2018 Reston Association Board Election: Meet John Pinkman

Voting in the 2018 Reston Association Board of Directors election will run from March 5 through April 2. This week, we will continue posting profiles on each of the candidates.

Featured here is John Pinkman, who is facing six other candidates for two at-large seats for a three-year term. The profiles are in a Q-and-A format. With the exception of minor formatting edits, profiles are published in unedited form. Each candidate had an opportunity to answer the same questions in their own words. 

How long have you lived in Reston? What brought you here?

I have lived in Reston for 40 years. After reading an article in the NY Times I visited Reston around 1970. The townhouses lining Lake Anne, the only lake in town at that time, were 2×4 sticks just being framed. I returned in 1978 looking for a permanent home for the family. I arrived on the weekend of the Reston Festival at the Lake Anne Plaza. It was such a joyous international community event with such diversity. I immediately fell in love. Still am.

What inspired you to run for the board?

Five years ago I co-founded Rescue Reston. Working closely with the county and RA, as we fought to defend open space, we realized that working together was more beneficial than organizing opposition separately. As successful as we have been, I believe we need a greater unification of community action. We need to unite the Reston Spirit. We face external challenges to the culture we have built for 50 years. The proposed senseless development is foreign to how Reston historically has grown. Take your profits and run, is not how we became Reston. The integrity of “let’s build what’s good for the long term benefit to the town” is how we thrived together. Now we see irresponsible growth expressed in “what can we get away with”. It looms in the future and on the bottom lines of external sources.

What are three of the biggest concerns you have for Reston?

I see concerns as opportunities to share a vision of uniting a positive and cohesive future.

  1. Protecting Open Space preserves the very identity of Reston as a planned community.
  2. Maintaining our nature standards and planning for the future of Parks and Recreation amenities protects our property values and quality of life.
  3. Public Safety – Many years ago Reston was a safe community. The police use to say it was because the criminals couldn’t find their way out of town after burglary! It’s naïve to think that that is still true today. Although RA does not have responsibility for public safety we should increase our cooperation with police and fire first responders to raise awareness and use our best efforts to work with them in crime prevention and home security.  The term “first responders” is meaningful – they respond. Their main mission is to respond to emergencies. It is our job, our mission, to work with them to enhance the term  “prevent”.

What do you hope to accomplish by being on the board?

We need to create an Annual Leadership Summit between neighborhood leaders and RA. We need to listen to each other’s needs and challenges. Listening shows respect. Conversations give birth to solutions.

As a professional baseball instructor and coach for 36 years I understand the need to create a unifying Reston Sports Council. The athletic community shares one goal – teaching children athletic values that they can use off the field, court, or pool to become excellent citizen leaders. Working together we can support the growth of individual sports, parks and facilities. Sharing excess capabilities and assisting each other’s needs for expansion helps everyone. Unifying safety standards is in everyone’s best interest. As Reston residents age in place, we need to learn how to provide social sports as well as we have understood competitive youth sports for decades.

Finally, I support and believe it is vital, to create a member survey that would assess the needs of the community as to parks and recreation use. It is important to learn from Restonians their needs as together we determine the future of Reston. Community leadership is creating a vision and listening to the people you serve.


How will your personal or professional experience help you in your role with RA?

During my 36 years as a coach and professional instructor I have learned that successful coaches are team builders. Creating a winning team begins by building trust. Trust begins with sharing information and the truth. Communicating what the team has in common and the joint vision for the future generates action. Teams that are apathetic or confronted with individuals, who present a unique self-interest, do not endure.  In the context of a community, town or city, there are varying and very local challenges to neighborhoods. Whether faced with a success or threat, leaders must recognize that any one issue may affect us all.

When evaluating a player or creating team strategy a coach must consider one skill or one game at a time. Observe, analyze, provide or obtain information, then if necessary make changes for improvement. The process is reasonable and objective. The integrity of the team or community is exposed in the process. As we live together and work together we all seek improvement and with the assistance of each other the community succeeds.

Click here to view video statements or read candidate statements submitted to RA. 

