Brand Strategy Company Pitches New ‘Brand Strategy’ for Reston Association

The Brand Consultancy, a DC-based brand strategy company, is encouraging the Reston Association to change its brand strategy to emphasize its amenities and “proven innovation.”

At a meeting on Wednesday, the company, which was contracted by RA to complete a stakeholder survey and shape its brand and strategy, presented the findings of its report.

Overall, an online survey found that 55 percent of respondents had an excellent opinion of RA. The survey was distributed online and used a non-random sample of 1,600 respondents.

Some members questioned the validity of the survey findings and the statistical significance of the survey, which was distributed online and is based on a non-random sample. More than 48 percent of the respondents have household incomes of more than $100,000.

Diane Beecher, The Brand Consultancy’s CEO and senior strategist, said the company is “very confident” that the results of the survey were “statistically reliable.”

Overall, survey respondents reported high levels of satisfaction (Upwards of 89 percent) with paved hiking trails, pathways, garden plots, and community space maintenance. Covenants, standards, and summer camp programs received the lowest levels of satisfaction from respondents.

Reston Association should capitalize on its strengths of providing high-quality amenities and creating a better place to live, according to Beecher. The organization should consider mitigating its primary weakness of community care and the preservation of design and value, according to the consultants.

The company pitched the following brand story:

Proven innovation. We bring it home.

Always grounded in purposes so we can elevate every experience.

Both forward-looking and value adding, we believe that if anything proves the power of our tomorrow, it’s what we’re doing today.

Because today, we’re aligning every service and amenity with every need and want.

Today, we’re increasing the vale of homes and properties — and of visitor and member satisfaction. And today, we’re keeping your best interests at heart so that tomorrow we’re even more state-of-the-art.

So here’s to being the association where what we could do becomes what we did. The association that continuously creates better amenities, services and ways of living. And the association that’s always at the forefront of our future, powering a potential that’s exponential.

The company also suggested pushing out key messages like “our services and amenities are well priced” and “we provide high-quality services and amenities.”

The brand pillars of preservation drivers, community inspired and value-focused were also pitched by the company based on values derived from an analysis of survey results and qualitative interviews.

Reston Association’s next steps include operationalizing the organization’s strategic roadmap, refining its customer experience, and launching a newly-defined brand to members and those who live, work and play in Reston.

A spokesperson for RA did not disclose the cost of the contract with The Brand Consultancy.

Photo via YouTube

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Friday Morning Notes

Fairfax Connector Offers Limited Service Today — As day two of a worker strike continues, several routes will only run on Sunday service and some routes will not run at all. [Fairfax County Government]

Metro Releases Concepts to Improve Service — Metro “released several preliminary concepts to improve reliability, meet future ridership demand, and better serve customers on the Blue, Orange, and Silver lines. The concepts, part of the two-year Blue/Orange/Silver Capacity and Reliability Study (BOS Study), include a range of infrastructure improvements and service alternatives to address both short- and long-term needs.” [Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority]

Wiehle-Reston East Station Closed This Weekend — “Crews are gearing up to try and finish construction of Phase Two of the Silver Line extension in time for a September opening, and it’s going to mean some continuous inconveniences for weekend Metro riders. Just like the past few weekends, the Wiehle-Reston East Station will close again order as crews work on the expansion project. The work (and the closures) will continue most weekends through February 2020, per Metro. Free shuttle buses will be available between the Spring Hill and Wiehle-Reston East stations.” [DCIST]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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County Honors Local Companies for Best Green Commuter Programs

Earlier this week, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recognized more than a dozen employers for excelling in implementing green commuter programs.

The award, which is managed by the Fairfax County Department of Transportation and Best Workplaces for Commuters, recognizes companies for offering transportation benefits and incentives, including teleworking, ride-matching services, and bike parking.

The board recognized 17 companies for receiving the award, including the following six employers based in Herndon and Reston:

“Employers offering commuting alternatives receive value through enhanced recruitment and retention of staff, decreased parking expenses as well the ability to limit employee absenteeism. It’s a win-win for the employers, the employees and Fairfax County,” said Marcus Moore, lead employer outreach specialist with the Fairfax County Department of Transportation.

