The Richards Award

Ken Briley, 2014

We are proud to announce that Ken Briley has been honored with the Richards Award in 2014.“When it popped up, I was totally blindsided,” Ken said. “To me, that’s the highest award you can receive through Arlington Independent Media; there’s nothing any greater than that. And to be honored with that award, it took me by a big shock, and I really, really, truly, wholeheartedly appreciate it.”Formerly working in the airline industry, Ken followed his passion for music, leading him to AIM’s doorsteps. His band hoped to get showcased on the channel, so they visited the station. Instead, Ken, who was interested in photography, was encouraged to start his own show – he signed up as a member and began taking classes in 2002.One of his favorite aspects of membership is “being around nice people, super people.” He explained, “Everybody works together as a unit. Everybody helps everybody out.” Ken enjoys the camaraderie at AIM, as well as the mutual appreciation among members. One of the best benefits, Ken says, is the ability for producers to freely express themselves.

Hilary Freer, 2013

Hilary Freer wears a lot of hats at AIM. For many years, Hilary has volunteered on a wide variety of programs. As a familiar face in our master classes, she uses her natural intelligence and grace to encourage and inspire the other students as well as to help the instructors provide the best possible learning experience.

Hilary was recognized with a Richards Awards in 2013 in order to honor her and thank her for the totality of her contributions to AIM over the years and especially for her work on the board of directors. First elected in 2006, Hilary began contributing immediately by joining the development committee of the board and working with the committee chair, the president of the board, and the executive director to plan the 25th Anniversary Celebration.

Shortly after that, Hilary assumed the duties of the chair of the committee and began the first fledgling efforts to research and write grants and put together a capital campaign for the facility renovation. One of Hilary’s signature achievements was to increase participation in committee meetings by more than 100% by consistently bringing delicious and healthy treats to every meeting.

In 2011, Hilary was elected to be the President of the Board of Directors and she quickly applied her calm and steady hand to the business of guiding the corporation through a thorough and productive strategic planning process that produced a framework for growth that continues to serve the board, the committees, and the staff to this day. We thank Hilary not just for all of her hard work and dedication but also for her constant good humor and positive attitude. She embodies all of the best qualities of the award’s namesake.