Mark Richardson is highly regarded as a pioneer in developing standards of professionalism in the construction industry. After more than 30 years with Case Design/Remodeling as President and Co-Chairman, one of the leading remodeling organizations in the industry, he is in high demand as a national speaker, advisor and author.

October 11th 2018 - Mark G. Richardson Strategies for Business Success 2018-10-11 04:00:00Z 0

Please, please, mark on your calendar for the evening of Tuesday June 27 at 6:30 pm which will be our Rotary Officer  installation meeting at L'Auberge. This is an important date for our Rotary and is open to members and spouses. There will no morning meeting on 29 June.

2017-2018 Rotary Club Officer Installation at L'Auberge Chez Francois 2017-06-27 04:00:00Z 0
June 22nd 2017 - Erik M Sanchez Best Practices and Strategies behind media attention 2017-06-22 04:00:00Z 0

Ellen Clarke PhD



Dr. Ellen Clarke has been involved in cutting-edge scientific research on brain training, cognitive intervention, and performance enhancement techniques for many years. This work has been funded by highly regarded scientific agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She authors regular articles on gaining and maintaining an optimal brain at any age.


June 1st 2017 - Dr. Ellen Clarke Brain Involved Health and Happy Brain 2017-06-01 04:00:00Z 0





Erik Haas, Rotary District 7610 Peacebuilder Chair, is dedicated to help build a more vibrant and positively connected world through Rotary’s Peace Initiative. Erik is working with Foundation and District leadership to engage clubs in peace related projects and activities through the District Peacebuilder Club initiative.

May 25th 2017 - Erik Haas District 7610 Peacebuilder Chair 2017-05-18 04:00:00Z 0
May 4th 2017 - Charles Kosak Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Defense Continuity and Mission Assurance (DASD DC&MA) 2017-05-04 04:00:00Z 0

Changing the Way Communities Embrace Families Raising Children with Special Needs.

Restoration, a rhythm of rest. Jill’s House provides a safe haven to entrust your children, so you can rest. Your child will make new friends and experience things you never imagined possible. Our respite is for all children with intellectual disabilities and their families – without regard to race, religion, or ethnicity- ages six to seventeen.

May 4th 2017 - Lee Anne Brownlee Jills' House 2017-05-04 04:00:00Z 0
April 27th 2017 Arnold Sanow "How to Build Better Customer and Workplace Relationships" 2017-04-27 04:00:00Z 0
April 20th 2017 - SafeSpot Childrens Advocacy Center of Fairfax County 2017-04-20 04:00:00Z 0
Michael Pocalyko
Michael Pocalyko, is Managing Director and CEO of Monticello Capital, a boutique investment bank, and Managing Partner of Special Investigations, the first investigative firm ever to be formed out of the securities and financial services sector. The firms are based near Dulles Airport in the Washington DC metropolitan area.
May 18th 2017 - Michael Pocalyko 2017-04-18 04:00:00Z 0
Dr. Mansur Hasib, CISSP, PMP, CPHIMS
As the only cybersecurity and healthcare leader in the world with 12 years experience as Chief Information Officer, a Doctor of Science in Cybersecurity, the prestigious CISSP, PMP, and CPHIMS certifications, three published books and hundreds of articles and speeches
March 2nd, 2017 CyberSecurity Leadership 2017-03-01 05:00:00Z 0
Febrruary 23, 2017 Paul Marcone Leadership Lessons from Gettysburg: Dealing with Interpersonal Conflict 2017-02-23 05:00:00Z 0


Mr. Mitchell will then be giving a speech entitled “When Dating Hurts” which tells the story of his daughter, Kristin’s, tragedy years ago. His presentation also takes listeners through other examples of ill-fated relationships that are from true stories he has heard from victims of dating abuse. “What I talk about is not from reading it in books, it’s from living this,” he noted.

Februdary 2, 2017 -- Bill Mitchell "When Dating Hurts" 2017-02-02 05:00:00Z 0
Roger is the President and CEO of Applied Market Economics, LLC; a macroeconomic advisory firm serving the needs of institutional money managers and business owners nationally.
He is also the Chief Economist for ALM Advisors, Inc.; a Pasadena, California based money management firm specializing in the structuring and management of income portfolios for high net worth individuals and institutions. 
He is also a faculty member of Law Line, a New York City based firm, where he provides continuing legal education to attorneys on issues concerning the economy.
In addition, Roger is a financial columnist for TheStreet, Inc., a New York City based financial media company, where he writes three columns weekly for their subscription services, Real Money and Real Money Pro, focusing on the outlook for the economy, and markets.
Roger is also a sought after public speaker for his ability to engage audiences as he explains the relationships between political, economic, and social systems, and how they are all reflected in the global financial markets; stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies, and real estate.
Roger is also the former radio host of the nationally syndicated, “The Roger Arnold Show”, for 15 years.
November 3rd~Roger B Arnold 2016-11-03 04:00:00Z 0
October 20th~James Hilsdon 2016-10-20 04:00:00Z 0
Greg Sipple
President / CEO at Paws for Purple Hearts
Paws for Purple Hearts (PPH) is the first program of its kind to offer therapeutic intervention for Veterans and active-duty military personnel by teaching those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to train service dogs for their comrades with combat-related injuries. PPH is built upon the trusted and time-honored tradition of Veterans helping Veterans.
October 13th~Greg Sipple  2016-10-13 04:00:00Z 0
Cindy Chambers
The Tell Me Town Foundation
44050 Ashburn Shopping Plaza Suite 195-655
Ashburn, VA 20147
"Like" Tell Me Town on Facebook where we have over 60,000 Fans!
Cindy Chambers, Founder/President of The Tell Me Town Foundation and Dr. Otilia Neacsu, highly respected Endocrinologist, will present the results of the Great Falls Rotary and Great Falls Rotary Foundation's generous support over the past few years, that has allowed hundreds of children diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and their families to be given comfort and education on this important subject through The Tell Me Town Foundation.  Pictures will be shown and actual stories that have been told to us directly from the children and their parents will be shared, along with our sincere thanks.  We will also be announcing the release of the Spanish version of "Beamer Learns About Type 1 Diabetes" thanks to the support of the Great Falls Rotary.
October 6th~Cindy Chambers 2016-10-06 04:00:00Z 0



Frank Lofaro is a highly-regarded business executive, bringing more than 30 years of leadership experience to Prison Fellowship International from both the corporate and nonprofit sectors. After serving as president and CEO of the Christian Leadership Alliance from 2006 to 2011, Frank returned to Prison Fellowship International in 2012 as COO to oversee all aspects of the organization’s planning, development, and operations, and in 2014 he was named CEO.


September 29th~CANCELLED WEATHER 2016-09-29 04:00:00Z 0
September 15th~Jeff Miller 2016-09-15 04:00:00Z 0
September 8th~Shirley Clark 2016-09-08 04:00:00Z 0
September 1st~ Gary Pan 2016-09-01 04:00:00Z 0
Major Gifts Officer | Stop Hunger Now
Stop Hunger Now is an international hunger relief organization that coordinates the distribution of food and other life-saving aid around the world. 
August 18th~Kevin Magee 2016-08-18 04:00:00Z 0


GraceFul Care Founder, Senior Expert, Speaker

“My darling mother, Grace, needed a little help to manage on her own. I felt guilty that I couldn’t be there all the time to help her. When I tried to find help, I realized how hard it was to find ‘another me’ – someone who would help her, but also truly treasure her,” recalls Pat Williams, founder of GraceFul Care.

After having recurring dreams about walking through the stands of a baseball stadium filled with elderly people reaching out to her, Williams decided to create an agency specializing in companion care, elder care and transportation to and from medical visits.


“I immersed myself in training--through Hospice and the Alzheimer’s Association—and earned my Certified Senior Advisor certification. Eventually, I was appointed to the area Long Term Care Coordinating Council, which I now chair,” she says.


Williams gathered some of her friends, who loved to help their elderly older neighbors, and created GraceFul Care—reportedly the first assistance, care and companionship agency for the elderly in the area.


“I am so grateful to the men and women who joined me [and] brought their love, creativity and energy to our senior clients,” she says.

August 11th~ Pat Williams 2016-08-11 04:00:00Z 0
Ralph E. Winnie, Jr. graduated magna cum laude from Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center in 1999 and received an LL.M. in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center in 2002. He is a member of the District of Columbia and New York Bars and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.  He studied international law at Oxford University (Magdalen College) in Oxford, the United Kingdom and Moscow State University in Moscow, Russia.
August 4th~Ralph Winnie 2016-08-04 04:00:00Z 0
Patti has served as the Executive Director of the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, ( since August 2002, where she is responsible for strategic planning, board development, fund-development, managing a $1.3 million budget, a staff of 14, and adult literacy and beginning-level ESOL educational programs.  
July 28th~Patricia Donnelly 2016-07-28 04:00:00Z 0

Kay Duffield

Kay has always had a love for people, previously working as a RN. She developed a passion for those who were sexually exploited after going on international trips where she worked to assist trafficking victims. Her heart is to see those that have been exploited walking in freedom and healing – body, soul, and spirit.

July 21st~Kay Duffield 2016-07-21 04:00:00Z 0
Farhad Saba
Owner / Founder The Saba Group, a Real Estate Development Company,
Past and Current President of Lift Me Up! Therapeutic Horse Back riding program. 
Born in 1961 in Tehran, Iran. Moved to England in 1978 at the age of 16. Lived alone and Put himself through school and graduated with a Master's Degree in Civil and Structural Engineering from The City University London England.
Immigrated to the USA in 1985 and founded The Saba Group while working for an engineering firm and moping restaurants floors at night as well as taking odd jobs on the weekends.
With the success of the first few projects he began working full time for himself and moved the business to Charles County MD. 
He has been appointed to many boards by the Charles County Commissioners as well as being a Member of many professional organizations.
Married The love of his life and an "Airforce Brat" Debi in 1994. 
Their Daughter Farrin now 19 is attending and swimming for Colgate University and son Camron 17 is a senior at Langley High School.
Farhad show Jumped for the Iranian under 18 team before the 1979 Iranian revolution. He is a Certified Scuba Diver, Commercial Airplane and Glider Pilot. 
His passion and life goal is to help children with disabilities. 
They have been a resident of Great Falls since 1998.
July 14th~Farhad Saba &Bill Carbaugh 2016-07-14 04:00:00Z 0
Hayward Hull is a System Engineer serving with the US Department of Defense.  Hayward was born in East Orange, NJ, and grew up in Essex Fells, NJ.  He completed undergraduate studies at Catholic University in Washington DC and retired from the US Army after 20 years of service as an Aviator and Automation Officer.  He obtained a Master’s Degree in System Engineering from George Mason University in January, 2000 and then worked several years as a contractor before joining the Government Civilian workforce specializing in system automation.
July 7th~Hayward Hull 2016-07-07 04:00:00Z 0
Employed by American Airlines since 1976, Nancy founded Airline Ambassadors International (AAI) to provide for orphans and vulnerable children.   AAI is the only non-profit in the world leveraging connections with the airline industry to facilitate humanitarian efforts, and is recognized by the US Congress and the United Nations.
June 30th~Nancy Rivard 2016-06-30 04:00:00Z 0
Wayne Beekman started Information Concepts in 1982 to provide fixed-price custom software development services to the Public and Private Sectors. Information Concepts specializes in the design and implementation of Mission Critical, Database Applications.
For over 30 years, he has directed the technical direction of the firm, navigating changing technical platforms. Solutions have transitioned from the Mainframe, Client-Server architectures, Web Based projects, to Cloud Based platforms today.
Throughout his tenure, he has always utilized visualizations as part of the requirements gathering planning process.
Mr. Beekman holds a BBA and a Masters of Science in Information Systems from George Washington University. He lives in Great Falls, Virginia with his wife and two daughters.
Wayne Beekman
June 23rd~Wayne Beekman 2016-06-23 04:00:00Z 0
         Thomas R. Seneca,
    MBA Behavioral Finance Expert
    University Professor Wealth Manager
Mr. Seneca developed his extensive finance and investment experience as an investment banker with Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.  At these two prestigious institutions, Mr. Seneca conducted due diligence and engineered complex financial valuation models for IPOs, M&A and private equity transactions.  He continued his excellence in finance as a Director of Corporate Development with Sprint Nextel in which he executed 100’s of millions of dollars in M&A transactions and investments.  Mr. Seneca also served as president of a 1,000 acre golf course real estate development which received national honors.  In addition, to his career highlights Mr. Seneca serves as an adjunct finance professor at Virginia International University in the Washington D.C. area. Mr. Seneca has a national clientele with clients in the west and on the east coast.  Mr. Seneca has a BA in economics from Brigham Young University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.  He is an avid golfer and is fluent in Spanish.
June 16th~Thomas Seneca 2016-06-16 04:00:00Z 0
Gregg Herpst has been active full-time in the residential new home construction and resale industry for over 25 years. He was a partner with the largest real estate sales and marketing company in North America for nearly ten years, and represented over 80 builders in the Mid-Atlantic area. Gregg was also the General Sales and Marketing Manager for the 36th largest home building company in the U.S., responsible for nearly ½ billion dollars in annual sales.
Gregg has owned several land development companies and been responsible for the acquisition and sale of thousands of lots to local, regional and national builders.
Due to many client requests, Gregg has expanded New Home Pros into locating resale (existing) and selling client’s current homes. During the last eight years Gregg has helped over 160 families locate the best real estate deals in the marketplace.
Gregg is a Certified Real Estate Owned (bank owned) Properties Specialist, and Certified Short Sale Professional.  Both designations required over a year of intensive study and practical demonstration
June 9th~Gregg Herpst 2016-06-09 04:00:00Z 0
Shelley Mastran is Chair of the Reston Historic Trust and Adjunct Professor of Urban Planning at Virginia Tech in Alexandria, where she teaches Land Use Planning, Growth Management, and practical studios. She has consulted on planning issues with many nonprofit organizations and local governments.She has a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Maryland and formerly directed the Rural Heritage Program at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  She is a co-author of Saving America’s Countryside and the Better Models for Development series with Ed McMahon.
June 2nd~Shelley Mastran 2016-06-02 04:00:00Z 0
John Wood is chief executive officer and chairman of the board for Telos Corporation, a leading technology company addressing the critical areas of cybersecurity, secure mobility, and identity management for corporations and governments worldwide.  Prior to joining Telos in 1992, Wood worked on Wall Street after earning his degree in finance and computer science at Georgetown University.  
May 26th~John Wood 2016-05-26 04:00:00Z 0
Steve Steinberg
Steve has been in the hotel business for over 20 years, and is the President of MEI Hotels, Inc.  He is also an elder at Whole Word Fellowship in Oakton.  
Steve coordinates and facilitates the prayer calls for NOVA HTI, and serves on our Board of Directors. IN additon to running the Prayer Team for NOVA HTI, he also leads the  Global Freedom Alliance, a network of anti-trafficking ministries. 
May 19th~Steve Steinberg 2016-05-19 04:00:00Z 0

John Nutter, Development Consultant

John’s association with the Potomac Conservancy goes back to its founding. In 1992 John was working at Pepco (from which he retired in 2011) when the local kayak community partnered with Pepco on the construction of a white water race course at the then Pepco-owned Dickerson power plant in Montgomery County. Potomac Conservancy was founded the following year by a core group of those who helped build the race course.

John joined the Potomac Conservancy board in 1999 and served for ten years, including a term as Chair of its Development Committee. Prior to joining Pepco in 1988 John worked for The Nature Conservancy for 12 years, including 6 years in San Francisco as Regional Vice President for the group’s western division. John has a BA in history from the University of Pennsylvania and was a Sloan Fellow at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University in 1986-87. He and his wife live in Arlington, VA.

John Nutter
202 236-9956 (cell)

May 12th~John Nutter 2016-05-12 04:00:00Z 0
KEITH OBERG Executive Director and board member, Keith Oberg has led Bikes for the World since its founding. Prior to that, he served as Vice-President and Washington DC Area Coordinator of Pedals for Progress, following a career in international development culminating in 13 years with the Inter-American Foundation (IAF), an independent U.S. Government agency providing grant support to private grassroots development in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 1999, Keith took a leave of absence from the IAF to work with Pedals for Progress and ultimately Bikes for the World, to put into practice some of the insights he gained as a funder, to test the potential of used American bicycles to serve as a catalyst and resource for domestic community volunteer work and community-led development overseas. Keith’s interests in cycling range from the local to the global. A long-time bicycle commuter dating to his early years in Washington DC as a non-car-owning graduate student, he is a former board member of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association and co-founder and past secretary and executive board member of Phoenix Bikes, a youth bike program in Arlington VA. Between 1986 and 1998, Keith served as a member (and chairman, 1992-97) of the board of directors of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, an advocate for environmentally and economically sustainable transportation policies worldwide. Keith holds an M.A. in International Studies from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a B.A. in Political Science and History from Middlebury College. He currently lives in Arlington VA with his wife, Jessica Mott; they have two grown children, Kathryn and Alexander. - See more at:
Keith Oberg
Director, Bikes for the World
1408 N Fillmore St, Ste. 11, Arlington VA 22201
703.740.7856 | | Facebook | YouTube
Follow our progress on our BLOG
May 5th~Keith Oberg 2016-05-05 04:00:00Z 0
Elise Neil Bengtson is a professional and volunteer leader with years of experience in the federal government and nonprofits.  She has a strong record of community outreach, volunteer recruitment, partnerships and fundraising. She is currently the CEO of Volunteer Fairfax, the largest volunteer center in the Washington Metropolitan Area and an affiliate member of the Points of Light and HandsOn Network.  She is responsible for connecting individuals, groups and corporations with over 650 nonprofits and agencies to make a direct impact in their communities.  In 2015, Volunteer Fairfax contributed over $2 million value added service to the community.   Elise also convenes the Corporate Roundtable, a group of CSR leaders in the community.
Elise has resided in the Washington, DC area for over 25 years.  She worked on the National Security Council at the White House for 15 years, was President of the Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director of the Fairfax Partnership for Youth, and managed Masterworks Chorus and Orchestra.  She worked with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on the Hillsborough County Public Schools $100 million grant engaging the elected and community leaders while raising additional funds.
Simultaneously, she has remained personally committed to volunteerism, especially to the arts, youth and education.   Elise served on the board of the National Symphony Orchestra for three years while also leading Friends of the National Symphony.  She has promoted and raised funds for many organizations in embassies and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts.  She recently returned to the area after a 7 year stint in Tampa, FL and immediately re-engaged in the community.  She currently serves on the board of the Virginia Chamber Orchestra and is a member of Hunger Free Alexandria and Rotary.  Elise began volunteering in her youth and continues to do so.
A native of Charlotte, NC, she graduated from Converse College.  Elise is married to Jeff Bengtson and has two daughters, Maggie and Ava.  Her favorite hobbies include gardening, photography and travel (to over 20 countries) and plans to one day make a second climb of Mount Kilimanjaro – the next time with her girls.
April 28th~ Elise Bengtson 2016-04-27 04:00:00Z 0
April 21st~Great Falls Rotary Interactor's Club 2016-04-21 04:00:00Z 0
April 14th~Rotary Internal 2016-04-14 04:00:00Z 0
A Republican member of Congress, she first won election to her seat in 2009, defeating Democratic incumbent Margaret Vanderhye. She was formerly a spokesperson, lobbyist, political consultant; and a founding partner and co-principal of public policy and public relations firm Corallo Comstock. On January 7, 2014, Comstock announced her candidacy for U.S. Congress from Virginia's 10th District and won. She is involved in many issues including  human trafficking, teenage drug epidemic, cybersecurity, CFPB and many others. 
April 7th~Congresswoman Barbara Comstock 2016-04-07 04:00:00Z 0
Roger is the President and CEO of Applied Market Economics, LLC; a macroeconomic advisory firm serving the needs of institutional money managers and business owners nationally.
He is also the Chief Economist for ALM Advisors, Inc.; a Pasadena, California based money management firm specializing in the structuring and management of income portfolios for high net worth individuals and institutions. 
He is also a faculty member of Law Line, a New York City based firm, where he provides continuing legal education to attorneys on issues concerning the economy.
In addition, Roger is a financial columnist for TheStreet, Inc., a New York City based financial media company, where he writes three columns weekly for their subscription services, Real Money and Real Money Pro, focusing on the outlook for the economy, and markets.
Roger is also a sought after public speaker for his ability to engage audiences as he explains the relationships between political, economic, and social systems, and how they are all reflected in the global financial markets; stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies, and real estate.
Roger is also the former radio host of the nationally syndicated, “The Roger Arnold Show”, for 15 years.


March 31st~ Roger B Arnold 2016-03-30 04:00:00Z 0
Chef Roland was recently written about in the Washington Post and appeared on Good Morning America.. The original date to be held at L'Auberge Chez Francois was canceled due to snow and ice. He will entertain us all with his pastry stories of the White House and show his new book just published!
March 24th~Chef Roland Mesiner 2016-03-24 04:00:00Z 0
March 17th~ Pierre Glenn, Dir USGS 2016-03-17 04:00:00Z 0
David Applegate is the Associate Director for Natural Hazards at the U.S. Geological Survey. In that role, he leads USGS hazards planning and response activities and oversees the Coastal & Marine Geology, Earthquake Hazards, Global Seismographic Network, Geomagnetism, Landslide Hazards, and Volcano Hazards Programs. He co-chairs the National Science and Technology Council's interagency Subcommittee on Disaster Reduction and co-leads the Department of the Interior’s Strategic Sciences Group.  Prior to joining USGS in 2004, Applegate spent eight years directing science policy at the American Geological Institute, a federation of geoscience societies. During the last four years there, he also served as the editor of Geotimes, AGI's newsmagazine of the earth sciences (now renamed Earth). Before coming to AGI, he served with the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources as the American Geophysical Union's Congressional Science Fellow and as a professional staff member for the minority. Born and raised in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, Applegate holds a B.S. in geology from Yale University and a Ph.D., also in geology, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is an adjunct full professor in the University of Utah’s Department of Geology and Geophysics. 
March 10th,~David Applegate 2016-03-10 05:00:00Z 0
Jeffrey A. ThinnesJeff-JTI-portrait


CEO + Co-Founder

Jeff founded JTI, Inc. in 1999 to focus on four practice areas in which he had wide-ranging experience: Business Expansion and Restructuring, Corporate Communications, Public Sector Strategy, and Ethics and Compliance. Jeff has built a reputation for adding value while minimizing risk through the design and delivery of effective business strategies, political engineering plans, targeted internal and external communications initiatives, and effective ethics and compliance programs.

JTI adds value for clients by providing both sound strategy and practical execution, as well as insight into the complexity of the global business environment. For example, during a temporary relocation to Germany so that he could work more closely with key clients, Jeff designed and implemented a successful turnaround strategy for the Central European subsidiary of a U.S. publicly traded company, resulting in its first profitable year ever. For a major client in France, he won the trust of senior executives by spearheading cross-function, cross-division initiatives focused on issues of Quality Improvement and Ethics and Compliance.

Jeff’s real-life experience forms the basis of his counsel to executives of companies ranging from start-ups to Global 50 firms. His professional experience prior to forming JTI included:

• Vice President of Daimler-Benz’s Washington, D.C., office, with responsibility for trade and investment, public affairs, and strategic communications, 1996-1999
• Vice President of the Aspen Institute in Aspen, Colorado, 1993 to 1995
• Deputy Director of the Aspen Institute in Berlin, a values-based leadership and policy studies organization, 1990-1993
• Practicing attorney in Arizona, focusing on representing German family offices and companies in the United States, 1985-1990

Jeff holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame, an M.P.A. from Harvard University, a J.D. from Indiana University, and an LL.M. in European Union Law from the Universität des Saarlandes.M.P.A. from Harvard University, a J.D. from Indiana University, and an LL.M. in European Union Law from the Universität des Saarlandes.