The designation is offering through Best Workplaces for Commuters, a membership program managed by the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research.

Photo via Fairfax County Government

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Thursday Morning Notes

County Seeks Help Reporting Streetlight Outages — Residents can report streetlight outages through the county’s interactive map online. [Fairfax County Government]

Meeting on Silver Line Phase Two Set for Today — The Dulles Corridor Advisory Committee meets today. The committee will receive an update on phase two of the project, as well as funding needs. [Dulles Corridor Advisory Committee]

Reminder about Reston Association Board Elections — Members interested in running for a seat in 2020should submit applications by Jan. 24. [Reston Association]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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UPDATED: Fairfax Connector to Offer Limited Service Amid Worker Strike

Commuters who rely on Fairfax Connector service should plan to make alternate plans tomorrow (Thursday).

Fairfax Connector workers plan to begin a strike at 3 a.m. tomorrow, according to the Amalgamated Transit Union.

The service, which is used by 30,000 individuals on a daily basis, will operate on a Sunday schedule tomorrow.

The strike comes after failed negotiations over a contract extension and an ongoing six-week-long strike at a Metro garage in Lorton. Transdev, a private company recently hired by the county, operates both services.

Here’s more from the county’s transportation department:

As a result of the job action, Transdev does not expect all drivers represented by ATU Local 1764 to report for work on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019, and bus service will be operated by a limited number of available personnel. The decision was made to operate a Sunday schedule instead of a weekday schedule because that is believed to be the maximum level of reliable bus service that can be provided under the current circumstances.

Workers plan to stand at picket lines at three locations in the county, including the stop at 268 Spring Street in Herndon.

Here’s more from the union on the strike:

Five weeks after its union-busting tactics unleashed an unprecedented Metrobus strike that continues to this day, private transit contractor Transdev is at it again.

With more than 36 allegations of labor law violations alleged against the company, six hundred Transdev workers who operate and maintain the Fairfax Connector are striking beginning December 5.

Commuters should sign up for text or email alerts, follow Fairfax Connector on Twitter and Facebook, or call the service’s customer service line at 703-339-7200 for updates on service impacts.

County officials are encouraging residents to carpool, bike, walk or telework tomorrow.

We appreciate our passengers’ patience as Transdev and ATU are continuing to negotiate a new contract.  Until an agreement is reached, Fairfax County will continue to update Fairfax Connector customers with operating status on a regular basis,” according to a statement by the Fairfax County Department of Transportation.

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As Hudgins Ends 20 Years of Service, Reston’s ‘Growing Pains’ Come to the Forefront

As Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins concludes her two-decade-long career this month, she acknowledges that Reston is experiencing what some might call “the painful side” of growth.

Nonetheless, Hudgins, who helped expand the Silver Line into and beyond Reston and presided over major changes in the community, says that she is confident that the pipeline of projects in development will slowly transform the community into a more inclusive suburb with a thriving transit-oriented core.

As community consternation about the pace of development and supporting public infrastructure mounts, Hudgins says she is hopeful that the community’s growing pains — including increased traffic and the uncertainty of future transportation funding for projects — will slowly give way to a more welcoming community.

The arrival of the regional transit system prompted a flurry of redevelopment and development along the Wiehe-Reston East Metro Station and the Reston Town Center Metro Station. Hudgins, a big believer in the promise of commuter rail, hopes residents who are alarmed by the residential towers and mixed-use projects scraping the area’s skies can learn to embrace change that is inevitable due to the Silver Line’s expansion.

“When we announced that Wegmans was coming, everyone was happy. We have to remember that you can’t build a Wegmans and not have people going back and forth,” Hudgins said. “What Reston is seeing is the benefit of financial investment. The question is, how long does the vision take to shape out?”

