A familiar name that spans Richmond’s business and philanthropic communities, Ann Parker Gottwald is the 2017 Richmond Christmas Mother.
Gottwald, a Richmond native, is the former Ann Parker Hyman, daughter of Haywood B. Hyman Sr., who started the Hyman Bros. automotive dealerships with his brother in Richmond in 1946.
She is married to Thomas E. “Teddy” Gottwald, chairman, president and chief executive officer of NewMarket Corp., a Richmond-based global maker of fuel additives and the parent company of Ethyl Corp. and Afton Chemical. He is the third generation of his family to lead the company. The couple also own and operate The Georges, an 18-room boutique inn in Lexington.
They have five sons, ages 21 to 30, and three grandchildren. Gottwald is the daughter-in-law of Nancy Gottwald, who served as the 2007 Richmond Christmas Mother.
The annual Richmond Christmas Mother Fund is organized by the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Its origins began in 1935, evolving from The Richmond News Leader’s Empty Stocking Fund and the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Good Fellow Club. The Richmond Times-Dispatch sponsors the program and absorbs nearly all its administrative costs.
Today, the program provides food and gifts for children and families, primarily through a $150,000 grant to the Salvation Army Central Virginia’s Christmas Assistance program. Additionally, last year’s efforts raised $25,000 for FeedMore for a Mobile Pantry program that distributed holiday meal ingredients to needy families, and an additional $80,000 in grants for Christmas-related activities were given out to 57 local organizations through a partnership with The Community Foundation.
Thomas A. Silvestri, president and publisher of The Times-Dispatch, said Gottwald’s “willingness to serve is indicative of a deep legacy of giving back to the Richmond community.”
“She brings an entrepreneurial spirit to the Richmond Christmas Mother duties as well as a humbleness to help those in need this Christmas,” he said. “We are honored to work with her this winter.”
Gottwald is no stranger to giving back to the community, having served as a board member for St. Christopher’s School, The Sacred Heart Center, MCV/VCU Foundation, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, St. Mary’s Foundation, The Children’s Hospital Junior Board, Massey Cancer Center Advisory Board and most recently, the Virginia Treatment Center for Children’s Healthy Minds Cabinet.
“I’m just humbled to be asked,” Gottwald said, “and look forward to celebrating the hope and joy of the season ... through this great tradition.”