March 3rd~Jeff Thinnes, JTI 2016-03-03 05:00:00Z 0
David C. Birtwistle
Chief Executive Officer
Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance
McLean, Virginia
David Birtwistle is CEO of the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance where he is responsible for overall operations with specific focus on strategic planning and capital development. He had previously served on the NVTA Board of Directors.
Preceding his joining the NVTA, he was a Senior Vice President with the Washington Division of Balfour Beatty Construction, a worldwide leader in construction, engineering and finance. His responsibilities included developing client relationships as well as new commercial and geographical markets. He has also led the division’s initiative to deliver public facilities utilizing Public Private Partnership’s (PPP) and has spoken on the topic throughout the country.
David’s other professional experience includes the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority where he oversaw the recruitment and retention of businesses to the County as well as capital attraction for over 10 years, the Admiral H. G. Rickover Foundation and the Fairfax County Budget Office. He spent several years in the banking industry and began his career in the Washington DC area as a congressional intern.
David has served a number of business and community organizations, including: NAIOP Northern Virginia Chapter (past Chair), the Greater Washington Board of Trade (Board of Directors), the Washington Airports Task Force (Board of Directors), the National Council of Public Private Partnerships (Board of Directors) and the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce.
He has been active with a number of community organizations including the Herndon Foundation for the Cultural Arts, Leadership Fairfax Inc., the Center for Multicultural Human Services, Friends of Frying Pan Park, The Dominican Foundation, Celebrate Fairfax, Winterhaven and Shelter House.
Who is the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance?
  • The Alliance is the acknowledged leader in advancing a visionary, regional, multi-modal, research and evidenced-based transportation network to create a better quality of life and greater economic prosperity for the region.
  • The Alliance is the only non-partisan, private sector, business-citizen organization focused exclusively on working to make better transportation a reality for Northern Virginia citizens and businesses.
  • The Alliance’s sole mission is to advance transportation improvements of greatest regional significance in Northern Virginia.
What can you expect from the Alliance?
  • Educational materials to ensure and enable a well-informed and involved citizenry to press for regional transportation network investments that respond to the public’s need.
  • Research and communication outreach to continue impacting and shaping the regional transportation debate.
  • Unparalleled concise, actionable information on regional and state transportation matters.
  • Alliance Alerts - emails produced by the Alliance offering timely information on the latest transportation developments and how citizens and businesses can weigh in to make a difference. 
  • Leadership in coalition building relied upon by all major Northern Virginia business organizations to advance major transportation improvements.
Virginia Delegate Dave Albo, a leading voice in Virginia for better transportation, described the Alliance as, “… an organization that actually makes a difference.”
Why invest in the Alliance?
  •  Full-Time Focus – Transportation only priority
  •  Outreach – Seminars/speeches/testimony/emails/website/social media
  •  Advocacy/Lobbying – Funding; Performance-based priorities
  •  Credibility – Local, regional, statewide
  •  Integrity/Independence – Non-partisan/big picture
  •  Proven Leadership – Coalition-building
  •  Proven Results – Roads, Rail, Bridges
What has the Alliance accomplished?
The Alliance played a major role in securing new long-term state and regional transportation funding in 2013, the first such funding in more than a quarter century. The passage of HB 2313 results in $3.5 billion in new statewide transportation funding over a five year period with another $1.5 billion focused exclusively toward Northern Virginia regional congestion-relieving projects.
The Alliance Difference (Record of Success)
  • Fairfax County Parkway
  • Prince William County Parkway
  • I-95, 4th Lane
  • I-95 HOT Lanes
  • Route 28
  • Dulles Toll Road Widening
  • Dulles Greenway
  • Dulles Rail (Silver Line)
  • Route 234 Bypass
  • I-495 HOT Lanes
  • Gainesville Interchange
  • Woodrow Wilson Bridge
  • Virginia Railway Express
The Alliance Agenda
The current Alliance focus is on how the new Northern Virginia tax dollars are invested. The danger is very real that new regional funds will be spread across the political landscape and make little difference. To prevent this the Alliance has researched which projects have greatest regional significance; projects that improve travel time, reduce congestion and increase reliability.
Alliance Endorsed Game Changers
  • 8-car Metro Train capacity upgrade
  • I-66 major upgrade from U.S. 15 to the Roosevelt Bridge
  • The Bi-County Parkway
  • Northern Potomac River Crossing and upgraded American Legion Bridge
  • Route 28 upgrade to 8 lanes
  • Fairfax County Parkway conversion to limited access facility
  • Conversion of I-395 HOV lanes to managed lanes
  • Regional Express Bus network
Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance Contact:
David Birtwistle, CEO                       
February 25th~ David Birtwistle 2016-02-25 05:00:00Z 0
Adalene “Nene” Spivy, Executive Director.
Adalene “Nene” Spivy is an engineer and MBA with 25 years of diverse management experience including systems and process engineering, new product development, and general management for technology businesses; non-profit management including fundraising, strategic planning, volunteer management, and board development; and over a decade of work with children’s museums. She has led the Children’s Science Center since 2010, during which the Center has served over 65,000 visitors as a museum without walls, secured two museum sites, and established its first museum operating site in 2015. As Executive Director, Nene oversees all aspects of the organization, including business and museum planning, operations, educational programming, fundraising, finance, and organization development. Nene is a 2009 graduate of Leadership Fairfax, Past President and Past Development Director of the Junior League of Northern Virginia, Past Chair of Fairfax County’s Community Action Advisory Board, and served in multiple board leadership roles with Discovery Creek Children’s Museum. Nene holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Virginia Tech and MBA from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.
February 18th~Nene Spivy,Child Science Org 2016-02-18 05:00:00Z 0                Thomas R. Seneca,
    MBA Behavioral Finance Expert
    University Professor
    Wealth Manager
Mr. Seneca developed his extensive finance and investment experience as an investment banker with Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.  At these two prestigious institutions, Mr. Seneca conducted due diligence and engineered complex financial valuation models for IPOs, M&A and private equity transactions.  He continued his excellence in finance as a Director of Corporate Development with Sprint Nextel in which he executed 100’s of millions of dollars in M&A transactions and investments.  Mr. Seneca also served as president of a 1,000 acre golf course real estate development which received national honors.  In addition, to his career highlights Mr. Seneca serves as an adjunct finance professor at Virginia International University in the Washington D.C. area. Mr. Seneca has a national clientele with clients in the west and on the east coast.  Mr. Seneca has a BA in economics from Brigham Young University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.  He is an avid golfer and is fluent in Spanish.
Copy of February 11th~ Thomas Seneca, Behavioral Science 2016-02-10 05:00:00Z 0                Thomas R. Seneca,
    MBA Behavioral Finance Expert
    University Professor
    Wealth Manager
Mr. Seneca developed his extensive finance and investment experience as an investment banker with Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.  At these two prestigious institutions, Mr. Seneca conducted due diligence and engineered complex financial valuation models for IPOs, M&A and private equity transactions.  He continued his excellence in finance as a Director of Corporate Development with Sprint Nextel in which he executed 100’s of millions of dollars in M&A transactions and investments.  Mr. Seneca also served as president of a 1,000 acre golf course real estate development which received national honors.  In addition, to his career highlights Mr. Seneca serves as an adjunct finance professor at Virginia International University in the Washington D.C. area. Mr. Seneca has a national clientele with clients in the west and on the east coast.  Mr. Seneca has a BA in economics from Brigham Young University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.  He is an avid golfer and is fluent in Spanish.
February 11th~ Thomas Seneca, Behavioral Science 2016-02-10 05:00:00Z 0
" I am a 65 year old who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2000.  I was matched with my first Canine Companions for Independence Service Dog, Arkin in 2008.  Since that time, I have become a spokesperson for this remarkable organization and a Trustee for the Lions Project for Independence covering the district 24A.  I volunteer for the Lions Club, Habitat for Humanity, Fauquier Hospital Infusion
Center, Suicide Prevention and First Aid, the Disability   Board for
Culpeper County, the Community Services Healthy Culpeper Group, and work with chronically and newly diagnosed patients.  I'm truly looking forward to meeting your group!"
February 4th ~Nancy Lagrasse 2016-02-04 05:00:00Z 0
ImageDr. Loebig is the founder of Loebig Chiropractic & Rehab and has been practicing chiropractic medicine since 1996.  He specializes in difficult and challenging cases of spinal disc injury and trauma, whiplash, scoliosis, and degenerative diseases-and also focuses on treating complex sports and extremity injuries.  He received his BS from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and his DC from Palmer College of Chiropractic.
January 14th ~Dr Glenn Loebig 2016-01-14 05:00:00Z 0
January 7th~Tyler Enslin 2016-01-07 05:00:00Z 0
Stan Corey, CFP®, CPWA®Mr. Corey is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional (CFP®), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®), Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®), and Managing Director of c5 Wealth Management, a Division of United Capital Financial Advisers. Throughout his financial planning career, Mr. Corey has been an active participant in the industry associations, serving on a number of advisory councils for the Financial Planning Association (FPA). He is also a member of the Institute of Certified Financial Planners. Mr. Corey has completed the Harvard Negotiation Institute Mediation Workshop at Harvard Law School. This program provided him with additional skills and training to act as a mediator and expert in not only divorce/family matters but business mediation issues as well. He also attended the Advest Institute's advanced program on behavioral finance and portfolio analytics at Harvard University.

Published Divorce Dance, a novel about a couple going through divorce where the women teaches the reader about the financial, emotional and legal issues involved as she researches her options. 

Mr. Corey was born in New York and grew up in Stony Brook, NY on Long Island. Upon graduation from American International College in Springfield, MA in 1971, he served in the US Navy for just over four years. Service in the Navy brought him to the Washington, DC metropolitan area in 1972 and he has been here ever since. He began his career in the financial services industry in 1980 and in 1986 he formed his own firm, Great Falls Financial Services, a fee-based independent Registered Investment Advisory firm. In 2006, Stan and Paul Bennett merged their respective firms to create c5WM, now a Division of United Capital Financial Advisers. Mr. Corey continues to focus on client needs and providing comprehensive advisory services to multigenerational families, businesses and professional practices, and has a specialty in analyzing financial issues in divorce.
Dcember 17th~Rotarian Stan Corey, UNITED CAPITAL FINANCIAL ADVISORS 2015-12-17 05:00:00Z 0
KERRIE WILSON  is CEO of Cornerstones, a community based, nonprofit human service agency in Northern Virginia that provides support and advocacy for people in need of food, shelter, affordable housing, quality childcare and other human services.  Kerrie has 35 years of experience in health and human services advocacy, public health policy, and nonprofit management.
Prior to joining Cornerstones in 2001 she was the National Vice President for Government Relations for the American Cancer Society, working on issues relating to women, minorities and the medically underserved.
She has served in leadership positions on nonprofit boards and government task forces, currently serving on the board of directors for the Meyer Foundation, Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce, Virginia Housing Alliance and Virginia Nonprofit Leadership Council.  She is co-chair of the Fairfax County Affordable Housing Advisory Committee and served on the executive committee overseeing the design of the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Plan to End Homelessness by 2018. 
Cornerstones is a founding partner and now the backbone organization of Connections for Hope Partnerships, a nonprofit center serving the greater Dulles community. The Partnership brings together 30+ partner nonprofit, government, community and civic organizations who are working collectively to build a strong, healthy and connected community.  
Cornerstones and Kerrie are proud to have been honored as a Meyer Foundation Exponent awardee, and as a Bank of America “Neighborhood Builder.”  She is a Leadership Fairfax graduate – class of 2011. 
 SARAH NEWMAN is Division Director for Self-Sufficiency and Community Partnership.  In that role, she oversees self-sufficiency programs that include financial literacy, employment services and establishing resiliency among clients through financial stability.  Additionally, Ms. Newman is responsible for the Connections for Hope Partnership in Herndon, which is a collective effort of nonprofit, government, school and community partners providing integrated health and human services for low-income children, youth, and adults.  Ms. Newman joined the Cornerstones staff in January, 2013 with over 20 years of nonprofit experience that includes trade association management, establishing a nonprofit and serving as its Executive Director for 9 years, developing and sustaining job training programs for low-income members of the immigrant community in the Herndon area, and establishing an integrated services/co-location model for nonprofit partnership.  
December 10th ~Kerrie Wilson & Sarah Newman, Cornerstone Org 2015-12-10 05:00:00Z 0
November 19th~Ralph Winnie,General Counsel &Business Dev China 2015-11-19 05:00:00Z 0
November 12th~Gore Bolton, Pirahna Tank 2015-11-12 05:00:00Z 0

ABOUT: Formerly an officer with the U.S. Marines, Dr. Karlsberg received his graduate degree from the University Of Michigan School Of Medicine and his postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Karlsberg specializes in providing professionals, entrepreneurs, and dual-career couples with tangible, fast-acting strategies to end negative interactions, reduce tension and anger, and reestablish closeness.
Dr. Karlsberg is the author of the upcoming book, From Conflict to Connection. His work has been published in multiple professional journals and he has taught his 21 Day System to professional audiences around the country. Georgetown University honored Dr. Karlsberg with the award for 'Excellence in Teaching'.
November 5th~Dr Karlsberg, 21 Day Turnaround 2015-11-05 05:00:00Z 0
           Dr. Kristin Clark Taylor is an award-winning author, veteran journalist, nationally-recognized communications and political strategist and a former White House advisor. She is a founding member of USA Today’s original creation and launch team, where she worked as an editorial writer and editor.
          As a journalist, her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Washington Times, USA Today, and many other publications. As a communications and political strategist, she worked in the White House for Vice President George H.W. Bush Sr., as a writer and press officer. Immediately after winning the 1988 election, the newly-elected President Bush appointed her White House Director of Media Relations, making her the first African-American woman in history to hold the post. As a senior corporate executive, she has managed Public Relations and communications for two Fortune 500 companies.
          Dr. Taylor has written four books (first three published by Doubleday; the fourth, by Penguin/Berkley) and has collaborated with other authors on a wide-ranging variety of topics. She is a frequent lecturer, motivational speaker, and civic activist and has appeared on Oprah, NPR, and countless other broadcasts.
          In 2014, she was bestowed an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from her alma mater, Michigan State University.  She is also the recipient of the school’s prestigious Distinguished Alumni award, presented by the school’s College of Arts and Letters, for her outstanding and diverse professional accomplishments; she also serves on the school’s Alumni Board of Directors.
          Dr. Taylor is currently at work on her fifth book.
October 29,~ Kristin Taylor,Great Falls Writers Group 2015-10-29 04:00:00Z 0
Roger is the President and CEO of Applied Market Economics, LLC; a macroeconomic advisory firm serving the needs of institutional money managers and business owners nationally.
He is also the Chief Economist for ALM Advisors, Inc.; a Pasadena, California based money management firm specializing in the structuring and management of income portfolios for high net worth individuals and institutions. 
He is also a faculty member of Law Line, a New York City based firm, where he provides continuing legal education to attorneys on issues concerning the economy.
In addition, Roger is a financial columnist for TheStreet, Inc., a New York City based financial media company, where he writes three columns weekly for their subscription services, Real Money and Real Money Pro, focusing on the outlook for the economy, and markets.
Roger is also a sought after public speaker for his ability to engage audiences as he explains the relationships between political, economic, and social systems, and how they are all reflected in the global financial markets; stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies, and real estate.
Roger is also the former radio host of the nationally syndicated, “The Roger Arnold Show”, for 15 years.
October 22nd~Roger B Arnold, World Economist 2015-10-21 04:00:00Z 0
John Foust
Dranesville District Supervisor
John Foust has served on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors since 2008. He represents the Dranesville District which includes McLean, Great Falls, Herndon and portions of Falls Church and Vienna.
John was raised in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. He started work on a Christmas Tree Farm when he was 12 years old, meeting the owner before sunrise and working to cut, drag and load trees for 8 hours a day. John was the first member of his family to go to college. He put himself through school by working each summer as a laborer in the steel mills and on the railroad. After earning an undergraduate degree in Economics, John went on to earn MBA and law degrees while working full time during the day and attending classes at night.
After moving to Northern Virginia, and while working full time in a demanding profession and raising his family, John distinguished himself as a civic leader who truly cares about his community. Among his community leadership roles, John served as President of the McLean Citizens Association, Chairman of the Legislative Committee of the County’s Environmental Quality Advisory Council, Chairman of the Advocacy Committee of the Fairfax County Medical Care for Children Partnership, and Chairman of the Chain Bridge District of the Boy Scouts of America. An example of John’s advocacy on behalf of his community is the six year battle he led against a major cell phone company to prove the company was illegally constructing towers across the state of Virginia without public hearings or local zoning approvals. John’s efforts ultimately resulted in a major victory for citizen input to land use decisions involving commercial development on public property.
Since his election to the Board of Supervisors, John has brought his commitment to hard work, advocacy for his community and problem solving leadership to serving families and businesses in the Dranesville District and Fairfax County. He serves as Chairman of the Board’s Audit Committee, Vice-chairman of the Board’s Budget Committee and Chairman of the Fairfax County Economic Advisory Commission, among other county and regional positions.
On the Board, John has been a leader in addressing the fiscal and economic development challenges caused by the Great Recession, cuts in state support for county services, and the economic impacts caused by cuts in federal spending. John’s accomplishments include bringing full day kindergarten to all elementary schools in the county, funding widening of Route 7 from Tysons to Reston to ease congestion, constructing numerous road and pedestrian improvements throughout the district, completing several stream and stormwater improvement projects, delivering soundwalls and other capital projects to protect and enhance established neighborhoods and improve public safety, and improving and expanding park and recreational facilities, including the new facilities at Spring Hill RECenter, major accessibility improvements at the Great Falls Grange, and 12 new synthetic turf fields in the district.
John lives in McLean and has been married to Dr. Marilyn Jerome for 31 years. They have two sons, Matthew and Patrick.
October 15th~John Foust, Dranesville District Supervisor 2015-10-15 04:00:00Z 0

Foundation (TTF) a faith based non-profit launched in 2001, The mission of Time To Fly is to help abused women and children regain their God given worth, break the generational cycle of dating/domestic abuse, and strengthen the family unit. October 2011 Time To Fly was honored with a Proclamation from Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell to recognize their ten years of service provided to families and communities (synopsis).

FULL BIO:.About Founder and President
Michele Ruth Jones founded the Time to Fly Foundation (TTF) in December 2001. The organization was birthed from the recognition of a dramatic need seen by her while volunteering at domestic violence shelters. After 20 years as a professional in Corporate America, Michele retired to devote efforts to the vision and development of TTF. Having personally experienced the effects of marital abuse, Michele is well aware of the unique needs of hurting women and their need for effective tools to take them forward into a victorious life. Her background includes successfully selling services for Fortune 100 global corporations, corporate strategic sales, project management, designing training programs, chairing civic and professional associations, coordinating women’s ministry activities, volunteering at various women’s shelters, and serving on local government civic committees for women’s affairs. She was appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to the Commission For Women and served 3 terms as an Appointee.
As Founder and President, Michele is the face of the organization. She is an in-demand Speaker who has been invited to share the journey and mission of TTF on national and local television, radio, at women’s conferences, churches, and business forums.
Michele is the author of ”Your Call To Freedom! (An Interactive Guidebook with Bible Based Tools To Heal From An Abusive Relationship).” It is available in both English and Spanish.
Michele is an active member of Grace Covenant Church in Chantilly, Virginia. She has served on the hospitality, setup, home-going, and worship teams. She presently serves on the Prayer, Health, and Women’s ministry teams. During her “recoup time” she enjoys gardening, reading, decorating, hiking, traveling, spa massages, climbing waterfalls, mentoring younger women, laughing with good friends, and helping others organize their lives for God’s Glory.
About Time To Fly Foundation
Time to Fly Foundation (, is a grass roots, faith-based 501c3 non-profit. The mission is dedicated to helping abused women and children regain their God-given worth, break the generational cycle of dating/domestic abuse, and strengthen the family unit.
Founded in 2001, the vision is to globally see countless lives restored from the devastation of dating and domestic abuse. Intervention and prevention training services and onsite childcare are provided FREE of charge to participants. Corporate matching gifts, private donors, small businesses, and grants support the work of the foundation.
Our proven results show effective violence intervention and prevention promotes self-sufficiency, improves family relationships, reduces medical costs, reduces work absenteeism, and reduces tax burdens to society.
P. O. Box 2761
Reston, VA 20195

October 8th~Michelle Jones, Healing Familes 2015-10-07 04:00:00Z 0
Jennifer Chronis for Dranesville Supervisor
Jennifer Chronis is an 18-year resident of Fairfax County. She graduated from Lake Braddock
Secondary School and attended the University of Virginia on an Army ROTC Scholarship, where she
earned a business degree from the McIntire School of Commerce. Upon graduation, she was
commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
Jennifer served her country for 21 years, 11 on active duty and 10 in the U.S. Army Reserve. While on
active duty, she served twice in combat—first as one of a handful of female officers in the 82nd
Airborne Division during Operations Desert Shield and Storm, and second as a Company Commander in
Bosnia after the signing of the Dayton Peace Accord. While on active duty, she qualified as an Army
parachutist and completed over 40 jumps throughout her career.
While an Army Reservist in 2004, she was mobilized for two years during Operation Enduring Freedom
and helped build the Joint IED Defeat Organization. She retired from the Army Reserve in 2010 as a
Lieutenant Colonel.
In 2001, while still in the Army Reserve, Jennifer joined IBM as an account manager. She was quickly
recognized for her leadership ability and strong work ethic and was regularly promoted. Throughout her
14-year IBM career, she has managed a diverse portfolio of hardware, software, and consulting service
business units ranging from $100 million-$700 million in annual revenues. Each role has required strong
accountability for financial results, agility in adapting to highly dynamic business environments, and
tough, responsible decision-making.
Jennifer has been an IBM executive since 2011, and is currently a Vice President responsible for leading
the company’s Department of Defense business unit. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the
Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association (AFCEA), Washington DC Chapter, and is
an IT Fellow for the American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC). She
has volunteered as a tutor for the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia.
October 1st~Jennifer Chronis, Candidate Dranesville Supervisor 2015-10-01 04:00:00Z 0









Rotary District 7610 Governor-Elect 2014-2015 Janet L. S. Brown (JB)

Grew up in Mobile, Alabama, the eldest daughter of Rev, Dr. Benjamin J. Simms, who played an active role in the Montgomery Boycott. Graduated from Alabama State University, Dean's list, with double major, earning degrees in Sociology and Psychology. Master of Social Work (MSW) University of Hawaii; and PhD, Kansas State University, Adult Education. Certified Family Mediator, in both Circuit Court-Family and Juvenile & District Court (J&DR) mediation; member of Fredericksburg Area Collaborative Professionals. Serve as a Coach on a team of Professionals working together to help families deal with the emotional and financial complexities of divorce.

Janet began her federal career a social work in Hawaii, rapidly progress from there to positions of more supervision, leadership, authority, and responsibility, to include. Director of a Halfway house, Ft Riley Kansas, Chief of Training and Development, USMA, West Point, Branch Chief Personnel Management, Personnel Command (PERSCOM), Director of Human Recourses, The General Services Administration (GSA), National Capitol Region, and at The Peace Corp, headquarters. Janet's awards & memberships include, Who's who in American Education, Who' who in the South and Southwest, Mental Health Excellence Award. Memberships include Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, INC. National Association of Social Workers (NASW); Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM), Virginia Mediation Network; (VMN), Fredericksburg Area Collaborative Professionals; and International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP.. Janet is President/CEO, JB Associates, offering conflict resolution services, to include mediation human resources training, individual and family counseling.

Janet is a member of the Rappahannock Fredericksburg Rotary Club since 1994, with perfect attendance. She has held positions as Club President, International Service Director, Chair of the Discovery, Individual volunteer service grants both at the local and district levels. Other positions held International Service Resource contact, Area Membership Coordinator, Membership Development, member of the District Future Vision Committee, Caribbean Partnership Committee; AG, and Area 5, RIY 2014- She has completed Rotary Leadership Institute, all three parts and is a faculty member.

While President (2011-12), the club received the following awards and recognitions both at the District and Rotary International Membership Development Initiatives Award; Rotary International Change Maker Award; Rotary International Change Maker Award to Fredericksburg Christian High School Interact Club; District Governor's Citation Awards; and Rotary District Exceptional Club Award. Janet is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow, Paul Harris Society member, major donor, benefactor, and Bequest Society Member Benefactor and Major Donor. Her husband, sister, two (2) sons and grandson are Paul Harris Fellows.

September 24th ~ Janet Brown, Rotary District Governor 2015-09-24 04:00:00Z 0
Biography of Patricia Nicoson
Patricia Nicoson is a land use and transportation planner with more than 35 years of planning experience working in the National Capital Region.  Since August 1998, she has been President of the Dulles Corridor Rail Association (DCRA), a non-profit corporation whose mission is to advocate rail in the Dulles Corridor, advise officials on transit-related issues, and build public support for the rail project and plans for transit-oriented development.   She has lobbied and testified in support of Dulles Metrorail and transportation funding at the federal, state, and local levels and developed several coalitions in support of Dulles rail over the last 17 years.  Phase 1 of the Silver Line opened July 26, 2014.  Phase 2 is under construction.
Nicoson worked as a Senior Transportation Planner and project manager in Arlington County for 12 years and as a Senior Transportation Planner and Community Planner in the District of Columbia for 10 years.
Nicoson has been project manager of several major transportation projects and environmental studies, including the North Quincy Street Extension in Arlington and the Barney Circle Freeway Extension in the District of Columbia and has chaired the Transportation Planning Board Technical Committee.  As President of the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Planning Association, she lead a coalition of four organizations that successfully presented the Downtown Development District zoning case to the DC Zoning Commission.  As staff, she presented and received approvals for the Dupont Circle Rezoning and one-step Planned Unit Development process cases.
Nicoson served on the Dulles Corridor Land Use Committee in 2000/2001, chaired the Reston Metrorail Access Group Study (2007/2008) and chaired the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force Phase 1 (2009 to 2013), whose recommendations were approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on February 11, 2014.
Nicoson has been a planning instructor at Pratt Institute and George Washington University, has made numerous presentations, written articles, and received awards from a number of organizations for her leadership on the Dulles Metrorail Project, including the Best of Reston in 2011 and leadership awards from the Committee for Dulles, the Dulles Area Transportation Association, the Dulles Corridor Rail Association, the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance.
Nicoson graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Architecture and from Pratt Institute with an MS in Planning.  She is a member of the American Planning Association, Urban Land Institute, and Lambda Alpha International and serves on the policy committees of many business groups.  Nicoson is on the Associates Board of the Wolf Trap Foundation and the Children Science Center.
September 17th~Patricia Nicoson, Dulles Corridor Rail 2015-09-17 04:00:00Z 0

Republican Nominee for the 34th District
Virginia House of Delegates
Craig and his wife Kristin, along with their son Jackson, make their home in McLean, Virginia. They
can also be found working the family farm in Great Falls, Virginia.
What drives Craig’s interest in politics is his passion to broaden the community of people actively
engaged in the conservative dialogue by focusing on core values of fiscal restraint, limited
government, and strong national defense and approaching matters with a strong sense of humanity
and belief in liberty for all. He concentrates his time on economic development initiatives and
reaching out to those groups that, despite extraordinary commonality, have not yet found a voice or a
home in the Republican Party. Building these coalitions around what makes us common is a must
while creating space for thoughtful disagreement and respectful debate. Craig is a firm believer in
American exceptionalism but he also knows this global leadership role that provides all Americans
immeasurable benefit is not a guarantee unless we all choose to make the sacrifices necessary to
unite as a people and pursue strategic solutions to endure the test of time.
September 10th~Craig Parisot,Candidate for Delegate 2015-09-10 04:00:00Z 0
Introduction to Daniel Ally
Daniel Ally became a millionaire by the age of 24.He is the personal development expert and author of three books, which can be found in 40 different countries. He runs multiple businesses as he speaks to corporations all over the world. Daniel’s talk is entitled, “Think BIG. Do BIG. Win BIG.” Slap your palms together to welcome, Daniel Ally!
Daniel Ally Biography
Daniel Ally became a self-made millionaire at 24 years old, despite overcoming incredible odds.
Growing up in poverty in New York City, Daniel Ally decided to take his life to the next level at an early age. However, he didn’t find leaders who can help him and like many people, he fell into deep despair.
Before he realized that his purpose, Daniel had formerly struggled with drugs and alcohol in his teenage years. He always knew that he had potential, but he just couldn’t find his place in the world. He worked over 40 different odd-jobs by the time he was 21 years of age.
He was living so far below his potential, that he was living in his mother’s basement. Daniel was $100,000 in debt and was facing the possibility of quitting school and even getting fired from his job.
One day, he became enlightened when he picked up a book and started to read from cover to cover. Amazingly, Daniel was able to change his life and quickly pursued his destiny.
He suddenly knew that starting his own business was the only way that he could serve people in the best way possible, but like many people, he didn’t know where and how to start.
In his first year of self-discovery, Daniel decided to attend hundreds of meetings and made himself known by helping others. He was an active volunteer in the community.
His contagious charisma made an impact quickly on many people and he was soon asked to share his methods and wisdom of how he succeeded so rapidly. Thus, Daniel’s company, The Ally Way was born. Daniel tells the story of his miraculous story about how he had become successful.
Today, Daniel has given over 1,000 presentations to tens of thousands of people in hundreds of cities around the planet. Since the beginning of the decade, Daniel has built a multi-million dollar consulting company with his staff that has created brands for mega companies, published books, and helped many digital marketers in business for those who want to build their influence.
He is an author of two bestselling books, “You Are the Boss” and “The Winner’s Lifestyle”, which can also be found in 40 different countries in 8 translations.  Find his books on Amazon and you’ll see how inspired you’ll be when you read it. Get yours today!
Truly, Daniel has overcome the adversities by beating the odds. In the future, you can be certain to hear the inspirational words from Daniel’s voice as he reaching millions of people who want to find hope in their lives.
Whether it’s productivity, performance, or prosperity, Daniel has mastered these topics and proudly presents an opportunity to anyone who has been or wants to be influenced by his tremendous leadership.
From celebrities to centennials to CEOs, Daniel Ally has penetrated the craniums and souls of his audience with his thought-provoking messages about exceeding expectations in life and business by living the American Dream.
Daniel has been on dozens of television and radio shows that has been seen and heard by millions of people. Daniel is an active participant in many civic clubs in his hometown.
In 2014, he received The American Literacy Corporation Community Service Award for his services and advocacy to increase the literacy rate of students all across the United States. This is one of the many dozen awards that Daniel has received within the last several years.
Daniel also received two bachelor’s degrees from Penn State University and has taken MBA and Doctoral Courses as well. He is frequently asked to give commencement speeches to college and universities all over the world because of his achievements. He is also scheduled to give three TEDx talks in the next 12 months.
Indeed, you’ll find yourself laughing in tears and filling up your notebooks, like many inspired individuals have, when you learn from the Millionaire Millennial, Daniel Ally.
September 3rd~Daniel Ally 2015-09-03 04:00:00Z 0
Brian Summers directs At Risk Children Foundation’s finance, information technology, legal review and corporate services functions. Summers, a proven leader in business with 25 years of experience in corporate leadership, finance and operations management exemplifies strong faith in God with an acute business acumen. In 2011, Summers joined the ARCF organization.
Summers’ career has consisted with in a Private Bank group, a Mortgage bank, an Oil & Gas Firm and an IT Firm. He and his wife, Melany are blessed with six children. Together, they have two decades of service through their Church for the spiritual development of children in the US and abroad. 
August 27th~Brian Summers 2015-08-27 04:00:00Z 0
Bio and Photo coming soon.

