Anniversary Gala

You Are Invited! Hylton Center 12th Anniversary Gala

April 29 and April 30, 2022
Live and In-Person for two evenings of events!
Honoring Lovey Hammel and Denise McPhail

For ticket/table sales, please contact Emily Robinson at or 703-993-7719

Supporting the Hylton Center’s many artistic performances, arts education programs, outreach initiatives, Veterans and the Arts Initiative, and the Hylton Center’s Endowment, to ensure artistic excellence in the performances and programs we offer.

Vaccination Policy

All attendees at indoor events at the Hylton Performing Arts Center must present proof of vaccination against COVID-19 OR show a negative COVID-19 test result. Face coverings are required indoors for patrons ages two and up. Requirements for entry are subject to change. Read the full policy.

Friday, April 29

Image of sunset in Napa Valley

6 p.m. Reception in the Didlake Grand Foyer

7:30 p.m. Dinner on the Merchant Hall Stage, Tribute to Honorees Lovey Hammel and Denise McPhail, Live Auction and Raise Your Paddle

This year’s Gala will feature an exciting live auction following dinner and the program. Bid on a 3-night Wine Tour of Napa Valley or a 3-night Culinary Tour of New Orleans.

Get ready to “Raise Your Paddle” to support the Veterans and the Arts Initiative. Your gift, no matter the size, will directly support access to programs the Hylton Center has provided to over 10,000 of our community’s Veterans, Servicemembers, their families, and community members since 2014. Your support will help to keep their programs free and accessible for all.

Saturday, April 30

image of Leslie Odom Jr.

8 p.m. Leslie Odom, Jr. Concert in Merchant Hall

Known globally for his thrilling Tony Award-winning performance as Aaron Burr in the hit musical Hamilton, the Hylton Center is excited to present Broadway superstar Leslie Odom, Jr. in concert in Merchant Hall for the 12th Anniversary Gala! Odom, Jr. is a multifaceted performer whose career spans theater, television, film, and GRAMMY Award-winning music. The concert is on Saturday, April 30 at 8 p.m., and tickets are included with your Gala sponsorship or ticket purchase.

9:30 p.m. Dessert Reception in The Jacquemin Family Foundation Rehearsal Hall (Gold+ Sponsors and their guests)

Gold+ sponsors and their guests will enjoy an elegant dessert reception following the Leslie Odom, Jr. concert in The Jacquemin Family Foundation Rehearsal Hall.

About the Honorees

Lovey Hammel

Image of Lovey Hamil

Lovey Hammel has spent more than four decades as the President and Co-Founder of Employment Enterprises, Inc. Recognizing a need in the marketplace, her entrepreneurial spirit drove her to start the company with her mother, Jana Yeates, in 1980. Working during the day and attending George Mason University at night, Lovey devoted her time to helping others find jobs. She graduated from the Mason School of Business in 1988 and has continued her entrepreneurial work.

Lovey is a prominent supporter of her alma mater and has received many accolades relating to her leadership and service to the University. She has also served on numerous Mason boards, including the Mason Board of Visitors, to which Governor Tim Kaine appointed her. Lovey’s service extends beyond Mason to the business community serving as Chair of both Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce (2012-2013) and Prince William Chamber of Commerce (2002-2003). She’s been married to Tom Hammel for 44 years, has one entrepreneurial daughter, and five grandchildren to move the next generation towards an entrepreneurial path.

Lovey and her family – including her parents Marvin Yeates and the late Jana Yeates – have been deeply involved in the life of the Hylton Center. Jana served as the Marketing and Outreach Committee Chair on the original Campaign Committee to bring the Hylton Center from dream to reality. Marvin, Jana, and Lovey’s tireless efforts have brought the arts to life for over one million visitors to the Hylton Center since its creation. Marvin and Jana’s legacy is remembered through their generous gift to name the Lovey Hammel Lounge of the Hylton Center in their daughter’s honor.

Denise McPhail

Image of Denise McPhail

Denise McNeil McPhail is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Creative and Performing Arts Center, Inc. (CAPAC), built as a bridge to serve underserved communities. Under Denise's direction, CAPAC has served 500+ children. At the heart of Denise’s success is her belief that the arts have the power to inspire community. Therefore, she has cultivated community partnerships. Currently pursuing an MA in Organizational Leadership, Denise holds a Bachelor of Individualized Studies in Performing Arts Management from Mason. She recently retired from 30+ years of civil service and resides in Prince William County with her husband, Commissioner Juan McPhail. Together they have twin adult daughters Ciarra and Simone McPhail. In her spare time, she enjoys family time, reading, calligraphy, and traveling.

Denise has been a faithful supporter of the Hylton Performing Arts Center since before a shovel hit the ground. CAPAC dazzled audiences with their performance at the original groundbreaking ceremony, and have been an integral Arts Partner for years. Denise is a current member of the Hylton Center’s Executive Board, and a fixture of artistic life at the Hylton Center.

Thank You for Your Support

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  • Miller Toyota of Manassas
  • NVP Inc.
  • Stanley Martin Homes


  • City of Manassas 
  • Didlake
  • Dominion Energy
  • The Edwards, Parr, Reeder, and Seraydarian Families
  • Rick Davis & Julie Thompson
  • George Mason University Foundation
  • Holladay Properties
  • Micron Technology
  • Odin, Feldman, and Pittleman PC
  • United Bank
  • UVA Community Health System
  • Vanderpool, Frostick, and Nishanian, P.C.
  • Wall Foundation
  • Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley, & Walsh, P.C.

For more information about Gala tickets or sponsorship opportunities, please contact:
Emily Robinson

Gala Committee Members

Maryse Allen

Sheryl Bass

David Baylor

Diane Burrell

Jacque Connor

Joyce Connery

Rick Davis

Randall Edwards

Marlene Epstein

Barbara Ghadban

Mimi Glass

Allison Jones

Eileen Kennedy

Carolyn Kriebel

Chris Leet

Lynn Robb

Emily Robinson

Rich Seraydarian

Ross Snare

Marion Wall

The Hylton Center thanks our past honorees for their dedication to and support of the arts in our community:

  • 11th Anniversary: Celebration of the Arts Alliance
  • 10th Anniversary Gala: Odin, Feldman, and Pittleman
  • 9th Anniversary Gala: Buchanan Partners and Nancy Hersch Ingram
  • 8th Anniversary Gala: Julie and Buck Waters
  • 7th Anniversary Gala: Mary and Hans Postma
  • 6th Anniversary Gala: NOVEC and Sally Lay
  • 5th Anniversary Gala: Novant Health UVA Health System and Dean William Reeder
  • 4th Anniversary Gala: Didlake, John O. Gregory, and Carol Merchant Kirby
  • 3rd Anniversary Gala: Dr. Randall Edwards, Dr. Marvin L. Gillum (in memorium), and the Honorable Kathleen K. Seefeldt
  • 2nd Anniversary Gala: Alan C. Merten and Sally L. Merten
  • 1st Anniversary Gala: Senator Charles J. Colgan