Photo by Reston Association


2018 Reston Association Board Election: Meet Derrick Watkins

Voting in the 2018 Reston Association Board of Directors election will run from March 5 through April 2. This week, we will continue posting profiles on each of the candidates.

Featured here is Derrick Watkins, who is facing six other candidates for two at-large seats for a three-year term. The profiles are in a Q-and-A format. With the exception of minor formatting edits, profiles are published in unedited form. Each candidate had an opportunity to answer the same questions in their own words. 

How long have you lived in Reston? What brought you here?

I came to Reston four year ago looking for opportunity in the aviation industry as an Aircraft Mechanic.  With its location next to IAD and DCA, Reston was a prime location.  I love Reston and its close proximity to Washington, D.C., which will help support my future aspirations in government.

What inspired you to run for the board?

Running for the board of directors is a unique opportunity to get involved in government.  In America, anyone should have the opportunity to be involved in community government.  Reston has helped me to succeed personally and being on the board would allow me to help Reston continue to prosper and also fix a few snags along the way.

What are three of the biggest concerns you have for Reston?

1. Letting development happen at the expense of experience.

2. Letting development destroy green spaces.

3. Residents not being engaged with the community and RA governance.

What do you hope to accomplish by being on the board?

1. Engage the community.

2. Alleviate congestion before more development happens.

3. Engage the community some more.  Community pressure is how things get done.

How will your personal or professional experience help you in your role with RA?

I started my career as an Aircraft Mechanic early in life and now work in the highly intensive and demanding airline industry.  Every day I exercise the highest levels of ethics and integrity in my trade.  Hard work and the desire to finish a job often leads me to staying many hours after I should have been home.  Ethics and genuine hard work is what the Reston Association needs to completely serve its purpose in the community.

Click here to view video statements or read candidate statements submitted to RA. 

Photo by Reston Association


Pet of the Week: Merry

Becky's Pet Care

This is a sponsored post from Becky’s Pet Care, a professional pet care service in Northern Virginia.

Meet Merry, a domestic short hair tabby kitten available for adoption locally.

Here is what her friends at Little Buddies Adoption and Humane Society have to say about her:

Merry is just one of the most adorable kittens! She adores spending time cuddling with her humans. She also is queen of playing and loves joining her sister at playtime. Come meet this sweetheart. Merry is about 4 months old.

(Note: Little Buddies has adoption events every Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. at Pet Valu in the North Point Village Shopping Center.)

Are you and Merry a match? If so, let us know and our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, will send you some treats and prizes.

Want your pet to be considered for the Reston Pet of the Week?

Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks.

Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Reston and Northern Virginia.

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South Lakes District Candidates Tackle Future Challenges in Election Forum

Tammi Petrine, a community advocate, challenged current director Julie Bitzer for her South Lakes District seat at a Reston Association candidate forum Tuesday night.

Critical decisions regarding public amenities took center stage at the forum, including whether or not to close Shadowood Pool – the most underutilized pool in Reston – and the Lake Thoreau Pool – which requires nearly $1 million in repairs.

Petrine said she would need to gather more information and conduct a stakeholder analysis by speaking with residents before reaching a final decision. She also stated the need to issue multiple bids for projects to ensure RA gets the best deal for services.

“The pools are an amenity that people in Reston expect. At the same time, we have to analyze carefully how they’re used and why or why not they’re not used,” Petrine said.

Bitzer said the board will have to decide whether or not to keep Lake Thoreau’s pool open next year, although she noted that residents she spoke with want to keep the pool open. She also plans to propose a measure to conduct a needs analysis of Reston’s pools.

As RA struggles to strike a balance between capital spending priorities like indoor tennis and soccer, Bitzer said the community should look into public-private partnerships like installing a tennis academy at Hidden Creek Country Club with special benefits for RA members.

In contrast, Petrine took a hard stance against funding indoor tennis for what she said was a “small demographic” and a mere “commercial activity,” especially because the community is “fighting for our lives with density” and aging infrastructure.

“An absolute no,” she said.

Frustrations on limited county resources, including the beleaguered call for a recreation center, for Reston were high at the forum. Petrine said she is “100 percent furious” that the Hunter Mill District is left out of the county.

Similar concerns arose in the candidates’ discussion around a controversial plan to increase Reston’s population density as major developments come in the pipeline.