As she prepares to hand off her position to former Planning Commissioner Walter Alcorn, she worries that some issues are still lingering, including housing affordability.

“When we came to Reston, there was a price point that we could all live on, but that has changed,” Hudgins said. “The question is, how do you implement affordable housing? How do you fund it? And what do you build?”

As the community grows, Hudgins also hopes that the welcoming spirit that prompted her to settle into the area nearly 50 years ago, also grows.

“The challenge will be how to keep that sense of community that I bought into and that we bought into,” Hudgins says.

In addition to helping bringing rail to the area, Hudgins says she is also proud of the “little legacies” like creating a high school bus pass system for buses and Metro, as well as expanding Kindergarten from a half-day to a full-day program in 2011.

She hopes Alcorn will offer community engagement opportunities to keep Restonians updated on the holistic picture of planned development, infrastructure, and housing affordability projects.

Hudgins plans to “sit back and watch” and become a part of the community again.

“If we can get to a point where we have the diversity of transportation uses and the people who work here can live here, we will learn that we can have a really great community, even as it changes.”

She compares Reston’s pace of development to living in your home as it is being remodeled — which she weathered through even when the roof was damaged by a storm.

“In the end, the actual plan does work.”

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New Indian Vegetarian Restaurant Opens in Herndon

A new Indian vegetarian spot is now open in Herndon.

Adyar Ananda Bhavan held a soft opening this past Sunday (Dec. 1) at 645 Elden Street. The restaurant serves traditional South and North Indian Food and select Chinese items.

Here’s more about the business from its website:

Three decades ago a small sweet shop started by Late K.S.Thirupathi Raja in the then Metropolis of Chennai, India, has now flowered over 120 branches covering the length and breadth of Chennai city, its neighboring places such as Kanchipuram, Erode, Madurai, Trichy, Coimbatore, Tripur and the states of Karnataka, Pondicherry and Delhi. M/s. Adyar Ananda Bhavan Sweets & Snacks is now well established and firmly in saddle as one of the leading and exclusive sweets and savories manufacturer in South India. The driving force behind the concern now is the two brothers Mr. K.T. Venkatesan and Mr. K.T. Srinivasa Raja to whom the baton of rich sweet tradition has been passed on by their late father K.S.Thirupathi Raja.

The restaurant is open from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and from 5:30-10 p.m. for dinner everyday except Monday.

Parking spaces are available in the front and back of the building. A business representative told Reston Now they plan to host a grand opening sometime this month.

Photo via Adyar Ananda Bhavan

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Defense Department Awards Reston-based Company $22.2 Billion — General Dynamics was awarded the contract to construct nine Virginia-class submarines. The contract is the largest shipbuilding award given to a company by the Pentagon. [Washington Business Journal]

Gifts for the HeART Exhibit Begins Saturday — The annual exhibit returns to Reston Community Center Lake Anne from Saturday (Dec. 2) through Jan. 6. Artists will display and sell original works of art in a variety of mediums at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery. [Reston Community Center]

Israeli Aerospace Company Celebrates Grand Opening — Israel Aerospace Industries held a grand opening this week to celebrate its new headquarters in Herndon. The new company will create more than 50 new jobs in the area. [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority]

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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Report: Following Teen’s Death, Homeowners Association Installs Traffic Signs

A local homeowners association has installed yard signs to encourage drivers to slow down following aSouth Lakes High School teenager was killed in a hit-and-run last year.

Marvin Daniel Cruz Serrano, 16, was struck by a vehicle while returning home from work at Reston’s Cafesano. Local police have not disclosed any leads on the case.

Serrano was crossing South Lakes Drive toward Castle Rock Square near the Bristol House Condos when he was hit by a car.

According to a report by NBC 4, which first reported the installation of the signs, the local homeowners association installed signs in late November to encourage residents to slow down.

Residents are also considering implementing a fine if two or more neighbors spot someone driving at a speed of more than 10 mph.