I am Angelo Maker, one of the 3,800 orphans called The Lost Boys/Girls of Sudan who were brought to this country by the United States Government in 2001.  My village was attacked during the civil war that escalated in Southern Sudan in 1983, a war that claimed over two million lives.  Only seven years old at the time, I watched helplessly as my mother and two brothers were brutally murdered.  I joined a large group of boys who were also displaced, and we began our long, hazardous journey across Sudan into neighboring Ethiopia.  Many died along the way because of the lack of food and water, exposure to the elements, attacks from wild animals, and the pursuit of government military forces.  By the grace of God, I survived.  After living in a refugee camp in Ethiopia for three years, the Lost Boys were forced to move back to Sudan when the Ethiopian government was overthrown.  As we were leaving Ethiopia, we were attacked on both sides of the border by Ethiopian and Sudanese military forces.  Some Lost Boys successfully fled across the river separating Sudan and Ethiopia, but many drowned because they did not know how to swim or were attacked by crocodiles.  Once again, I managed to survive.  I, and the remaining Lost Boys, spent another harrowing year trying to stay alive in Sudan while fighting off starvation and the Sudanese government that still wanted us dead so that we would not seek revenge.  The United Nations took notice and removed us from Sudan, placing us in refugee camps in Kenya.  We lived there for nine years and received basic sustenance and education.  In 1999, the United States began a program that focused on bringing 3,800 Lost Boys/Girls to America so we would have a chance to educate ourselves and return to Sudan to build a better future for our people.  This program continued until heightened security after the 9/11 attack forced the program to shut down.




My homeland remains dear to my heart and I remain very active in numerous efforts to foster awareness for the plight of the South Sudanese people, working to create a better future for friends and family in South Sudan.  I have driven to D.C. over 130 times to join other Lost Boys and American friends to meet with people in the U.S. State Department and other government agencies to bring them up-to-date on the current issues in my home country.  Prior to the 2011 referendum vote to form a separate South Sudan, I and other Lost Boys of Sudan met with U.S. Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee to discuss the political dynamics between northern and southern Sudan, and the challenges facing the upcoming referendum.

I am currently residing in Newport News, VA with my wife, daughter and two sons.  I am working as a forklift driver at a Wal-Mart logistics center. I just graduated with a Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership from Regent University.  I previously graduated from Thomas Nelson Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration, and Old Dominion University with a double major Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies and Political Science.

Over the last few years, I have worked with an amazing team of Americans to build a non-profit organization Abukloi (Dinka for “We Can”) to build a school in my hometown of Rumbek, South Sudan.  I recently returned from a trip to South Sudan and am very happy to announce that the school is doing well. We have surmounted numerous challenges to get to this point but still have a lot of work ahead of us to build a sustainable and effective school.  Brothers and Sisters, your support can make a huge difference in the lives of South Sudanese children who are hungry for education after decades of civil war

August 20th ~ Angelo Maker, The Lost Boys of Sudan 2015-08-20 04:00:00Z 0

School Partnerships – More Efficient and Effective


When we shorten our partnership agreement from six legal pages to one page, well…that’s when we felt like we could do anything!  Join Fairfax County Public Schools partnership coordinator Jay Garant for a humorous and informative session about partnership development in Fairfax County Public Schools.  Learn about the Donations Portal, Savings for Staff, Collect for Kids and a unique matching tool called the FCPS Partnership Starter.  Q&A time too!


Jay Garant has 28 years of professional media, communications and business relations experience.   He has worked for Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) for 19 years serving as television producer/director, communications specialist, senior communications specialist and director of communications before becoming Coordinator for Business and Community Partnerships.

Prior to joining Fairfax County Public Schools, Jay worked as a reporter on Capitol Hill for WNVT in Northern Virginia, was an Emmy nominate television producer/reporter at Florida Public Television, and TV Producer/Director in the City Manager's office for the City of Rockville, Maryland.

As the school system’s partnerships leader, Jay works with businesses, community groups and school employees developing meaningful engagement opportunities.  In Fairfax County where ten Fortune 500 companies are headquartered, there’s considerable and interesting engagement.  To manage the community generosity, Jay developed and promoting the Give Me Five campaign which succinctly advertises the five major partnership models in FCPS, and continues to automate many of the office’s functions.  Jay lead the efforts to develop the FCPS Donations Portal, the Savings for Staff merchant coupon program, and most recently the FCPS Partnership Starter a matching tool for potential partners.

A graduate of West Virginia University, Jay is currently a member of the National School Public Relations Association and its Chesapeake Chapter, a member of the Board of Directors for the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce, and a graduate of Leadership Fairfax 2011.  Jay’s work in communications and outreach has been recognized locally and nationally through multiple awards.  He frequently is invited to speaking engagements about communications and outreach throughout the country.

August 6th ~ Jay Garant, FCPS Administrator, Business & Community Partnerships 2015-08-06 04:00:00Z 0
July 30th~ Karen Washburn,Great Falls Historian 2015-07-29 04:00:00Z 0
July 23rd ~ Vance Zavela, The Rotary Foundation 2015-07-23 00:00:00Z 0
Gina Cocomello provides Marketing and Outreach for NV Rides. NV Rides supports seniors aging in place in Northern Virginia by increasing the capacity of community groups providing volunteer-driver transportation programs. She has over 20 years of development and community relations experience.  Gina was the 2010 Chairman, Board of Directors for the Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce where she also served as the Chair of the Nonprofit Committee for 4 years. She is a former Board member of the Bite Me Cancer Foundation and continues to serve on their Advisory Council. Outside of work, she also volunteers her time and skills for several community organizations. Gina says, "I truly believe in giving back to the community where I live and work." Originally from New York, Gina has lived in Northern Virginia long enough to consider this area her hometown. She lives in Fairfax with her husband David Patterson. Gina and her husband enjoy attending Community Theater in Northern Virginia and when they travel.
NV Rides is a network of service providers aiming to enhance and improve volunteer assisted transportation throughout the region. In partnership with Fairfax County and Jewish Council for the Aging (JCA), with additional support from The Community Foundation For Northern Virginia, the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (The J) is administering this community-wide initiative so that more non-driving older adults will be able to get where they need go at no cost, and “age in place” for as long as possible.
Support seniors aging in place in Northern Virginia by increasing the capacity of community groups providing volunteer-driver transportation programs.
July 16th ~ Gina Cocomello, NV Rides 2015-07-15 04:00:00Z 0
Dear Fellow Great Falls Rotarian
Hello and happy "mid week"!

A quick message about our upcoming meeting tomorrow, July 16th .
Gina Cocomello provides Marketing and Outreach for NV Rides. NV Rides supports seniors aging in place in Northern Virginia by increasing the capacity of community groups providing volunteer-driver transportation programs. She has over 20 years of development and community relations experience.  Gina was the 2010 Chairman, Board of Directors for the Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce where she also served as the Chair of the Nonprofit Committee for 4 years. She is a former Board member of the Bite Me Cancer Foundation and continues to serve on their Advisory Council. Outside of work, she also volunteers her time and skills for several community organizations. Gina says, "I truly believe in giving back to the community where I live and work." Originally from New York, Gina has lived in Northern Virginia long enough to consider this area her hometown. She lives in Fairfax with her husband David Patterson. Gina and her husband enjoy attending Community Theater in Northern Virginia and when they travel.
Support seniors aging in place in Northern Virginia by increasing the capacity of community groups providing volunteer-driver transportation programs.
NV Rides is a network of service providers aiming to enhance and improve volunteer assisted transportation throughout the region. In partnership with Fairfax County and Jewish Council for the Aging (JCA), with additional support from The Community Foundation For Northern Virginia, the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (The J) is administering this community-wide initiative so that more non-driving older adults will be able to get where they need go at no cost, and “age in place” for as long as possible.

Simply come to breakfast at River Bend Country Club tomorrow and experience great fellowship and learn about a great topic presented by our guest speaker!

Vance Zavela, will be our guest speaker on July 23rd. Vance will discuss the Rotary Foundation. 
Yours in Rotary Service,
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This Week In Rotary (July 16, 2015) 2015-07-13 04:00:00Z 0


Beatrice Kilel, PhD is the author of several books in STEM Education and applied subjects for K-12 students. Her unrelenting belief is that by introducing these very critical subjects to students sooner than later, they will be able to compete better on the global stage in research, innovation, and technology. Beatrice has worked in corporate America, taught informatics at different colleges, consulted, performed curriculum development, and participated in accreditation. Her other passion is entrepreneurship and the role of middle class. Her research interests include and not exclusively comparative genomics, next-generation sequencing, data analytics and visualization, cybersecurity, translational research informatics, and health informatics. She hopes to write fiction someday (when she grows up!). Her PhD is in bioinformatics and is a graduate of Virginia Tech and George Mason universities.

AFRICA: Last Investment Frontier. A Middle Class Approach.

Often viewed as frontier markets, sub-Saharan economies are gradually advancing towards the top ranks of emerging economies hitherto dominated by South Africa and the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, and China). Economists have reported that the first decade of the 21st century shows the fastest economies from sub-Saharan Africa. As Asia’s economies slow and its wages rise, Africa will become the next preferred destination for labor-intensive manufacturing of products such as garments and shoes. Its large domestic market of 1.2 billion people will serve as a further attraction for low-cost light manufacturing. Although Africa has very many times in the past decades had false economic dawns, this one seems to be like none other as market liberalization and improved management of finances is spurring and boosting growth all around. Indeed several factors are so well aligned aided by technology and the role of the middle class entrepreneurships that it is not possible any longer to ignore the region as a player in the world economy.

July 9th ~ Beatrice Kilel, PhD ~ Africa:Last Investment Frontier 2015-07-09 04:00:00Z 0
Learn more about the various organizations that we support domestically and abroad.  Incoming President, Sean Plunkett, will review our organization, our successes and our goals for the new Rotary year.
July 2nd ~ Great Falls Rotary - The Year Ahead 2015-07-02 04:00:00Z 0

Mr. O'Reilly, a native Northern Virginian and a resident of Herndon for more than 30 years, was elected to the Herndon Town Council in May 2000.  In May 2002, he was re-elected to a second term.  In May 2004, he was elected Mayor, which office he held until June 30, 2006. He recently served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Governing Board of the Fairfax Falls Church Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness. Mr. O’Reilly is a member of the Board of Directors of the Dulles Chamber of Commerce and he serves on the Economic Development Committee and is Co-Chair of the Herndon Chamber of Commerce. He also serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the Council for the Arts of Herndon.
Michael O’Reilly holds a B.S. in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University (1976) and a J.D. from the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University of America (1979).  He has been a practicing attorney for more than 35 years in Northern Virginia.  From 1979 until July 31, 2002, he practiced with the Tyson's Corner law firm of Rees, Broome & Diaz, P.C., where he also served as President.  He is the owner and principal of The O’Reilly Law Firm, located in downtown Herndon, which he opened on August 1, 2002.
Mr. Klein currently serves as Director of the Office to Prevent and End Homelessness in Fairfax County, Virginia since being appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in March 2009. Currently Mr. Klein oversees new Fairfax-Falls Church Community Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness.  This Partnership includes the recently established Office to Prevent and End Homelessness, a newly developed Governing Board as well as a Consumer Advisory Council. Under Dean’s direction the Office oversees the community’s Fairfax-Falls Church 10 Year plan to prevent and end homelessness.
Prior to working in his current position he served as the Senior Community Relations Manager at the Freddie Mac Foundation, at the time the Metropolitan DC area’s largest corporate philanthropic funder.  Mr. Klein oversaw the Foundation’s largest focus area, Stable Homes Stable Families portfolio, which comprised of grants locally and nationally that supported Housing First, resident services, transitional housing and supportive housing programs that assist homeless and vulnerable families. While at the Foundation Mr. Klein also oversaw the Foundation’s investments in the Gulf Coast area after Hurricane Katrina and was responsible for managing the Foundation’s on-going grantmaking in New Orleans.
Mr. Klein came to the Foundation from Doorways for Women and Families in Arlington, VA where he was Executive Director and oversaw all operations for the organization including a Safehouse for Domestic Violence, Emergency Shelter for homeless families, a Thrift Store and transitional housing for families.  Dean also served for six years as Executive Director of Shelter House overseeing this organization and serving homeless families in Fairfax County, Virginia.
Dean received in 2015 the Katherine K Hanley Public Service Award. Dean was also recently recognized in 2014 as a recipient of the The A. Heath Onthank Award the highest honor Fairfax County bestows on its employees. Dean recently completed Leadership Greater Washington as a member of the Class of 2014 and is also a graduate of both Leadership Arlington and Leadership Fairfax, year-long leadership training programs involving leaders from the private and public sectors and from local government.
Mr. Klein earned a Master of Social Work degree from Howard University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Advertising from Ohio State University.
June 25th ~ Michael O'Reilly & Dean Klein, Fairfax County's 10 Year Plan to Prevent & End Homelessness 2015-06-25 00:00:00Z 0
2nd Annual Charity Bocce Tournament
Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Great Falls Virginia
To Benefit: Two Schools in Tela - Honduras
When: Saturday June 20, 2015 from 1.00 – 5.00 PM Rain or Shine
Where: Great Falls Village Centre Green
“Suggested” Team Entry Fee: $500 per team
Donations are Tax Deductible; Prizes available
Make checks payable to: Great Falls Rotary Foundation Inc.
June 20th ~ Bocce Tournament (1:00-5:00 pm) Great Falls Village Green 2015-06-20 04:00:00Z 0
Posted on Jun 18, 2015
** New Leadership Induction Event **
Congratulate the incoming and outgoing leadership of our club.
This is an event for all members (and spouses) and prospective members.
WHEN : June 18, 2015 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm
WHERE: L'Auberge Chez Francois
Drinks and hors d'oeuvres served
Please RSVP to Roz Drayer :
June 18th ~ Induction Event - L'Auberge Chez Francois 2015-06-18 04:00:00Z 0

Lisa coaches clients on how to feel and look their best. She is a retired Registered Nurse, Certified Health Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher and provides corporate health and wellness services as well as individual coaching. As a Registered Nurse, Lisa first specialized in medical nursing where she witnessed an often ineffective, “revolving door” syndrome. She later discovered a more effective treatment for chronic disease that includes a holistic approach for both individuals and families. She now works with businesses and clients to reach health and wellness goals without “diets and deprivation”. She understands the many stressors men and women are faced with today. She has successfully managed her own high blood pressure and adrenal stress through diet, yoga and lifestyle changes. Lisa is certified to teach Vinyasa Yoga, Let Your Yoga Dance and Laughter Yoga and is a member of International Health Coaches Association and the Mid-Atlantic Health Coach Association.

Lisa believes that good health is like an onion and we often need to peel back the layers to get to the root cause of the dis-ease. This requires a deeper relationship with self that can be initiated through individual coaching. This process can be both energizing and exciting. She does not believe in “no pain, no gain” but instead teaches self-care tools and compassion. It is, this “no pain, no gain” attitude that is counterproductive to good health, as you can hear in her Adrenal Stress webinar at It is impossible to heal or lose weight when you are in “fight or flight” mode. “ For more information see

June 18th ~ Lisa Jackson, RN ~ Carpe Diem Wellness 2015-06-18 00:00:00Z 0


Bjorn Skjaevestad owns and manages Altavida, an investment and business development company focusing on "Opportunities from the Sea". Portfolio companies include: Veso ( - an aquamedical contract research facility and the leading distributor of vaccines and pharmaceuticals to the salmon farming industry. AFGC – ( - a supplier of improved genetic materials and provider of applied genetic improvement services to the International Aquaculture Industry and Delante ( – a technology company focusing on developing more consumer-friendly marine derived dietary supplements.

Before starting Altavida, Bjorn was CEO of AKVAFORSK (now part of NOFIMA) – a research institute focusing on aquaculture and had several management positions within Orkla ASA, including start up and management of their omega-3 ingredients business (

June 11th ~ Bjorn & Regan Skjaevestad, Altavida, Inc. 2015-06-11 00:00:00Z 0

Since 2006 …… leaders have come to Steve Dorfman to create – or reinvigorate – their company's customer service culture via leadership consulting and staff training. His highly interactive talks and training programs are designed to educate, engage, and develop teams. Your results include:

• "Employee-owned" remarkable experiences for customers and clients;

• Consistent referral business, and;

• Repeat customer loyalty 

As you might imagine, all of this all translates into a strengthened culture and increased profits.Before founding Driven to Excel, Inc. …… Steve spent 11 years (1995 - 2006) as a sales consultant for a luxury automaker. Yes, the car business ... not exactly a business with a reputation for impeccable customer service. So when Steve entered the business at 23 he was determined to make a positive difference by creating remarkable client experiences – His unwavering commitment to impeccable service earned Steve "Salesman of the Year" 7 years in a row, while maintaining a CSI (Customer Satisfaction Index) rating in the top 1% nationally. He worked by appointment only as repeat and referral clients ultimately accounted for 70% of his sales.Before the car business …… Steve spent 8 rapid-growth years in the hospitality industry. Today, he also hosts the We Mean Business! TV show( where he has conducted more than 85 interviews with top executives, thought leaders and bestselling authors. In 2007, he co-founded the 350-member YPLG (Young Professionals Leadership Group). And in 2011 Steve married Maggie; the love of his life. They were married at Lake Anna, Va. – their favorite weekend spot for boating, wakeboarding and fun in the sun, especially when shared with close friends and family. Steve and Maggie reside in Gaithersburg, MD – just outside of Washington, DC – and welcomed their first child in March 2014.

June 4th ~ Steve Dorfman, Chief Customer Experience Officer, Driven to Excel 2015-06-04 00:00:00Z 0
Growing up with a father who worked in structural engineering and taking an early interest in human anatomy, Dr. Thomas Klein knew at the age of 12 that he wanted to pursue a medical career. Originally from Emmaus, Pennsylvania, Dr. Klein earned a BA in biology from Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania, before going on to graduate from medical school at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He completed his surgical internship in Danville, Pennsylvania, and did an orthopaedic surgery residency at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC.
Whether returning injured athletes to full athletic participation, helping children and their parents feel comfortable while treating various pediatric fractures, or helping older adults return to normal lifestyles after joint replacement surgery, Dr. Klein enjoys working with patients of all ages. His particular orthopaedic interests include knee arthroscopy and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. He also enjoys seeing the positive results of using new arthroscopic techniques for shoulder surgery and performing total knee and hip replacements for arthritis patients who are not responding to more conservative treatment.
Dr. Klein is active in medical leadership roles and has served as Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedics at Reston Hospital and as Quality Management Chairman of Commonwealth Orthopaedics. He has also enjoyed the honor of being recognized in several issues of the Washingtonian Magazine as one of the top orthopaedic doctors in the region.
In a role that suits his interest in sports medicine, Dr. Klein has had the opportunity to treat some of the area's most elite athletes over the past twenty years. He also assists in providing orthopaedic coverage for Herndon and Langley High Schools.
Dr. Klein is married with three children. For more than ten years, he has coached youth soccer in his community. In his leisure time, Dr. Klein remains active in sports including adult soccer, mountain biking, running, skiing, tennis, and golf. And when time allows, he also enjoys traveling with his family and dabbling with oil paints.


May 28th ~ Thomas J. Klein, MD, Orthopaedic Surgeon - Managing the Aging Shoulder & Knee 2015-05-28 00:00:00Z 0

Shirley has 30 years of experience with college counseling and education.  She has her Masters from Columbia and has spent time with the US Department of Education, local high schools (TJ and West Springfield) and worked as a college counselor in New York before moving to Northern Virginia.  She has been quoted in US News and World Report, The Washington Post, Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal.  Founded in 1989, Posse identifies public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential who may be overlooked by traditional college selection processes. Posse extends to these students the opportunity to pursue personal and academic excellence by placing them in supportive, multicultural teams—Posses—of 10 students. Posse partner colleges and universities award Posse Scholars four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarships.

May 21st ~ Shirley Bloomquist, College Counselor, Posse College Student Program 2015-05-21 00:00:00Z 0

John T. Frey grew up in Fairfax County. He has been the Fairfax Circuit Court Clerk since 1992. Prior to becoming Clerk, John was a principal in the law firm of Frey & Autry, P.C.

John is a past president of the National Association of County Recorders, Election Officials and Clerks. He received the Public Official of the Year Award from the National Association of County Recorders, Election Officials and Clerks in 2006, for his commitment to excellence in local government.

John and his wife Sheila live in West Springfield. They have two children, Robert and Stephanie.


The obscure office of the Clerk of Court.
The Clerk’s office touches almost every household in Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax. In the last 8 years you or a family member may have gotten married; become a Notary Public; received a concealed handgun permit; started a small business and registered your trade name; bought, sold or refinanced your home; had an adoption, divorce or name change; probated the Will of a loved one.  These are just a few of the over 800 statutory duties of the Clerk.



May 14th ~ John T. Frey, Fairfax Circuit Court Clerk - The Obscure Office of the Clerk of Court 2015-05-14 00:00:00Z 0


Gary Kaplan, D.O. is the founder and medical director of the Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine and author ofTotal Recovery. A pioneer and leader in the field of integrative medicine, Dr. Kaplan is one of only 19 physicians in the country to be board-certified in both Family Medicine and Pain Medicine. Dr. Kaplan is a Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine and serves on the Advisory Committee to Health and Human Services for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.


May 7th ~ Dr. Gary Kaplan, Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine 2015-05-07 00:00:00Z 0
Fred Singer is an Internet pioneer and entrepreneur whose career and philanthropic activities have spanned a broad range of interests from education, media, arts, science and veteran affairs.

Before Echo360, Fred was a Senior Advisor to Masayoshi Son, President and CEO of SoftBank and Chairman of Sprint’s Board of Directors.  Fred was also active as a venture partner at SoftBank Capital in the US.

Fred held a number of senior roles at AOL including Chief Operating Officer of AOL Studios/Interactive Services, Chief Operating Officer for ICQ (instant messaging) and Senior Vice President of Emerging Products. Prior to AOL, Fred was a founder of the Washington Post Online Service (now and a Consultant with Bain & Company.

Fred has served on a number of business, charitable and educational boards including DoubleClick, Motley Fool Company, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (International Committee), Queens University School of Business, and Upper Canada College. His current board work includes Intact Financial Corporation, the Langley School and “Warrior to Cyber Warrior”, a non-profit that helps wounded warriors find meaningful training and careers in cyber security. He was named one of Washingtonian Magazine's 2013 "Tech Titans". Fred earned the “Venture Deal of the Year” award by the National Capital Chapter of the Association of Corporate Growth as a result of funding by Revolution Growth in 2012.

Fred holds an MBA from Harvard as well as an LLB, an MA in Philosophy, a BA with Distinction in Philosophy, and a BA with Honors in Commerce from Queen’s University in Canada.
April 30th ~ Fred Singer, Internet Pioneer, Tech Trends in Education - Why your kids' college experience should not be the same as yours 2015-04-30 00:00:00Z 0
The Redskins from a business perspective: What happened and how they can win again
Ken Harvey 
Former NFL Linebacker, Author and president of JAKA Consulting group

Ken Harvey grew up in Austin, Texas. Shortly after attending U. C. Berkeley, he was selected for the first round, 12th overall, of the 1988 NFL draft by the Arizona Cardinals. There he played six seasons until signing with the Washington Redskins in 1994. He was selected to his fourth straight NFL Pro Bowl in 1997 and ended his career with 89 sacks, averaging 8.6 per season. Ken retired just prior to the start of the 1999 season.

