LearnServe Gala

Online Gala registration is now closed.  Tickets will be available at the door.  

(For planning purposes, if you plan to purchase a ticket at the door, it would be helpful if you contact Scott Rechler at scott@learn-serve.org.  We look forward to seeing you at the Howard Theatre!)


Ticket Prices

Changemaker Sponsorship Level – $10,000

1 Table (10 VIP tickets), Priority seating, ½ page ad in the Program, Mention in signage, website, and social media, Sponsor Loop, Podium Mention, LearnServe student seated at Gala Table, Meet and Greet with Speakers and honorees, Confer Award

Innovators Sponsorship Level – $5,000

1 Table (10 VIP tickets), Priority seating, ½ page ad in the Program, Mention in signage, website, and social media, Sponsor Loop, Podium Mention, LearnServe student seated at Gala Table, Meet and Greet with Speakers and honorees

Community-Builder Sponsorship Level – $3,000

Half Table (5 VIP tickets), Priority seating, ½ page ad in the Program, Mention in signage, website, and social media, Sponsor Loop, LearnServe student seated at Gala Table

Entrepreneurs Sponsorship Level — $1,500

3 VIP tickets, Priority seating, ¼ page ad in the Program, Mention in signage, website, and social media, Sponsor Loop, LearnServe student seated at Gala Table

Investors Level – $500

2 VIP tickets, Priority seating

Friend Level – $160

1 VIP Ticket, Priority seating

Guest Level – $90

1 ticket to main event

Community Member Level – $40 (limited number for students, LearnServe alumni, and community members on a limited income)

1 ticket to main event

Click here to get your ticket now!


Unable to join us on March 7?  Join us in spirit with an online gift to LearnServe – and we’ll recognize your contribution at the Gala.






Hugh Riddleberger and Louise McIlhenny

Catherine and Tom Tinsley


Ritzert Weiss Partners

Gala Chairs

Rebecca Linder and Lisa Bodager, Linder Global Events



 Margot Bisnow – Margot is the author of Raising an Entrepreneur: 10 Rules for Nurturing Risk Takers, Problem Solvers and Change Makers, based on her interviews with 60 successful entrepreneurs and their moms about how they were raised. Previously, she was the publisher and editor-in- chief of The Scene Bisnow, one of the 32 newsletters published by Bisnow Media, the company her family founded, which they sold in 2016. She was involved for 25 years as a White House economic aide and regulatory Commissioner. She was chief of staff of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, Treasury’s international division, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation; staff director of the HELP Commission that reviewed US foreign assistance; and a Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission. She has a BA from Northwestern University and an MBA from its Kellogg Graduate School of Management. She has been married to Mark Bisnow for 34 years; they have two sons. Elliott founded the successful Millennial conference series Summit Series, whose philosophy is that good business should be good for the world, and which purchased Powder Mountain in Utah to create a permanent home for its community. Austin founded and is the lead singer of the popular LA-based indie revival band Magic Giant.

Master of Ceremonies, Aaron Jenkins – Aaron Jenkins is a former appointee of the Obama Administration as the Director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the United States Department of Commerce. In his role, he worked to promote partnerships between business, community and faith-based organizations that foster economic opportunity and job growth. Prior to his work at Commerce, Aaron was the Executive Director of Operation Understanding DC (OUDC), a non-profit organization that specializes in cultural education, leadership development and interfaith dialogue programming for African-American and Jewish high school students. He previously worked on Capitol Hill as a Legislative Aide to then-Senator John F. Kerry. Aaron started his career as a legislative staffer in the District of Columbia City Council. A native Washingtonian, Aaron is a licensed minister and serves on the board of the Abramson Scholarship Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides scholarships and mentoring to first generation college students.



LearnServe Entrepreneurship Award

 Rohan Suri – Rohan Suri is a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. Suri developed the mobile application, Averia, to detect human head trauma by using the smartphone’s camera. Averia has already been utilized at local high schools and a pediatric clinic as part of a pilot program to aid youth sports injuries. Suri has been recognized by Forbes 30 under 30 in healthcare and his startup earned a spot as one of 12 finalists in the National Capital Consortium Pediatric Device Innovation’s pitch competition at the 4th annual Pediatric Surgical Innovation Symposium. Suri plans to continue clinical and field trials of his prototype and raise money to bring his device to the market. Next year at Stanford University, he hopes to study computer science and continue innovating at the intersection of Healthcare and Technology.

LearnServe Global Perspective Award

Maisha Duncan is a first generation Liberian-American educator, librarian, and former LearnServe staff member.  She was raised in New Jersey and Gaithersburg, Maryland, where she attended Watkins Mill High School and holds a Bachelors of Arts in History and a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Maryland. Her LearnServe journey began in 2011 when she took part in the first Abroad trip to Jamaica, accompanying students from Perry Street Prep Public Charter School, where she was school librarian. She went on to join the LearnServe Fellows Program as a Co-Leader (2011-13) and then Manager (2013-16). Currently, Maisha is an Academic Librarian at Montgomery College, where she coordinates Library Instruction, teaches research, and battles the epidemic of fake news and information illiteracy.  Maisha is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. serving both locally, with the Upper Montgomery County chapter, and on the regional level. She is still an avid supporter of LearnServe and looks forward to continuing to support its mission in the years to come.

LearnServe Civic Champion Awards

 Anthony Shop – Anthony Shop is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Social Driver, an award-winning digital agency that helps companies connect with people today through websites, social media, and video.  Under Anthony’s leadership, Social Driver was named the 7th fastest growing U.S. agency by The Agency 100, a Family-Owned Business Honoree by SmartCEO Magazine and one of “DC’s Coolest Companies” by DCInno. In 2015, The Washington Business Journal named Anthony to its “40 Under 40” list of business leaders. Anthony is the first new media professional to have been elected to the prestigious National Press Club’s Board of Governors.  He earned his MBA from The George Washington University School of Business, where he serves as a lecturer.

 Thomas Sanchez – Thomas Sanchez is the Founder and CEO of Social Driver. He is an innovator and entrepreneur focused on the intersection of marketing and technology, and he has delivered creative solutions for leading organizations including Honda, NASA, GED Testing Service and Accenture. An advocate for innovation in education, inclusion in technology, and diversity in business, he has been named a Minority Business Leader by the Washington Business Journal and the Innovator of the Year by the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Whether building businesses, mentoring young entrepreneurs or working with clients, Thomas believes that the future is bright, progress is social and the drivers make history.