“My gut reaction is: where is the infrastructure you promised me when you put in the Metro?” Bitzer questioned. She said she opposes the population density increase and was appalled about Reston’s lack of workforce housing.

Petrine, who has been instrumental in organizing the Coalition for a Planned Reston, a grassroots organization opposing the plans, said she has taken steps to fight back against the plans “in defense of our balanced community.” She encouraged community members to raise their voice in opposition, noting her experience in observing the intersection between RA and other stakeholders.

“The only thing that matters to our supervisor is mass agreement by citizens that this is not what we want in Reston,” she said.

Both candidates took similar stances on the need to utilize the Lake House. Bitzer suggested adding programming for aquatics and fishing education, similar to the Walker Nature Center.

“Not everything should cost you to use something you own,” she said.

They also posed similar ideas on how to ensure the board operates as an effective and respectful governing body.

Bitzer said holding “open houses” was a sign of respect. “It’s respectful of our community, not just board behavior,” she said.

Petrine is running on a slate with Travis Johnson, Sridhar Ganesan and John Bowman. When asked if it offered her an unfair advantage, she defended the move, which she said was logical given the candidates’ shared views, common goals and commitment to Reston’s core principles.

Bitzer, who described herself as self-funded candidate, said the issue of slate candidates is a fairly new development that has prompted questions by community members. Unlike the slate candidates who sent mailings to constituents, Bitzer said she could not afford major print distributions.

Instead, she will host a public listening session on March 13 at the Walker Nature House.

Click here to view video statements or read candidate statements. Profiles on Petrine and Bitzer are also on our website.

Photo by Reston Association


Grand Opening for Chick-fil-A at North Point Delayed

After some hiccups with final construction, the Chick-fil-A at 1494 North Point Village Center will open on April 5. An opening date for the store was originally set for March 28.

The decision was prompted by a “siding issue” and the impact of weather, according to the company.

Despite the date change, the “First 100” grand opening event is still on. The first 100 people to enter the restaurant will be in for a “crazy night of games, food, [and] fun for the entire family,” according to the company.

To date, 29 staff have been hired. The company hopes to hire a total of 70 to 80 employees.

Photo via Facebook


Rise Well-Being Center to Hold Grand Opening, Offer Discounted Classes

The Rise Well-Being Center is holding a three-day grand-opening event starting Thursday.

Rise, a studio for yoga and meditation that offers immersion into natural elements for well-being, will be holding a ribbon cutting ceremony starting at 11 a.m. on Thursday at 11130 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 150.

Throughout the three-day opening, Rise is accepting $5 donations to its Well-Being Fund in exchange for unlimited access to classes for one day. The Lunch n’ Learns will cost another $5 as well as the mini One on One sessions. The Well-Being Fund will provide scholarships to those who cannot afford memberships as well as pay for “days of pampering” for those using local shelters and non-profits, saidLisa Goodwin, founder and owner of Rise.

Following the ceremony, classes will be offered in the studio until 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. That same day there will also be a Lunch n’ Learn by James R. Jones entitled “Body Wisdom” where he will discuss quick and easy techniques that help people feel energized throughout the day.

On March 2 (Friday), more classes will be held from 7:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. and another Lunch n’ Learn will be featured. Friday’s Lunch n’ Learn is entitled “Enhancing Leadership Through Mindfulness” and is held by Moira Lethbridge, an executive coach and former CEO.

The final day on Saturday will feature another full day of classes from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. where guests can also schedule mini one-on-one sessions. Later guests can take part in a “Special Sacred Heart Sound Healing” event starting at 6:30 p.m.

Rise came about because Goodwin saw a need for busy Washingtonians to connect with nature and feel better. The center took three years to come about, Goodwin said.

“I’m most excited about people to come in and experience the environment of the intentionally created space,” she said.

The center will also be holding pre-opening discounts where guests can purchase a one-month membership for $135, a three-month membership for $297 and six-month membership for $699.