Photo via GoFundMe

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After Fire, Cafesano’s Cafe in South Lakes Village Center Closes Until Further Notice

Cafesano’s cafe in South Lakes Village Center is temporarily closed for repairs until further notice after a fire in its kitchen on Sunday (Dec. 1).

According to a sign posted on the Italian and Mediterranean restaurant’s storefront, the restaurant is taking pick-up orders from the market in Suite C of the shopping center.

Fire department officials have ruled that a fire at the restaurant was accidental in nature. Officials believe it was caused by grease buildup in the ventilation system of the restaurant.

“The fire was accidental and originated in the ductwork for the kitchen hood system. The cause was ignition of grease buildup in the ventilation system,” a spokesperson for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department told Reston Now.

Damages are estimated at $2,000. It is unclear when the restaurant will reopen.

Photo by Jay Westcott

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Reston Association to Hold Special Meeting Tomorrow — The Brand Consultancy, a brand strategy company, will present its final report to RA’s Board of Directors tomorrow (Wednesday) at a special board meeting at 7 p.m. [Reston Association]

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Accepts Toy Donations — The department is taking part in the annual Toys for Tots Campaign. Donations are accepted through Friday, Dec. 13. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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DIY Art Studio to Open in Herndon Early Next Year

A new studio to make wooden art is opening early next year in Herndon.

AR Workshop Reston, which currently has a location in Loudoun County, plans to open at the Reston-Herndon Business Park (315 Spring Street) in January.

Co-owners Michelle Shepard and Jacqueline Maglione, who have been friends for more than a decade, said the Herndon location is currently under construction. They hope to create a space where friends and families can come and create together.

Patrons can make home decor like wood signs and centerpiece boxes at the studio. The business offers more than 900 deign options. Bookings for kids parties and other group events are available.

“We empower our guests to be creative and learn how to use power tools. Each project begins with a stencil and raw wood, but leaves as a gorgeous new piece of Home Decor the guest will be proud of,” they said.

The business is currently hiring part-time instructors.

The co-owners met through their children. They look forward to launching the new location in the coming year. An exact opening date has not been set yet.

Photos via AR Workshop Reston

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LA Fitness Studio in Herndon Opening Earlier Than Expected

The LA Fitness coming to Herndon is going to open earlier than previously expected.

The center at 494 Elden Street is now expected to open on Jan. 16 at the recently remodeled Herndon shopping center, according to a company representative.

Kristhian Reyes, the general manager of the location, originally thought the fitness studio was going to open around early February.

“Our Herndon location will be the biggest location in the state of VA,” Reyes said on Facebook.

Those interested in membership can preregister online. Memberships cost roughly $45 per month and personal training will be available on-site for an extra charge.

Photo by Jay Westcott

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Town of Herndon Moves Forward on Free WiFi, Charging Station in Downtown Herndon

Free WiFi and a new electric vehicle charging station is coming soon to downtown Herndon.

The Herndon Town Council is considering amending its agreement with Vivacity Networks to add an electric vehicle charging station and set up WiFi and smart city functionality in the town.

The council will discuss changes to the agreement at a meeting tomorrow (Tuesday).

Last year, the town announced a plan to launch a pilot program to bring LED lights and free WiFi to the downtown area.

In response to questions about the implementation of the project, a town spokeswoman told Reston Now that the town will release more information about the project soon, including when free WiFi will go live.

The meeting is set for 7 p.m. tomorrow (Dec. 3) at the Herndon Council Chambers building (765 Lynn Street).

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Monday Morning Notes

Reminder to Sign Up for Fairfax Alerts — The county is reminding residents to sign up for the alert system in order to keep up to date with winter travel news. [Fairfax County Government]

FCPS Scores High on Environmental Ranking — “Fairfax County Public Schools has earned “Platinum” status in the Virginia School Board Association’s “Green Schools Challenge” for 2019.” [Inside NoVa]

Annual Holiday Gift Shopping Event Set for Saturday — Reston Community Center’s annual “Gifts from the HeART” shopping event returns this Saturday (Dec. 7) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free and open to all. [Reston Community Center]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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