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DEVELOPING: Reston Association’s CEO Leaves Position

by Fatimah Waseem February 26, 2018 at 9:29 pm 106 Comments

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). 

 

  • OneReally

    This wams my heart. Thank you! Better late than never.

    Now the leftovers need to go as well.

    • Eddy

      Really? Your heart is warmed by a Board 1/2 of whom weren’t elected but rather appointed taking such serious action before the election?

      • John Farrell

        2 members were appointed to fill vacancies cause by resignations.

        There are 9 members on the Board.

        It might be new math but when I was in school 2 was not half of 9.

      • OneReally

        She needed to go!

        How many examples of poor leadership do you need?

        • Reston1970

          Exactly!!

    • Greg

      The sooner the better.

  • Caul Shivers

    Looks like you clowns need to find something else to complain about now. What’ll it be next?

    • Scott

      Thanks for taking the time to type a complaint.

    • Greg

      Likely the director of projects.

      • 40yearsinreston

        We can only hope

  • Reston1970

    So that’s a first step. Criminal charges up next, I hope.

    • Paul Bradford

      I hope she sues for wrongful termination. That insane show last month with Moira & co was ridiculous. Why the Board provided presentation time to them and then responded as if they’d received a briefing from the effing FBI was the criminal act.

      • 40yearsinreston

        was she terminated ?

    • John L

      I think the crime has been all these bogus appointments to load the Board with Flashman’s Kitchen Cabinet choices. Now to see if they can actually win seats. God help us if they do. We can all kiss the Reston we love good-bye.

  • Sam

    What a shame for Reston. What an absolute shame.

  • SallyinReston

    Reston I hope you wake up. The election is critical. This board will attempt to put the likes of John Farrel into the in house counsels job and that will be the last time Fairfax County talks to Reston Association.

    • John Farrell

      Is it too much to ask that you at least spell my name right while you’re attacking me?

      BTW I was talking to “the County” about the PRC amendment Saturday night.

      • SallyinReston

        I understand that the Board President added your Your resume last minute to the group for in-house counsel for Reston Association, seems like that should get a little sunshine!

        • John Farrell

          Your “understanding” is inaccurate.

          • SallyinReston

            You are NOT a candidate for the RA in counselor position? Is that your statement Mr. Farrell?

          • SallyinReston

            Right “crickets” from Mr. Farrell.

          • John Farrell

            Seriously?!

          • Donald

            Mr. Farrell are you looking to be the Reston Association in-house counsel?

          • John Farrell

            RA’s recruiter/headhunter contacted me in early January.

          • SallyinReston

            Such a careful response John. So, you are a candidate.

      • John Higgins

        “Jerry Gallo? I’m Jerry Callo! C-A-LLO.” 🙂

    • Donald

      I’m sorry. You say Mr. Farrell is looking at the in house counsel position? When did this take place?

      Donald

  • Greg

    Eric Carr must be very proud and Sherry Hebert, and Shrdhar. WTH, you guys are fools.

  • 40YearsInReston

    This Board is a cowardly group taking this action before the election. Way to watch out for our interest-NOT.

    • 40yearsinreston

      Looks like I have attracted a troll
      Look at the capitalization in the posters name

      • Umust B Kidding

        Also, your troll is signing in as a guest; hence, his avatar appears in gray, not blue. That’s always a sure sign of a troll of a troll.

  • John Lovaas

    I am saddened to see Cate Fulkerson depart, a casualty of the Tetra/Lake House outrage and its aftermath. For over 20 year she was an incredibly hardworking and valuable employee of RA and contributor to our community. I thank her for all that she has done for Reston and wish her all the best in the days ahead.

    • Drip

      She always seemed like a good person. However, her prominent role in the Tetra debacle did so much harm to the community. Beyond the poor/naive handling of virtually every aspect of the Tetra matter and the consequent self-inflicted financial burden, members lost complete trust in the RA. Ancillary groups like Rescue Reston were discredited, others were embarrassed, and members were left holding the bag. Cate blindly led the charge as Ken K et al abandoned their fiduciary duty to the community, This move is necessary if RA wants to restore trust with the members.

      • Donald

        Reston Now – your favorite place to comment – provided a Polldaddy. The majority of the community, over 75%, did not lose trust.

        Following the report, what do you think RA’s board should do?

        Nothing. It’s time to move on.
        59.12%

        Seek a review from the state’s attorney
        24.95%

        Complete a board-led review of the members’ report.
        10.94%

        Other (include your suggestion in the comments below)
        4.99%

        Donald

        • Drip

          Your comment makes no sense. Where in that non-scientific poll does it ask if the Tetra debacle caused members to lose trust in the board? Your poll cites to aftermath issues, which were necessary-and precipitated the poll-due to the loss of trust in RA due to the Tetra matter. Thanks for proving my point I guess. Real proof that members lost trust in RA, beyond what you helped prove in your comment, are the changes in the board, the ham-handed efforts to win back trust (remember when Cate “voluntarily” did not get her bonus), and the fac that Cate was pushed out.