In 2002, Ken received the prestigious honor of being nominated in the Washington Redskin’s highest accolade as one of “70 Greatest Redskins.” Shortly after receiving that honor, he was chosen and inducted into the “Redskins Ring of Fame at Fed Ex Field.”  He has been nominated for the 2014 Hall of Fame

Ken exemplifies creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. He is a publisher of several books and motivational speaker and currently works for ETS Corporation, one of the largest privately owned merchant processing companies in the country.
April 23rd ~ Ken Harvey, Former Redskins Player, Business Leader and Writer 2015-04-23 00:00:00Z 0

Ayurveda, which literally translated means "the science or knowledge of life" is the traditional medical system of India. Its origin dates back an estimated 5-10,000 years, and it is widely considered the oldest form of health care in the world
Ayurveda is more than treating an illness. It provides holistic solutions to health problems by using natural processes and methods to address disease at its root, thereby reducing symptoms in the long term. It customizes the treatment as per individual person’s unique physical, mental and emotional constitution to prevent disease and promote wellness.  Ayurveda is based on the premise that disease is the natural result of living out of harmony with our environment. Ayurveda's approach to healing becomes obvious: to re-establish harmony between self and environment. Once re-established, the need for the body to communicate disharmony diminishes, symptoms dissipate, and healing is said to have occurred. It uses a multitude of healing modalities including lifestyle recommendations, herbs, diet, aromas, meditation and yoga.
The attendees will learn about the causes of disease in the body and signs & symptoms of imbalance based on Ayurvedic philosophy. Why it is helpful in understanding the energetic makeup of one’s own unique body as well as how to stay healthy, disease-free and balanced. Attendees will get an insight on how minor adjustments to our daily routine or dietary change can have profound results on our health.
Ranjana is an Ayurvedic Health Practitioner intern from California College of Ayurveda. She is a holistic wellness practitioner and lifestyle coach. She offers personalized daily routine and nutritional guidelines as well as herbal remedies to assist her clients in achieving and maintaining healthy, disease-free & balanced lives.  She is a registered Yoga teacher with yoga alliance & trained in Yoga Nidra and has a Master’s degree in Indian history from Delhi University, India.  She is a certified HR professional (PHR) and has worked as a HR professional for Fortune 100 companies.

April 16th ~ Ranjana Chawla, Ayurveda - The Science or Knowledge of Life 2015-04-16 00:00:00Z 0
About us
Established in 2002, Empowered Women International (EWI) creates jobs and economic opportunity for immigrant, refugee, and low-income women in the Greater DC Metro Area. EWI offers an effective model of economic empowerment through entrepreneurship training, mentoring, access to markets and capital, and highly individualized support services that remove women from unemployment and isolation. EWI has helped more than 3,000 women lift themselves out of poverty, transform their own lives, and contribute to their communities.
EWI enables women to pursue their passion and creativity through entrepreneurship and micro-enterprise development. EWI provides entrepreneurship training, mentoring, market access and support services to help talented and high-potential immigrant, refugee and low-income women monetize their creative or cultural assets, artistic abilities, knowledge and skills, and become change-makers in their families, communities and the world.
EWI believes in a world in which women are treated with respect and dignity.
We believe in a world in which women are valued and rewarded fairly for their creative abilities, cultural assets, knowledge, and skills.
We believe in the extraordinary power of the arts, entrepreneurship, women's voices and their cultural heritage to empower women, transform their lives and livelihoods, and build multicultural understanding.
April 9th ~ Marga Fripp, Founder & Chief Visionary, Empowered Women International 2015-04-09 00:00:00Z 0

Nathalie W. Herrman writes a practical and motivational daily blog,  (  has a recently published book entitled Daily Enlightenments: 365 Days of Spiritual Reflection, and a second book, The Art of Good Habits: Health, Love, Presence, and Prosperity being published in the fall of 2015. She is also a personal trainer, massage therapist, motivational speaker, and Reiki master. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Boston University and has spent her life accumulating experience in the pursuit of optimal health and wellness in herself and others. Her work is the result of a genuine and enthusiastic love for life, people, words, and nature; her goal is to live with grace and be of service; and her fundamental philosophical premise is that happiness is not a point-of-arrival, but a state of being that is each individual's responsibility to maintain.
April 2nd ~ Nathalie Herrman, The Art of Good Habits 2015-04-02 00:00:00Z 0
Born in Chile, to a Bolivian father and German mother. Francisca was raised in Costa del Sol, Spain in a family of architects and builders. Her father was an internationally acclaimed Spanish architect, Melvin Villarroel Roldan, who designed luxury resorts and hotels on the Mediterranean coast and all over the world. Growing up in a multicultural family and surrounded by a philosophy, driven by her father, to “find ways to make a difference and pursue a passion” she decided to strip away from being one of many at an architectural firm in Washington, DC after graduating Magna cum laude from The School of Architecture at The Catholic University.
Francisca and her husband, Antonio Alonso, launched AV Architects in 2001 with a passion for architecture and a vision to provide full architectural services to high-end homeowners in the Washington Metropolitan Area. A year later, she realized that many of the designs were being compromised by third party builders. In 2002, she added a sister company, AV Builders, to control the construction process and provide their high-end clients with a single point of accountability from concept to completion. Her background, professional training, and dedication for her craft has led her to establish a unique design-build approach that is beautifully exhibited in many homes all over the Northern Virginia Area and maximizes the client’s investment budget.
Her unconformity with being one of many uniquely translates into her own philosophy through the creation of 360 Homes Living™. A philosophy that she currently shares with clients, colleagues and at speaking events. She thrives to empower people to create their dream
home around the idea that a home should feel “like you are on vacation all year round.”
Francisca’s experience has been highlighted in Profiles in Success: Inspiration from Executive Leaders in the Washington D.C. She is an inspiration to young professionals and her success serves as empowerment to many young Virginia women through her participation in the Hot Mommas Project and the Tyson’s Chamber of Commerce Shadow Program, among other mentoring programs. Sharing her father’s beliefs that architecture should reflect a social conscience, she is an active philanthropist who supports Habitat for Humanity, Second Chance, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital along with local causes in Great Falls, VA where her offices are located. Member of the National Association of Professional Women and Women in Architecture; among many other local national architecture and building associations, Francisca Villarroel Alonso is an influential entrepreneur and enthusiastic mother of four.
March 26th ~ Francisca Alonso , 360 Home Living 2015-03-26 00:00:00Z 0

Dong Xiang is the executive director of New Tang Dynasty (NTD) Television, Washington, D.C., which is the only independent TV network that broadcasts uncensored Chinese programming into China and around the world. In 2001, Mr. Xiang began producing and hosting "Weekly Economic Review," one of the few world financial programs in the United States spoken in Chinese. The 30-minute program covers economic news from the U.S., Europe and Asia, with in-depth analysis of current economic issues emerging between the U.S. and China. The program can potentially reach 100 million viewers.

Mr. Xiang is executive director of the Falun Dafa Association of Washington DC that presents the classical Chinese dance show Shen Yun to The Kennedy Center Opera House. Shen Yun has come to Washington annually since 2007. As a premiere, world-class dance and music company, Shen Yun Performing Arts brings the wonders of traditional Chinese culture to millions across the globe.

In the past three years, Mr. Xiang has given more than 70 speeches and presentations concerning China issues at various venues including:

 U.S. Office of Government Ethics

 U.S. Department of Interior

 Thompson Reuters

 Mississauga Living Arts Center

 McLean Rotary Club

 Goodwin House

 Alexandria Live and Learn Bethesda Center

 Capitol Hill Club

Mr. Xiang has been interviewed about Chinese traditional culture and the Shen Yun show by:

 ABC – ABC 7 News

 CBS – WUSA 9 News

 CNN Headline News – Local Edition

 FOX – Morning News

 NBC – Morning News


Mr. Xiang was also featured in a Wall Street Journal front page article on November 15, 2007.

March 19th ~ Dong Xiang, The Essence & Renaissance of Traditional Chinese Culture 2015-03-19 00:00:00Z 0
*** Special Rotary Club Support Presentation *** 7:45 am
Cindy Chambers of Tell Me Town and their photographer will present the Diabetes books and Little Stuffed Beamer Puppies to the group of Doctors with the Great Falls Rotary and Great Falls Rotary Foundation.
Followed by...

Charles McCool is a travel skills expert, author, trainer, and blogger. His articles and travel advice have appeared in hundreds of sources since 1990, including CNNFrommers, and USA Today, and he was profiled in the World's Smartest Traveler series. An early user of the internet and e-mail (since 1978), Charles McCool has been finding and booking travel deals online since 1991. He has traveled to all 50 states in the USA and to five continents. Over a two year period, he traveled to four continents without paying a dime. He has taught others how to travel more effectively—save money, time, and stress AND have more fun on EVERY trip—since 1992, through do-it-yourself trip planning and other travel classes. Charles is also a Virtuoso travel advisor and designs dream trips for clients. For more information, visit or contact him at
March 12th ~ Charles McCool, Luxury Travel Expert 2015-03-12 00:00:00Z 0
Ayurveda, which literally translated means "the science or knowledge of life" is the traditional medical system of India. Its origin dates back an estimated 5-10,000 years, and it is widely considered the oldest form of health care in the world
Ayurveda is more than treating an illness. It provides holistic solutions to health problems by using natural processes and methods to address disease at its root, thereby reducing symptoms in the long term. It customizes the treatment as per individual person’s unique physical, mental and emotional constitution to prevent disease and promote wellness.  Ayurveda is based on the premise that disease is the natural result of living out of harmony with our environment. Ayurveda's approach to healing becomes obvious: to re-establish harmony between self and environment. Once re-established, the need for the body to communicate disharmony diminishes, symptoms dissipate, and healing is said to have occurred. It uses a multitude of healing modalities including lifestyle recommendations, herbs, diet, aromas, meditation and yoga.
The attendees will learn about the causes of disease in the body and signs & symptoms of imbalance based on Ayurvedic philosophy. Why it is helpful in understanding the energetic makeup of one’s own unique body as well as how to stay healthy, disease-free and balanced. Attendees will get an insight on how minor adjustments to our daily routine or dietary change can have profound results on our health.
Ranjana is an Ayurvedic Health Practitioner intern from California College of Ayurveda. She is a holistic wellness practitioner and lifestyle coach. She offers personalized daily routine and nutritional guidelines as well as herbal remedies to assist her clients in achieving and maintaining healthy, disease-free & balanced lives.  She is a registered Yoga teacher with yoga alliance & trained in Yoga Nidra and has a Master’s degree in Indian history from Delhi University, India.  She is a certified HR professional (PHR) and has worked as a HR professional for Fortune 100 companies.
February 26th (SNOW DAY - Meeting Cancelled) ~ Ranjana Chawla, Ayurveda Practitioner 2015-02-26 00:00:00Z 0
Donn Davis
Donn Davis is Managing Partner of Revolution Growth and co-founded Revolution LLC with Steve Case in 2005.   Revolution invests in and helps build technology-enabled disruptive companies.
Donn was CEO of Exclusive Resorts, building the company from a start-up to the acclaimed market leader, scaling the company to $1 billion of owned luxury residences and hospitality operations in 40 world-wide destinations.  During the formative period of the consumer internet, Donn was a senior executive at America Online where he served on the company-wide operating committee and led the AOL Interactive Properties Group as COO and then President.
From 1992 to 1998, Donn served in senior roles at Tribune Company.  He was founder and President of Tribune Ventures, one of the first and most successful strategic corporate venture capital groups.   At 29 years old, he was named Counsel for the beloved Chicago Cubs, making him the youngest team attorney in Major League Baseball negotiating player contracts.
Donn started his career as an Associate at Sidley & Austin.  He received his B.S. in Finance from Miami University (Ohio) in 1985 and his J.D. from University of Michigan Law School in 1988.
February 19th ~ Donn Davis, Co-founder, Revolution ~ 5 Big Trends for the Next 5 Years Dan Lundeen 2015-02-19 00:00:00Z 0
Kyung Pak's Bio:
1986 Kyung came to USA
1995 – 2000 Served as Board of Director at Korean School in New York
2000 – 2002 Served as President of Parent Association at Korean School in New york
2003-2004 Served as Vice President of Korean Parent Association at Horace Mann High School in New York
2004-2005 Served as President of Korean Parent Association at Horace Mann High School in New York
2005-Present Served as Director of Korean Spirit & Culture Promotion Project
2007-Present Served as President of Taste of Korea
Korean Spirit & Culture Promotion Project (KSCPP) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is dedicated to raising awareness of Korean history and culture.
The headquarters is located in South Korea and branches are in the Unites States as well as in Germany and the United Kingdom. In appreciation for the United State’s support for Korea during the Korean War and in the years that followed, since 2009, KSCPP has held over 6,000 complimentary presentations about the history and culture of Korea throughout the world including modern industry after Korean War. In the United States, KSCPP has held over 1,100 complimentary presentations at various venues such as schools, libraries, rotary clubs, lions clubs, and museums. So far, we have produced 23 kinds of short documentaries in seven different languages.
Even today, literature and internet sources that provide accurate and in-depth information for people of other countries about Korea and its past are few and far between. Because of this, KSCPP has published books on Korea's 5,000 year long history, the spirit of its people, and its cultural values. So far, we have published eight different publications in four different languages and printed over 730,000 copies. All books are free of charge and available as an e-book on our website, We supply books to schools for their classes for free also.
In addition, these books have been selected as the official gift for the guests of the G20 summit meeting of Finance Ministers in Kyeongju, South Korea and the G20 summit meeting in Seoul, South Korea in 2010. In total, 3,000 books have been delivered to the heads of nations, ministers, and various officials.
Additionally KSCPP has held nationwide essay contests for middle school and high school students. Currently, KSCPP's 8th national essay contest is in progress.
February 12th ~ Kyung Pak, Korean Spirit & Culture Promotion Project 2015-02-12 00:00:00Z 0
February 11th~Thomas Seneca 2015-02-11 05:00:00Z 0
** Meeting will be held at L'Auberge Chez Francois. **

 Biography for Chef Roland Mesnier 

Born into a family of nine children in the tiny village of Bonnay, France, Roland Mesnier discovered his vocation by accident on a summer day at the age of twelve. Apprenticing to his older brother Jean, Roland began working at the local patisserie in exchange for room and board. From there he was hired as the pastry sous chef at the iconic Savoy Hotel in London, then was hired as the Executive Pastry Chef at what is now the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris. He then spent nine years at the legendary Princess Bermuda resort where he met his wife, Martha. Chef Mesnier came to the U.S. in April 1976 as Executive Pastry Chef at The Homestead, a venerable resort hotel in Hot Springs, Virginia. 

Hired in 1979 by first lady Rosalyn Carter, Roland Mesnier became the first ever non-American to serve in the White House and went on to become the longest tenured chef ever – pastry or culinary - in the history of the White House 

He developed and taught the first professional Pastry Arts Program at L’Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda, MD – currently ranked in the Top 10 Culinary schools in the U.S. Chef Mesnier has won 18 Gold medals, 4 Silver and 3 Bronze for his pastry creations in competitions around the world. He is a member of the Academie Culinaire de France and the recipient of many awards and accolades which include: the French Legion of Honor in 2005 – the highest honor bestowed on a French citizen; that same year he was inducted into the Chocolate and Pastry Hall of Fame. He was awarded a Doctorate of Culinary Arts from the prestigious Johnson & Wales University in South Carolina. He is the author of three books, Dessert University, Basic to Beautiful Cakes and All the Presidents Pastries: A Memoir. His fourth book, A Sweet World of White House Desserts, was released in the fall of 2011 by the White House Historical Association. 

While Chef Mesnier retired from the White House in 2006, he still travels the U.S. and around the world giving speeches, judging pastry competitions and participating in fund-raising events and book signings. 

Visit his website for more information and pictures of his work and to subscribe to his monthly newsletter. 

January 29th ~ @ L'Auberge Chez Francois ~ Roland Mesnier, The Last White House Pastry Chef 2015-01-29 00:00:00Z 0
Meeting to be held at l'Auberge Chez Francois)
Christopher M. Schroeder is an American entrepreneur, advisor and investor in interactive technologies and social communications.  He has written the first look at startups in the Arab World, “Startup Rising -- The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East” published in 2013, with a new release and update November 2014, by MacMillan/Palgrave, with a forward by Marc Andreessen. Schroeder was the CEO and Publisher of washingtonpost.newsweek interactive and co-founder of the Silicon Valley startup, sold in 2012.  He is an investor in Vox Media, Skift, Quibb, iBotta, Zignal labs among others, and in leading Silicon Valley venture capital funds.   Schroeder graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard College and later graduated with Honors from Harvard Business School. He has also worked in finance and private equity.  He serves on the board of advisers of the American University of Cairo School of Business, American University School of International Service, Oasis500, and the American Council on Germany.  He is on the Investment Committee of The Wamda Fund, one of the largest venture capital funds in the Middle East.  He has written extensively on startups and innovation and emerging growth markets and the Middle East for The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Fast Company, TechCrunch, Pando Daily, Business Insider among many others, and has been featured on Charlie Rose and Fareed Zakaria's 360.  He was named one of LinkedIn's first 50 Influencers.  He served on the staff of James Baker and Robert Zoellick in Bush (father) administration.  He has three adolescent children who still speak to him, and a patient wife.
January 22nd (@ L'Auberge Chez Francois) - Christopher M. Schroeder, A Silicon Valley Entrepreneur 2015-01-22 00:00:00Z 0
Are you in Grade 9 – 12?  Participate in the Rotary Speech Contest!
Each first place winner in the Area contests will compete in the final District Speech
Contest, which has awards of $1000 for first place, $500 for second and $250
for third.
Topic: Light up rotary
Visit: for more details.
Application deadline: Fill out the speech contest entry form at and email to before
Saturday, February, 08, 2015
Who can participate: Grade 9 – 12 Students
Contest date: Saturday, February 14th 2015 at 10AM
Where: Great Falls Library, 9830 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls, VA 22066 – (Conference room)
Additional Questions: Please contact Bala Sundar, Great Falls Rotary member at 703-843-3346
or email at
Rotary Speech Contest 2015-01-16 00:00:00Z 0
Terry Irving is an American four-time Emmy award-winning writer and producer. He has won three Peabody Awards, three DuPont Awards and has been a producer, editor or writer with ABC, CNN, Fox and MSNBC. He was in Washington DC in 1973 for a few weeks until deciding on career where he ended up riding a classic BMW R50/2 for ABC News during Watergate. Carrying that news film was the beginning of a 40-year long career that has included producing Emmy Award-winning television news, writing everything from magazine articles to standup comedy and developing many of the earliest forms of online media.  WEBSITE:
January 15th (@ BRIX American Bistro) ~ Terry Irving, Emmy award-winning writer and producer 2015-01-15 00:00:00Z 0
December 25th ~ No Meeting ** Merry Christmas ** 2014-12-25 00:00:00Z 0
Tim Roemer, former six-term U.S. representative for Indiana’s 3rd congressional district, most recently served as U.S. ambassador to India. He has a strong background in international trade and investment, education policy and national security.
During his tenure, Ambassador Roemer was charged with leading one of America’s largest diplomatic missions. Under the leadership of President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he was responsible for broadening and deepening the U.S.-India partnership. He oversaw the implementation of several key policies and initiatives, including increasing cooperation, technology transfer and commercial sales in the defense and space industries; signing the Counterterrorism Cooperation Initiative to further expand cooperation in areas such as intelligence and homeland security, border security, money laundering and terrorist financing; and working with the United States to assist India on its Global Center for Nuclear Energy Partnership. He also emphasized commerce and exports, helping move India from America’s 25th-largest trading partner to 12th.
Prior to his diplomatic appointment, Ambassador Roemer served for 12 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he was deeply engaged in efforts to improve access, standards and achievement for American education. He was a member of the 9/11 Commission and one of the first members of Congress to advocate for a more dynamic and entrepreneurial Department of Homeland Security. He also served on the Washington Institute’s Presidential Task Force on Combating the Ideology of Radical Extremism. Additionally, Ambassador Roemer has served on national commissions and advisory panels and on the board of directors for Oshkosh Corporation.
Known as a consensus-builder and problem-solver, Ambassador Roemer was also president of the Center for National Policy, where he brought together experts and policy-makers to facilitate political cooperation to address critical national security challenges.
Ambassador Roemer has served as a distinguished scholar at George Mason University and has taught at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at San Diego and master’s and doctoral degrees in American government from the University of Notre Dame. He has received distinguished alumnus awards from both schools.
December 18th ~ Ambassador Tim Roemer, International Affairs 2014-12-18 00:00:00Z 0
Craig is on the board of the 2015 World Police and Fire Games (WPFG).   Craig is also a Member of the Board of Advisors of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance where he engages senior leadership in government and industry around important policy matters facing the Commonwealth and our country. Among other interests, Craig is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth, the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, the Northern Virginia Technology Council, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Infragard, and the Northern Virginia Republican Business Forum. Craig earned his MBA from California State Polytechnic University and a BA from the University of South Carolina. He is also a certified PMP and a Certified Defense Acquisition Professional. Craig has pursued contract and legal studies through the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), computer science and engineering studies at the University of Florida, and continues his leadership education with The Aspen Institute. Craig also completed post-graduate work at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government having been selected for the highly competitive program Senior Executives in National and International Security.
The World Police and Fire Games is an international event that affords first responders from across the globe the opportunity to showcase their athletic abilities and technical expertise. Approximately 30-45k  athletes and families will attend Fairfax 2015 from late June to early July and are projected to generate $60-80 million dollars worth of revenue for Fairfax County. Many outside observers are also viewing Fairfax 2015 as a viability study for the Washington 2024 effort to host the Olympics. More detailed information can also be found at:
December 11th ~ Craig Parisot - World Police and Fire Games 2014-12-11 00:00:00Z 0
John Hillen.jpg
The Honorable Dr. John Hillen, Ph.D. is an Operating Partner at LLR Partners Inc. since 2014. The Honorable Dr. Hillen joined LLR Partners in 2014 and leverages deep operational and government contracting industry experience to help LLR evaluate new investments as well as support the leadership and strategy development of existing portfolio companies. He serves as the Chief Executive Officer and President of GTEC Cyber Solutions, Inc. The Honorable Dr. Hillen serves as the President of Global Strategies Group (USA) LLC of Global Strategies Group. He is Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel. He served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of Sotera Defense Solutions, Inc. from August 2008 to Nay 2013 and also served as its Chairman of the Board. The Honorable Dr. Hillen has been Vice Chairman of Advisory Board of Sotera Defense Solutions, Inc. since May 2013 and serves as its Director. He served as Director of Sotera Defense Solutions, Inc from January 2008 to April 04, 2011. The Honorable Dr. Hillen served as the President of CGI Federal, Inc. He was Head of the defense and intelligence business at American Management Systems Inc. He served as the Chief Operating Officer of Island ECN. The Honorable Dr. Hillen served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs from 2005 to 2007, where he was the senior US Government official and was responsible for the coordinating America’s diplomatic strategy with its military operations and integration of diplomatic and military policy. He served at CGI Technologies and Solutions, Inc. He has testified before Congress on many occasions and is a consultant to ABC News on military affairs, where he is frequently seen on Nightline, World News Tonight, and other ABC News programs. Prior to his business career, The Honorable Dr. Hillen served as an officer in special operations and conventional units in the United States Army for 12 years and was a military policy expert. He has been Chairman of The Board of Advisors at SOS International, Ltd since September 2013. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Applied Communication Sciences. The Honorable Dr. Hillen serves on the Board of Directors of CGI-AMS Secure Inc., and iMove Inc. The Honorable Dr. Hillen serves as a Trustee of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and Philadelphia University. He has been a Director of Applied Communication Sciences since January 18, 2012. He serves as Director of IAP Worldwide Services, Inc. He serves on the Board of Trustees of Philadelphia University. He is a Director of Software AG Government Solutions, National Review. He is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a Member Director at Professional Services Council and served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Professional Services Council 2012-2013. He served as a Director of Global Defense Technology & Systems, Inc. from August 2008 to April 4, 2011. He served as Member of the Business Advisory Board at Arxan Technologies, Inc. The Honorable Dr. Hillen is the author of two critically acclaimed books, a contributor to several more, and has published dozens of articles in publications such as Foreign Affairs, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. He is a highly sought-after expert on international security and the American military. He is the author of “Blue Helmets: The Strategy of United Nations Military Operations,” has edited other books on international security and has published numerous articles and commentaries in professional and academic journals and newspapers, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and the Council on Foreign Relations and a Trustee of the the Foreign Policy Research Institute and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. The Honorable Dr. Hillen is also a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute - a recognition given annually to 20 of the world's outstanding young entrepreneurial leaders. The Honorable Dr. Hillen has a B.A. in Policy Studies/History from Duke University; an M.A. in Defense Studies from King’s College, London University; a Phd(D.Phil) in International Relations from Oxford University; and a Master’s of Business Administration from the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University.
December 4th ~ The Honorable Dr. John Hillen - GovCon Space: A Mature Market? 2014-12-04 00:00:00Z 0

After many years as a successful corporate executive, Cindy Chambers left Corporate America to pursue her interest in helping those in need.
In the past few years alone, Cindy has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities.  She is on the board of Every Child Fed andVirginia Airborne Search & Rescue.  She is a member of the leadership team of the Inova Loudoun Hospital Foundation Board, and is an honorary board member of the Salvation Army.  She was the 2012, 2013, and now 2014 Auction Chair for the Inova Gala which celebrates almost 900 donors at its annual Gala.  She was 2014 Co-Chair of the Virginia Airborne Search & Rescue Gala.  She was the recipient of the, first ever, Inova Gala Chairman’s Award in 2013 from Inova Health System.  Cindy was 2012 nominee for Citizen of the Year through the Ashburn Rotary.  In 2013 she was the recipient of the Golden Helix Award, and other prestigious recognition awards from Inova Loudoun Hospital.  In 2013 she was featured as Community Leader in Loudoun Women Magazine, and has appeared in local and national news articles, magazines, on local news and in other publications.
In late 2012, Cindy launched The Beamer Book Series™ and Tell Me Town books to provide families with comfort and education about medical, health and safety related issues.  At the same time, she created a place for the characters in the series to live called Tell Me Town™.  Cindy writes the books with highly qualified doctors and other professionals in our area.  They become cartoon characters in the books, teaching families important information about complex subjects, in a way that is easy to understand and enjoy.  The author and the books have received awards and recognition and they enjoy five star ratings.
The Tell Me Town Foundation is now a qualified 501 (c)(3), where each donation allows this organization to continue its mission providing books and other education materials on medical, health and safety related topics to children and their families.   
Today, thousands of Beamer books and stuffed Beamer puppies are being enjoyed by children and their families throughout the United States and in other countries as well. 
With over 16,600 Fans on the Tell Me Town Facebook Page, and families continuing to enjoy visiting the characters from The Beamer Book Series, and Tell Me Town Books at ,Cindy looks forward to bringing comfort and Education to Children and their families for years to come.  

Cindy Chambers , author of the Beamer series of books will discuss how Rotary collaborated with her to publish her most recent book, “Beamer Learns about Type 1 Diabetes.” 