Photos courtesy of Lisa Goodwin


Wednesday Morning Notes

Bundles of joy at Frying Pan Farm Park — You now have two more reasons to visit the park. Elle delivered two lambs earlier this week. [Fairfax County Parks]

Coming up: town hall on the budget — County Executive Bryan Hill will discuss his budget proposal for the next fiscal year at South Lakes High School on March 8 from 7-9 p.m. [Inside NOVA]

Reston-based Appian expands –– The software company is racking up more revenue and dropping some hints about its headquarters. [Washington Business Journal]


Reston Association’s Board Selects New Acting CEO As Search to Fill Top Position Begins

An acting CEO has been named a day after an announcement that Reston Association’s CEO and longtime RA staff member Cate Fulkerson is stepping down from her position.

Robert Wood will take over as the search for a permanent CEO begins. Wood, RA’s Chief Financial Officer, has been with the association a little over three years.

Prior to joining RA, he was director of accounting operations and Opower, which was acquired by Oracle, and held financial consulting roles at Deloitte, according to a press release. He is also a certified public accountant fraud examiner.

Beginning Thursday, Fulkerson will transition into “a special adviser role.”

It is still unclear why Fulkerson resigned. Sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, however, indicated there was a strained relationship between the current board and Fulkerson.

A spokesperson for RA declined to release any information other than what was already indicated in a press release on Monday.

“Beyond the formal release/statement issued by Reston Association yesterday, the association does not comment publicly on personnel related matters. RA Board President Sherri Hebert and CEO Cate Fulkerson are not available for further comment on this announcement,” wrote Mike Leone, RA’s director of communications and community engagement, in a statement.

At a candidate forum on Tuesday night, current at-large director John Bowman declined to comment on the issue. He said it was “inappropriate” to comment on the CEO, especially given that “conspiracy theorists in our community” may make conclusions and draw implications based on general statements.

“Let people talk when it’s inappropriate to say anything,” Bowman said.

(This story was updated at 8:52 p.m. to include Bowman’s comments).

Photo courtesy of RA


Crime Roundup: Hearing for Teen Charged with Double Murder Closed to Public

A Fairfax County juvenile court judge blocked the public from a hearing of a 17-year-old Lorton boy charged with killing a Reston couple.

According to the Washington Post, a Fairfax County juvenile court judge barred the public from a hearing earlier this week because it featured “sensitive” information about the suspect, who is charged with killing Scott Fricker, 48, and his wife, Buckley Kuhn-Fricker, 43, in their home before Christmas last year.

In a separate incident, Lexi Palma, 19, of Reston, and a juvenile were arrested on Monday at around 3:43 a.m. on charges of driving under the influence, grand larceny and possession of alcohol under 21, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested Palma after receiving a report about a woman stealing e-cigarettes from a convenience store on the 25000 block of Poland Road. Palma and her underage passenger were arrested after a traffic stop, according to the report.

She was released from the Loudoun County Adult Center Center on a secured bond. The juvenile female was also released and charges are pending.

The Fairfax County Police Department also reported the following incidents:


12300 block of Brown Fox Way, gun from vehicle

1800 block of Cameron Glen Drive, purses from vehicle

2500 block of Farmcrest Drive, purse from vehicle

11800 block of Sunrise Valley Drive, merchandise from business

7600 block of Walker Road, purse from vehicle

Fox Mill Road/Reston Parkway, tools from vehicle


None reported

Anyone with information about any of the crimes reported by FCPD should call 703-691-2131 or 1-866-411-TIPS(8477), or text “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES(274637).

File photo.


At First Election Forum, Reston Association Candidates Call for Stricter Financial Controls

Candidates for an at-large seat on Reston Association’s Board of Directors called for tighter fiscal controls and better community engagement at a forum Monday night.

All seven candidates running for the three-year position struck similar positions on financial stewardship and balancing current facilities and programs with future programs as Reston’s braces for major population growth.

Calling himself “Reston’s advocate,” Derrick Watkins, an aircraft mechanic who moved to Reston four years ago, said RA must facilitate transparent discussions and invest more time in community engagement.

Sridhar Ganesan, former president of the Reston Citizens Association, drew from his experience as a current treasurer and director on the board, touting accomplishments like lowering assessments this fiscal year and leading the establishment of internal controls.

