2023 Diane Ray Brown Friendship Award: Shannen Coffin Honored by Best Buddies in VA & DC, Sponsored by Tiffany & Co.
Best Buddies in Virginia & DC names Shannen Coffin the 2023 recipient of The Diane Ray Brown Lifetime of Friendship Award sponsored by Tiffany & Co.
In 2021, Tiffany & Co. initiated a partnership with Best Buddies in Virginia & DC to launch an annual award for the Washington metropolitan area: The Diane Ray Brown Lifetime of Friendship Award to be presented at the Best Buddies in Virginia & DC Fall Gala.
During her lifetime, Diane was a significant supporter and volunteer for Best Buddies in the Capital Region, and Best Buddies is thrilled to have Tiffany & Co. remember and honor Diane’s incredible and generous life, and her enthusiastic passion for Best Buddies mission, with this award.
Best Buddies in Virginia & DC considers The Diane Ray Brown Lifetime of Friendship Award to be the highest honor and sign of gratitude that our organization can bestow on a member of our local community. Honorees are recognized for their philanthropic spirit, generosity, and boundless dedication to Best Buddies mission of friendship and inclusion for everyone.
We are proud to announce that The Diane Ray Brown Lifetime of Friendship Awardee for 2023 is Shannen Coffin. As a Partner with the law firm, Steptoe, he chairs the firm’s Appeals and Advocacy practice. Shannen has significant experience as a former senior attorney in the federal government, including as a deputy assistant attorney general in the US Justice Department’s Civil Division. He served as counsel to Vice President Cheney in the Office of the Vice President of the United States. There, he provided legal advice to the vice president and his staff on constitutional, regulatory, national security and related policy issues.
Shannen has spent the last decade being an unwavering advocate and leader for Best Buddies in Virginia and DC. He began his involvement in 2013 with the Best Buddies Rides Challenge and has chaired Best Buddies annual Friendship Walk held on The National Mall since 2015. The DC Friendship Walk is the largest in the country with close to 2,000 participants each year walking for friendship and inclusion. For two consecutive years, Shannen received recognition as the Top Overall Friendship Walk Fundraiser in the country. His passion for the belief that “everyone deserves a friend” was instrumental in raising half million dollars for Best Buddies in the Capital Region. As a board member, Shannen’s steady leadership and kindness were pivotal to the growth of Best Buddies locally from a few dozen friendship chapters to now impacting more than 4,500 students each year. He created The Bishop’s Cup award in 2021 – a friendship competition for Best Buddies chapters in local parochial schools that is supported by the Catholic Diocese of Arlington.
Through his dedication, integrity and kindness, Shannen has improved the lives of countless people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Capital Region.