November 20th ~ Cindy Chambers, Author 2014-11-20 00:00:00Z 0
The house was packed house at the Great Falls Library, as the Great Falls Rotary Club hosted its third annual “Literacy Fun-Day Event” on November 15.  Kids were able to select books from entry-level readers through more advanced titles that are part of the Virginia Readers list.  They also enjoyed trading their gently used books with other kids.  The featured entertainment for the event was Magic Mike, who put on an outstanding literacy-focused magic show.   
Rotary Literacy Fun Day was held on November 15th Paul Bennett 2014-11-17 00:00:00Z 0
Barry Byer, MD along with Wolfgang Rennert, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Chairman of the Pediatric Residency Program at Georgetown Medical School and Gysella Muniz, MD, Pediatric Internrist and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Georgetown will present on the Virginia Hospital Center Medical Brigade's work in Honduras.
Barry Byer, MD, is a family physician and is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University Medical School in Washington, DC. And had served as Chief of the Department of Family Practice at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Virginia, for 25 years.
Since 1999, as the Executive Director of the Virginia Hospital Center Medical Brigade, Dr. Byer has led teams of dedicated healthcare professionals and support staff to Honduras to meet healthcare needs of some of the most underserved people there. Dr. Byer is also the founder and Medical Director of CrossLink International, a non-profit humanitarian aid organization that provides pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and recycled eyeglasses to mission groups and free clinics abroad and in the USA. In 2012, CrossLink was acquired by Brother’s Brother Foundation where Dr. Byer now serves as a trustee.
In 2000, he received the Falls Church City Commendation for Humanitarian Efforts. He has been honored by the Greater Falls Church Chamber of Commerce on two occasions. In 2001, Dr. Byer received the Carroll V. Shreve Award for meritorious community service and humanitarian work and in March of 2005, he received the Chamber’s James Elkin Award for international humanitarian service. In October of 2005, Dr. Byer was honored as the winner of Acacia Federal Savings Bank's "Nice Guys" Award. In 2006, Dr. Byer received the  Medical Society of Virgina Foundation's Salute to Service Award for "Service to the International Community" for founding and leading the Virgina Hospital Center Meidcal Brigage in Honduras.  In 2009, Dr. Byer received the University of Miami Distinguished Alumnus Anastasia Award for his dedication to the best ideals of the medical profession and commitment to humankind with his work in international medical missions. In 2010, he participated in Operation Unified Response–Haiti Earthquake, with Project HOPE working aboard the US Navy’s 1000 bed hospital ship USNS Comfort. For the last three years, Dr. Byer has been a trustee of Baptist World Aid and since March 2014 has been serving on their Ebola Medical/Public Health Education working group.
He has been regularly mentioned in both the Washingtonian Magazine’s “Top Doctor” issue, Washington Consumer Checklist’s “Outstanding Physician” issue and Northern Virginia Magazine’s Top Doctor listing.
Dr. Byer and his wife Sharyn live in Falls Church. Their son, Leland, is a medical doctor and their daughter, Lauren, and her husband Ken Burke, Jr., live in Houston, Texas with their two sons, Kenny and Carter and daughter, Elizabeth.
November 13th ~ Berry Byer, MD- Executive Director Virginia Hospital Center Medical Brigade 2014-11-13 00:00:00Z 0

Peter Scherer is senior adviser in 10EQS, responsible for international institutions and emerging markets.  Over a distinguished career in the World Bank, Peter has accumulated a wealth of public and private sector experience in emerging markets of Latin America, Asia and Africa. After receiving his PHD in Goethe University in Frankfurt, Peter joined the World Bank where he managed large assistance programs in a broad range of sectors, including telecom, energy, financial services, and industrial production. He also worked extensively in the restructuring and privatization of public sector enterprises and banks, and in formulating and implementing public sector reform programs. During his career in the World Bank, Peter received awards for outstanding project management and supervision. After retiring from the World Bank, Peter has continued his career as a renowned consultant to governments and key institutions in emerging markets, especially on national competitiveness, public sector restructuring and infrastructure policy issues.

November 6th ~ Peter Scherer, World Bank - Public and Private Sectors 2014-11-06 00:00:00Z 0

Russia - Today's Business Opportunities and Challenges

Eberhardvon Löhneysen, founder of the 10EQS group, has built an extensive career in business consulting and corporate management. After working at the World Bank with a focus on Latin America for eight years, Eberhard spent more than two decades with McKinsey & Co. in different fields and countries. He was responsible for the German financial institutions practice and managed the McKinsey office in Berlin for several years; later he moved to Moscow, where he was responsible for the Eastern European office complex. He is intimately familiar with all aspects of consulting and management processes. After leaving consulting, Eberhard most recently worked as group CEO of a leading Russian consumer goods and financial services conglomerate.

October 30th ~ Eberhard von Löhneysen, founder of the 10EQS group 2014-10-30 00:00:00Z 0

David A. Kriegman
David Kriegman is the President and CEO of Z2B, LLC, a consulting company that provides operational and administrative advice to help companies achieve their strategic growth goals. 
Kriegman spent 30 years growing and managing companies that provide professional services to the government.  After working for the government for seven years, he held a number of leadership positions in private industry.  Kriegman was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of SRA International, a $1.3B government systems integration company with 5,500 employees.  Areas of responsibility included P&L, business management, marketing and sales, human resources, contracts, and process improvement.  Joining SRA when its revenues were less than $5M, Kriegman was a member of the leadership team that grew the company to over $1B.
Before becoming SRA’s COO, Kriegman led the establishment of SRA’s information technology business with the U.S. Army and was the director of Defense Systems; he grew that business from $48M to over $400M in seven years.  While he was a senior manager at SRA, the company was recognized by Fortune magazine as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For and by Washingtonian magazine as one the best places to work in the D.C. area. 
Prior to the establishment of Z2B, LLC, Kriegman was the Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Jacobs Technology Strategic Solutions Group where he had complete P&L responsibility for all aspects of that business. 
Kriegman also served as President of TechTeam Government Solutions, Inc. and led the sale of TechTeam to Jacobs Technology.  While at TechTeam, Kriegman was responsible for all aspects of growth and P&L and for integrating four diverse acquisitions to fulfill TechTeam's strategic plans for growth in the federal market. 
Prior to TechTeam, Kriegman was President of Command Federal, a venture-backed start-up corporation focused on growing a business based on the next generation internet technology.  In this role, he became an industry leader and spokesman for IPv6 and the next-generation internet.
Kriegman began his career with the U.S. Bureau of the Census where he served as a section chief in the Statistical Methods Division.
As an active participant in industry associations, Kriegman contributes his time to several professional associations including the Professional Services Council (PSC), where he served on their Executive Board and their Board of Directors.   He is a past secretary of the AFCEA Ft. Belvoir Chapter and a past President of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Washington, D.C Computer Chapter and past Director of the IEEE National Capital Area Council.
His current clients include companies of all sizes, from start-ups to established public companies with revenue of over $20B.  Kriegman is the author of Zero to a Billion: 61 Rules Entrepreneurs Need to Know to Grow a Government Contracting Business.
October 23rd ~ David A. Kriegman, CEO, Z2B, LLC and former COO, SRA International 2014-10-23 00:00:00Z 0

Dear Club Members and Guests,


We have found a new date that will work for the Ambassador and have rescheduled the dinner for Friday November 7th.  In the event you are unable to join us on the new date, we will of course refund the cost of the dinner to you.  But we hope that the new date will work for you!  If you can now join us, please  click on the link below to Register and Pay 

Ukrainian Ambassador Dinner Registration and Payment


Thank you.


Kind regards,



Ambassador Dinner Rescheduled for Friday November 7th Kevin Crabtree 2014-10-20 00:00:00Z 0
Picture of Arthur
Guiding Eyes for the Blind is dedicated to enriching the lives of blind and visually impaired men and women by providing them with the freedom to travel safely, thereby assuring greater independence, dignity and new horizons of opportunity.
Guiding Eyes is an internationally accredited, nonprofit guide dog school with a 50-plus year legacy of providing the blind and visually impaired with superior Guiding Eyes dogs, training, and lifetime support services.
Our family of professionals, volunteers and donors are all committed to giving our students the gift of greater personal freedom, independence and dignity by providing them with the finest bred and trained guide dogs in the world.
Our students come from across the United States and around the world.
We look forward to welcoming you to the Guiding Eyes family.
October 16th ~ Nancy Lothrop, Senior Director, Guiding Eyes for the Blind 2014-10-16 00:00:00Z 0

Bob will be analyzing this year's US Senate races and discussing the causes of congressional dysfunction.

Bob Hynes has more than 40 years of Washington experience, having served in government, corporate, consulting, and strategic planning positions. He has strong Republican ties on Capitol Hill, in the Executive Branch and with the independent agencies.Bob served as Minority Counsel to the House Rules Committee, during which time he co-authored a manual of House Procedures, updated editions of which are still used by House Committee Counsels. He served as Legislative Counsel and Parliamentarian to Republican Leader Gerald R. Ford and was Assistant Parliamentarian at three Republican Conventions.When Mr. Ford was nominated as Vice President, Bob was a member of the team that handled the Congressional hearings leading to Mr. Ford’s confirmation.He then worked for NBC’s Washington office where he served for 21 years, the last decade as NBC’s Vice President. During that time he headed the network’s successful efforts seeking to repeal the FCC’s financial interest and syndication rules, which prohibited network companies from having any ownership interests in programs they financed and presented on the network. In that capacity, he was responsible for the overall strategic planning and implementation of corporate efforts in both the regulatory and legislative arenas.Bob is a Trustee of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, which operates the Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan and supports The School of Public Policy bearing his name at the University of Michigan.Currently a member of the Advisory Board of the University of Cincinnati’s College of Law, he is past Chairman of the Arlington County Disability Advisory Commission having served on the Executive Committee of the Citizens Counsel, advising the County Government on matters of emergency preparedness.Four years ago, with several others, Bob created a political podcast :  They broadcast live from 4-6 p.m. every Tuesday from Shelly’s Back Room Cigar Bar in downtown, D. C. with an online audience of more than 15,000.

October 9th ~ Bob Hynes, Political Landscape from a Washington Insider 2014-10-09 00:00:00Z 0
McLean Orchestra provides professional-level orchestral concerts in an easily accessible location and at reasonable cost to area residents. A small paid staff and a dedicated board of skilled volunteers support the orchestra’s effort to foster the appreciation and enjoyment of live classical music in a growing and enthusiastic audience.
Today’s orchestra is comprised of over eighty talented professional and amateur musicians who deliver outstanding performances. The orchestra aspires to continued organizational growth and artistic excellence. Collaboration with other arts organizations, free community concerts designed to acquaint new audiences with classical music, and educational outreach efforts aimed at children and teens further extend our impact in the community.
October 2nd ~ Mark Francis, Executive Director, McLean Orchestra 2014-10-02 00:00:00Z 0
Ricahrd Storey, District Governor will address our club and provide the 2014-15 outlook and perspective.
A native of Washington, DC Rich Storey has been a member of the Leesburg Daybreak Rotary club since joining Rotary in 1998. He has been elected to serve the District as Governor during 2014 – 2015.
Rich graduated from Salem University with a major in Business Administration and a minor in Psychology with a post graduate degree from the University of Delaware in organizational management. He has had a varied career in trade association and corporate management working with boards, operating committees, task forces and shareholders. His career includes positions as association and corporate Chief Executive Officer with the International Military Club Executives Association, the American Shotcrete Association and the Pennsylvania Restaurant association. He served as the Interim CEO and COO of CARE Pharmacies a leading pharmacy franchise chain in the Washington metropolitan area. Early in his career, Rich was a District Executive for the Boy Scouts of America. He planned, developed and implemented annual shareholders meetings, educational seminars and workshops, annual conventions and trade shows. For variety and a side venture he owned ABJ Marketing and a Kwik Copy Printing franchise. Rich was a registered lobbyist and testified before congress. He is certified by the ASAE as a Certified Association Executive.
As a member of the Leesburg Daybreak Rotary Club, Rich was President, Club Service Director and Chair of Charter Night for a number of years. He also served as Public Image Chair, and Club Bulletin Editor. He has served as Assistant District Governor and continues a second term as the Executive Coordinator for the Chesapeake Multi District PETS. He is a graduate of the Rotary Leadership Institute.
In addition to his Rotary involvement, Rich is a past chairman of the board of Blue Ridge Speech and Hearing Center a member of the American Society of Association Executives , a Thirty-Second Degree Mason a member of the American Humanics Foundation and St. James Episcopal Church. He also is working on earning his private pilot’s license.
Rich and his wife, Carol, both of whom are Paul Harris Fellows, live in Loudoun County. They have four daughters and nine grandchildren.
September 18th ~ Richard B. Storey, Rotary District Governor 2014-09-18 00:00:00Z 0
Don Wood
Federal Realty is one of the oldest real estate investment trusts (REITs) in the country and was formed in 1962 here in the Washington D.C. area. Federal is a publicly owned company trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:FRT). The company is a proven leader in the ownership, operation and redevelopment of some of the best recognized and special retail destinations in the country including Bethesda Row, Pentagon Row and Congressional Plaza in suburban D.C.; Santana Row and Third Street Promenade in California; Barracks Road in Charlottesville Virginia and 80 more interesting and community-enhancing shopping environments.
The company is and has been guided by New Jersey native Don Wood since 2002 who, along with a dedicated and passionate management team and their staffs, is committed to a philosophy of balance in all that they do. From environmental and socially responsible initiatives and operations, to supporting the communities in which they do business, to the creation of true retail social destinations that improve the quality of life for many, to providing a superior return to its stakeholders; Federal Realty is proud of its long history and corporate citizenry.
Don has been with Federal Realty since 1998, where he is a Trustee and has served in positions from Chief Financial Officer to Chief Operating Officer to President before being named its Chief Executive in 2002. Prior to his affiliation with Federal, Don spent 8 years at New York-based ITT Corporation where he served in various capacities, including Deputy Controller and Chief Financial Officer, of wholly-owned subsidiary Caesars World, Inc. The first 7 years of his career were spent at accounting firm Arthur Andersen, leaving in 1989 to work for client Donald Trump as the Vice President of Finance for the newly acquired Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, NJ.
Don is very active charitably through his work with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. In 2002, Don took the reins of the Breath of Life Gala, at the time a fledgling event supporting Cystic Fibrosis research, and, with the help of a committed and tenacious team of volunteers and CFF staffers, grew the Gala into what has consistently been one of the most financially and experientially successful events in Washington D.C. and the number one gala nationally for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Don’s daughter, Rachel, was born with the genetic disease.
Don received his Bachelor of Science degree from Montclair State College in 1982, where he graduated with honors and subsequently received his CPA from the state of New Jersey. He is the immediate past chair of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT), a Trustee of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), a member of the Real Estate Roundtable (RER), and also serves on the Board and Chairs the Investment and Strategic Advisory Committee of Post Properties (NYSE:PPS), an Atlanta-based apartment company. He is also a member of the U.S. Capital Chapter of the World President’s Organization (WPO), and was previously named “Entrepreneur of the Year in Real Estate” by professional services firm Ernst and Young. He has been married to Stacey Sykes Wood for 23 years and has four children who he is immensely proud of named Ian (21), Jason (19), Kevin (17) and Rachel (17).
September 4th ~ Don Wood, President & CEO Federal Realty Investment Trust 2014-09-04 00:00:00Z 0
Cheryl Bresee, Park Ranger for the National Park Service who is stationed at Great Falls Park, will provide an overview of the park's history, current initiatives and community involvement activities.


Ms. Cheryl Bresee is a National Park Service Ranger and has been stationed at Great Falls Park since 1995.  Her primary duty is interpreting the park’s natural and cultural resources to foster their stewardship and protection. She develops and presents educational programs for visitors, civic groups and students from kindergarten to college level.  She works in all phases of the parks operation ranging from emergency response to the training of new Rangers.  She is an Emergency Medical Responder and is trained in swift water rescue.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Education from the Pennsylvania State University with graduate work in Administration of Environmental Programs.  She has been with the National Park Service for 23 years.  
August 28th ~ Cheryl Bresee, Park Ranger, Great Falls Park 2014-08-28 00:00:00Z 0
Stop Hunger Now is an international hunger relief agency that has been fulfilling its commitment to end hunger for more than 15 years. Since 1998, the organization has coordinated the distribution of food and other lifesaving aid to children and families in countries all over the world.
August 21st ~ Bob Hahne, Stop Hunger Now 2014-08-21 00:00:00Z 0
August 14th ~ Vance Zavela, Polio Plus Update 2014-08-14 00:00:00Z 0


Mr. Corey is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional (CFP®), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®), Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA), Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®), and Managing Director of the United Capital office in Great Falls. He is now also a member of the "Editorial Panel" for Wealth Management magazine. Throughout his financial planning career, Mr. Corey has been an active participant in the industry associations, serving on a number of advisory councils for the Financial Planning Association (FPA). He is also a member of the Institute of Certified Financial Planners and was admitted to the National Registry of Financial Planning Practitioners. Mr. Corey has completed the Harvard Negotiation Institute Mediation Workshop at Harvard Law School. This program provided him with additional skills and training to act as a mediator and expert in not only divorce/family matters but business mediation issues as well. He also attended the Advest Institute's advanced program on behavioral finance and portfolio analytics at Harvard University.

Mr. Corey was born in New York and grew up in Stony Brook, NY on Long Island. Upon graduation from American International College in Springfield, MA in 1971, he served in the US Navy for just over four years. Service in the Navy brought him to the Washington, DC metropolitan area in 1972 and he has been here ever since. He began his career in the financial services industry in 1980 and in 1986 he formed his own firm, Great Falls Financial Services, a fee-based independent Registered Investment Advisory firm. In 2006, Stan and Paul Bennett merged their respective firms to create c5 Wealth Management, now the United Capital office in Great Falls. Mr. Corey continues to focus on client needs and providing comprehensive advisory services to multigenerational families, businesses and professional practices, and has a specialty in analyzing financial issues in divorce.

Mr. Corey has been an active member in the local community, past President and member of the Business and Professional Association of Great Falls (BPA); has been a guest speaker at a number of industry conferences; has taught college business courses at UMUC and currently co-teaches divorce mediation classes at Northern Virginia Mediation Service (NVMS); has been a speaker on the financial aspects of divorce at the Women's Center in Vienna, Virginia; has been featured in national publications such as USA TodayWorking Women MagazineMONEY and Good Housekeeping; and has provided expert commentary on local television networks. He continues to work closely with a number of local family practice lawyers, is an expert witness in divorce cases, and a founding member of the Virginia Collaborative Professionals (VaCP). He is currently a member of the Executive Committee and Treasurer of the VaCP and is the current President of the BOD for NVMS. Since 2003, Mr. Corey has been selected as one of the nation's Top 500 Wealth Managers byBloomberg Wealth Manager Magazine and in 2009 was selected, with his partner, as Advisor of the Year byBoomer Market Advisor magazine.

August 7th ~ Stan Corey, Business Succession Planning Under Difficult Circumstances 2014-08-07 00:00:00Z 0

John Foust is running for re-election to represent the Dranesville District on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
John has lived in Northern Virginia since 1981 and in McLean since 1987. He is married to Dr. Marilyn Jerome. John and Marilyn have 2 sons, Matthew, a graduate of Vanderbilt University, and Patrick, a graduate of Georgetown University.

John was raised in Johnstown Pennsylvania. He worked in the steel mills to pay for his education and was the first member of his family to go to college.

John has a degree in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh, a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the West Virginia College of Graduate Studies, and a law degree from George Washington University.He earned his masters and law degrees attending school at night while working full time for a large public utility performing economic, cost analysis and regulatory studies.

From 1981 until his election to the Board of Supervisors, John practiced construction law in Northern Virginia and was active in several civic associations and County advisory committees. He served as President of the McLean Citizens Association, President of the McLean Planning Committee, Chairman of the Fairfax County Environmental Quality Advisory Council’s Legislative Committee, Chairman of the Chain Bridge District of the Boy Scouts of America, and Chairman of the Advocacy Committee of the Medical Care for Children Partnership.

John was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2007 and re-elected in 2011. He represents the Dranesville District which includes McLean, Great Falls, Herndon and portions of Vienna and Falls Church. He serves as Chairman of the Board’s Audit Committee and as Vice Chairman of the Board’s Budget and Transportation Committees. He also serves as Chairman of the Fairfax County Economic Advisory Commission.

John represents Fairfax County on several regional boards and commissions including the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, the Route 28 Commission, the Mosaic Community Development Authority, the Dulles Rail Phase I and Phase II Tax District Commissions, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, and the National Capital Region Emergency Preparedness Council.

Since joining the Board of Supervisors, John has sought to provide effective, results-oriented, common sense leadership for the residents of the Dranesville District and Fairfax County.

July 31st ~ Supervisor John W. Foust 2014-07-31 00:00:00Z 0
Princess Aliyah Pandolfi, CEO of Kashmir World Foundation - Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge
Princess Aliyah is the Founder of the wcUAVc and CEO of Kashmir World Foundation. Her vision is to create a fleet of drones to patrol the skies, providing rangers with the information they need to protect endangered species from poachers and and strengthen local communities through education, training and sustainability. Her approach is to enlighten with education and communication so people are aware of the broader context in which they live; and empower them with real and financial infrastructures within which communities can flourish.  The Princess created Kashmir-Robotics, a division of Kashmir World Foundation, to provide the people of Africa with the means to protect Rhinos and other endangered species from poaching.  Wildlife in Africa provides sustainable financial resources through tourism.  The people of Africa are struggling to protect these animals from being poached by organized criminal networks, but the rangers are outgunned and often killed on duty.  Kashmir-Robotics is sponsoring the Challenge to help create low cost UAVs that can enable the Rangers to enforce wildlife protection more safely and effectively. 

As a descendant of royals from Kashmir, a country struggling to combat poaching of endangered Snow Leopards, Princess Aliyah has a full appreciation of the costs of poaching and the challenge faced by conservationists.
July 24th ~ Princess Aliyah Pandolfi - Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge 2014-07-24 00:00:00Z 0
Jamaal Rashad of Legal Shield will discuss identity fraud/theft and what you can do to compat this phenomenon.  Jamaal has presented to several other Rotary Clubs during the past year.
July 17th ~ Jamaal Rashad, Legal Shield 2014-07-17 00:00:00Z 0

Virginia Business Magazine named Dr. Gerald L. Gordon as its “2010 Business Person of the Year,” and, in 2014 again named him as one of the Fifty Most Influential People in Virginia. Leadership Fairfax, Inc. named Dr. Gordon the recipient of the 2011 Northern Virginia Regional Leadership Award.

Dr. Gordon is the President and CEO of the Economic Development Authority in Fairfax County, Virginia, one of the largest office markets in the nation. He has been with the FCEDA since late 1983, during which time office space in the county grew from 32 million square feet to more than 115 million, and jobs in the county grew from 243,000 to about 600,000. As a result, the real estate tax rate has decreased from $1.47 to $1.085.
July 10th ~ Dr. Gerald L. Gordon, President & CEO of the Economic Development Authority in Fairfax County 2014-07-10 00:00:00Z 0
Independence Day ~ Immigration Theme
Select Great Falls Rotary Members Discuss:
1) Why they came to the USA?
2) What it means for them to be an American?
3) What they miss most about their home country?
4) What they love most about America?
July 3rd ~ Immigrant Stories of Great Falls Rotary Members 2014-07-03 00:00:00Z 0
June 26th Lawrence Korchnak - Chief Development Officer - Spinal Research Foundation 2014-06-26 00:00:00Z 0
Lynn Dillon is the President of the Washington DC chapter of ARCS. ARCS® Foundation advances science and technology in the United States by providing financial awards to academically outstanding U.S. citizens studying to complete degrees in science, engineering and medical research.
June 5th Lynn Dillon ARCS 2014-05-13 00:00:00Z 0
May 22nd Elaine Jean - Author - Carpe Weekend 2014-05-13 00:00:00Z 0
May 15th Vishal Chawla - Partner Deloitte & Touche - Cyber Risk Services 2014-05-13 00:00:00Z 0
Founded by Congress in 1991, the National Forest Foundation works with the U.S. Forest Service to care for natural treasures for the millions of visitors they receive each year. Including:
9,126 miles of scenic byways to drive
148,295 miles of trails to hike
4,418 miles of wild and scenic rivers to float
5,107 campgrounds in which to pitch our tents
328 natural pools to swim in
Ray Foote Photo 3-17-13.JPG
March 27th Ray Foote - Executive VP National Forest Foundation 2014-03-12 00:00:00Z 0
Amadeus Concerts inspires a community of classical music lovers in the Washington DC area through up-close performances by professional musicians, educational outreach, and mentoring for young musicians. We collaborate with artistic partners and spotlight performers of the highest caliber, including our own Amadeus Orchestra. (
March 20th Scott Wood - Amadeus Concerts 2014-03-12 00:00:00Z 0
Stop Soldier Suicide is an organization that exists to curb suicide attempts among US Soldiers and Veterans. With 1 Active-duty Soldier a day and 22 Veterans a day taking their own lives, something must be done to stop this epidemic.
March 13th Cofer Black and Alex Haig - Stop Soldier Suicide 2014-03-12 00:00:00Z 0
Cameron Doolittle is the President and CEO of Jill's House. Jill's House provides respite for children with intellectual disabilities and their families in the Greater Washington, DC area. They serve boys and girls, ages six through seventeen, with intellectual disabilities without regard to race, religion, or ethnicity. Their mission is to be a safe haven to which parents can entrust their children, allowing the parents a time of rest. To ensure that parents and caregivers get a real break, typical siblings are welcome to stay at Jill’s House.
Cameron Doolittle
February 20th - Cameron Doolittle - President and CEO of Jill's House 2014-02-18 00:00:00Z 0
February 13th - Meeting Cancelled due to Snow 2014-02-11 00:00:00Z 0
February 6th - CIA - Back to Riverbend 2014-02-05 00:00:00Z 0
January 23rd Meeting Cancelled 2014-01-23 00:00:00Z 0
October 31st - Sabrina Reilly, Vice President of Community Affairs for Capital Caring 2013-10-07 00:00:00Z 0
November 7th - Scott Mills - The Rotary Foundation 2013-10-07 00:00:00Z 0
October 24th - Tina Aulakh - Executive Director, Brightview Senior Living 2013-10-07 00:00:00Z 0
October 17th - Andy Briscoe - CEO of the Sugar Association 2013-10-07 00:00:00Z 0
October 10th - Cindy Chambers - Children's Book Author 2013-10-07 00:00:00Z 0
October 3rd - Juanita Cawley - Rotary District Governor 2013-10-01 00:00:00Z 0
Walk for Water 2013-09-05 00:00:00Z 0
September 19th - Feiga's Choice - Producer/Director LeeAnn Dance 2013-09-01 00:00:00Z 0
September 26th - Fairfax Group - President and CEO Michael Hershman 2013-09-01 00:00:00Z 0
September 12th - Childrens Heart Surgeon - Dr Hassan Abdullah 2013-09-01 00:00:00Z 0
September 5th - Strategic Water Alliance - Andrew Wade 2013-09-01 00:00:00Z 0
We have Rotary Signs Lance Cawley 2012-12-09 17:27:54Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Aug 29, 2012

Carlos welcomed NFL great, Ken Harvey who used professional football as a backdrop to describe what it takes to be a winner in business and in sports.

