Town of Herndon Appoints Former GEICO Employee as First-ever Risk Manager

The Town of Herndon has appointed its first-ever risk manager.

Fox Simkins, who previously worked with GEICO’s claims liability management team, was appointed to the newly created position this week.

As risk manager, Simkins is responsible for planning and managing the town’s insurance and risk programs, including risk management programs like workers’ compensation, injury management, and liability management. She will also analyze the town’s risk management processes, including reviewing risk elimination measures and determining controls.

“The establishment of this position fulfills a primary objective of the Town Council, to ensure that the town operates in a manner that optimizes productivity on behalf of citizens while mitigating unnecessary  risk,” said Town Attorney Lesa Yeatts

Here’s more about Simkins from a media release:

Fox Simkins held positions of increasing responsibility at GEICO, culminating in a seat on the insurance company’s Claims Liability School management development team. In that role, she was responsible for developing curricula for supervisory programs and instruction, as well as  managing their execution; working with multiple departments on regional and national compliance in risk management procedures; serving as a lead negotiation instructor; and working with company leadership on risk management issues. She was also a founding member of GEICO’s national training center. 

Simkins has a B.A. in political science from Hofstra University. She begins her position on Dec. 2.

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Plan for Wireless Service Facility Moves at Herndon High School Moves Forward

Sprint is gearing up for several community engagement events in order to educate residents about a  125-foot monopole and ground equipment that is proposed at Herndon High School (7999 Bennet Street).

The company is seeking the county’s approval to build at 91-by-35-foot structure enclosed with a telecommunications facility. The project heads to the Fairfax County Planning Commission for a public hearing on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 7:30 p.m.

 Here’s more from Sprint on why the project is needed:

The project will help Sprint bring improved coverage to your community. The shaded section below shows the approximate area that will receive enhanced network strength with the proposed wireless facility. The new facility will improve Internet connectivity speed and voice connectivity–especially inside homes and buildings–and help your area respond to the increasing demand for quality wireless service.  Users outside of the shaded area may also see improved service as the new facility off-loads some of the traffic from the existing facilities in the area.

A community balloon fly will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 8 a.m., with a rain date of Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 8 a.m. A community meeting is set for Monday, Dec. 16 at 6 p.m. at Herndon United Methodist Church (701 Bennett Street).

More information about the project is available online.

Photo via Sprint

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Hudgins Selected for Regional Leadership Award by George Mason University

Retiring Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and two other local election officials are being honored by George Mason University for their leadership.

Hudgins, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Sharon Bulova and retiring Prince William County Supervisor Marty Nohe were selected for the university’s inaugural Regional Leadership Awards.

The award is administered through the Schar School of Policy and Government.

“It is our pleasure to present these long-serving public officials with our first-ever awards,” said Schar School Dean Mark J. Rozell. “It’s a small way to recognize the effort each of them has contributed to making Northern Virginia among the most successfully governed regions in the country. These awards are well-deserved.”

The retiring elected officials will be recognized at a dinner on Nov. 18.

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Del. Ken Plum: A Retrospective on This Election Cycle

Del. Ken Plum/File photoThis is an opinion column by Del. Ken Plum (D), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

The outcomes of the election on November 5 are not known as I write this column. I will no doubt have much to say about the results in future writings as this election is going to be pivotal for the Commonwealth’s history regardless of who turns out to be the winners. What I was able to observe in the weeks and days leading up to election day was the highest level of people willing to help throughout the state in knocking on doors, making phone calls, writing postcards, and otherwise willing to chip in for their favorite candidates. If the level of activity leading up to election day is any indication, the turnout of voters should have been record-breaking. “When we vote, we win” became the mantra of campaigns hoping to hold onto power or to transfer it to a more progressive legislature. As I traveled around the state, I became aware that while I had focused on state legislative contests there were many local elections that were critical to the future of local boards of supervisors and school boards.

What is known before the first vote was cast is that these elections were the most expensive ever seen in off-year elections in Virginia. When the total expenses of both candidates in many legislative elections are added together, it will not be unusual that the total exceeds a million dollars. For some highly contentious races the totals exceed three million dollars. I have never seen the generosity of individuals to contribute to elections in other parts of the state as great as it was this year. There is a growing recognition that while it is important who your elected official is, there is an equal importance to who holds the majority in the legislative body. You not only work to get your representatives elected, you also need to help the campaigns of those with whom he or she will have to work. Political contributions from out-of-state individuals and organizations poured into the state in record amounts.

Also interesting in this election cycle is the amazing transformation that occurred in some incumbent legislators. It took Virginia more than four years to approve Medicaid expansion in the state. Yet, if you listened to television commercials downstate you would not be able to find anyone who opposed the expansion. To the contrary, there were claims on the part of some incumbents who had voted against the expansion who in the campaign claimed credit for passing it. It is amazing what a refreshment with voters can do to some legislators’ point of view and memories

To analyze state and local election returns I recommend that you go to the website of the State Board of Elections at elections.virginia.gov to see actual voting results. For more information on who the candidates were and how much they spent I suggest a visit to the Virginia Public Access Project, vpap.org. In future columns I will provide my take on what the election results mean for the future of the Commonwealth.

A special shout out of recognition and thank you goes to all who worked so hard this election cycle. You are what makes the system work. Thank you!

 

File photo

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Reston Apartment Fire Caused by Unattended Candle

A fire at an apartment building on Greywing Square was caused by an unattended candle, according to fire investigators.

Roughly 25 people were in the building on the 12000 block of Greywing Square when fire and rescue personnel arrived on the scene on Tuesday (Nov. 5) at around 4:09 p.m.

The fire started in the living room of an apartment unit and spread to the unit directly below. Three residents were displaced as a result of the fire. Residents in the apartment unit where the fire started were not home at the time.

The incident caused roughly $25,000 in damages.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is reminding residents to take the following precautions when lighting a candle:

  • Never leave burning candles unattended
  • Keep all combustible materials away from open flames
  • Do not burn candles near windows or doorways
  • Place candles in glass or ceramic containers
  • Place candles on a flat, sturdy non-combustible surface
  • Never leave candles burning when children or pets are present
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Thursday Morning Notes

Local Schools Recognized for Excellence in Web Content — “Fairfax County Public Schools has recognized ten school websites for excellence in web design and use of web-based tools in the 2019 Best of the Web Awards.  Winners were recognized at this year’s Web Curators conference.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

County Executive, FCPS Superintendent Discuss Budget, Collaboration — The county’s latest edition of “Connect with County Leaders,” a podcast, features County Executive Bryan Hill and Superintendent Scott Braband of Fairfax County Public Schools. [Fairfax County Government]

Reston Artist Unveils Newest Mural in Falls Church  Reston artist Dana Scheurer is known for her many commissions and installations, among them “The Midtown Community Mural” on New Dominion Parkway in Reston Town Center, Public Art Installation — Bicycle Racks at Walker Nature Center, and Lobby Installations — The Jordan in Arlington, AHC Inc. Baltimore office, The Serrano, Jackson’s Crossing and The Woodbury Apartments, according to the artist’s website.” [The Connection]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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