Suzanne Parker has devoted much of her personal and professional life to education. A retired teacher and curriculum specialist in Prince William County Public Schools, she still continues to work with students at Stonewall Jackson High School Air Force Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program.
An active community volunteer, Mrs. Parker is a past President of the Junior Womans Club of Manassas., which, due to her involvement and dedication to the organization, established a fine arts scholarship in her name. A lover of history and preservation, Suzanne was appointed by City Council to the Manassas Historic Resources Board and 1994 and subsequently served as its chairman for 12 years. She is now an honorary lifetime member of that organization. She has served on numerous City of Manassas committees including: City of Manassas Future Task Force, Greater Manassas Christmas Parade, Manassas Museum’s 25th Anniversary committee, the Speiden-Carper Task Force, and the Civil War Sesquicentennial. Presently she serves on the board of directors for the National Heisey Glass Museum in Newark, Ohio. She was honored by the City of Manassas in 1999 and again in 2008 as an Outstanding Volunteer of the Year.
Mrs. Parker graduated from Shepherd University BS in Vocational and Technical Education and later earned her MS degree in that field from Virginia Tech. Presently she owns and operates Chez Suzanne Cooking School. She and her husband Douglas share their home in Old Town with their two spoiled yorkies.
2018 Man of the Year- Pete Evick
Manassas native Pete Evick – known by many as ‘Manassas Pete’ – is still a Virginia boy at heart with tight ties to his hometown of Manassas. At the early age of 5 he had no other aspiration than to have a career in the music business. He is a multitalented musician/producer who, in addition to playing guitar in the Bret Michaels Band, has also served as a co-songwriter, producer, mixer, and musical director for the group, and his own band, EVICK. A man with a true entrepreneurial spirit, since the age of 20 he has pursued his own projects which have included a state-of-the-art recording studio, the conception of an all-digital record company, and an environmentally conscious candle company based in Manassas called Shining Sol Candle Company.
The Stonewall Jackson High School graduate has worked with rock star Bret Michaels as his lead guitarist, and co-writer and producer of Michaels’ records. He has also co-written and produced several reality TV theme songs including award winning “Go That Far” which is featured in the popular video game “Guitar Hero 3”. For the last 16 years Pete has literally toured the world, including several trips to the Middle East to perform for our troops.
Despite living the rock star lifestyle, Pete decided early on that he wanted to keep living in Manassas and raise his family here. And although he is an award-winning producer, his biggest role in life remains that of being the best father he can to his two boys. Part of that desire resulted in an inspirational book about being a single father titled, “The Moments That Make Us”. The book won him an Author of the Year Award and boasts a 5-star review rating on Amazon.
In 2012, during a break from touring, Pete decided to learn the art of candle making. His interest in the candle industry and the need to teach his boys the art of entrepreneurship sparked the flame that created Shining Sol Candle Company. Enlisting the help of childhood friend Deron Blevins and long-time friend Sara Rodriguez, he opened their first Shining Sol brick and mortar store in Historic Downtown Manassas. Since then Shining Sol has won several accolades including Virginia Living’s Best Gift Shop (Northern Virginia region) 2 years in a row and was awarded the coveted “Business of the Year” award by the City of Manassas. The business continues to grow with the addition of a manufacturing facility, also in Manassas, opened just this year.
In addition to entertaining our troops, Pete also supports many local non-profits and community organizations including: City of Manassas Police, Fire, & Rescue, and Schools; Willing Warriors; CASA; Stand Strong 4 Education; Friends of SERVE; PWC Manassas Regional Adult Detention Center; and many more.
“I was born and raised [in Manassas] and still live here to this day. Manassas – it’s always been my home – it’s where I grew up. … I’ve been in the music business my entire life…and I spent a lot of time in New York, and some time in Los Angeles, but I never wanted to go live that life. I lived the life in a small town and then once I had kids, I wanted them to have that same kind of life too,” – ‘Manassas’ Pete Evick
2018 Parade Winners
Marching Band: 1st – Battlefield HS Marching Band 2nd – Forest Park HS Marching Bruin Band 3rd – Osbourn HS Screaming Eagles Marching Band
Dance, Step Team, Majorette Group: 1st – Ordway Ballet 2nd – K-Force Dance Academy 3rd – Spotlight Dance Academy
Equestrian / Animals: 1st – Virginia Department of Forestry
Cheerleading Group: 1st – Manassas Park HS Cheer
Cars, Cycles, or Trucks: 1st – Southern Cruisers 2nd – Nova Jeepers 3rd – Fire and Smoke Jeep Club
Float – Sponsored: 1st – Osbourn HS Skills USA/Center Stage- Bull Run Kiwanis 2nd – Martin K. Alloy Boys and Girls Club- Stanley Martin Homes 3rd – Mayfield Intermediate School- Volunteer Prince William
Float – Business: 1st – Weichert Realtors – Manassas 2nd – Vertical Rock 3rd – Manassas City Utilities
Float – Other: 1st – Osbourn HS Interact Church 2nd – McLean Bible Church – Prince William County 3rd – Alive Church
Formation Marching Group: 1st – Center for the Arts – Pied Piper Theater 2nd – Stonewall Jackson HS Air Force JROTC 3rd – Luv-n-Laffs Clowns
Parade Committee Award: Caporales San Simon Virginia USA