He hopes to reduce legal costs and employee costs while engaging in an “honest discussion” of services and programs the community desires. “I want to finish what I started eight months ago,” he said.

In contrast, Ven Iyer, president of a small technology business who took a hardline stance at the forum, said the board was operating in a “dogmatic mode” and needed to eliminate wasteful spending.

He said he wants to be the “voice to the families of Reston” by stopping wasteful spending, unwanted increases in assessment bills and invasive development projects. Among other examples, he criticized RA for decisions like a $100,000 website redesign that he said provided a “terrible user experience.”

Aaron Webb, who previously served as president of the Lakeside Cluster board and often cited his commitment to Reston’s core principles, said he wants to find ways to ensure development and amenities are available at the same pace. “Let’s not get the people here first and then get the venue,” he said.

Similarly, Travis Johnson, who touted nearly 20 years of experience in the public and private sector, said RA cannot “make investments randomly. “Every project that the board approves should have a clear middle and end,” he said.

Part of the challenge is staving off the “external greed of developers,” said John Pinkman, who has lived in Reston for 40 years and co-founded Rescue Reston, a grassroots organization. He hopes to protect and enhance property values, with the ultimate aim of uniting the “Reston spirit.”

“The bottom line really for me is that I really appreciate the $10 that we saved in our assessment, but I’m not sure i’m ready to sacrifice my home value to save that $10 a year,” he said.

Colin Meade, a sales executive who frequently reiterated his commitment to children’s programming and families, said RA must find ways to collect non-assessment dues. “I’m running for me and my family,” he said.

Diversity and Inclusion

The all-male panel stressed the need to engage with people from diverse backgrounds and aggressively recruit more women to run for RA.

Watkins said RA can encourage inclusivity by becoming “more relevant in people’s lives,” noting there are “no institutional hurdles” to run for election.

“We just need to get people interested in it,” Watkins said.

Iyer, one of three non-white candidates on the panel, said encouraging more grassroots candidates like himself to run will encourage minorities to run. If candidates run on slates and are openly supported by the current board — which is the case with four candidates — people may believe there is a “revolving door of candidates.”

Johnson and Ganesan are running alongside Tammi Petrine and John Bowman, who are seeking other board seats. Candidates on the slate said they chose to run together because of their shared ideas, including concerns about the Tetra purchase. They also oppose a controversial proposal to increase Reston’s population density.

In contrast, Iyer said the board was operating in “group think mode.” In the past year, the board failed to pass one motion and more than 120 decisions were passed unanimously, he said.

The Tetra Purchase

Candidates also focused on RA’s $2.65 million purchase of the Tetra property and cost overruns linked to the building’s renovation.

When asked if it was time to move forward after the controversial purchase 2015, Ganesan and Iyer said changes were not implemented thoroughly enough to give closure, including a third party review of the purchase by StoneTurn.

Others like Johnson and Meade, however, said it was time to move on.

“We can’t complaining about what happened before… we own it,” Johnson said, adding the purchase was “emblematic of mismanagement of RA.”

Boosting RA’s Influence

Candidates also touted the need to increase the influence of the board on the Hunter Mill District Supervisor, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the county’s park authority. RA’s board and the county have clashed in recent years.

Pinkman said raising RA’s voice is especially if residential development encroaches upon Hidden Creek Country Gold Club.

The real power to enact change, Webb said lies at “the ballot box.”

With effective grassroots mobilization, Ganesan said it is possible to successfully challenge county positions, noting previous successes stopping development at Reston National Golf Course and the St. Johns Wood development.

Tonight, candidates running for an at-large seat for a one-year term and the South Lakes District seat will square off a second forum. The event will be streamed live on YouTube here and here


2018 Reston Association Board Election: Meet Colin Meade

Voting in the 2018 Reston Association Board of Directors election will run from March 5 through April 2. This week, we will continue posting profiles on each of the candidates.

Featured here is Colin Meade, who is facing six other candidates for two at-large seats, which run for a three-year term. The profiles are in a Q-and-A format. With the exception of minor formatting edits, profiles are published in unedited form. Each candidate had an opportunity to answer the same questions in their own words. 

How long have you lived in Reston? What brought you here?