During his tenure in the NFL, Ken explained that he was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be part of an organization that managed put together all of the elements necessary to win. Ken also described his experience with another organization that did not win on a consistent basis because they either weren’t capable or willing to do what was necessary to win.

Ken stated that it takes more to be a winning team than just putting players on the field. He described that it takes vision, an environment that is conducive to winning and the hunger to win. Furthermore, Ken says that it requires the capability to identify weakness and strengths and surround yourself with people who can fill in the gaps where you fall short.

In conclusion, Ken explained that winners continue to win because they possess the habits and patterns necessary to win. He further described that these habits include being flexible, staying enthusiastic, being positive and remaining able/willing to make adjustments.

So as MLB heads into the post-season and the football season just begins, here’s hoping the Washington sports teams can follow this recipe for success on and off the field!

Ken Harvey-- Hail to a Redskin Kevin Crabtree 2012-08-30 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Aug 22, 2012

Jeff Thinnes shared his personal experiences and highlighted some of the many great speakers from the 103rd Rotary international Convention in Bangkok, Thailand including:

  • Angelique Kidjo, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassdor: Angelique understands that the world has many health issues for which there are no solutions, but believes the most frustrating are the ones for which we have a solution and not enough is being done. She sees the Rotary’s “This Close” campaign ss the right message to help eradicate polio for good. “What I love about it is that a simple goal is set,” she said. “We know eradication is possible. With your goodwill and energy, this goal is achievable.”
  • Hugh Evans CEO of the Global Poverty Project: Hugh leads the Global Poverty Project, an educational organization that activates citizens to be a part of the global movement to end extreme poverty. “Like Rotary, GPP believes that mass mobilization of individuals can effect real change in the world,” Evans said “and when we focus on the needs of others, our own burdens become lighter; our perspective sharpens.”

Jeff also shared information about the workshops and other conference activities that focused on how Rotary Clubs help to improve their communities worldwide through volunteer service. This included his presentation entitled, “Best Practices for Membership Growth” and the fact it was interpreted in 5 languages indicates how well it was received by convention attendees.

Closing with some of the many pictures that he took during the convention, Jeff was able to convey the tremendous feeling of family and fellowship that he felt throughout his time at the convention.

BANGKOK - The International Rotary Convention Debrief Kevin Crabtree 2012-08-23 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Aug 15, 2012

Gary Pan introduced Bob Greene, a member of the Fairfax Rotary Club and Cub Master for Pack 1533(Fairfax) who spoke to us about the Boy Scouts and fellowship opportunities between Rotary and Scouting.

Bob described that Scouting is predicated on positive leadership, coordination, preparation, and participation. The emphasis is on valuing each Scout by recognizing and maximizing his individual strengths, while observing and overcoming or compensating for any weaknesses. He described how Scouts have consistently prepared boys for success by utilizing skill development strategies such as the EDGE method (Explain, Demonstrate, Guide and Enable) and facilitating leadership through providing a Patrol structure that allows more boys to gain experiencing leading projects and people in small groups.

As the Assistant District Coordinator International Fellowship of Scouting (IFSR) , Bob explained that the objective of the IFSR is to encourage and foster cooperation between Rotary and Scouting since both Rotary and Scouting stress leadership and service. He suggested that both organizations may benefit from joint programs of Rotary New Generations such as Interact, Rotaract, Rotary Youth Exchange and the Rotary Youth Leadership Academy as avenues of service.

After recognizing a cadre of Great Falls Rotarian Eagle Scouts, Bob suggested that our club and membership get involved with Scouting; specifically leaving us with some clear options to pursue such as adopting a Pack or Troop, establishing an award/scholarship for an outstanding Scout or involving more area Scouts in Rotary service activities.

Service opportunities between Rotary and Scouting Kevin Crabtree 2012-08-16 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Aug 01, 2012

Carlos introduced Bob Farren, the CEO of the Loudoun Hounds Professional Baseball Club and the new professional soccer team that is coming to Loudoun County about his dream to launch a successful sports franchise.

 Bob recalls his frustration after spending a beautiful Saturday driving back and forth to D.C. to take his kids to a Britney Spears concert. On the drive home, he and his neighbor began to question why there was no sports and entertainment destination in Loudoun County; and that’s how all of this got started.

 Bob leveraged his business contacts in the commercial insurance industry to learn everything he could about the business of building a successful sports franchise and now, after almost ten years of hard work, the Hounds are ready to start playing. The new ballpark will have a capacity of 8,000 for baseball (5,500 reserved seats and up to 2,500 “floater” tickets) and up to 12,000 for some other events. VIP Sports and Entertainment is committed to making a trip to the ballpark an affordable experience for families with 80% of the tickets in the ballpark costing no more than a movie ticket.

 In addition to hosting the Hounds for 72 games a year, the stadium will be used as multi-use facility for fairs, festivals and concerts as well as baseball, football, lacrosse and other sport including an NHL sized ice skating rink that will be going in next to the baseball field.

 Hound-mania swept the Great Falls Rotary Club as Bob shared how his dream has become reality through VIP Sports and Entertainment . . . play ball!

The Loudon Hounds Kevin Crabtree 2012-08-02 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Jul 25, 2012

Debbie Mellis introduced Robbie Schaefer, founder of folk-rock band Eddie from Ohio, and founder and the driving force behind One Voice - a nonprofit community that connects children and schools in Africa with children and schools in America and abroad.

Robbie explained that through his SiriusXM Radio Program, Kids Place Live he visited with and produced a program at Uganda’s Brain Tree School. After spending the better part of a week at Brain Tree, Robbie and his team took the video/audio of the kids playing, singing and dancing with their own instruments to The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, PA. Likewise, the kids from Shipley repeated the process there. The schools became musical pen pals and Robbie and his team observed the capacity for children to communicate through music.

He realized that when kids connect with each other on such a basic level, they become ambassadors for peace and development across the globe; thus, One Voice was founded.

Last year, the organization raised $28,000 to build a secondary school in Uganda. For 2013, their focus is on building housing for heart patients in Kenya and their families awaiting surgery and during recovery time.

Rotarians and guests were struck by OneVoice’s success in utilizing music and multimedia expression to make a difference in the world.

Robbie Schaefer, One Voice/Eddie From Ohio Singer Kevin Crabtree 2012-07-26 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Jul 18, 2012

Carlos introduced Bettina Lawton our new District 7610 Assistant Governor who spoke to us about Gov. Steve Cook’s plan and Rotary internationals theme for the year.

Bettina handed out ‘Peace Through Service’ pins explaining that it is RI’s theme for the year and quoting Presidents Sakuji Tanaka, “Peace, in all of the ways that we can understand it, is a real goal and a realistic goal for Rotary”

Bettina shared the district leadership’s three primary goals for the year:.


Provide relevant and effective district wide training

Encourage and assist all clubs in the adoption and implementation of the Club Leadership Plan (CLP)

Assist in the implementation of strategic planning by all clubs.

Implement effective district and club communications

Develop a balanced membership program encompassing recruitment, development, and retention. 

Encourage clubs to adopt a three-year leadership transition plan.

Grow Rotary, chartering at least two new clubs (with 25+ charter members) annually


Continue to support polio eradication efforts.

Provide Future Vision education plan.

Increase sustainable service focused on the Rotary Foundation’s six areas of focus

Develop and support strategic partnerships with Rotary and non-Rotary organizations


Promote club networking opportunities and signature activities

Develop strong Rotary image within the local communities   

Emphasize vocational service presenting one or more vocational awards each year

Rotarians left with a greater understanding of the Districts vision for the year, how it advances Rotary International’s vision of Peace through service and with thoughts of how the Great Falls Rotary Club plays a role in this vision.

“Peace capture in one word, in one focus, the concept of Service Above Self and centers each and every Rotarian on Peace Through Service“ 
--President Sakuji Tanaka

Assistant District Governor Viisit Kevin Crabtree 2012-07-19 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Jul 11, 2012

Carlos introduced Susan Ungerer a retired elementary school teacher from Fairfax County and President and Founder of Kids R First..

During her  tenure as an elementary school teacher she faced the reality that students in her classes would return to school each year with only a few of their required school supplies and she knew that without proper supplies, her students would fall behind, create excuses, and show embarrassment. 

To address the needs of her students and facilitate a healthy classroom environment she would purchase extra supplies and discreetly give them to students. 

 In 1995 knowing  that she could make a difference she convinced  the Boards of Directors at two area not-for-profit groups to purchase school supplies and donate them to four schools that served the clients of both groups. Over a period of two years 2000 children were helped at 12 elementary schools in Herndon and Reston.

In 1998 she founded Kid’s R First and recruited other retired teachers and volunteers in the community with a passion to help kids. Each year the number of families requesting help has grown and so has the reach of the organization. Kid’s R First has expanded to help students in grades K-12 with their school supplies.

The way the program currently works, each year in the spring participating schools provide a list of school supplies that students will need for the upcoming school year. Kid’s R First works with its sponsors to get the needed supplies and then bundles the supplies into packages based upon what each school has requested.  After all of the packages are created, schools pick them up and distribute them the children.

In 2000 a new program was initiated called College and Career Bound. The program is designed to provide mini scholarships to students chosen by the counselors at each participating school to help students in need.  In the past 12 years over 3962 students have been recipients of scholarships through the program.

Today 90 schools and more than 18,300 students in Northern Virginia schools benefit from the efforts of Kid’s R First annually and 98.6 % of every dollar raised goes into programs benefitting students.

Susan told us that what keeps her going is that ”more kids need help and volunteers energize me” and certainly the Rotarians felt energized by her commitment to the children of our communuty.

Kid's R First Kevin Crabtree 2012-07-12 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Jun 27, 2012

Carlos introduced Dr. Judith A. Salerno, M.D., M.S the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies to speak to us about the growing obesity epidemic in the U.S.

 Judy provided us with some eye opening statistics such as 69% of adults and 32% of children in the U.S. are overweight and that obesity costs the U.S. workforce $73 billion annually.

 The IOM has identified five major goals, each with multiple strategies for implementation. The goals are:

  • Make physical activity an integral and routine part of life.
  • Create food and beverage environments that ensure that healthy food and beverage options are the routine, easy choice.
  • Transform messages about physical activity and nutrition. (marketing)
  • Expand the role of healthcare providers, insurers, and employers in obesity prevention.
  • Make schools a national focal point for obesity prevention.

As an example, fast-food chains have begun revising their menus so that at least half their children's offerings comply with federal dietary guidelines, at little or no extra cost

In closing Judy stated that if the recommendations are implemented together, they could profoundly improve the nation’s health and reshape the environment where we work, live, play and learn.

Combatting Obesity in the U.S. Kevin Crabtree 2012-06-28 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Jun 20, 2012
Jeff Thinnes introduced Wayne Chiles, Rotary ShelterBox District Chair to discuss how the program makes a difference in the lives of disaster victims and how we could get involved.  

The ShelterBox program was started by fellow Rotarian Tom Henderson with the assistance of his Rotary Club Helston-Lizard in Cornwal England in response to unmet needs following natural disasters. Wayne explained that each ShelterBox provides shelter and necessary supplies for 10 people for at least 18 months at a cost of $1000 or about $0.18/day.  Remarkably, the tents, shovels, stoves, and blankets are in many cases are still being used well beyond what was originally planned.

Wayne reported that the ShelterBox Program has shipped nearly 130,000 boxes around the world over its 15 year history. The program uses a technique called “stockpiling” to allow for immediate deployment within 24-48 hours after a disaster. Survivor boxes are stored in warehouses all over the world and shipped from locations closest to a disaster.

For example, they deployed 28,000, or just over 20% of their accumulated box totals, to Haiti last year.  Realizing the logistics of an immediate response, Wayne suggests that no organization, other than a governmental agency, would be able to coordinate these timely deployments let alone do it for the minimal costs of ShelterBox.  
Since natural disasters can strike anywhere, anytime, Wayne encouraged the Great Falls Rotary to look at ways to ensure our local communities and the surrounding regions are prepared. Likewise, we are reminded that Rotarians should always be challenged to identify an unmet need, as Tom Henderson did, and work to make a difference by putting service above self.  
Shelterbox Kevin Crabtree 2012-06-21 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Jun 13, 2012

Carlos Berrios introduced John Dearie the Executive Vice President for Policy at the Financial Services Forum, a partner of the Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness (VCEH).

After explaining that the mission of the VCEH is to prevent and end homelessness in the Commonwealth of Virginia, John described how the VCEH receives financial support through public funds matched by private donors and targeted public and private donations. He then briefly outlined their top 3 priorities: permanent supportive housing, rapid re-housing and community capacity planning. 

John stated that Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) is a policy breakthrough in addressing homelessness that has reduced chronic homelessness to the degree that it is defeatable. A report published by the Virginia Supportive Housing Organization states that one program called ‘A Place to Start’ saved the community over $320,000 in the first 20 months in hospital and incarceration costs alone.

‘1000 homes to 1000 Virginians’ is another VCEH initiative aimed at helping Virginia’s most vulnerable citizens who are experiencing homelessness and are cycling between the streets to emergency shelters to jails and to hospitals. 

John went on to elaborate that VCEH has put forth outcome oriented goals including efforts to mobilize communities and political will to increase affordable housing opportunities for children and families experiencing homelessness.  VCEH also advocates for the homeless through publications, training, networking, and forums to identify and share strategies and innovations to foster solutions.

Rotarians couldn’t help but be impressed by the VCEH’s dedication to helping our community meet this basic need and gave pause to be thankful for the roofs over our heads.

Homelessness and Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness Kevin Crabtree 2012-06-14 00:00:00Z 0
GFES Cleanup 2012-06-14 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Jun 06, 2012

Debbie Mellis Introduced Patricia Stevens, Executive Director of the Office of Public Private Partnerships (OP3) for Fairfax County, who spoke to us about what OP3 does and how we might get involved to make a difference in the community.

Patty explained that the OP3 develops partnerships between the business community and local community organizations to address critical needs in the Fairfax County.  OP3 creates and develops partnership to encourage civic involvement bringing together public and private sector resources to raise the quality of life in the community.

Getting involved with the OP3 is easy. Patty described that OP3 reviews proposed partnerships to answer these three questions:

1.      Does it address a Fairfax County priority or help meet an identified community need?  

2.      Are there shared interests and mutual benefits for public and private sector partners?  

3.      Is it likely to leverage new resources, expand capacity, or reduce costs?  

If the answers to all three are yes, then the OP3 staff facilitates planning discussions to determine the scope, roles, outcomes, and most importantly, calculate the projected Return on Investment (ROI). Next, the partnership agreement is signed by all partners and the initiative is underway.

During the next year, OP3 has outlined six priorities. Those priorities are

1.      ensuring the availability of affordable housing,

2.      encouraging people of all ages to practice healthy behavior and relationships,

3.      promoting social engagement  and ensuring services and providing housing for seniors and those with disabilities,

4.      fostering and increasing financial independence of those living in poverty,

5.      improving school readiness and success for children from diverse backgrounds

6.      to connect people with each other and the resources they need while encouraging sharing of assets within the community

In closing Patty stated that one way that we can impact OP3’s priorities is by supporting the Community Foundation of Northern Virginia with an individual contribution or fundraising initiative.  She also encouraged Rotarians to take the time to learn more about one of OP3’s priorities and consider in-kind resources or  pro-bono services for nonprofit organizations that address OP3’s priorities.

Office of Public and Private Parnerships: Connecting Fairfax County's Public and Private Sectors Kevin Crabtree 2012-06-07 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on May 23, 2012

Jeff Thinnes introduced Bruce Bartlett who served as a domestic policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan and as a Treasury official under President George H. W. Bush to speak to us about his most recent book The Benefit and The Burden: Tax Reform-Why We Need It and What It Will Take.

Bruce stated by that he believes that there is a serious divergence between the size of government that people want and what they are willing to pay for.  He pointed out that although the US Tax Code has not undergone any serious reform since 1986, loopholes, exemptions, credits and deductions have distorted its clarity, increased inequity, and frustrated our ability to govern ourselves.  Bruce stated that a tax system at its core is in place to generate revenue to pay the governments bills however, the question of where the revenue should come from raises important issues. Today our country struggles with questions such as should the tax code should be progressive with the wealthy paying more than the poor?  if so to what extent? Should we tax income? or tax consumption? or tax both?

Bruce outlined some of the various ideas proposed by economists and politicians - from tax increases to tax cuts, from Value Added Tax (VAT) to Fair Tax - to ensure that the government can pay its bills.  Bruce discussed these possible solutions and illustrated the benefits of each proposed change to the tax code and its inevitable burden to the tax payer.

Bruce closed stating that tax reform will likely be a major issue debated as budget deficits continue to spiral and the expiration of various tax cuts loom. He summarized that he believes that we will inevitably pay a lot more in income taxes and most likely have a VAT instituted to pay for Social Security and Medicare costs.

Rotarians left with a better understanding of the ongoing tax reform debate and some of the solutions that are likely to be put forth.

Death and Taxes? Kevin Crabtree 2012-05-24 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on May 16, 2012

Rene Weir introduced Judith Sandalow, Executive Director of the Children’s Law Center (CLC) in the District of Columbia who spoke to us about the critical need for mental health services for at risk youth. 

Judith stated that while mental health issues impact kids of all ages and backgrounds, kids who are from low income, single-parent households are at the greatest risk of because of either lack of access to quality mental health services including diagnostic services or the lack of availability of necessary services in a timely manner once diagnosed.

 While today the medical establishment has a much better understanding of the causes of mental illness and effective treatments, some challenges still remain from decades of misunderstanding.

Judith explained that trauma is the single greatest cause of mental illness and children who experience trauma through witnessing domestic abuse or are subject of abuse often suffer from arrested brain development.  Sixty-six percent of children in juvenile detention and 50% of children in foster care are suffering from mental health issues.

While this number is daunting the Child Law Center has been able to help kids find resources for mental health interventions.  Judith described one such intervention - Multisystemic Therapy (MST).  MST is an intensive family-and community-based treatment program that focuses on the entire world of chronic and violent juvenile offenders — their homes and families, schools and teachers, neighborhoods and friends.

By partnering with healthcare professionals and attorneys to find legal remedies to health issues and teach parents and caregivers to advocate for their children, the Children’s Law Center continues to succeed in its goal to give all children in the District of Columbia a solid foundation of family, health and education.  Rotarians were impressed by Judith’s examples of how the community have come together to support these vulnerable children.


D.C. Children’s Law Center Kevin Crabtree 2012-05-17 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on May 09, 2012

Carlos introduced Jody Keenan, Managing Director of the Mason Enterprise Center (MEC) and the State Director of Virginia Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) Network.

Jody informed us that the MEC is an organization of six (6) business assistance programs and incubators that help entrepreneurs and small business owners with business and strategic planning, government contracting assistance, access to capital, marketing and international trade.  She further described the distinct entities that make up the MEC, including:

  1. Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) Network which  provides professional business counseling, training and information resources to help grow and strengthen Virginia businesses
  2. Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP ) which provides assistance  aimed at  increasing contracting and sub-contracting activity among small businesses, major prime contractors, and federal, state and local government 

    Fairfax  Innovation Center which is a regional incubation center that also provides flex office space
  3. Mentor Protégé’ Program which provides professional business counseling, training, certifications such as ISO and CMMI and information resources to help grow and strengthen Virginia businesses  
  4. International Business Development Program (IBDP) which offers a set of targeted programs to assist both US and international small and medium information technology enterprises develop international businesses 
  5. Community Business Partnership which offers a complete resource center for training and support to those seeking to build successful small businesses primarily targeted towards women, minorities and low income individuals

Jody further explained that the MEC is funded by the Small Business Administration, the Department of Defense, City of Fairfax, Town of Leesburg, Loudon County,  US General Services Administration (GSA), and George Mason University with 60 locations to service the business community located throughout Northern Virginia.

The MEC choses which companies they provide assistance to through an intake process by which companies requesting assistance describe who they are, what their business is about, and a description of the issues or problem for which they need assistance from the MEC.

While Jody stated that the MEC does not typically discusses specific business that they have served, she did state that the various components of the MEC  have assisted 15,000 companies statewide, provide $9 million in capital and created 1200 jobs.  With such an impressive history of service to the Northern VA business community, Rotarians could not help but be impressed!

Support for Small Businesses in Northern Virginia Kevin Crabtree 2012-05-10 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on May 02, 2012

Mike Mellis introduced fellow Rotarian, Tim McManus, Northern Virginia Market President for Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) and CEO of Reston Hospital Center who talked to us about the benefits of implementing an employee wellness program.

Tim shared some disturbing statistics showing that in the Unites States is #1 in healthcare spending, research and development per capita yet we are 26th in the world in life expectancy. Since 1999 employer healthcare costs have doubled yet the challenges of employee absenteeism and turnover are directly attributed to employee health. He proposes that employee wellness programs may positively impact these statistics.

Since it is well known that personal behaviors leading to obesity and smoking are the 2 major cost factors representing 80% of an insurance dollar (including related medical conditions such as: hypertension, type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, respiratory Issues and even some cancers), Tim concludes that modified individual behaviors and lifestyle changes will determine how well the US controls future healthcare costs.

Tim described how Reston Hospital Center has implemented their employee wellness program in three phases starting with controlling high cost diagnosis by targeting highest cost episodes, focusing on patient value vs. employer costs and incentivizing patients to use best value providers/options. Next they created and implemented long term tools to begin employee behavior change aimed at improving employee health (such as health screenings, gym memberships, support groups, and healthy food in the cafeteria). In Phase 3 they modified initial programs and launched longer term strategies such as a healthcare reimbursement accounts (HRAs), annual biometric screening/health assessments and incentives for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


The outcome of the wellness program at Reston Hospital Center has led to its recognition in the Top 40 Healthiest Employers in the Greater Washington area (Washington Business Journal in 2011) and as Tim reports results in a much happier, healthier workforce.  Rotarians were impressed by his compelling assertion that promoting healthy living is not only good for YOU but good for your BUSINESS too!


Employee Wellness Kevin Crabtree 2012-05-03 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Apr 25, 2012

How to Get Your Mojo BackImage

George Lodge introduced Mark Richardson who talked to us about mojo. Specifically, Mark a successful businessman and columnist shared the secrets of how to get your mojo back.

Mark helped the group come up with the definition that mojo is motivation and the courage to bounce back from adversity.  So Mark raised the question of what happened to our mojo and why is mojo important?  Rotarians speculated that perhaps the mojo vaporized with the poor economy or dissipated when we focused on the day-to-day rather than strategic planning.  All agreed that mojo can be either personal or corporate and both varieties are important to keep good people motivated and provide a will to move forward .

Mark offered a Top 10 Ways to Get Our Mojo Back:

1) Choose not to engage in negative energy - maintain a positive attitude  

2) Maintain perspective by making a 2-column list of the positive/negative things  

3) Focus on health - eat well and exercise

4) Redefine success to provide more touch points (wins) when progress is slow

5) Control your day don’t allow it to control you - maintain an 85:15 proactive:reactive ratio  

6) Get a dog - they are good listeners and ALWAYS glad to see you

7) Get smart - becoming more knowledgeable instills confidence and builds enthusiasm

8) Get on base - stop swinging for the fence, just get on base; enjoy small wins

9) Remember that success is a verb - Intention without action = Squat  

10) You get what you give, so get out and teach others; it will improve your knowledge too.


In closing Mark thanked us for giving him back his mojo; likewise, the Rotarians left the meeting energized by Mark’s insights - ready to recapture our individual and collective mojo!.

How to Get Your Mojo Back Kevin Crabtree 2012-04-26 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Apr 18, 2012

ImageJeff Thinnes introduced this week’s speaker, Frederick Kempe, as a man with many talents: President and CEO of the Atlantic Council, an award winning journalist, best-selling author, columnist and commentator on both television and radio. 

Fred explained that he authored his New York Times Best Seller, BERLIN 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth, for 3 primary reasons: 1) The cold war is one of history’s most poorly understood wars 2) These events have importance when it comes to Presidential history and from a foreign policy perspective and 3) “the story of Berlin 1961 is a damn good story”. 

Fred stated that book examines two very different personalities John F Kennedy - Harvard educated, decorated war veteran, from a privileged family and Nikita Khrushchev - schooled for a total of 4 years,  son of a peasant family who became a skilled metal worker and gradually worked his way up the Soviet political hierarchy just after the Russian Civil War.

While it is not possible to determine whether the building of the Berlin Wall could have been prevented, Fred shared his perspective on how the interactions between the American President and Soviet Premier contributed to the erection of the wall in August 1961.  Fred further elaborated on his theory that the Bay of Pigs incident early in Kennedy’s term and Khrushchev’s ‘bullying’ of Kennedy in Vienna led to the Berlin Crisis of 1961 and the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 -  two of the most dangerous moments in world history.  He further suggested that there is a certain irony to these events given JFK’s warning at his inaugural “that we dare not tempt them with weakness”.

Rotarians were riveted by Fred’s compelling insight into this very turbulent time in American history and how some of these actions and encounters still impact the world today.

Berlin1961 Kevin Crabtree 2012-04-19 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Apr 11, 2012



After the Great Falls Rotary Club officially welcomed our 100th member, Jeff Thinnes proudly announced that Karey Starnes, who has served as our new club liaison, was named the District Rotarian of the Year.

Following cheers and a celebratory toast, Chad MacDonald CEO and owner of ServiceForce USA was introduced as this week’s speaker and shared with us his vision and approach to strategically growing a business and the community. Chad stated that he has always employed a ‘work smarter not harder’ approach to business stressing the 5 C’s of entrepreneurship:Commitment, Confidence, Creativity, Courage and Collaboration.


Realizing early on that innovative thinking and consistency of process were critical to the success of his business, Chad stated that many of his key business partners have been with him from the start because they were in the Right Roles with the Right Goals!

Translating this blueprint for business success to community success, Chad urged us to support the National Foundation for Teaching (NFTE) by adopting a school. He explained that NFTE inspires young people from low-income communities to stay in school, recognize opportunities and to plan for successful futures. Attempting to put place resources is the Right Role with the Right Goals, NFTE actually trains teachers to deliver the program and provides both teachers and participants with support throughout the year.

Rotarians left the meeting inspired to follow the example of Chad MacDonald, Karey Starnes, and the Great Falls Rotary Club – 100+ members strong!

Life as an Entrepreneur Kevin Crabtree 2012-04-12 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Apr 04, 2012
This week a panel of three Rotarians described their commitment to service by sharing their personal passion for not-for-profit organizations.

