Recognizing Lovey Hammel and Denise McPhail At the 12th Annual Hylton Center Anniversary Gala

Floor Speech

Date: May 27, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CONNOLLY. Madam Speaker, I rise today to recognize the honorees of the 12th Annual Hylton Center Gala, Lovey Hammel and Denise McPhail, who have demonstrated incredible dedication and service to The Hylton Performing Arts Center. The Hylton Performing Arts Center serves to enrich, entertain, and celebrate the community through arts and educational programs. The Hylton Performing Arts Center provides a variety of cultural experiences for all ages, and we are thankful to have this Center in our community.

Lovey Hammel has served as the President of Employment Enterprises, Inc. for more than forty years, working to ensure everyone has the skills and opportunities they need to succeed in Northern Virginia. She worked tirelessly throughout her educational career and has given back to these institutions, including the Mason Board of Visitors, to which Governor Tim Kaine appointed her. Lovey has also served as the Chair of both the Prince William County Chamber of Commerce and the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

Her family has been dedicated to the Hylton Center before its conception. Lovey's mother, the late Jana Yeates, served as the Marketing and Outreach Committee Chair on the initial campaign to bring the Center into reality. As a display of their love for the performing arts and the work they put into creating the Hylton Center, Lovey's parents generously gave to the Center to name the Lovey Hammel Lounge in their daughter's honor. She and her family are landmark members of the Hylton Center's legacy.

Denise McPhail is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Creative and Performing Arts Center, Inc. (CAPAC), a position she has proudly held for years. CAPAC serves as a bridge to connect underserved communities with access to and inclusion in the performing arts. Under Denise's leadership, CAPAC has helped hundreds of students experience the thrill of performance.

After more than thirty years of civil service, Denise has retired, but her commitment to the Hylton Performing Arts Center has not wavered. She supported the Center before the ground was even broken, wowing audiences with CAPAC performances at the outset of Hylton's construction. As a current member of the Center's Executive Board, Denise continues to enshrine Northern Virginia's dedication to the arts, and this honor could not be more fitting for a woman of her commitment and expertise.

Madam Speaker, I ask that my colleagues join me in commending this year's Hylton Center honorees. Lovey Hammel and Denise McPhail have dedicated themselves to making the arts accessible and remain invaluable members of the Northern Virginia community.