Recognizing outstanding nonprofit leaders

Announcing the 2022 EXCEL Award Winner!

After an extensive application and interview process, the Center is excited to announce the 2022 EXCEL Award Winner:

Brigitte Winter, Executive Director, Young Playwrights’ Theater

Brigitte Winter has more than fifteen years of experience in nonprofit leadership, arts administration, financial management, fundraising, and strategic communications in the DC region. She is also a writer, a metalsmith, a photographer, and the Co-President of the Board of Directors for the Baltimore Abortion Fund.

And we'd like to congratulate our honorable mentions:
Emily Gage, Executive Director, Phoenix Bikes
Janine Tursini, Director & CEO, Arts for the Aging

Click on their names to learn more about these individuals! & Stay tuned for our upcoming series of video shorts reflecting on best practices! Thank you to our sponsor 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.

The call for nominations opens in July, and after an in depth review and selection process, winners are introduced at the Center's Annual Celebration in the fall.

If you have any questions about the process, please email