Program Leadership

The program leadership is comprised of a Board of Directors and an Advisory Board.

​​​Meet the people behind the scenes who are responsible for maintaining The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program’s success. Our Board members and members of the Advisory Board are volunteers. They help minimize program costs, which makes the program much more effective.  The money goes where it is needed – to the students for their education and training.

Both the Directors and Advisors are accomplished, community leaders. In addition to providing their skills, they are role models for The Bernie scholars. Our Board and Advisory Board members get to know the awardees through their application review and personal interviews.

The Board of Directors meets the first Wednesday evening of the month in Rockville.  The Advisory Board meets twice a year and also advises and participates in events and planning.  If you would like more information or to become a Board member, please send your request to

Board Members

Joshua Chazen

Beverly Coleman
Lynn Feakes
Silvio Renzi – President
Sonya Turner

Greg Wims

Advisory Board Members

Bruce Adams
Catherine Leggett
Susan Messitte
Bernie Tetreault

Founding Members

Jim Brodsky
Barbara Heyman
Reverend Lon Dring
Joyce Siegel
Bernie Tetreault


Board Members

Lynn Feakes recently retired as Manager of Legal Services Programs at the National Education Association.  Prior to her work with NEA, Lynn utilized her information technology skills as a consultant to several Federal agencies including the Housing and Urban Development, Department of Energy, and National Aeronautical and Space Administration.

Silvio Renzi is founder and CEO of Zypher in northern Virginia, a software company. He has over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur building and managing businesses. Silvio is dedicated to service, holds various positions within his community and volunteers for various charities including Bernie Scholarship Award and Ride Allegheny; an organization raising over $500k per year for Operation Second Chance. Silvio holds an MBA from Seton Hall University and a BSBA from Boston University where he was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.

Sonya Hall Turner has over 25 years of contracting experience and has worked both for and with in-house corporations and at a law firm. She currently is the Vice President, Contracts with Turning Point Global Solutions, L.L.C. in Rockville, Maryland, where she manages inception to close-out of the company’s commercial, Federal and State government contracts, as well as reporting and pricing. Sonya holds a B.A. from UNC-Greensboro, a MBA and MS from UMD, Global Campus, as well as a Paralegal Certificate. She serves on the Board of Transformation Theatre, is a certified Interior Decorator, active at her church, Kingdom Fellowship AME, and a member of Delta Sigma Theta, Incorporated, the Montgomery County Chapter of the NAACP and PVC-NCNW.

Advisory Board

Bruce Adams is the Director of Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett’s Office of Community Partnerships (OCP). He served as an elected Montgomery County Council member from 1986-94 and was Council President 1991-92. He served as Senior Fellow at The James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership at the University of Maryland (1995-97), Fellow of the Kennedy Institute of Politics at Harvard University (1979), Associate of the Charles F. Kettering Foundation (1982-1986), and National Research Director for Common Cause (1977-1982). Bruce was named 1998 Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian magazine and received the 1993 Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Scull Metropolitan Public Service Award for enhancing intergovernmental cooperation in the Washington Metropolitan Region.

Catherine Leggett is Senior Vice President for Human Resources at ICMA-RC, a nonprofit independent financial services corporation providing retirement security for Public Sector services. Mrs. Leggett was named Democrat of the year in 2007.  As Montgomery County’s First Lady, she is very active in the community as a lifetime board member of the Montgomery Hospice, Chair of Maryland State Commission for Public Art and a former member of the Boards of Young Audiences, Imagination Stage, Maryland State Arts Council and Montgomery County Arts and Humanities Council. In 2016 she received The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program’s Community Service Award.

Susan Messitte is a Member of and past President of the Foundation Board of St. Mary’s College of Maryland.  She is a community activist having served on several Boards including Judicial Nominating Committee and Juvenile Justice Committee for Montgomery County.  She is the past President of Woman’s Democratic Club and is a retired consultant for nonprofit organizations and a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Brazil.