hospitality always puts others in good spirits and her thoughtful menu themes add a special touch to residents’ dining experience.

“Taylor's dedication to creating thoughtful menu themes doesn't just fill stomachs; it adds a dash of warmth and a sprinkle of joy to the dining experience, turning each meal at Family House into a moment of connection for those who need a break from a long day at the hospital with loved ones. We are so grateful to her!”

SECU Family House

Providing sanctuary for horses

Rachel Sarner headshot

Rising Star Award (Sustainability Focus) – Rachel Sarner

GIS analyst

Our Rising Star Award winner with a sustainability focus is Rachel Sarner. She supports the equine sanctuary Horses of Tir Na Nog. Since 2022, she’s spent time monthly supporting operations that include tasks from cleaning corrals, grooming horses, to even fundraising. She’s now a “Bucket Buddy,” responsible for prepping over 100 buckets of food for each horse that includes a mixture of specific grain, pellet mixtures, and medical supplements. This year, Rachel sponsored an abandoned pony named Josie and has committed to donating $3,000 annually for Josie’s upkeep.

“All of Rachels efforts have helped make us a stronger, more sustainable organization. Given our mission to “create a safe haven for horses that have few options remaining, thereby ensuring them a better quality of life," Rachel's efforts as a volunteer have given so many horses a chance at a better life. We are so grateful that Rachel has chosen to share her time and talents with our sanctuary.”

Horses of Tir Na Nog

Giving school children proper equipment and facilities to thrive

Tom Lock headshot

GivingPlace Champion Award – Tom Lock

consulting director

Our GivingPlace Champion Award winner is Tom Lock. He manages the Bassingbourn Village College Parents and Friends Association. The charity covers needs for the Bassingbourn Village College High School that are not met through government funding. Tom serves as chief fundraiser, accountant, meeting organizer, head of communications, as well as copywriter for newsletters, web content, and PR pieces. He’s spent almost 300 hours over the last year helping raise over £9,100. Under Tom’s guidance, the school has been able to renovate their audio and lighting capabilities, a necessity for music concerts, art showcases, and dance shows. He’s now working with the school to create an outdoor classroom which will allow students to grow fruits and vegetables for the school canteen.

“Tom has been invaluable in his role as our Chair of the PFA for Bassingbourn Village College. His dedication and efforts have been instrumental in the increase of donations raised for our school. We are incredibly grateful for the hours he has committed as well as the other parents that have supported him.”

Bassingbourn Village College Parents and Friends Association

Subscribe to get our latest insightssubscribe