I have lived in Reston for 5 years.  I’ve been a long time Northern Virginia resident and had always admired Reston as a prime example of suburban planning.  At the time we decided to move to Reston, my wife and I were just starting our family. With the excellent schools, abundance of nature and the amenities of the Town Center, it felt like the perfect place to put down roots.  The last five years have proven that to be true.

What inspired you to run for the board? 

My wife and I have two young boys (four and five) who have been very active in many of the children’s programs sponsored by the RA (Fit Kids, Enrichment Clubs, Summer Camps, etc).  Over the last year, those programs have been either cut drastically or eliminated altogether.  When I raised the issue with some of the members of the current board, it was made very clear to me that children are not a priority of this current version of the RA Board With respect to other worthy initiatives, I disagree with that prioritization and am running to provide a voice on the board for the families of Reston.

What are three of the biggest concerns you have for Reston?

1.  I believe some of the board’s priorities, particularly as they apply to families and children, are misplaced and not necessarily reflective of Reston as a whole, but rather the much smaller subset who happen to be active in local politics.  I believe the board should be more reflective of the entire community and make decisions accordingly.

2.  Like most Restonians, I am concerned about the rapid pace of development in Reston and ensuring that the community retains its essential character while adapting to the inevitable growth to come.

3. As Reston grows and evolves, its relationship with Fairfax County will become more an more important.  I believe the current relationship can be improved, and I will bring a pragmatic approach to working with the county while advocating for issues such as smart growth, better schools and the preservation of natural spaces that are important to Reston.

What do you hope to accomplish by being on the board?

I hope to be a voice on the board for the families of Reston.  As it’s currently comprised, the  RA Board is not reflective of the overall population of Reston, nor their priorities.  As a board member, I will advocate for programs and policies that benefit the families and children of Reston.  That includes restoration of funding for children’s programs, putting a priority on maintaining and improving our common areas and parks and working with the county to build a new middle and high school for Reston.

How will your personal or professional experience help you in your role with RA?

As a high level sales executive, I’ve learned that nothing is more important than listening to your constituency and knowing their problems and concerns.  Only then can you tailor a solution to meet their needs.  I will take the same approach to being a board member and pledge to be the ears of the RA board for anyone in Reston who has concerns.  Additionally, I’ve learned the power of negotiation and being pragmatic in order to achieve your goals. The ability to see issues from multiple perspectives is key to any good negotiation and is a skill I have mastered throughout my career.

Click here to view video statements or read candidate statements submitted to RA. 

Photo by Reston Association


2018 Reston Association Board Election: Meet Aaron Webb

Voting in the 2018 Reston Association Board of Directors election will run from March 5 through April 2. This week, we will continue posting profiles on each of the candidates.

Featured here is Aaron Webb, who is facing six other candidates for two at-large seats, which run a three-year term. The profiles are in a Q-and-A format. With the exception of minor formatting edits, profiles are published in unedited form. Each candidate had an opportunity to answer the same questions in their own words. 

How long have you lived in Reston? What brought you here?

My family and I came to Reston from California for a one-year assignment when I was working for the Navy. A year among the trees in the Barton Hill area was enough to convince us to sell our house and make a career change so we could stay and raise our kids here.

What inspired you to run for the board?

I have had the opportunity to work on the Hook Road Recreation Area Working Group and really enjoyed working with fellow Restonians to plan for the future of our community. After one of the meetings of the working group I came across a flier about serving on the board and felt I should do my part to contribute. I was encouraged by the process of obtaining signatures for the application, everyone I spoke with agreed that running for a position on the board was a great idea.

What are three of the biggest concerns you have for Reston?

My three largest concerns are infrastructure, stagnation, and Reston being exploited by outside entities. I want to ensure that Reston’s growth into the future is well thought-out and designed with the long-term health of the community in mind. Infrastructure and amenities should accompany growth, not be an after-thought. Reston must continue to lead in innovative concepts and excellent management. We must also protect Reston from any entity that would trade away long-term benefits for short-term windfalls.

What do you hope to accomplish by being on the board?

I hope to keep a focus on the principles that have formed and sustained Reston. I will ensure that the seven goals outlined at the outset are still a driving force behind board decisions (see https://www.restonmuseum.org/reston-history).

