The 2022 recipients of the Jean C. Harris Award for Excellence given by the Hanover County Community Services Board were awarded on October 26, 2022. William “Bill” E. Brenzovich, Sr. and Cristy A. Corbin were recognized and honored for the critical role they play in our community.
Brenzovich has devoted more than a decade of service to those with behavioral health and development disability service needs to those not only in Hanover, but across Virginia.
As his nominator shared, “Bill is a true advocate for those who served through the CSB and is the epitome of a public servant in much the same ways as the values exemplified by Jean Harris herself.”
Brenzovich represented the Mechanicsville District on the Hanover County CSB from 2011 to 2019 and served as Secretary, Chair and Immediate Past Chair during his time.
In 2016, he became the Region Four Representative to the Virginia Association of Community Services Board. He later served as the Board’s first Vice Chair, Chair and Past Chair.
“I truly believe in and support what these organizations provide for the citizens of Hanover County and for the citizens of the Commonwealth,” Brenzovich said as he accepted the award. “Throughout these experiences, I maintained my belief in following and enforcing guidelines and rules as well as the importance of demonstrating respect for all people – no matter what their situations are.”
Following experiences with her own child beginning in 2010, Cristy A. Corbin has been actively making a positive impact in the child behavioral health system.
Corbin became a volunteer with Virginia Family Network (VFN), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Central Virginia and NAMI Virginia.
“I had the honor of serving alongside Cristy and her husband, David, for a number of years at the Emergency Department at VCU Medical Center,” CSB member Ryan Hudson said. “I can tell you that when it comes to both of them, they have always been willing to help anyone – no matter their need, no matter their background.”
While working as a family support partner under a grant, she learned the funding would end in September 2020. Corbin and her husband then founded Family Support Partners of Virginia (FSP of VA) in October 2020 to continue serving families in the Greater Richmond area.
“Sometimes to make change, you have to make waves,” Corbin said. “That’s the way that you make friends and make connections – by putting the stuff out there that needs to be heard.”
The award is named for one such person. Jean C. Harris noticed those in need and tried to help them in big and small ways, including persuading the Hanover Board of Supervisors to create the Hanover County CSB to promote the development of much-needed community-based services and supports. She became one of the Board’s founding members.
“She would be very pleased that for the last 22 years, Hanover County has continued to honor her memory,” said Scott Harris, Hanover County Commissioner of the Revenue, and son of Jean C. Harris. “One of the ways that you keep her alive in our hearts is through this. I’m thankful to have Bill and Cristy serving our community.”
Harris and Board Chair Angela Kelly-Wiecek both emphasized the need to get younger people involved in community service.
“Let’s take that message of planting those seeds in our fellow Hanoverians, particularly our young Hanoverians, and let us really think about how we can grow the desire of those who we are perhaps mentoring or raising,” Kelly-Wiecek said. “Let’s think about how we can model a behavior – a culture of service – and really encourage in them that love of a servant’s heart.”
The Hanover CSB created this award in 2000 to honor Jean C. Harris and has presented the award on an annual basis for the last two decades-plus. This year’s ceremony was held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at Hanover Courthouse, where Mrs. Harris was a lifelong member and where she began to serve the community in a “community league” she formed with other members.
You can watch the full ceremony on the County's YouTube channel here.