A member of Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative is the 2020 recipient of the Unsung Virginian Award for his work in promoting safe and affordable housing for individuals with brain diseases.
Ted Moriak, director emeritus of loans and grants for The Brain Foundation, received the award Sept. 11 at a reception in his Centreville neighborhood.
“Through his drive and determination, Ted Moriak has truly made a difference in the lives of those fighting brain diseases. Ted epitomizes the Seventh Cooperative Principle of Concern for Community and his efforts carry on the tradition of our Unsung Virginian Award,” said Richard G. Johnstone Jr., president and CEO of the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives.
Representatives of the VMD Association and NOVEC presented the award to Moriak. Bestowed annually since 1968, the Unsung Virginian Award honors a citizen who has not previously been recognized for services rendered to a Virginia community and cause without thought of personal gain.
Moriak has been instrumental in the acquisition of nine houses in Fairfax County for about three dozen men and women with brain injuries or diseases, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorders. Founded in 2003, The Brain Foundation focuses on individuals who are homeless or vulnerable to becoming homeless.
“He was tireless in pursuing money from multiple federal, state, and local government entities, from other nonprofits and from private citizens,” said Trudy Harsh, founder and president emeritus of The Brain Foundation. “What Ted accomplished was almost miraculous and I attribute it to his persistence, positive attitude and remarkable ability to learn and navigate the myriad complexities in obtaining housing.”
Bill Fuller, senior community housing officer with the Virginia Housing Development Authority, added that housing is one of the most difficult and vexing problems for people with disabilities.
“It requires both a giving heart and a head for numbers. Ted has been the financial brains of this organization and an incredible advocate. His work is fast and accurate and delivers results,” Fuller said.
Moriak has been a resident of Centreville, where he lives with wife Susan, since 1971. He retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture after a 39-year career as an economist and analyst. He has held an array of community leadership positions, including president of the Southwestern Youth Association, vice president of the Chantilly High School PTA and member of the Fairfax County Athletic Council, among other causes.