How will your personal or professional experience help you in your role with RA?

I have served in several capacities that have given me useful experience for service on the board. As the Director of Engineering, I have learned to analyze and evaluate the costs and benefits of alternatives and select the best approach for the company. Serving in my church I have a deep respect for entrusted funds. The time I spent on the board of the Lakeside Cluster honed my skills in working with others for the benefit of the community.

Click here to view video statements or read candidate statements submitted to RA. 

Photo by Reston Association


Tuesday Morning Notes

Reston double murder hearing closed to public — A hearing in the case of a teen charged with killing a Reston couple before Christmas will be closed. The defendant’s attorney said the case would feature “sensitive” information about the 17-year-old suspect. [The Washington Post]

Give your dresses away — Tomorrow is the last day to drop off donations for the Diva Central Dress Drive. Donated dresses and formal wear will be offered to local tweens and teens as dance season swings in. [Reston Community Center]

Calling all women pioneers — The Reston Historic Trust & Museum wants you to nominate women pioneers of Reston. Selected individuals will be honored in mid-March. [Reston Historic Trust & Museum]

Jeopardy question features Reston — A question on the show references Reston. A spokesperson for a fire and rescue service department in Maryland gave the shoutout on Twitter. [Pete Piringer]

Photo by Fatimah Waseem


DEVELOPING: Reston Association’s CEO Leaves Position

Cate Fulkerson will no longer serve as Reston Associations’s CEO, leaving the top position in the quasi-governmental entity vacant ahead of board elections next month.

Effective March 1, Fulkerson will transition to a special advisor role. RA’s Board of Directors will appoint an acting CEO as the search for a new leader begins.

As of Monday night, it is unclear why Fulkerson is leaving. Her contract was set to expire on October 31.

A longtime staff member, Fulkerson was hired in 2013 after the departure of former CEO Milton Matthews, who now heads the Columbia Association in Columbia, Reston’s sister city. Fulkerson’s relationship with RA begin in 1991 when she was hired as a tennis program assistant, a position that led to a variety of other roles.

In a statement, she wrote the following:

“Although I am sad to leave the association after serving these past 26 years, I am proud of what has been accomplished, especially during the last five years. I expect to continue to reside in Reston and support the association in all of its endeavors, and I am thankful to have had this opportunity to serve my community.”

The news comes as RA prepares for board elections beginning next week. Four seats on the nine-member board are up for grabs.

In closed session on Feb. 9, the board unanimously passed a motion to remove one item off of its agenda: establishing the CEO’s goals for 2018.

The board also unanimously passed a move to encourage the board’s preident to engage special counsel on issues discussed in the closed session.

This story will be updated.

(Updated Tuesday, 5:52 a.m., with information about two board motions related to the CEO’s departure). 



Florida School Shooting Prompts Discussion about Security at South Lakes High School

South Lakes High School is emphasizing its security and protest policies after a Florida high school shooting left 17 students and faculty dead.

Kim Retzer, the school’s principal, said the last several days have been “intense as the conversations and actions around school violence have taken place.” Last week, more than 350 students walked out of the school and stood outside midday for 17 minutes.

In response to mixed reactions about the walkout, Retzer said that Fairfax County Public Schools respect students’ rights to engage in peaceful protest and express their opinions, so long as the form of expression is “done respectfully, does not interfere with the rights of others, and does not disrupt learning in the school.”

“Students participating in marches or walkouts are expected to participate in class and to respond to administrative questions and directives in the same way as all other students,” she added.

School policies also encourage teachers to remain in class with students who do not participate in walkouts. Staff can participate during “non-work time,” she said.

The school regularly assesses its safety protocols, staff indicated. Retzer described Dave Bonner, a school resource officer stationed at SLHS as “pro-active”  and “experienced.” Bonner routinely collaborates with the resource officer at the adjacent Hughes Middle School.

The school installed interior and exterior video surveillance several years ago and is in the process of upgrading older equipment.

Retzer expressed support for the feedback and support received by the school in the past week.

“I know I have hugged my child a little tighter in recent days,” she said.


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