First Citizen of Virginia Beach Award

2014 First Citizen of Virginia Beach, Aubrey L. Layne, Jr. honored.

2014 First Citizen of Virginia Beach, Aubrey L. Layne, Jr. honored.

This time honored tradition began in 1950.  Since then, the First Citizen of Virginia Beach Award has been presented annually to an outstanding individual who best embodies the Jaycee Creed.  Recipients exemplify the spirit of citizenship and leadership through their time, talents and efforts towards the betterment of Virginia Beach.

The 2014 Virginia Beach First Citizen, State Secretary of Transportation, Aubrey L. Layne, Jr. was honored on June 4, at the Oceanfront Hilton, surrounded by family, friends and citizens of a grateful city.

Layne was selected for his impactful work bettering Virginia Beach.  Layne is originally from Newport News where he became involved with An Achievable Dream Academy.  Layne moved to Virginia Beach 35 years ago.  Since then, he has led the effort to bring the program, which partners schools and businesses in providing alternative learning for disadvantaged students, to Seatack Elementary School.

Professionally, Aubrey Layne drove the campaign to bring light rail to the City of Virginia Beach.  As the State Secretary of Transportation, he oversees seven agencies with more than 10,000 employees and combined budgets of more than $5 billion.

2014 Virginia Beach First CitizenDuring the ceremony, Layne stated, “God, my family and friends, and my country have made me who I am.”

Both the Honorable Governor Terry McAuliffe and Mayor Will Sessoms praised Layne for his continued dedication to the community of Virginia Beach.

The Virginia Beach Jaycees are grateful for Layne’s service to humanity and honored to name him the 2014 First Citizen of Virginia Beach.


Former Recipients of the First Citizen Award Include:

1950 – James Kontopanos                         1982 – Dr. Edward Brickell
1951 – E.B. Bayne                                     1983 – Aaron A. Parsons
1952 – J. Peter Holland, III                        1984 – Alfred “Skip” Wilkins, Jr.
1953 – Woody Seamans                            1985 – James N. Fletcher
1954 – Mrs. Gilmore Tilbrook                     1986 – B.H. “Pat” Bridges, Jr.
1955 – Dr. Robert Woodhouse                   1987 – E.T. “Joe” Buchanan, III
1956 – R. Lee Page                                   1988 – Harold Heischober
1957 – Sidney S. Kellam                           1989 – Thomas A. Barton, Jr.
1958 – Rhae W. Adams                             1990 – Andrew S. Fine
1959 – Frank Tarrall, Jr.                            1991 – Rev. John H. Jordan, Jr.
1960 – Louise Brown Wilson                      1992 – Priscilla M. Beede
1961 – George D. Brooke                          1993 – Heather Tace
1962 – Claiborne Bryant                           1994 – Michael J. Barrett
1963 – Richard Absalom                           1995 – Elizabeth “Betty” Busciglio
1964 – Hugh Lynn Cayce                          1996 – Edward B. Snyder
1965 – Frank W. Cox                                1997 – Frank Drew
1966 – Dr. Waller Taylor                           1998 – Michael Katsias
1967 – Mrs. Wallace Clark                        1999 – Dorothy Wood
1968 – Hunter C. Phelan                          2000 – Nancy A. Creech
1969 – Ragan Bradshaw Pulley                 2001 – Thomas C. Broyles
1970 – Mrs. Phillip Lee Russo                   2002 – Owen B. Pickett
1971 – James P. Sadler                            2003 – Harry T. Lester
1972 – Algy W. Cohen                             2004 – Thomas R. Frantz
1973 – Mable Owen                                 2005 – William D. Sessoms, Jr.
1974 – John T. Banks, Jr.                        2006 – John F. Malbon
1975 – Mary Ellen Cox                             2007 – Linwood O. Branch, III
1976 – Robert M. Stanton                        2008 – Macon F. Brock
1977 – Charles Forbes                             2009 – Helen Dragas
1978 – Judge Robert Wahab, Jr.              2010 – Pearl Smith
1979 – Eileen Ayvazian                            2011 – Charles Barker
1980 – Walter Noona                               2012 – Bruce Thompson
1981 – Michael Savvides                          2013 – Ramon W. Breeden, Jr.
2014 – Aubrey Lane, Jr.


Nominations for the First Citizen Award should be submitted to:

Brooke Briggs
Attn: First Citizen
1112 Jensen Drive, Suite 103
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Requirements for the 2015 Virginia Beach First Citizen Nomination must include:

  1. Contact Information for your nominee and for yourself (both work and personal)
  2. Description of the nominee; including but not limited to career, charitable activities and biography
  3. Exceptional Achievements/Contributions the nominee has accomplished on a local, state and national level
  4. Honors/Awards the nominee has received that demonstrate their commitment to the Jaycee Creed and the city of Virginia Beach
  5. Personal Statement as to why this individual should be selected as First Citizen of Virginia Beach
  6. Detail How the Nominee Excels in at Least Three (3) of the Following Areas:
    Service to Humanity * Personal Accomplishments and Improvement * Contributions to the Betterment of the Virginia Beach Community and Current Social Issues * Volunteer Service and Philanthropic Contributions * Legal Reform * Scientific/Technological Community Contributions * Cultural Achievements * Academic Leadership * Moral or Religious Leadership * Influence and Participation in Public Initiatives * Any additional area of significant contribution
  7. Letters of Endorsement and Support: A minimum of five (5) and a MAXIMUM of one hundred (100) letters should be included in the nomination package (may be from colleagues, family, supporters and community leaders)


Once your nomination packet is received, a panel of five undisclosed Virginia Beach citizens will serve as judges for the First Citizen of Virginia Beach Award. Judges review the nominations submitted and give particular consideration to each nominee’s record of adherence to the principles embodied in the Unites States Jaycee Creed.

Every year, the winning nominee is honored with the award at the First Citizen Dinner and presented with the First Citizen Medal.  The First Citizen’s portrait is displayed at Virginia Beach City Hall and the Fist Citizen is recognized in the Neptune Festival Grand Parade.  Profit from the First Citizen dinner is donated to VB Jaycees Charities and utilized in charitable projects in the local community.