Bill Blackburn (courtesy photo)

The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce today announced that Bill Blackburn, a partner at Home Grown Restaurant Group, has been selected as the 2017 Business Leader of the Year. He will be honored at the annual Business Leadership Awards Presentation and Reception, presented by Burke & Herbert Bank, at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial on Oct. 18.  

Originally from St. Louis Missouri, Blackburn graduated from The George Washington University with a degree in Business Administration in 2000. Upon moving to Alexandria, Blackburn soon began a life in the restaurant industry, starting from the bottom and culminating in his current role as managing partner in the Home Grown Restaurant Group (Pork Barrel BBQ, Holy Cow, the sushi bar, Sweet Fire Donna’s and Whiskey & Oyster). He recently finished his second term as the president of the Del Ray Business Association and is a current board member of the Alexandria Small Business Development Center. Along with Donna and "Mango" Mike Anderson, the restaurant group has invested dollars, energy and resources into the Del Ray and Carlyle Neighborhoods and employs over 100 people in the City of Alexandria. Their group has been instrumental in helping to make Del Ray a thriving neighborhood in which to live and work and has set the bar for unique and creative opportunities to become involved in the local community.

Blackburn helped established the Holy Cow Burger Fund, through which a quarter for every sandwich sold is donated to a local Alexandria nonprofit through ACT for Alexandria. To date, the fund has donated nearly 400,000 quarters ($100,000) to over 150 local charities.  Bill serves on the Advocates for Alexandria Aquatics board of directors and helps to lobby for the local aquatics community. As a member of the DRBA, he has been instrumental in providing knowledge, leadership, time and money for numerous efforts including: the annual Turkey Trot; the Del Ray Halloween Parade; providing a 30-foot Christmas tree for Del Ray; leading efforts for First Thursday events; and Art on the Avenue which draws over 20,000 people to the City of Alexandria. 

Blackburn has lived in Alexandria for 15 years. He currently resides in the Del Ray neighborhood with his wife Megan, their two-year-old son and two dogs.

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