To begin, Lisa Dimonte spoke to us about her involvement with the Youth Leadership Foundation of DC. She explained that this organization works with at risk children to help develop tomorrow's leaders.  Lisa described the organization's four pillars: character formation, academic excellence, mentoring and parental involvement. Her enthusiastic support of YLF's activities and summer camp program inspired other Rotarians to get  involved perhaps by providing internship opportunities for YLF participants.

Next we heard from Val Adeler who shared more about  her family business' history of support for various Great Falls schools and not-for-profts . In particular, Val  described how rewarding her work with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF)  has been over the years. Fundraising efforts in conjunction with Bishop O'Connell High School such as the annual 'Breath of Life' Gala have raised over $3.5 M with less than 3% going to overhead organizational expenses.  Seeing these efforts translate into research advances that have extended life expectancy for those living with cystic fibrosis is part of what fuels Val's passion to support CFF.

Our third participant in Speakers Corner was Drazen Alcocer.   Drazen did not actually discuss any particular not-for-profit organization but rather talked to Rotarians about the importance of communication among and between organizations with a shared purpose.  Serving as the founder of the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce Veteran and Military Support Committee, Drazen described how various services, agencies and organizations are being linked together to help our military members transition back into the civilian community.

After hearing the inspirational and compelling reports from our passionate not-for-profit advocates, the Service above Self mantra of the Rotary Club is clearly not just words but also members in action in Great Falls and Northern VA.
Three Fellow Rotarians Share their Non-Profit Passions Kevin Crabtree 2012-04-05 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Mar 28, 2012

Fellow Rotarian Val Adeler Armour introduced her father Jorge Adeler a nationally recognized jewellery designer and owner of Adeler Jewelers in Great Falls, VA.  Jorge shared with us his personal experience and memories as a community volunteer and leader over the past 3 decades.

Jorge told us that that he had grown up hearing stories about America and dreaming about the possibilities that awaited there. In 1973, he came to the United States from Argentina with his wife and two daughters and just $450 in his pocket.

Believing that with passion and hard work anything is possible, he started his business by crafting jewellery in a small closet in a modest apartment where he and his family were living.  Initially, he sold the pieces at local craft fairs; however, within 5 years he had opened his first of five highly successful Adeler Jewellery stores in VA and MD.   Jorge remarked that despite his notable success, he has never forgotten his humble beginnings and those who helped him get his start. Jorge challenged the Rotarians to also remember to give back to the community and to always give more than the get back.     

Jorge has been a driving force in several organizations in Great Falls, sponsored the annual Spring Festival and served on the boards of several charities.  He has been honored with the   "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Great Falls Newcomers and "Outstanding Citizen" by the Great Falls Optimist Club.  

For his personification of service above self, Carlos presented  Jorge with a Lifetime  Community Service Award from the Great Falls Rotary for a lifetime of service and leadership in the community of Great Falls.

Congratulations to Jorge Adeler and thank you for all that you do!

A Lifetime of Service Above Self Kevin Crabtree 2012-03-29 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Mar 21, 2012

Carlos Berrios introduced Asra Nomani and Barbara Fineman Todd both accomplished professional journalists who spoke to us about the Pearl Project: Charting a New Path for Investigative Journalism

Azra described how this faculty-student project evolved from a journalism class at Georgetown University.  She explained that her personal connection to colleague, murdered journalist, Daniel Pearl  gave rise to her comittment to bringing those responsible for his death to justice.

During their 3 ½ year investigation, Azra and her students pursued leads that were not followed, suspects who weren’t interviewed and alleged coconspirators who weren’t prosecuted.

Following in the footsteps of Mr. Pearl who was taken while pursuing a story, the project team reports that their investigation has uncovered that more than half of those involved in the kidnap and murder remain free.

Rotarians were quite impressed by the hardwork and dedication of these tenacious journalists and educators as they help shape the next generation of investigative reporters.

The Pearl Project: Charting a New Path for Investigative Journalism Kevin Crabtree 2012-03-22 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Mar 14, 2012

Jeff Thinnes introduced Clark Hall, a decorated Marine combat veteran and Civil War expert who spoke to us about the Battle of Brandy Station.

Clark described this event as the inaugural phase of the Gettysburg campaign and provided his insight as to why the battle of Brandy Station was the beginning of the end of the Civil War.     Clark explained that General Robert E. Lee sought a way to alter the status quo between the Confederate and Federal armies undertaking a plan to invade the North; however, Federal troops inadvertently discovered the plan. 

Following a vivid description of the battle, Clark shared several reasons as to why the battle of Brandy Station was the beginning of the end of the war. He explained that not only was this conflict the Civil War’s most significant and consequential campaign but more importantly, the Federal cavalry was energized by a new offensive spirit and reluctantly the Rebel cavalry was forced to yield to this new order.

The Battle of Brandy Station shattered, forevermore, the supposed invincibility of the cavalry division of the Army of Northern Virginia and its original commander.

The Battle of Brandy Station directly resulted in serious losses—officers, men and horses—that could not be replaced by meager and ineffective Southern means and investment capital.

 Clark not only shared this important history lesson with the Rotarians but also reminded us that in life, as in battle, it is important to know what your enemy is planning before you take action.

Lessons of the Civil War Kevin Crabtree 2012-03-15 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Feb 29, 2012

Jeff Thinnes introduced The Honorable Tim Roemer, US Ambassador to India and former 6-term Congressman from Indiana. Ambassador Roemer outlined business and trade opportunities for the U.S. and India including some of the challenges and global issues both nations face in 21st century.

Ambassador Roemer described India as a fascinating, diverse and important country with 1.2 billion people that will need trillions of dollars of infrastructure in the decade to come. He explained that India is interested in growing exports to the US and also seeks out US technology specifically in the software, hardware, healthcare, biotech and national security sectors.  


In addition the aforementioned trade opportunities, Ambassador Roemer highlighted many reasons the US and India should forge a close relationship including a common concern over terrorism and Islamic extremism, shared desire to ensure a stable Pakistan and mutual hope for the future of Afghanistan.  He also discussed some key global issues that demand the attention of both countries including: nuclear proliferation, climate change, disaster management, epidemics /medical threats, and the future of Africa and West Asia.

US-Indian relations continue to thrive based upon these and other issues that bind these two great nations.  While Ambassador Roemer’s post took  him far from his South Bend, IN roots and Great Falls, VA home, his stories and insights allowed the Rotarians to better understand the similarities and common bonds that link the people of the United States and our friends and world neighbors in India.

India: Land of challenge and challenge Kevin Crabtree 2012-03-01 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Feb 22, 2012

Jeff Thinnes introduced Jennifer W. Siciliano   Vice-President of Government Affairs for Inova Health System. Jennifer spoke to use about the national healthcare reform legislation known as the ”Affordable Care Act and the timetable for the three phases of the implementation.

 Jennifer explained that Phase 1 began that in 2010 defines the rules/regulations and how the system will be funded. Phase 2 slated for January 2014 will include strong reforms that will prohibit insurance companies from refusing to sell coverage or renew policies because of an individual's pre-existing conditions; it will also limit the ability of insurance companies to charge higher rates due to gender, health status, or other factors.  Phase 2 will also prohibit plans from imposing annual dollar limits on the amount of coverage an individual may receive.   Phase 3 called “The New Normal “is scheduled to begin in 2018 and will focus on improving quality and lowering costs. 

 Jennifer went on to explain that the legislation has evoked very different response from states with 26 of 50 states filing suit with the U.S. Supreme Court to contest the very constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. These suits are based upon objections to the individual mandate of the legislation requiring all Americans to obtain health coverage; many states contend that the Tenth Amendment does not permit Congress to require states to establish insurance exchanges.

 Jennifer stated that Virginia’s Secretary of Health and Human Services,  Bill Hazel, is preparing to implement the healthcare legislation  but will wait until the U.S Supreme Court’s decision to confirm what exactly will be mandated.  If the Supreme Court affirms the constitutionality of the legislation, Governor McDonnell may call a special session in Richmond to consider Virginia’s options.

 While some Rotarians may have left the meeting with a headache after trying to understand the complexities of the Affordable Care Act, we all appreciated Jennifer’s summary and insights into this important and controversial legislation.

The Affordable Care Act Kevin Crabtree 2012-02-23 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Feb 15, 2012

Paul Bennett introduced Dr. Tom Schuler a spine surgeon and founder of the Virginia Spine Institute and the Spinal Research Foundation. Dr. Schuler shared suggestions about the best ways to maintain spinal health and discussed both surgical and non-surgical ways to treat spinal problems.

 According to Dr. Schuler, maintaining good spinal health is relatively easy through core strength exercises and global conditioning.  He also stressed that it is important to avoid nicotine in any form, maintain proper body weight and practice proper ergonomics when lifting.

Dr. Schuler also reported that despite how relatively easy it is to prevent back pain, most people will experience at least some back pain sometime during their lifetime.  But don’t be discouraged; Dr. Schuler also described recent advances in surgical and non surgical techniques that now afford many more options to individuals with back problems.  

Schuler began The Spine Research Foundation to focus on 1) identifying degenerative mechanisms that lead to disabling neck and back pain and 2) the optimal non-operative, operative and post operative treatment of these patients.

The Foundation is also very active in promoting spinal health awareness by improving the public’s knowledge of quality spinal healthcare. The Foundation promotes education through webinars and lectures and raises spinal health awareness through annual 5K races and 1mile walks to be held in May in Reston, VA in September in San Francisco, CA and in October in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Surely, Dr Schuler wasn’t look at any one specifically (who may have been reaching for that extra piece of bacon or muffin) when he reminded us all to take the time to maintain proper spine health through exercise and diet. He also urged all Rotarians to participate in the local annual race/ walk this May to promote spine health!

Rotarians Stand Tall and Discuss Spinal Health Kevin Crabtree 2012-02-16 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Feb 08, 2012

Jeff Thinnes introduced Alisa Cousins who spoke to us about what inspired her to establish the ‘Serve a Village’ organization.   Alisa stated that her mother Kathryn Hunt dedicated much of her life to improving the quality of life for the villagers who lived on her husband’s stud cattle ranch in South Africa.  Her mother also passed on this commitment to service to Alisa and her other children who travel and serve throughout the world.

The mission of Serve a Village is to support sustainable projects that help to improve the health, education, welfare and environment of needy communities throughout the world.  Alisa explained that they accomplish their mission by educating and empowering citizens of needy communities with the knowledge and skills to become successful supporters of these community projects.  The organization also facilitates a greater understanding of the unique values of the developing communities and of how communities are interconnected worldwide through volunteer humanitarian service expeditions that promote cross-cultural exchange.

Alisa discussed how Serve a Village collaborates with federal, state and local government entities as well as with charitable/non-profit organizations, corporations, educational institutions, and private citizens to accomplish their goals.  Examples of Serve a Village’s current projects include the Children’s  Cancer Hospital in Moscow Russia,  the Retsweletse HIV/AIDS Orphan Day Care in Magareng, South Africa;  and St Mac’s Mother and Child Clinic in Kibera Kenya.

Alisa’s story of how she founded “Serve a Village” to continue her Mother’s legacy of service to others inspired the Rotarians not only to exemplify Service Above Self but also to instill this belief  in our children as the next generation of the Rotary Club.

Serve A Village Kevin Crabtree 2012-02-09 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Feb 01, 2012

Jeff Thinnes introduced Chief Administrative Judge E. Roy Hawkins of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel (ASLBP).  Judge Hawkins explained that the NRC licenses and regulates nuclear reactors and the civilian use of nuclear materials in the United States to ensure adequate protection of public health & safety and the environment.  


The ASLBP is the independent trial-level adjudicatory body of the NRC that conducts public hearings concerning contested issues that arise in the course of licensing and enforcement proceedings.  Judge Hawkins stated that a unique feature of the ASLBP that distinguishes it from similar federal regulatory or administrative tribunals is that each Licensing Board is comprised of three administrative judges, usually including one attorney who is skilled in the conduct of administrative hearings and two scientific experts in technical areas relevant to the subject matter of the dispute. He also described the 3 step process of petitioning for a license and explained that the ASLBP budget is funded 90% from fees for service and only 10% from Federal money. 


Judge Hawkins answered question regarding safety of nuclear plants in the post 9/11 era and in the wake of the tsunami that crippled the Fukushima Nuclear facility in Japan and the earth quake that hit Central Virginia last year near which shutdown the Lake Anna Nuclear power plants. He stated that the NRC has actively looked into safety issues at nuclear facilities related to seismic events, flooding, site blackouts and anti-terrorism measures post 911 requiring increased security at facilities (i.e. - requiring that new nuclear facilities be able to withstand an aircraft crash).


Judge Hawkins also shared few brief remarks regarding the status of the Department of Energy’s application to house a High-Level Waste Geologic Repository at Yucca Mountain.  Rotarians left the meeting with a deeper understanding of NRC’s role in alternative energy development and the challenges and opportunities presented by nuclear energy in the 21st century.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commision ASLB licensing process Kevin Crabtree 2012-02-02 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Jan 25, 2012

Debbie Mellis introduced Leo Titus a structural engineer and 11 year member of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, Virginia Task Force 1 (VA-TF1) (urban search & rescue) who described the Pentagon cleanup mission following the September 11th attack. The Fairfax team was first to arrive on the scene on September 11 but were soon joined by three other Search and Rescue teams: Montgomery County Maryland MD-TF1 , Virginia Beach Virginia TA-TF2 , and TN-TF1 from Nashville, Tennessee.

For 6 days, the Fairfax team coordinated around the clock operations which included early reconnaissance followed by shoring, recovery, and monitoring until the cleanup mission was completed and disbanded on September 18th.

Shortly after the Memorial Ceremony was held on October 11th , Operation Phoenix was initiated to demolish the damaged area (400,000 sq feet) of the Pentagon.   Working 12 hours a day, seven days a week, the crews completed a month ahead of schedule.

On April 5th 2002, the final concrete pour was made and just nine months after the attack the final piece of limestone was put into place on the Pentagon façade. This very visible symbol signaled the substantial completion of the Phoenix's exterior work and on August 15th the tenants begin moving back into their offices.

Leo reinforced that networking and cooperative drills held prior to the event proved invaluable during the Pentagon operations. He noted that allowing rescuers to contact home during the crisis went a long way toward reassuring them and allowed rescue teams to focus on their jobs.  Leo also stipulated that private enterprise can prove extremely useful during a large scale disaster in the area of logistical support.

The tireless efforts of the Urban Fire and Rescue teams during the week following the attack and the collaborative efforts supporting the subsequent demolition and reconstruction in record time demonstrated America's ability to triumph over adversity.  Leo's firsthand account of his team's efforts reminds us of our ability to pull together as a nation to preserve the freedoms and liberty that we all hold dear in our hearts. 

The Pentagon Post 9/11 rebuidling Kevin Crabtree 2012-01-26 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Jan 18, 2012

Gary Pan introduced Terry Jones President and CEO of the Wolf Trap Foundation. Terry then spoke to us about the mission of the Foundation, “To present and create excellent and innovative performing arts programs for the enrichment, education, and enjoyment of diverse audiences and participants”.

Terry went on to describe the programs that the Foundation has instituted in support of its mission and provided us with a short history and interesting fact about the Foundation.

Wolf Trap was established when Catherine Filene Shouse donated 100 acres of her Vienna farm to the U.S. Government for a National Park for the Performing Arts. Ms. Shouse’s donation was accepted by an act of Congress in October in 1966 and the Department of Interior was given responsibility for the operation of Wolf Trap under the National Park Service. Today, the park’s amphitheater is known as the Filene Center.

 Terry stated that Wolf Trap is home to three performance venues: the Filene Center, Children's Theatre-in the-Woods, and The Barns at Wolf Trap. The Foundation also programs and operates the Wolf Trap Opera Company and year-round education programs for children and adults.


Another initiative that Wolf Trap Foundation undertook more than a decade ago is the “Face of America” - a signature series highlighting Wolf Traps unique role as Americas only park for the performing arts. In the Face of America series artists are commissioned to perform at sites in various National Parks which are filmed and incorporated into a live performance premiered at the Filene Center Stage.   The Face of the America series has visited many of the US’s most treasure venues such as Mammoth Cave National Park, the volcanoes of Hawaii, the coral reefs of the Virgin Islands. Future venues include Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Biscayne National Park, and Dry Tortugas National Park.


Terry encouraged Rotarians to get involved either via personal or corporate membership in the Wolf Trap Foundation. In addition he urged each to take the opportunity to experience all that Wolf Trap has to offer in its education programs and its theatrical performances.

To quote Ms. Shouse, “Wolf Trap can grow in scope and meaningfulness to the extent of one’s imagination and support."

Wolf Trap a National Treasure Kevin Crabtree 2012-01-19 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Jan 11, 2012


Deborah Mellis introduced our first speaker, Larry Butler, Director of Parks and Recreation of the Reston Association who spoke about the Association's involvement with the Northern Virginia Restoration Bank.  Specifically he addressed how the Association worked with Wetland Studies and Solutions Corporation to bring Reston into compliance with the Clean Water Act.

Reston explored several approaches to improving water quality including retrofitting every property in Reston to meet low impact development standards.  These standards focus on capturing and infiltrating the storm water into the soil as close as possible to the point at which it hits the ground, thus reducing runoff.  Traditional approaches to storm water management focus on moving water away from a site as quickly as possible using gutters, pipes and culverts. The retrofitting approach would have come at significant cost to each property owner to meet the low impact development approach.

Another approach considered was the creation of a new flood plain by grading the areas surrounding streams reintegrating the streams into a functional watershed. This approach would have required significant deforestation and changes to the character of Reston.

The approach that was chosen was to restore existing stream beds so that they reconnected with the existing flood plain. This approach met all of the goals of the project such as slowing stream velocities to reduce erosion, removing pollutants, restoring ground water levels and preserving habitats. This more balance approach was effective and far more acceptable to the community. 


After providing us with a detailed explanation of the project and the decision making process, Larry asked Michael Rolband, President of Wetlands Studies and Solution, Inc. to explain how Reston, Great Falls and the surrounding communities have benefitted from Wetland Studies and Solutions Stream Bank program and how the program works.   Michael stated that if a public works agency or private land owner impacts streams on their property they are required to mitigate the impact of their changes by restoring other streams on their site or another site, The Stream Bank provides an opportunity for a property owner to purchase stream credits from the 'bank' which has obtained credit for restoring streams elsewhere in the same portion of the watershed. By purchasing credits, an owner can meet the mitigation requirements of their building permit. Michael stated that the Reston Association has received $400,000, and Friends of Reston another $650,000 as a result of their investment in the project. In addition, Reston has also had its streams restored, and citizens have reaped environmental benefits such as navigable lakes free of clogging sediment and restored hiking trails along restored streams.


Larry and Michael taught us all that water restoration projects are not only good for the environment but also good for our entire community!


ImageThis week's meeting was held at Chez Francois as River Bend G&CC is still closed for renovation. 



Stream Restoration Kevin Crabtree 2012-01-12 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Jan 04, 2012


Great Falls has a rich history and our fellow Rotarian Butch Sevila gave us some interesting insights into the community’s history from the perspective of his family.  Butch’s family has been residents of Great Falls for five generations and both his parents and grandparents were graduates of Herndon High School. 

Butch shared stories of how Great Falls transformed from a rural farming community to a suburb of Washington, DC, with the building of the Great Falls and Old Dominion Trolley. The trolley originated in the District and terminated in Great Falls Park where the railroad constructed an amusement park.  Great Falls Park featured a carousel, a dance pavilion, a picnic area and the nighttime illumination of the falls. Butch shared family pictures of the Carousel that brought this piece of community history to life.  Rotarians learned that the park proudly featured this amusement until 1972 when Hurricane Agnes flooded and destroyed the Carousel.

Butch also spoke about another local landmark, the Andrew Chapel Bell Tower that was actually dedicated to his great grandfather.

Club members were intrigued by Butch’s stories of life in our community from days gone by.  He shared his feelings about how lucky he was to have learned about his family history first-hand from parents, grandparents and great grandparents. He quipped that this family history allowed him to know where he gotten his height and build from – he had to trace back to his great grandfather to find a family member over 6 feet tall!

 While his presentation was light and enjoyable, Butch closed with the recommendation that each Rotarian take the opportunity to learn more about our families from our relatives and elders while they are with us and still able to share their stories. Likewise, he encouraged us to pass on family histories and traditions to our children and the next generation.

Hearing Butch’s colorful family history reminded the Rotarians that studying the past helps us understand where we have come from and perhaps even more importantly, how we want to be remembered in the future.




This week's meeting was held at Brix as River Bend G&CC is still closed for renovation during the month of January. 

Tell Your Children Stories Kevin Crabtree 2012-01-05 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Dec 21, 2011

 “…no space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused! Yet such was I! Oh, such was I! Business! . . .  Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were all my business.  The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”

Our fellow Rotarian Scott Mills started his remarks with this quote from Charles Dickens‘  A Christmas Carol. He used this as a springboard to talk about his experience with and passion for Rotary. Scott stated that he was third generation Rotarian and a Rotary Youth Exchange Student in England in 1979 but explained that it wasn’t until he had been a member for 4 years that he really began to understand what it meant to be a Rotarian.     

Scott and his wife Kim had adopted their son Isaac from the Ukraine in 2003.  During their visits to Isaac’s orphanage it was bone chilling cold with no working boiler for heat nor the $80,000 US dollars necessary to replace it.  Scott and Kim worked together with his local Rotary Club to raise money for 18 months and sought matching funds from the Rotary Foundation in hopes of securing a boiler and improving the children’s living conditions. The Mills also began prodding the Ukraine government to address the orphanage’s needs and because of their efforts the government did come through with funds for heat. 

Once the government took care of the orphanage’s basic needs (heat), Scott and Kim were ultimately able to use the money raised and matched by the Rotary Foundation to serve many of the other needs of the orphanage such as providing a commercial kitchen, bedroom furniture, an autoclave and a incubator to reduce preventable deaths.

Scott’s warm personal story is a testimony to what Rotary International has accomplished and a challenging reminder of how much work remains to be accomplished from reducing illiteracy, stopping hunger, eradicating disease, and improving hygiene.  Scott reiterated that being a Rotarian is not just being a member of local club it is about working as part of a larger group. He reminds us that “working together we can solve any problem”

And to quote the Charles Dickens Character Jacob Marley “Mankind is our business.”

Happy Holidays to you and yours - God bless us, everyone!

Mankind is our Business Kevin Crabtree 2011-12-22 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Dec 14, 2011

Great Falls Rotary welcomed three new members: Tom Strap, Carl Pierson, and Torsten Kracht. Carlos Berrios awarded Tom, Carl and Torsten their Rotary Pins and challenged each to determine the kind of Rotarian he will be and how he will choose to serve. 

Tom Duggan, Public Service Committee Chair then reported on our efforts to help Baileys Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences in putting together health and hygiene care packages for students in need.  Baileys is the largest elementary school in Northern VA yet sadly many of the 1200 students live in poverty and don’t even have basic needs; many students are even homeless.  Our club in conjunction with the Baileys Cross Roads Rotary Club has adopted the school as one of our first public service projects. Members of the staff of the School were introduced and Tom presented a check from our Club to assist them in their future efforts to help students in need.  

After taking care of Club business, Carlos introduced our featured speaker, the Honorable Frank Wolf. Congressman Wolf spoke to us about his views on the state of the economy, the Federal budget, and taxes.  Rep Wolf referenced the “Statement of Conscience” that he recently delivered before Congress regarding the influence that Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) has on the political process.  He stated that his issue is not with the organization’s goal of keeping taxes low but rather with how  the ‘pledge’ that ATR aggressively insists that members of Congress sign is being used to impact other unrelated issues.   Rep Wolf cautioned of the danger our country puts itself in relying on other countries to continue to carry our spiraling national debt and expressed his concerns that the interpretation and enforcement of ‘the pledge’ is a roadblock to allowing our elected officials the opportunity to reform the tax code as part of the effort to get our deficit and debt under control. Congressman Wolf closed in reiterating that he believes that in order to resolve our debt crisis  and budget dilemma everything needs to be on the table and negotiable – including entitlement programs and earmarks in the tax code.

Rotarians walked away from today’s meeting with a better understanding of the macro and well as micro view of our country’s current economic situation.  Rep Wolf provided insight into the challenges faced by our lawmakers negotiating a Federal budget and the staff from Bailey’s Elementary School highlighted the challenges inherent to educating a population of children who lack the basics – food, shelter, and clothing.

The Honarble Frank Wolf : Our Economy and the Impending Debt Crisis Kevin Crabtree 2011-12-15 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Dec 07, 2011

Gary Pan introduced Penelope (Penny) Bridges Co-Chair of the Great Falls Ecumenical Council and Rector of the St. Francis Episcopal Church.

Penny spoke to us about the purpose and membership of the Council and how it has supported the community since its founding in 1978. Made up of 8 Christian Churches in the Great Falls area: Andrew Chapel United Methodist, Christ the King Lutheran, Dranesville Church of the Brethren, Great Falls United Methodist, St. Catherine of Siena Catholic, St. Francis Episcopal, Salem Baptist and Smith Chapel United Methodist, each member church is required to provide clergy and lay people from their congregations to serve on the council.

Penny Stated that the strength of the Council is in the unique diverse strengths of its members. The council leverages these strengths in service to the community believing that the joys and hurts of life were meant to be shared, and that people have a direct effect upon the peace and happiness of their community.

 The council supports programs such as Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, the Good Shepherd Alliance and Housing for the Homeless. Annual events such as Pedals for Progress in April, post-graduation parties for local high schools, Camp Fraser, and a 5K walk/run and blood drive on July 4 are also supported by the Great Falls Ecumenical Council.   Additionally, the Council conducts blood drives throughout the year, ecumenical worship services at Thanksgiving, a sunrise service at Great Falls National Park on Easter Sunday and a January ecumenical service.

Penny certainly impressed the Rotarians with her presentation about the mission and accomplishments of the Great Falls Ecumenical Council.  

The Great Falls Ecumenical Council Kevin Crabtree 2011-12-08 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Nov 30, 2011

Jeff Thinnes welcomed four new members to the Great Fall Rotary Club: Masha Loughlin, Tim Whipple, Mike Mellis, and Tom Stroup and presented them with their Rotary Pins.

Jeff also congratulated the entire club on our success during the first six months and presented some highlights in a club retrospective.

The journey began in February with a prospective member information session followed by a Charter review meeting in April, club logo development (courtesy of Linda Abraham) and our first club fellowship happy hours at The Old Brogue and La Brasserie.

Finally, in June, after all the pre-planning and hard work by the Club Board and Officers we held our first club meeting at the River Bend Country Club. We had the distinct honor of having Supreme Court Justice Scalia as our speaker and inaugural Club 'closing bell ringer'. Justice Scalia was the first (and probably most famous) of an outstanding slate of speakers who have educated, entertained and challenged our Club each week over the past 6 months.

