Germanna Dean Wins Achievement Award at Women’s Leadership Colloquium

Higher education leader Martha G. O’Keefe received the Patricia Lacey Metzger Distinguished Achievement Award during the 19th annual Leadership Colloquium for Professional Women at the University of Mary Washington on Thursday, November 8.

Martha G. O’Keefe

O’Keefe is dean of Workforce & Professional Development at Germanna Community College in Fredericksburg. She was recognized for her career achievements, which include more than 17 years of entrepreneurial workforce development, as well as extensive involvement in business and community organizations.

The Metzger award recognizes individuals who uphold high standards in their personal and professional lives while fulfilling a career goal of significant stature. The award, presented annually at the colloquium since 1999, is given in memory of the late Patricia Metzger, a UMW professor and founder of the event. Only past colloquium participants are eligible to receive the Metzger award.

O’Keefe has received her facilitator certifications in customer service, leadership and management programs, and leadership and professional development programs from Achieve Global, Blanchard, and Development Dimensions International, respectively. She was the 2010 recipient of the President’s Annual Award for Excellence from Germanna Community College.

Outside of her position at Germanna, O’Keefe has a long record of involvement in business and community groups in the region. She currently serves on the Rappahannock Goodwill Industries Board of Directors and the Bay Consortium Workforce Investment Board. She also has been involved with the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce and the VCCS Annual WDS Conference Planning Committee.

O’Keefe received her bachelor’s degrees in psychology and social work from Virginia Commonwealth University and her J.D. from the George Mason University School of Law. In 2006, she earned her Workforce Development Professional Competencies from the University of Virginia.

The 2012 colloquium was centered on the theme “Leading From Where You Are.”

Viola Osborne Baskerville, interim chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia Council, gave the keynote address to nearly 200 professional women at the UMW Stafford campus. During her presentation, she discussed how women can define their strengths and use them to become effective leaders.

“We know that when women are in leadership roles, they bring the voice of authenticity and diversity to the discussion,” said Baskerville.

The program also offered seminars focused on business etiquette, personal branding, emotional intelligence, life cycles, finding balance, leadership and creating change.

The colloquium, which is hosted annually by UMW, was co-sponsored this year by Geico and Mary Washington Healthcare.

For more information about the colloquium, visit

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News release prepared by: Brynn Boyer and Melina Downs

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.