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Don Smith Awards


The winner of the 2022 Don Smith Award is Richard “Beats” Beatty.

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Richard “Beats” Beatty is Fire Technician. As a member of the community he serves, he joined the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department after a family emergency caused him to call 911.  Drawn by the professionalism he observed, he joined the department and is currently stationed at Station 41 (Crosspointe).


While working in the field, he observed the disturbing trend of a spike in fire service personnel being diagnosed with some form of cancer.  He began visiting members who were ill while off duty.  Over the past year, he has been developing a program in conjunction with IAFF Local #2068 that has included interviews with diagnosed members and their families, creating the YouTube channel “By-Product”, dedicated to bringing health, safety, and wellness information to employees and families, and has advocated for more support and more aide. 


He is currently working on education programs, serving on the cancer awareness committee and creating care packages for those newly diagnosed.  Thank you for all you are doing and congratulations for winning this year’s Don Smith Award. 

The 2022 Honorable Mention Awardees: Lori Bell, Colleen Coll, Zachary Cross, and Stephanie Ryan


Lori Bell of the Fairfax/ Falls Church Community Services Board has pioneered and expanded the Client Employment Support, resulting in more rewarding jobs for CSB employees and people receiving CSB services who win employment as a result of her team’s employment support.  Her contributions are improving employee benefits and morale as well as supporting new employee success at work and in life, strengthening work relationships across departments. 


As a dedicated member of the Department of Public Safety Communications for nine years, Colleen Coll has taken it upon herself to lift morale and take care of her work family.  She often gives up her own break to spend time preparing treats to hand out and will often spend her own days off in planning celebrations for any birthday, baby or bridal shower. She will plan fun events that take into account the dynamic nature of a 911 call center.  In all of these efforts, she never asks for anything in return.  While she shuns any sort of recognition, we felt her genuine acts of kindness and sacrifice more than deserve recognition. 


Throughout Law Enforcement, recruitment and retention have become major issues as agencies throughout the country work to not only recruit qualified candidates to the profession but to also retain current employees.  Recruiting Detective Zachary Cross of the Fairfax County Police Department, in addition to his general duties, took the initiative to outline a retention plan that identified significant gaps in internal communication and has led to positive solutions that have been implemented throughout the department.  In addition, he has provided a periodic newsletter, authored by himself, to increase internal communication. 


Stephanie Ryan of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Services Unit provides counseling services to juveniles, families, couples and adult clients.  In addition, she has taken the initiative to be a leader in the Court Services Unit as it has transitioned to become a trauma informed agency.  In so doing, she has become an invaluable resource not just externally but internally, providing counseling services to peers to assist in resiliency, self care and support so they can continue to provide critical services to members of the community.  She has also facilitated trainings locally, regionally and nationally.

Thank you all for going beyond your regular duties and making a significant difference for your fellow employees!

The Don Smith Award was established by the Employee Advisory Council (EAC) in 1991 to honor Donald D. Smith who devoted 16 years of services as and EAC Representative.  His service was marked by insight and growth.


Don Smith Award nominations are accepted during November of each year.

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