WASHINGTON, Dec. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, today announced that Linda Rabbitt, founder, chairman and CEO, rand* construction corporation, has been selected for membership in the prestigious organization. Ms. Rabbitt joins 12 other accomplished business and civic leaders from across North America in receiving this honor in 2016. Since its establishment in 1947, the Horatio Alger Award is annually bestowed upon recognized leaders who have succeeded, despite facing adversity, and who are committed to both philanthropy and higher education.
Ms. Rabbitt grew up in Michigan. Her father immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1925, and worked his way up the corporate ladder in the auto industry. Throughout her life, Ms. Rabbitt's father has served as one of her biggest mentors and supporters. Ms. Rabbitt received a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan and an M.A. from The George Washington University. After graduation, she was a school teacher for three years and then started her business career as a secretary at Peat Marwick (now KPMG), ultimately becoming the director of marketing. In 1985, Ms. Rabbitt co-founded Hart Construction Company, Inc. and in 1989, she founded rand* construction corporation, a commercial construction company that specializes in building renovation and tenant build-outs. Ms. Rabbitt is a pioneer for women in the construction industry and has grown her company from a small-scale operation to a national general contractor with revenues of $300 million annually.
Ms. Rabbitt displays the same tenacious spirit in her personal life. After her marriage ended in divorce, she faced the same challenges as other single mothers, starting over financially and raising two daughters by herself. Fifteen years ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer and has had seven surgeries and survived four rounds of chemotherapy. Even before she recovered, she had begun working with the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC). In fact, rand* construction corporation built NBCC's new offices pro bono.
"Ms. Rabbitt exemplifies the values of Horatio Alger Association, including dedication, hard work and perseverance in the face of difficult and even life-threatening obstacles," said Byron Trott, president and CEO, Horatio Alger Association. "We are proud to honor Ms. Rabbitt's accomplishments and we look forward to welcoming her as a 2016 Horatio Alger Member. I have no doubt that her story will inspire and motivate our Scholars as they embark on their own personal journeys."
Ms. Rabbitt has received many accolades throughout her tenure in the construction industry. She was inducted into the Washington Business Hall of Fame and received the Distinguished Entrepreneurial Achievement Award from The George Washington University (GWU). Ms. Rabbitt was also awarded Washingtonian of the Year for her dedication to community service. She has given back to others through her leadership on several boards, including The George Washington University, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, and Towers Watson. She also serves as a director of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. and Leadership Washington. Dedicated to advancing women, she was president of the International Women's Forum's Washington, D.C. Chapter and was the founder and lead sponsor of OntheBoard, a GWU program designed to encourage female board membership. In her spare time, Ms. Rabbitt has helped raise funds for My Sister's Place, a program for battered women.
"Receiving the Horatio Alger Award is incredibly meaningful and I'm delighted to have the opportunity to work with this organization," said Ms. Rabbitt. "I was lucky to have had many mentors in my life that believed in me and provided sound guidance throughout my career. It is my hope that through the Horatio Alger Association, I will be able to help young students find their own unique paths to success."
Through its Members, Horatio Alger Association aims to educate young people about the limitless opportunities afforded to them by the free-enterprise system. To further this goal, the organization awards scholarships to outstanding high school students who are committed to pursuing higher education and giving back to their communities. Like Association Members, Horatio Alger Scholars have faced numerous challenges and have displayed unmatched resilience in overcoming them. Since the scholarship program was established in 1984, Horatio Alger Association has provided more than $110 million to students in need. Scholarships are funded solely through the generosity of Association Members, Life Partners and friends.
Ms. Rabbitt and the Member Class of 2016 will be officially welcomed into the organization during the 69th Annual Horatio Alger Award Induction Ceremonies in Washington, D.C., from March 31-April 2, 2016. In addition to recognizing these tremendous leaders, Horatio Alger Association will also honor its 2016 National Scholarship recipients, affording both groups the opportunity to meet and learn from one another.
For more information about Horatio Alger Association and a full list of its Class of 2016, please visit www.horatioalger.org.
About Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans:
Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc. is dedicated to the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles. The Association honors the achievements of outstanding leaders who have accomplished remarkable successes in spite of adversity by bestowing upon them the Horatio Alger Award and inducting them as lifetime Members. Horatio Alger Members support promising young people with the resources and confidence needed to overcome adversity and pursue their dreams through higher education. Thanks to their generosity, the Association awards more than $11 million annually in undergraduate and graduate need-based scholarships across the United States and Canada and provides college support and mentoring services to its Scholars. Since 1984, the Association has awarded more than $110 million in college scholarships to more than 22,000 deserving young people. For more information, please visit www.horatioalger.org.
SOURCE Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc.