- The Washington Times - Monday, April 28, 2008

W. Lyles Carr III says he is happy to work for the largest independent executive search firm in the Washington area, but he believes his most important work is what he does for the community.

Mr. Carr, senior vice president of the McCormick Group, was named 2008 Leader of the Year by the Greater Washington Board of Trade in recognition of his service to the region and its business community. Mr. Carr will be honored at a recognition dinner May 14.

The Alexandria native graduated from Episcopal High School in Alexandria in 1968 and received a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Virginia in 1972.

After graduating, Mr. Carr got a job developing concepts for theme restaurants.

“I got out of it just because it wasn’t family friendly,” Mr. Carr said. “It put too much stress on my family and I decided that family was more important than what seemed to be success at the time.”

Searching for a new career path, Mr. Carr sought advice from his father, an account executive at the McCormick Group, an Arlington executive search consulting firm which had opened two years earlier in 1974. Mr. Carr’s father persuaded him to join the business, where he has stayed for 32 years.

Jim Dinegar, president of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, said he was familiar with many of the people Mr. Carr has advised over the years. Mr. Carr distinguished himself in serving others, he said.

“Lyle is really a gold standard for community involvement,” Mr. Dinegar said. “He does … the good work that needs to be done [for] the benefit of those in need.”

The Leader of the Year award was established in 1947 to “shine a spotlight on the people who set the pace for doing well while doing good.”

Mr. Carr advises a number of civic organizations, including the Federal City Council, Economic Club of Washington and the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation. He also heads Spring for Alexandria, a three-day charitable event held each April.

“I don’t see things as my accomplishments,” he said. “I simply found myself in a position where I can contribute to help an initiative or a cause move forward. … I’m proud of what other people accomplish and I’m proud when I see [others] make a difference.”

Mr. Carr, 58, said he was humbled to be recognized by the Washington business community.

With no plans to step back from civic engagement, Mr. Carr, named the 2002 “Washingtonian of the Year,” said his philosophy is to concentrate on what he can do for others.

“My instinct is to talk about what the community needs to do to make this a better place to live,” he said. “I believe strongly in the idea of a servant leader. There’s a spiritual component to that. … Whether it’s by divine providence or by the good will of people.”

Mr. Carr lives in Alexandria with his wife, Sarah King.

Harrison Keely

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