    • Eddy

      John, you are such a liar. You as a part of the Flashman Kabul have been planing this forever.

      • Samuel Colbertson

        #thethugsmustgo

    • Samuel Colbertson

      For someone that shared such vehement comments in public regarding Ms. Fulkerson, you sir are a hypocrite.

    • Why do you bother?

      A casualty? She was in charge!

    • cRAzy

      Fulkerson caused the Tetra outrage; she was not a “casualty” any more than Custer.

    • Greg

      Key word you use is “incredibly.” Which means:

      “used to introduce a statement that is hard to believe; strangely.”

  • Donald

    I am really curious as to why this board chose now, before the election.

    Ms. Fulkerson is well known in this community and highly regarded. She is liked by a number of the active charities around here, as well as the many school groups, including PTA, as well as youth sports leagues, the county and Commonwealth, and yes, the business community, given her work with the Chamber.

    Anyone on the board presently, who is running for election, may suffer the consequences of a very large supportive turnout to wipe the slate clean. Those associated with them (the slate) may not see the light of day either.

    A blowback could be an interesting phenomena to watch here.

    Donald

    • 30yearsinreston

      Did her performance review have anything to do with it?

      • Donald

        I don’t believe there ever was a performance review. But nobody knows what really happened in that executive session a few weeks ago.

        Donald

        • 40yearsinreston

          not even those present ?

    • Reston1970

      “Ms. Fulkerson is well known in this community and highly regarded. She is liked by a number of the active charities around here, as well as the many school groups, including PTA, as well as youth sports leagues, the county and Commonwealth, and yes, the business community, given her work with the Chamber.” So what?? She failed in her duties, at a minimum, with regard to the Tetra debacle. For that alone she should have been fired a while back.

      • Greg

        And none of the entities liking her were worth her $250,000 RA compensation package – or what she was paid to do at RA.

  • Make me proud

    She came with nothing but three tennis balls in her pocket, but now looky, UN Ambassador to Reston Nation.

    • 30yearsinreston

      She should have stayed as senior director of tennis ballboys

  • Samuel Colbertson

    This is a sad day in Reston. One of the most loved residents, daughter of one of this country’s finest patriots, destroyed by a group of thugs.

    Ms. Fulkerson’s dedication to this community cannot be matched by many. Certainly not by the likes of those who tout their love of Reston in their campaign propaganda.

    I would never have thought such a thing could happen here.

    • John Higgins

      That needed saying Thank you.

      • Samuel Colbertson

        I’m just flabbergasted.

    • Drip

      I posit that Cate’s dedication to the community, which no reasonable person here should contest, was actually her downfall. She was so devoted to the idea of protecting green space that she failed to pragmatically carry out her fiduciary duty of due diligence by blindly being led into the Tetra mess by individuals with self-serving interests. For that, it is sad. However, I believe her removal from the CEO position is justified. It is not dishonorable to criticize the performance so long as one does not attack the person for the sake of spite.

      • Samuel Colbertson

        So far, all I see are horrific statements, and catch-phrases, meant to hurt one of our neighbors. That is just low, and cowardly.

        • Mike M

          What was the Tetra purchase? High-minded? Courageous?

          • Samuel Colbertson

            You avoid my point. Why stoop to character assination and threatening comments about someone?

          • Mike M

            Threatening? I missed that.

          • Samuel Colbertson

            Perhaps not you, others. But again, “drama queen”, really? How childish.

          • Mike M

            Putting threats in my mouth? What would that be?

          • Samuel Colbertson

            I’m feel sorry for you Mr. M.

          • TheRealODB
          • Why do you bother?

            Actionable.

      • cRAzy

        There was no realistic threat to the loss of green space by the sale of Tetra. There are 14 easements covering virtually all of the property, a Chesapeake Bay conservation law that precluded additional development (and requires reversion to natural state if there is a change), and NO ONE except Fulkerson and the then-RA Board was willing to pay $2.7MM for a property whose assessed value was less than half that.

        Don’t go there again.

      • Greg

        For the amount of money she was paid and the number of lawyers Catherine “Cate” Fulkerson consulted, there can be no excuses and nothing but contesting her dedication. She dedicated herself to unjust enrichment.

    • 30yearsinreston

      She was being paid a handsome salary and perks

      • Greg

        Close to or exceeding $250,000 per year. Outrageous!

        • 40yearsinreston

          Not bad for a tennis ball fetcher

        • cRAzy

          I believe it was “only” $180,000 per year, but she has been overpaid, especially given her decisionmaking capability.

          • Greg

            No. Her cash compensation for 2016 was $195,668. The rest of it was benefits, retirement, and other-than-salary compensation–nearly $250,000. All of which cost us, the RA assessment-payers cold hard cash.

            There are few in all of even Fairfax County’s bloated and overpaid government who make that much…

            One can only assume that 2017, plus what Cate Fulkerson will get in 2018 is close to another $450,000.

