Recognizing outstanding nonprofit leaders

winner 2023 announcement landing page:

Announcing the 2023 EXCEL Award Winner!

After an extensive application and interview process, the Center is excited to announce the 2023 EXCEL Award Winner:

Ari Brooks, Executive Director, Friends of the Library, Montgomery County

Ari Z. Brooks boasts extensive expertise as a fundraiser and nonprofit manager, having occupied leadership roles in three not-for-profit organizations for over twenty-five years across Maryland and Pennsylvania. Throughout her career, she has been dedicated to mobilizing and motivating the community to contribute volunteer efforts and philanthropic aid to meaningful initiatives. As FOLMC executive director, Ari leads one of the largest Friends groups in the DC region. 

And we'd like to congratulate our honorable mentions:
Gabby Mulnick Majewski, Executive Director, DC Affordable Law Firm
Dr. Donney John, Executive Director, NOVA ScriptsCentral

Click on their names to learn more about these individuals, and stay tuned for our upcoming series of video shorts reflecting on best practices! Thank you to our sponsor, GRF CPAs & Advisors, and selection committee for their continued time and efforts.

Awarded by the Center since 2005 and sponsored by GRF CPAs & Advisors since 2007, the EXCEL Award honors exceptional nonprofit chief executives in our region. The competition recognizes achievement in the areas of innovation, motivation, community building, ethical integrity and strategic leadership.

Nominations can be made by board members, staff members, volunteers, clients or community members, and can be made with or without the candidate’s knowledge.

One nominee is selected as the EXCEL winner and is given access to a $10,000 professional development account. The winner’s organization receives a $2,000 cash award to support professional development programs for its staff.

Up to two nominees may be selected as honorable mention recipients. Each of their organizations receives a $3,000 award to support professional development programs for the candidate and/or staff.

If you have any questions about the process, please email