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MANASSAS -- The Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives (VMDAEC) and Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) presented Centreville, Va., resident Ted Moriak with the association’s Unsung Virginian Award at a ceremony in Centreville on Sept. 11, 2020. The NOVEC member and director emeritus for The Brain Foundation won the award for his work acquiring safe and affordable housing for people afflicted with brain diseases.
“Through his drive and determination, Ted Moriak has truly made a difference in the lives of those fighting brain diseases,” said Richard G. Johnstone Jr., VMDAEC president and CEO. “Ted epitomizes the seventh cooperative principle, Concern for Community, and his efforts carry on the tradition of our Unsung Virginian Award.”
The Brain Foundation, founded in 2003, provides affordable housing for people suffering from serious brain diseases, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorders, as well as people who are homeless or could become homeless. On the foundation’s behalf, Moriak was instrumental in acquiring nine houses in Fairfax County to house 36 mentally challenged men and women.
“He was tireless in pursuing money from multiple federal, state, and local government entities, from other nonprofits, and from private citizens,” said Trudy Harsh, founder and president emeritus of The Brain Foundation. “What Ted accomplished was almost miraculous and I attribute it to his persistence, positive attitude, and remarkable ability to learn and navigate the myriad complexities in obtaining housing.”
Bill Fuller, senior community housing officer with the Virginia Housing Development Authority, noted that housing is one of the most difficult and vexing problems for people with disabilities.
“It requires both a giving heart and a head for numbers,” Fuller said. “Ted has been the financial brains of this organization and an incredible advocate. His work is fast and accurate and delivers results.
Bestowed annually since 1968, the Unsung Virginian Award honors a citizen who has not been recognized for services rendered to the Commonwealth, without thought of personal gain. The VMDAEC Awards Committee selects a recipient from nominations solicited through print and online submissions in Cooperative Living magazine and through social media.
Moriak and his wife, Susan, have lived in Centreville since 1971. He retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture after a 39-year career as an economist and analyst. He has held an array of community leadership positions, including president of the Southwestern Youth Association, vice president of the Chantilly High School PTA, and member of the Fairfax County Athletic Council.
Headquartered in Glen Allen, Va., the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives provides services to 15 electric cooperatives that provide electricity to co-op members in the three-state region. Learn more at www.vmdaec.com or www.co-opliving.com.
NOVEC is an equal opportunity provider and employer.