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by Dave Emke — September 12, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Chamber’s Legislative Scorecard Released — The Northern Virginia Chamber Partnership annually grades local members of the Virginia General Assembly on their support of legislation that positively affects business, economic development, workforce development and related issues. Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax) and Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax), who represent Reston, both scored in the middle of the pack. [Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce]

Extreme Drunkenness Caused Crash That Killed Herndon Man — The driver in a July wrong-way head-on crash on U.S. 50 in Annapolis, which killed herself and a 34-year-old Herndon man, had a blood-alcohol content of .34. That’s more than four times the legal limit in Maryland. [WTOP]

Dominion Sending Workers to Help After Irma — Dominion Energy has mobilized more than 700 employees and contractors to respond to electric restoration efforts in after Hurricane Irma devastated Florida and left millions without power. [Dominion Energy]

N.C. Real Estate Company Opening Reston Office — Commercial realtors The Morgan Cos. will move into 11955 Freedom Drive, Suite 11000 at Reston Town Center. It will be their third office, following ones in Charlotte and Fort Lauderdale. [Virginia Business]

SLHS Seahawks 3-0 on Season — The South Lakes High School Seahawks football team stayed undefeated last week with a 49-7 win over Oakton. Statistical leaders included QB Devin Miles (6-6, 154 yards, 2 TDs), RB Spencer Alston (109 yards rushing, 121 yards receiving, 4 TDs), RB Albert Mensah (60 yards rushing, 1 TD) and DL Spencer Coppage (sack, interception, forced fumble). Reserve QB Will Shapiro also threw a touchdown pass, connecting with WR Kazim Khan. SLHS will play its first home game of the season Friday night against Dominion. [South Lakes Athletics]

by RestonNow.com — June 23, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce honored the best of the best Thursday during its annual meeting for Awards and Chamber Excellence.

Winners of this year’s ACE honors are:

  • Large Business of the Year: Leidos
  • Medium Business of the Year: Not Your Average Joe’s
  • Small Business of the Year: Pinot’s Palette
  • Member of the Year: Kevin Taylor, Communicate by Design
  • New Member of the Year: Jennifer Rhodes, Tagence
  • Volunteer of the Year: Dave and JoAnne Adams, Dave & JoAnne Adams Group — Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
  • President’s Award: Michael Delpierre, Conversion Pipeline
  • Pinnacle Award: Angela Inzerillo, Impact Business Solutions
  • Committee of the Year: Ambassadors Committee

https://twitter.com/LeidosInc/status/877940945970380800

The GRCC Board for the coming year will include:

  • Matt Brennan, Brennan & Waite PLC
  • Mike Coogan, Leidos
  • Michael Delpierre, Conversion Pipeline
  • Kevin Krestch, Hyatt Regency Reston
  • John Dierdorff, Reston Hospital Center
  • Mike Franz, SOSi
  • Bruce Gemmill, John Marshall Bank
  • Leila Gordon, Reston Community Center
  • Kelly McSweeney, Google
  • Maggie Parker, Comstock
  • Laura Siko, Northern Virginia Community College
  • Mark Watts, CST Group CPAs PC

The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce provides programming, education, connections and advocacy for its 670 members and organizations in the Dulles Corridor.

by Dave Emke — June 16, 2017 at 4:00 pm 4 Comments

The Taste of Reston festival kicked off Friday afternoon, bringing delicious odors and hungry visitors to Market Street.

The 27th annual event has an increased number of restaurants to go along with its live entertainment, exhibits and much more. One of the early visitors, Andrew Kelly of Reston, said it’s a great tradition for the community.

“It’s nice to see [all the restaurants] out here,” he said. “It’s a nice day to spend out, a nice time for people to come out and enjoy the free parking at the Town Center while they get a little taste of all the different restaurants.”

Parking at the Town Center is free today and will be throughout the duration of the festival.

The event is a fundraiser for the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce’s INCspire Education Foundation, which helps small businesses grow through educational opportunities. Mark Ingrao, GRCC president and CEO, said there are more restaurants involved this year’s festival than in past years.

“They came out of the woodwork this year,” he said. “We’re thrilled about that.”

There are 30 restaurants at the festival, along with four stages — including three with live music — as well as a kids’ entertainment area. There is also craft beer available along with a “Wine ‘n’ Dine” area and a market.

“We’re looking forward to a great event,” Ingrao said.

Ana Michicol, of Manassas, was visiting for the first time. She said the atmosphere surrounding the festival was just as good as the food.

“You have little puppies that you can pet and everything, and there’s music going on,” she said. “I love it.”

The event is scheduled to go until 11 p.m. tonight, and from noon to 11 p.m. Saturday. For the full schedule of entertainment, demonstrations and more, check out the Taste of Reston website.

by RestonNow.com — June 1, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

The annual Taste of Reston festival is coming up June 16-17, and organizers are still looking for more volunteers to help make it happen.

There are “a few” volunteer spots remaining each evening for the event, according to the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. Volunteers receive an event T-shirt and 12 tickets to use on the food and drink available during the festival.

The Taste of Reston has been voted Northern Virginia’s Best Food Festival by Virginia Living magazine six straight years. It features two days of restaurants and community food vendors, along with live entertainment on three stages. There are also kids’ activities and a “wine ‘n’ dine” area. Food and drink tickets are available for advance purchase.

The festival is scheduled for 3-11 p.m. Friday, June 16, and noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 17. Parking will be free for the duration of the event.

To learn more about volunteering at the Taste of Reston, visit its website.