Jeff also noted that Great Falls Rotarians wasted no time in demonstrating that Rotary is all about "service above self" by organizing the and participating in our initial service projects: The Early Reading program, River Bend Park Clean up, and packaging 200,000 meals for the hungry in partnership with the McLean Rotary Club.

Jeff has always reinforced that fellowship is also an important part of Rotary and to that end, he boasted that we have had 6 happy hours and our First Annual Gala providing opportunities for members to get to know each other and have a good time. (After all, they say all work and no play . . .)

Preceding Jeff's outstanding club retrospective presentation, the officer candidate slate and club bylaw changes were introduced. The bylaw changes include increasing the board composition from 5 to 9 members, adding a President Elect and two new committees, the Foundation and the Finance Committees. It was also proposed that the new member comment period be decreased from 7 to 5 days. Both the bylaws and the officer candidate slate were approved by a voice vote.

In closing, Jeff presented the 'Caps Recognition Awards' to Committee Chairs and expressed deep appreciation to the recipients and all the club members for their service to Rotary. Jeff thanked us for the opportunity to serve as president of such a dynamic and growing Rotary club but rightfully, all of us in the Great Falls Rotary Club thank our founder and first president, Jeff Thinnes, for his leadership, enthusiasm and service.

Great Falls Rotary the Early Days Kevin Crabtree 2011-12-01 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Nov 16, 2011

Jeff introduced Vance Zavela a distinguished member and former President of the McLean Rotary Club and District 7610 Rotarian of the Year in 2008.Vance served as Grants Chair for the District Rotary Foundation for the past 8 years and currently serves as PolioPlus Chair & Area Foundation Advisor for the District.   

Vance gave us a history lesson dating back to 1917 when Rotary International President Arch C. Clump proposed that an endowment be set up “for the purpose of doing good in the world.”  When the Endowment had grown to $5,000 it was renamed the Rotary Foundation. Three key program areas that the Foundation supports are Humanitarian, Education and PolioPlus Grants.  

Humanitarian Grants allow Rotarians to donate money in response to specific disasters. Additionally, District Simplified Grants support Rotary District Activities locally and abroad, and Matching Grants provide funds for Rotary Clubs’ international service projects.

Education Grants include Ambassadorial Scholarships where scholars serve as unofficial ambassadors of goodwill, Group Study Exchanges to paired Rotary Clubs and Rotary Peace Scholarships sponsoring Masters’-level fellows to study at one of the six Rotary Peace Centers. 

PolioPlus Grants support groups such as UNICEF and WHO working to eradicate the disease in polio-endemic, recently endemic, and high-risk countries. PolioPlus been recognized worldwide as as a model of public-private cooperation in pursuit of a humanitarian goal. Worldwide cases of polio in 1988 numbered 350,000 yet in 2011 there were only 505 cases worldwide. After more than 20 years of tireless work the goal of eradicating Polio is expected to be achieved by the end of this decade.

Whether financing a new well for a village that lacks clean water, protecting the environment, or providing scholarships to educate the next generation of Rotarians, Vance shared with us powerful examples of how Rotary International grants and programs help change the world!

The Rotary International Foundation Kevin Crabtree 2011-11-17 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Nov 09, 2011

In a Veteran’s Day tribute to our military, Jeff introduced us to a local family, the Scotts, with more than 130 years of Active Duty military service starting with Great Grandfather, Lieutenant General Winfield Scott and continuing through to six children who are currently serving in the military.  Jeff explained that he met Bruce and Mary Scott in 1979 in Freiburg Germany when Jeff was in Germany on a Rotary Graduate Scholarship and Bruce was there as an Olmsted Scholar at the University of Freiburg.

Major General (MG) Bruce Scott (Ret) and his wife Mary not only shared some their family’s military  history but also provided us with an overview of two organizations that are near and dear to their hearts: the Olmsted Foundation and the National Military Family Association.

MG Scott (Ret) described his Olmsted scholarship opportunity and provided an overview of the program.  Every year the George and Carol Olmsted Foundation awards an educational grant to officers from the Army, Navy, and Air Force, to participate in 2 years of graduate education at a foreign university. The goal of the program is to immerse the officers and their families in a foreign culture such that the officers familiarize themselves with the institutions, customs, language, and people of the host nation.    MG Scott (Ret) underscored the importance of this program with a couple of examples of how Olmsted scholars have been instrumental in responding to world crisis.  After the Japan earthquake, an Olmsted Scholars stepped in and provide invaluable assistance to coordinate efforts between the Japanese government and the US military to allow aid to start flowing.  Likewise an Olmsted Scholar, who had studied in Arabic language and Islamic culture in Morocco, has provided critical background and information about Arab Spring.  All Rotarians were encouraged to visit the Olmsted Scholarship website   to learn more about the scholarship program.

Clearly MG Scott is not the only civic-minded leader in the family and Mary Scott captured the attention of the Rotarians with an overview her involvement with the National Military Family Association. Mary described her personal experience as the daughter of a General killed in the line of duty in Vietnam that compelled her to first serve as a volunteer at all levels within NMFA.  Currently, Mary is the Chairman of the Board of this organization committed to improving the lives of military families including those of the deployed, wounded, and fallen. Over the years, NMFA has been instrumental in advancing legislation that benefits military families such as the Survivor Benefit Plan, the extension of the GI Bill that allows educational benefits to be transferred to a spouse or child and the provision of in-state tuition for all military members and their families. NMFA also supports Operation Purple programs which offer a broad range of services such as a free week of summer fun for military kids with parents who have been, are currently, or will be deployed.  This group also supports Healing Adventures for active duty or medically retired service members dealing with traumatic injury resulting from Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) or Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Mary underscored the group’s commitment to our Military families through Family Retreats designed to help families reconnect after experiencing the stresses surrounding a deployment.

The Rotarians left our meeting with a renewed appreciation and respect for our military families, like the Scott family and the Olmstead Foundation and National Military Family Association that they support.   This Veteran’s Day we recognize that ending the war will not end the need for ongoing strong support systems for military members and their families.

Thank you to all those who have served, are currently serving and will serve to keep our country strong and safe.

A Veteran's Day Tribute and a Visit with Major General (Ret) Bruce and Mary Scott Kevin Crabtree 2011-11-10 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Nov 02, 2011

Jeff introduced Karen Washburn, Great Falls Historical Society Historian and 35 year resident of the village.  Karen provided us with a historical perspective of Great Falls from its exploration by Captain John Smith in 1608 to the present. 

Initially after John Smith’s exploration, the Great Falls area remained largely unsettled until the 1700’s when Charles II granted the land that included the area of Great Falls to his loyal followers.  By 1719 all of the granted land was under the control of Thomas, Lord Fairfax who divided it up and initiated farm leases to generate income. These leases came with provisions that the land had to be improved within 3 years and that a 12x 12 house had to be built on the property. The term of the lease was for ‘three lives’ with taxes being paid to Lord Fairfax.   After the Revolutionary War, the state of Virginia abolished the Royal Grant to Lord Fairfax and more farmers bought large tracts of land in Great Falls to grow corn and wheat on their plantations.

The Civil War was particularly devastating to Great Falls although it is interesting to note that no large battles took place here. The Great Falls area was under Union Control during the Civil war but was often looted by troops of both sided for supplies. Karen also noted that neighbors sometimes turned against neighbors due to differing allegiances.

Great Falls was slow to recover from the Civil War and languished economically until the introduction of the Great Falls and Old Dominion railroad in the 1900’s. The railroad was backed by local land owners and built from Georgetown to what is now Great Falls Park.  At the end of the line, the railroad constructed an amusement park which featured a carousel, dance pavilion, picnic area and nighttime illumination of the (Great) Falls. Karen shared an interesting fact that the former GF&O railroad right-of-way is now the road bed for Old Dominion Drive.

Karen summarized that Great Falls as we know it today is primarily the result of rapid growth in both the public and private sectors that started in the early seventies and has continued through the present day. She explained that the growth of the federal government since World War II has also spurred the creation of Washington DC suburbs that have gradually expanded into Great Falls and the surrounding area of Fairfax County.

Rotarians left the meeting with a new appreciation for the history of our area and thanks to Karen, some interesting Great Falls facts sure to impress friends and neighbors.

A Great Falls History Lesson Kevin Crabtree 2011-11-03 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Oct 26, 2011

Jeff introduced the candidates for VA State Senate, District 31 - Caren Merrick and Barbara Favola – providing us with an articulate overview of both candidates’ impressive credentials. The candidates have much in common including that they are both longtime residents of Northern Virginia and have been very active in the community.

Barbara Favola, the Incumbent, won the coin toss and communicated her vision on the key issues critical to Great Falls and to Northern Virginia: transportation, jobs, education and the economy.

Caren Merrick also shared her views on issues she sees as key, highlighting transportation, jobs, education, and the environment and shared insights as to how she would work to address the issues.

When discussing education, both candidates expressed support for increasing funding for K-12 education with a focus spending more on teachers and children. Each believes that academic achievement is critical to the economic well being of Northern Virginia.

Additionally both candidates are committed to a dedicated source of funding for transportation issues as means of ensuring that projects to relieve traffic congestion can be completed.

Following their prepared comments, each candidate was asked to answer the following question presented by the audience:

Why should I vote for you and what do you think differentiates you from your opponent?

Candidates reinforced their positions on the hot topics to our community, their leadership strengths and the unique experiences that they bring to the campaign. 

Once again Rotarians left the meeting well-informed and prepared to exercise their civic responsibility in the upcoming election.


Election Day is almost here. Kevin Crabtree 2011-10-27 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Oct 19, 2011

Carlos introduced Horace McCormack, President and Chief Executive of HGM Management and Technologies Inc., former Rotary District Governor and current Caribbean Partnership Chair for District 7610 .

Horace explained that the Caribbean Partnership was established in 2005 during the Rotary centennial year to develop relationships between Rotary Clubs on the mainland and the clubs in districts 7000, 7020 and 7030.  The Caribbean Partnership Program promotes fellowship and Rotary relationships; furthermore, these relationships often develop into friendships and partnerships that engage both clubs in collaborative Rotary projects.  

The Caribbean Partnership is an official program of Rotary International Zones 33 and 34. Partner Clubs are two clubs that establish a strong connection in order to complete special projects such as community service grants, friendship exchanges and youth exchanges. Projects may include the establishment of water wells, development of energy systems, collection and refurbishment of computers, distribution of medical products and services, and collection/dissemination of books.

 Horace provided many compelling reasons to visit the Caribbean partnership web site at to learn more about the purpose of the program.  He offered our club solid advice on how to find a Caribbean Rotary Club partner. 

The Caribbean Partnership Kevin Crabtree 2011-10-20 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Oct 12, 2011

Jeff introduced the candidates John Foust and Dennis Husch for Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Dranesville District which covers Mclean, Great Falls parts of Vienna and Falls Church – and provided us with an articulate overview of both candidates’ impressive credentials and the purpose of the board of supervisors which is to establish local tax policy, approve the county budget, and land use plans.

John Foust, the Incumbent, won the coin toss and communicated his vision on the keys issues that he views as critical to Great Falls and to Northern Virginia: transportation, jobs, education the environment and the Economy.

Dennis Husch also shared his views on key issues highlighting transportation, jobs, education, and the environment and shared insights as to how he would work to address the issues.

When discussing education, both candidates expressed support for increasing funding for Fairfax County Schools. Dennis also communicated his support for protection of the environment and the need for a dependable source of revenue for the widening of Route 7.

Following their prepared comments, each candidate was asked to summarize what they thought were the most important issues that the county needs to address and why they were the best candidate.

 Both candidates clearly reiterated their position on the issues, their leadership strengths and the unique experiences that they bring to the campaign. 

While both candidates may have swayed a voter or two, all Rotarians left the meeting better prepared to exercise their civic responsibility to be educated voters!

Meet John Foust and Dennis Husch Candidates for County Supervisor Dranesville District Kevin Crabtree 2011-10-13 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Aug 24, 2011

Our own Bruce O'Cain shared with us an inspiring account of his  personal experience with  rotary exchange in the late 1970's. As a 15 year old high school student, Bruce pursued a rotary exchange opportunity  in Bellingham, Washington and was selected for a one year exchange with a Rotary Club  in Hossegor, France, 

Bruce relayed how that experience "opened doors and changed his life in ways that no other experience ever could."  The language skills and global perspective that he gained as an exchange student impacted Bruce's life and career path in ways that he could never imagine.  

Bruce acknowledges that the friends made and relationships developed during his rotary exchange experience have contributed to a successful career in the U.S. Air Force and continue to contribute to his current career in the Department of Defense as  Senior Foreign Policy Advisor.   Bruce has also maintained close ties with his host family and they are now considered very dear friends.


Rotary Exchange Experience of a Lifetime Kevin Crabtree 2011-08-25 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Aug 18, 2011

Our own Frank Smith spoke to us about  the Great Falls Fire and Rescue company dating back to its founding in 1942  with 29 dues paying members and a Chevrolet truck with a front-mounted 500 gallon tank and pump.   Today Company 12 has 9 vehicles  and is a combination system  consisting 7 career firefighters and 40 volunteers.  

The Fire Department  volunteers maintain an active presence in the community through safety and prevention outreach in addition to  fire response. Frank related how fire fighters utilize the "Ditch and Don" method to help educate kids about fire safety and encourage them to see fire fighters as their friends.. Firefighters  come fully outfitted in their gear including their breathing masks  and  then remove their mask to show kids that they have nothing to be afraid of in case of a fire even if the fire fighters show up in a 'Darth Vader'-like masks to rescue them.    

Frank also spoke about the fire departments' responsibility for swift water rescues within the 14 mile stretch from  Great Falls to the Key Bridge. Frank stated that  massive currents beneath the river’s surface, swift water, and the rocks below the surface form a potentially fatal combination and make rescues particularly challenging. These calls are also expensive sometimes costing up to $30,000 dollars if a park service helicopter is needed to extract an individual from the water.

Spring 2011 will mark 70 years of  dedicated service to the community of Great Falls and Franks' presentation reinforced the debt of gratitude that we all owe the Great Falls Fire and Rescue Company.

Fire and Rescue in Great Falls Kevin Crabtree 2011-08-19 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Aug 10, 2011

Sam Carnaggio spoke to us about the Dulles Corridor Rail Project.  He shared an overview of the Rail project which will consist of 23 miles track and when complete, 11 stations. The new branch is currently dubbed the silver line base upon its color on planning documents and will open in two phases with 11.6 miles of Phase I service to Reston Virginia  to open in 2013 and an additional 11.5 miles of Phase II service to Dulles airport and Loudoun County in 2017. Sam shared with us the three biggest challenges that he believes the project has or will face during phase one including 1) the relocation of 99 percent of the utilities located down the median of Leesburg Pike through Tyson’s Corner, 2) the underground tunnel between Tysons route 123 and Tyson’s route 7 stations and 3) connecting to the active Metro Orange line.  Sam stated that with the relocation of the utilities and the underground tunnel, two of the three challenges had been overcome.    He went on to state that the project success is largely due to the efforts of the DCRA to maintain excellent communication channels and good relationships with all stakeholders.  This strategy has been very successful with one very notable “one million dollar exception” which required DCRA to immediately mobilize an engineering team to install a Pier at Westpark Rd. that will eventually support the rail lines flyover track over the road. The mobilization was necessary due to a revised VDOT timeline to get an early start on renovation of Westpark Rd . While it may be years before we residents of northern Virginia will routinely take the metro to the airport it was fascinating to hear about the Rail Project plan as well as some of the trials and tribulations that the project has faced to date.

Dulles to DC Metro On Track Kevin Crabtree 2011-08-11 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Aug 04, 2011
The new clubrunner site allows active members to update their member data and photos, see upcoming events, review future speakers, and catch up on club news. However you must use the userid and a password we provide. If you prefer you can upload your own photo or arrange for one of us to photograph you at the weekly meeting.
Site User Names, Passwords and Photos 2011-08-05 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club of Great Falls on linkedin 2011-08-05 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree on Aug 03, 2011

John Madden spoke to us about the River Bend Golf & Country Club renovation.  John shared that the course was originally built in 1961 and the renovation project took 9 years to plan and 18 months to execute.  The first step that the renovation committee took was to seek expert evaluation of the golf course by the USGA as well as architects, construction and environmental consultants.  The committee also visited other Clubs who had undergone renovations and settled upon a ‘complete all at once’ approach.  This strategy was designed to lower costs and provide greater golf course consistency from the perspective of green, fairway, rough  and tee layout and flow.  The membership voted on the proposed renovation plan at a formal meeting.  The Club is proud to boost that due to erosion control and stream bed restoration  projects undertaken during  the overall course renovation, water that exits the Riverbend property is cleaner that when it enters the property.  This is one of the factors that makes this project a win-win for the Club and the community.

River Bend's New Course Kevin Crabtree 2011-08-04 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Carlos Berrios on Jul 28, 2011
ClubRunner Mobile App Now Available!
We're very excited to announce that the ClubRunner Mobile App is now available for download! Released on May 4, 2011, the ClubRunner Mobile App is your key to connect to your ClubRunner website on the go! Completely, free to download and use, this app will let you do what you need to run your club effectively while you're on the go. Password protected just like your website, the ClubRunner Mobile app is comprised of 3 main modules.You now will have the ability to view your member directory, view the articles posted to your website and locate the nearest club right from your iPhone or iPod, bringing you even closer to being able to connect, collaborate and communicate!
To download the app from the Apple App Store, simply type in 'ClubRunner' in the search bar. Our mobile app is compatible with all versions of the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch sets that have iOS 3.1 or later.
Released as Version 1.1, the app currently features the following modules:
Member Directory
Immediately view the most up to date member directory, upon login. You can browse your member profiles which give you the necessary contact information you need to connect with just one click. Make a call to any of their phone numbers, email them directly from your iPhone, or even add them to your iPhone/iPod contacts.
View Posts on Your Website
View the latest feed of home page stories that are on your website, directly on your phone, so you never miss any information!
Club Locator
Based on your current geographic location, ClubRunner’s Club Locator will instantly show you a map to visually locate the closest clubs near you. Click on a drop pin to expand and view more information on the club, including their meeting day and time and address. Perfect for doing makeups anywhere in the world!

We would love to hear your thoughts about our app. To provide us with feedback, please e-mail

Currently only available for the iPhone, iPod and iPad sets, we will also be releasing the ClubRunner Mobile App for Blackberry and Android phones in the near future. Please note that the Stories and Members features are only available to clubs that are direct subscribers of ClubRunner. The Club Locator is available to all.

Clubrunner on your iphone? Yes! Carlos Berrios 2011-07-29 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Carlos Berrios on Jul 28, 2011

We are all excited to see how ClubRunner will revolutionize the way we manage our day to day club activities, as well as communicate more effectively. ClubRunner is an all-in-one membership and communication software package designed for Rotary. More than just an easy-to-use website, it is a complete online package comprised of several modules, all designed to maintain your members' data, facilitate interactive communication, organize events and volunteers, distribute email newsletters and broadcast communications, improve public relations, and help run a club more efficiently.

Welcome to our new website! Carlos Berrios 2011-07-29 00:00:00Z 0
July 18 Virginia Architecture 0
July 25 0
Who wants to raise money for Honduras schools? MS Interact 0
5 TALENTS - 5/16 0

On March 5th, 2013 the Rotary Club of Great Falls Virginia, conducted its second speech contest. The topic of the contest was Peace Through Service. Peace is not something that can only be achieved through agreements, by governments, or through heroic struggles.  It is something that we can find and that we can achieve, every day and in many simple ways.  By helping others, even in the simplest of ways, we can find peace.  The speaker had to convince listeners how he/she can find peace through service.

Our winner this year was Logan Kirkpatrick winning $200 and advancing to the District Competition with a chance to win the top prize of $1,000. Our Runner-up prize went to Jane Sevila along with a $100 prize. Congratulations to our participants, we hope to see many more for next year!

A big Thank You to Tom Berray who helped put this event together and a special Thanks to our fellow Rotarians who helped with the event: Maryam Baradari, Karl Pierson, Zaheer Poptani, Jon Cox and Drazen Alcocer. 



2013 Rotary Club of Great Falls Speech Contest 0
2/14 The Washington Area Economy After the Fiscal Cliff - L. Sturtevant, Phd 0
2/21 A. Scott Wood, Artistic Director, Amadeus Concerts 0
Annual District Conference 0
2/7 Historical Society 0
Picture of the Week 0
2/21 Where in the World is Tela? 0

The contest is for high school students and the topic is Peace Through Service. The winner will receive $200 from our local Rotary Club of Great Falls and will advance to the District competition where the top prize is $1,000 (second place is $500 and third place is $250). The local contest will be held at 7:00pm on March 5, 2013 in the Great Falls Meeting Room at the Great Falls Library with the District finals at 9:30am on April 6, 2013 in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The deadline for registration for the local contest will be 5:00pm on Wednesday, February 27, 2013. Rules:

1. Contestants must be high school students attending a public or private school or being home schooled in grades 9 – 12.

2. The contest topic is “Peace Through Service.” Peace is not something that can only be achieved through agreements, by governments, or through heroic struggles. It is something that we can find and that we can achieve, every day and in many simple ways. By helping others, even in the simplest of ways, we can find peace. The speaker must convince listeners how he/she can find peace through service.

3. The speech must be at least five minutes in length, but not more than eight minutes. A penalty will be imposed if the time frame is not kept.

4. All contestants agree to speak at the area and final levels should they advance in the competition.

5. Students may speak in only ONE Club competition.

6. Speakers may NOT use notes, prompting or props.

Judging will be based on the following criteria: 1) delivery and presentation, 2) content, and 3) originality. Interested students simply fill out the attached entry form and forward to me at no later than 5:00pm on February 27, 2013. Once I receive a completed entry form I will send the contestant the rubric for the scoring of speeches. If prospective contestants have any questions, please contact me at 703-283-3121 (cell) or

1/31 - Great Falls Studios 0
We now have our Rotary Signs up! Drazen Alcocer 0
Happy Thanksgiving - No meeting 11/22 0
Club Golf Event ... You in? 0
Stopped in its tracks. Rover finds a martian. Believe it or not. 11/29 Meeting 0
IT'S THIS FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012 6-8 (later if we behave)

Enjoy, Troeg's Sunshine Pilsner & Victory Summer Love Ale 16 oz drafts for $5, Bud Lite Lime 12 oz bottles for $3 and more ...

BEACH ATTIRE ONLY PLEASE. Wear shorts, tees, sandals, bling ...



AND HERE'S THE BEST PART: NO DRIVE TO OCEAN CITY REQUIRED - SORRY RODNEY! for directions on how to go there (Serious? You dont know where?)
But do check out their website. Put it on your big screen on St Pats for background music!

ImageGreat Falls Middle School Rotary Interact Club raised $330 in their first fundraiser, selling wristbands and shoe laces to raise money for Gianna Hess, daughter Langley teacher and coach. 16-month-old Gianna is battling a rare form of liver cancer called hepatoblastoma that affects 1 in 1 million children per year.
Interact at Work 0
RCGF in the news 0
RCGF on the Pike 0
Menu Option 1:
Jaeger Schnitzel Served with Roasted Red Bliss Potatoes and Buttered Asparagus with a Wild Mushroom Sauce.

Menu Option 2:
Pan Seared Trout with Almonds and Sundried Tomato, Served with Roasted Red Bliss Potatoes and Buttered Asparagus

Menu Option 3:
Wild Mushroom Ravioli with Grilled Vegetables and a light Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Friday, June 1 Dinner Meeting. (May 31 AM meeting cancelled) 0
Posted by Kevin Crabtree

Carlos Berrios introduced Jackie Taylor, President of the Great Falls Citizens Association (GFCA) and a ‘Lady Fairfax 2012’ award recipient (Given to recognize her outstanding volunteer service.)

Established in 1968 to help protect Great Falls’ semi-rural character, Jackie explained that the Association vets land use zoning issues and traffic calming efforts such as preserving Georgetown Pike as a two lane historic byway. She also reported that GFCA educates residents about local environmental challenges and long range plans for the Great Falls community.


In keeping with the GFCA mission, a community-wide survey was recently conducted to determine how the citizens would like our town to look in the Year 2020. Jackie reported that overwhelmingly, residents want to 1) retain the semi-rural character by limiting certain types of development, 2) improve the appearance of the Village Square and commercial areas by placing utility lines underground, 3) develop a network of trails to connect residents, and 4) preserve historic resources of the community.

The Association also supports several senior services for Great Falls residents including an Aging in Place program.  Jackie explained that this program provides loans to seniors to allow them to make needed repairs to their residences so that they can live out their years in a familiar place.  Furthermore, she informed us about a Center without Walls program which promotes community engagement to support active aging by using a variety of existing neighborhood facilities such as health clubs, other local businesses and places of worship, to provide activities, programs and services to adults 55 and older.


Jackie summarized that that the Association is governed by 5 officers and 12 board representatives elected by over 1000 members; however, she challenged us to in the tradition of Rotary, join with the GFCA to make a difference  in our community  through service.

The Great Falls Citizens Association Kevin Crabtree 0

"..its not everyday you get to open a firehouse!.."

This family event starts at 11 and is expected to end at 2. There will be short speeches, tours, trucks and a Brix Barbecue. (Brix donating food and cooking.)

Food/beverage for up to 300 attendees will be served starting at 1130 until it runs out. Bring your cameras! Come early for close in parking and the Barbecue!

The Rotary Club of Great Falls will be manning the food and beverage tables during the event. We'll prep the food at Brix, ride in a truck to the firehouse, set it up, and serve it.

Email Carlos if you or your kids are available and willing to help out. I will get you more details as we work this week. This is a once in a lifetime event and its sure to be a lot of fun.

Call For Volunteers - GF Firehouse Opening 0
The Wolf Trap Foundation 0
Back To River Bend Starting Feb 2nd! 0

The Rotary Club of Great Falls is participating in the District 7610 speech contest for grades 9 through 12.The contest, to be held on February 8th is for high school students and the topic is Reach Within to Embrace HumanityThe winner will receive $200 from our local Rotary Club of Great Falls and will advance to the Area and District competitions where the top prize is $1,000 (second place is $500 and third place is $250). The local contest will be held in at 7:00pm on Wednesday, February 8, 2012 in the Great Falls Meeting Room at the Great Falls Library with the District finals on March 10, 2012. For more information on prizes, rules and deadlines download the Speech Contest document posted on the main page. The deadline for registration is 5:00pm on January 28, 2012.

Reach Within To Embrace Humanity - High School Speech Contest 0