Five Candidates Vying for Reston Community Center’s Board of Governors

by Fatimah Waseem August 19, 2019 at 9:45 am 0

Five candidates are running for seats on the Reston Community Center’s Board of Governors.

First-time candidates Laurie Dodd and Robert Petrine join incumbents Beverly Cosham, Michelle Moyer and Paul Thomas in the race for three positions.

Voting begins on September 6. All properties in Small District 5 will receive ballots in the mail.

Mailed ballots must be received by 5 p.m. on Thursday, September 26. Walk-in and online ballots must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, September 27.

The board is responsible for establishing RCC’s policies and guiding development of its programs and budget. The terms will be for three years.

Statements of candidate, which were provided by RCC, are below.

 

Beverly A. Cosham

What previous experience or participation in civic activities would you bring to the RCC Board? 

My previous experiences and participation in civic activities that I would bring to the RCC Board are my nine terms on the Lorton Arts Foundation, three terms on Advisory Board of ArtsFairfax, one term each on the Lorton Land Reuse Committee and the Actor’s Center, and nine terms on the Reston Community Orchestra and six terms on the RCC Board of Governors. I am a founding member of the Reston Chorale and the Reston Players.

How would your leadership enhance RCC’s efforts to bring the community together by providing opportunities for enriching leisure experiences and connections that reach out to all to foster inclusiveness and a sense of belonging? 

As an incumbent, I have experience creating and realizing Strategic Plans by working with the board and staff to create programs and partnerships to better serve the growing and diverse community. RCC is the heart of Reston and strives to keep Bob Simon’s Principles to ensure that Reston remains a welcoming place to live, work and play for all.

 

Laurie Dodd

What previous experience or participation in civic activities would you bring to the RCC Board?

I have lived in Reston for 23+ years, raising two children here. As an attorney with my own practice, I have been a leader in many community groups over the years. I served as board member for Reston Swim Team Association, Reston Children’s Center, and my church. I have volunteered with Coalition for a Planned Reston, Rescue Reston, Reston Runners, Embry Rucker Shelter, RA Community Gardens, and PTA. I have attended and testified at numerous meetings of RA, the Board of Supervisors, and the School Board. I recently ran for Hunter Mill Supervisor in 2019, finishing second among five candidates 

How would your leadership enhance RCC’s efforts to bring the community together by providing opportunities for enriching leisure experiences and connections that reach out to all and foster inclusiveness and a sense of belonging?

During my recent local campaign, I spoke with hundreds of Reston residents about their views. I know that RCC has truly been a center of our community, providing cultural, educational, and recreational experiences for many families, including my own. Reston residents want to be engaged in shaping the future of RCC. Just as my legal work has focused on helping underserved people and groups get what they need, I will work to ensure that RCC meet the needs of this community. I will bring fresh eyes to RCC programs, seeing that they are effective and efficient. RCC must provide opportunities for people from different social, economic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds to come together. Reaching out to get input from all is essential. As a board member, I will work diligently to help RCC serve the community, in collaboration with its many civic, cultural, and recreational partners. 

 

Michelle Moyer 

What previous experience or participation in civic activities would you bring to the RCC Board? 

After serving two terms on the RCC Board I am eager to continue this role with a community-wide focus. During my 30+ years in Reston, I have participated, and held leadership roles, in a wide variety of community organizations including Reston Masters Swim Team, PTA, All Night Grad Party committee, Reston Swim Team Association board, Fellowship Square Corporate board, cluster board, and Christ the Servant Lutheran Church. While I am still involved with some of these organizations, my main volunteer focus in recent years has been the RCC Board of Governors.

How would your leadership enhance RCC’s efforts to bring the community together by providing opportunities for enriching leisure experiences and connections that reach out to all and foster inclusiveness and a sense of belonging?

RCC has some important opportunities, such as the completion of the Aquatics Center renovation and meeting the needs identified in the Community Survey results. I look forward being involved with the next steps for RCC as we continue efforts to identify what the Reston community needs and desires and to determine how to best meet these needs within fiscal restraints. 

I am a Human Resources consultant, focusing on compensation and affirmative action. I have had my own practice for the past 28 years. This work requires analytical, communication, and creative problem solving skills coupled with the ability to work cooperatively with management teams and boards. This experience and these skills are directly applicable to the role on the Board of Governors. I would like to apply my business consulting experience and civic work to solicit input, anticipate needs, support programs, and continue valuable partnerships with other like-minded community organizations.  

 

Robert T. Petrine

What previous experience or participation in civic activities would you bring to the RCC Board?

My background is in finance. I have been the chief financial officer of two banks and have 20+ years’ experience as a federal bank regulator. I have served on several professional boards and committees that represent the educational and developmental interests of those organizations and those of the general public including the Education Committee of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce. 

I regularly attend and participate at RCC and RA Board meetings to keep informed of what’s going on in my community; active in CPR, Reston 20/20, RCA, and Rescue Reston.

I’m a 43+ year resident; coached Reston soccer teams. 

How would your leadership enhance RCC’s efforts to bring the community together by providing opportunities for enriching leisure experiences and connections that reach out to all to foster inclusiveness and a sense of belonging? 

This is my opportunity to give back to the community that has provided my family and I with innumerable cultural activities and events that have broadened our perspectives to other cultures and activities which have deeply enriched our lives. I intend to use the executive skills and experiences that I have developed in corporate finance and strategic planning over the past 5 decades to ensure RCC’s fiscal responsibility and program effectiveness.

I now have the time and am willing to make the commitment to use these skills for the benefit of my community. To meet my latter objective, I would conduct outreach meetings with community groups and individuals to inform them of the vision, values, and mission of the RCC and, most importantly, seek their input of the scope, availability, and cost of RCC programs and activities.

 

Paul Thomas

What previous experience or participation in civic activities would you bring to the RCC Board?

My wife and I both grew up in Reston, and we are raising our kids (ages 14 and 18) here. I currently serve on the RCC Board of Governors, and I am president of the South Lakes HS PTSA. I have served on other nonprofit boards and one county task force:

  • Reston Community Center Board of Governors: 3 years
  • Reston Association Board of Directors: 4 years; VP for 2 years
  • Reston Historic Trust Board of Directors: 2 years
  • Reston Swim Team Association Board of Directors: 2 years; VP both years
  • Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force: 2 years

How would your leadership enhance RCC’s efforts to bring the community together by providing opportunities for enriching leisure experiences and connections that reach out to all to foster inclusiveness and a sense of belonging?

Our changing community provides challenges and opportunities for those who care about our remarkably diverse, inclusive community. As the demographics and geography of Reston evolve, we need to continue to create spaces, events, and programs that are essential elements of Reston’s unique sense of place. Some people see RCC as a recreation center. Others see it as a fine and performing arts center. For others, it is a provider of camps for kids or continuing education for adults. To me, RCC is more than a sum of its parts; the Reston Community Center is an organization that helps define, serve and unify our community. My deep involvement with many facets of the Reston community help me understand and support the experiences and connections that make Reston such as great place. As a member of the Board of Governors, I hope to continue helping RCC with its critical mission.

Photo via RCC

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