Carr named leader of the year


The Greater Washington Board of Trade has named Alexandria resident W. Lyles Carr III the 2008 Leader of the Year for his outstanding business and community service to the Washington region and will honor him at a special recognition dinner on May 14 at the Capital Hilton.

I am humbled by this recognition by the Greater Washington business community, said Carr.  Business has to be more than the financial bottom line. I am proud to be recognized by the Greater Washington Board of Trade, an organization that works hard to see that our region is not just a great place to work, but also to live.

Carr, a Senior Vice President of the McCormick Group, is strongly committed to community service and serves on the board of directors or advisory committee of numerous area organizations, including the Federal City Council, Economic Club of Washington, Alexandria Community Trust, Workforce Organizations for Regional Collaboration, Catalogue for Philanthropy, the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation and the Heart of America Foundation.

Carr, 58, also chairs Spring for Alexandria, a recently concluded three-day celebration that brought together the leadership of the city with the business and nonprofit communities and individual citizens for a weekend of events, business summits and community service.

Lyles Carr is the most civically engaged human being I have ever met, said Jonelle Wallmeyer, the Executive Director of the Alexander Community Trust. He brings a can-do spirit to everything and always encourages everyone to get to the goal line.

Carr, who was reluctant to talk about himself, was much more open with his enthusiasm for the Alexandria community.

Alexandria really is a unique community where neighbors truly do look after each other, said Carr. We have an enlightened leadership in our government, particularly the mayor and city manager, and a real sense of pride and concern for all people.

An Alexandria native, Carr graduated from Episcopal High School in 1968 and went on to earn a bachelors degree in finance from the University of Virginia in 1972.

He followed in his fathers footsteps and began working for the McCormick Group in 1974, where he is widely recognized for his expertise in the recruitment of senior level legal and government affairs professionals.

A past president of Leadership Greater Washington, Carr has been acknowledged as the organizations Volunteer of the Year.  He has also received the Jim & Patty Rouse Award from the Jubilee Support Alliance, the Golden Links Award from the Greater Washington Board of Trade, and the Sister Eymard Gallagher Award for Community Service/Corporate Resp-onsibility at the HR Leadership Awards presentations. 

Carr was also recognized as an Outstanding Fundraising Volunteer by the Association of Fundraising Professionals and was named a 2002 Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian magazine.

Lyles Carr is the type of business and civic leader that communities need, said Bill Hanbury, President and CEO of the Washington Convention and Tourism Corporation and a member of the BOTs Board of Directors.

Lyles sense of engagement has made a dramatic contribution to a wide range of civic interests, added Hanbury, who also serves with Carr on the board of the Helen Hayes Awards.

Carr will celebrate his 30th wedding anniversary in August to Sarah King, who was born and raised in Alexandria and whose father was President of First Commonwealth Savings and Loan.

Alexandria has a rich tradition of neighbor helping neighbor, and Lyles epitomizes that spirit, said Wellmeyer. He has a big vision for the community and has inspired every key entity in the city to build its resources and philanthropy.

Although Carr was born on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, he chose to make his home in Alexandria after finishing college because of that community spirit.

Where else can you see so many community sectors coming together as they do here? said Carr. Alexandria truly is a rich and diverse community, not merely a place to live.