            Calling Cate Fulkerson overpaid is being kind at best.

  • Samuel Colbertson

    May I suggest a grass roots effort start now.

    #thethugsmustgo

    • Donald

      If that means those associated with “4 for Reston” and their cronies on the board, then yes.

      Donald

  • Why do you bother?

    ” it is unclear why Fulkerson is leaving”

    Really? It’s crystal clear to us!

    • Samuel Colbertson

      I’m sorry. These character assassinations must stop. Please, you are destroying the good character of one of our community’s best. This just isn’t what a Reston neighbor does.

      • John Higgins

        As many have observed, Reston is changing. Apparently this IS what a Reston neighbor now does. Issues are debated with innuendo; parties on both sides are attacked and accused; people must go along to get along. If there is any solace to be taken it is that contributors here represent a decimal fraction of the population.

        • Samuel Colbertson

          I sincerely hope so. The commentary coming from some of these individuals is atrocious. But, to your point, I know none of my neighbors have these feelings, and would never stoop to the levels seen here.

          • Space__jockey

            The tetra deal looked very suspicious to me. Why would a being a building purchased for less than a million dollars 4 years prior be worth 2.64 million to RA? Then that same building needs 100s of thousands in repairs. On the face of it that looks like a real bad deal at best, and there was a substantial sum of money changing hands. Can you explain why the valuation of the tetra building soared? The talk of that becoming a commercial property seems ludicrous to me, I can’t even find it so it is not a winner for any money making enterprise I can think of.

        • Umust B Kidding

          Mr. Higgins–As the RA Treasurer during the early portion of the Tetra dealmaking, you know full well why Ms. Fulkerson is resigning and, in fact, may have some culpability even if only of the “people must go along to get along” variety. To coin a phrase: What did you know and when did you know it?

          Ms. Gallagher and Callaghan provided extensive forensic evidence–not “innuendo”–as to the numerous errors, some possibly to select individuals benefit, that led to Ms. Fulkerson’s resignation. There ought to be more such resignations or terminations in the coming months.

          • John Higgins

            If I cared a nickle’s worth about your silly question (which, by the way you did coin, we have heard it millions of times) I’d respond.

            When people take statements and twist them to meet some preconceived notion, we come away from discussions with less knowledge then going in. You’ll note that my comment referenced things being said here on Reston Now. The various comment strings are dripping with innuendo, as I understand that term. I did not intend to, nor did I actually, refer to the two-member report.

        • 40yearsinreston

          So did the Revoluionaries in 1770

      • Why do you bother?

        Character assassination? Thanks for the laugh! Fulkerson and Co. have squandered many millions of $$ on things a two-year-old could see were bad ideas. She should be prosecuted for fiscal malfeasance.

        • Reston1970

          I’d pay to see that!

      • Reston1970

        Sorry, but this is what accountability looks like, and exactly what needed to happen. At a minimum.

    • 30yearsinreston

      The reporter was being nice

  • Mike M

    Thanks, Cate. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Tetra – I mean ta-ta!

    • Reston1970

      Classic!

  • 30yearsinreston

    What does the -‘special adviser’ do and how much is she getting paid ?

    Its about time there was some accountability in RA
    Time to clean house by demoting/firing the top heavy “senior management’ and have staff who answer the phone and return calls

    • 39yearsinreston

      She has a contract, she’ll get paid through her contract period.

      • 40yearsinreston

        Another troll

    • Greg

      She’s getting paid way too much!

  • Donald

    I guess the other question to ask is — who will the board select as the Acting CEO?

    Donald

    • 40yearsinreston

      Word is that Hudgens may be available soon

      • Greg

        Her campaign slogan: “workforce” housing for all!

      • Reston1970

        Please, not her!!!!

  • Mr. Brownstone

    Clearly she leaving because she is not properly compensated for her position. We need to raise RA dues to fix this problem

    • 40yearsinreston

      Lol

  • Bruce Wright

    Cate, thanks for your many years of service to Reston.

    It’s probably too late, but don’t read the other comments here. Some things never change. A few rude, unhappy people seem to have nothing better to do than to make snide remarks on Reston Now.

    • Greg

      And here you are making snide remarks on Reston now. Unhappy and rude much? For shame!

    • Greg

      And here you are making snide remarks on Reston Now. Rude and unhappy much? For shame.

    • Samuel Colbertson

      Well said Bruce. I pray, the antagonists here are in the minority.

      All the best Cate, and to your family.

    • Terry Tetrasen

      You clearly were never on the receiving end of CF’s “management style.”
      Horrible, simply horrible.

  • Terry Tetrasen

    Talk about draining the swamp. Now lets get rid of all of the other people who used the RA as their own personal vendetta tool.

  • Terry Tetrasen

    Please, please tell me that the so called outside “legal” counsel has also “left the building.” What a waste of HOA fees…average 600k a year… etc

  • GreenVillage

    bye Felicia

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