File photo courtesy Reston Town Center

by RestonNow.com — May 4, 2017 at 9:00 am 7 Comments

Reston-based security firm accused of smuggling, human trafficking in Iraq — A scathing Associated Press story that came out Wednesday accuses a Reston-based contractor of allowing some risky operations to take place while being paid hundreds of millions of dollars to provide security to an F-16 air base in Iraq, and then firing independent investigators that uncovered it. The investigators told the AP that U.S. security personnel “turned a blind eye” though they were fully aware of prostitutes and alcohol being smuggled into Baghdad and onto the base, as well as not interfering when they witnessed power generators being stolen off the base by local militia and driven away on huge flatbed trucks. [MSN.com/Associated Press]

Reston Chamber Seeks Nominations for Annual Business Awards – The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for its annual ACE awards (Awards for Chamber Excellence). The awards recognize outstanding member businesses that demonstrate “excellence, innovation and community involvement” while supporting the Chamber’s mission. Categories include Small/Medium/Large Business of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and more. Nominations can be submitted online through May 12. Winners will be announced at the ACE Awards in June. [Greater Reston Chamber]

County to review policies after some rack up more than $100,000 in overtime pay — County supervisors are reviewing departmental staffing and pay policies after a review of the books revealed that more than 1,700 county employees earned more than $100,000 last year, in large part due to overtime pay. Several employees are said to have made more than $100,000 just in overtime pay alone, and some even doubled or tripled their salary. Supervisor Pat Herrity said especially with first responders, so much overtime presents safety concerns. A review is now being conducted to determine if hiring additional staff will reduce the need for so much overtime. [WTOP]

Teen arrested for shooting BB gun at occupied car in Herndon — A 19-year-old man was arrested after firing multiple shots from a BB gun at an occupied car in Herndon. The teen is being held in Fairfax County jail without bond. [Herndon Patch]

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by RestonNow.com — April 7, 2017 at 10:15 am 0

The community’s best were honored Thursday evening during the 26th annual Best of Reston Awards Gala, a partnership between Cornerstones and the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce.

Twenty-two finalists for the awards were announced earlier this year, and honorees at the gala included:

  • Small Business Leader Award: The CST Group
  • Civic/Community Organization Awards: Women Giving Back, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts
  • Large Business Service Award: Odin, Feldman and Pittleman, P.C.
  • Individual Community Leader Award: Bill Keefe
  • Family Service Award: Vincent and Gillian Sescoe

In addition, the Vade Bolton-Ann Rodriguez Legacy Award, presented for only the third time since its inception, went to Herb Williams-Baffoe. According to Cornerstones, the award “honors acts of volunteerism and leadership that motivate and inspire a new generation of leaders and create a legacy of service. Herb was recognized because he inspires us all, and shows the power of believing in our youth and what that does for their self-belief.”

The Robert E. Simon Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Vicky Wingert “for her lifetime commitment to Reston values, for cementing the legacy of Bob Simon and for capturing the history and future of Reston,” according to Cornerstones.

A check for more than $515,000, representing funds raised through this year’s Best of Reston, was presented to Cornerstones to support the organization’s strategies of starting individuals on a pathway to sustainable living-wage employment, and to identify and address other barriers to move from surviving to living prosperous, healthy lives.

“Cornerstones counts on your support of its work to stabilize those who are struggling, empower those who may not have a voice, and bring hope to our community,” said Charlene Wheeless, Bechtel principal vice president and a 2016 Best of Reston honoree who co-chaired the event along with Doug Bushee. “Now more than ever we need organizations who work to ensure everyone has access to food, shelter and opportunities for a stronger future.”

Kerrie Wilson, Cornerstones CEO, said community support has helped the organization made great strides toward curtailing homelessness.

“We believe that our job is to end homelessness — not just manage it — by developing housing that is affordable for people over their lifetime,” Wilson said. “We are so grateful for the incredible support that helps Cornerstones and its partners to reduce homelessness in our community by 47 percent in the past eight years.”

For more photos from Thursday evening’s gala, visit photographer Chip McCrea’s website.

Photos courtesy Chip McCrea Photography

by Dave Emke — March 30, 2017 at 2:45 pm 17 Comments

There may be a sense of frustration and concern regarding ongoing construction of Metro’s Silver Line, area elected officials said Thursday, but its great potential must be remembered.

Fairfax County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and state delegates Ken Plum (D-Fairfax) and Jennifer Boysko (D-Fairfax/Loudoun) talked about Metro and the surrounding future development during a legislative panel discussion sponsored by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and hosted by Dominion Virginia Power in Herndon. Plum, the former state chair of the Dulles Corridor Rail Association, said it is important to put the status of Metro’s Silver Line in perspective.

“We really ought to stop for a moment and celebrate where we are,” Plum said. “For 25 years of my life I worked on that project, and it was announced to be dead half a dozen times, at least. … Now, by 2020, we’re going to have it all the way out into Loudoun County. And we have an incredible opportunity with that.”

A large amount of development has happened or is in the works in the area of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station, the current western terminus of the Silver Line. Other projects are also springing up near the line’s future stations in Fairfax and Loudoun counties.

The Metro Washington Airport Authority’s Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, which is overseeing construction, announced recently that Phase 2 work to extend Metro through Reston into Dulles Airport and onward to Ashburn is more than 56 percent complete. However, deficiencies in Metro’s budget and decreasing ridership have raised a number of questions in recent months about the future viability of the transit system.

Boysko, whose district includes Herndon, praised the state’s creation of the Metrorail Safety Commission to examine how Metro is being organized and managed. She said as Phase 2 of the project continues, it is imperative that safety issues as well as financial and operational performance are properly monitored and addressed.

“People say this is the least functional transit system in the country,” she said. “We have such a great opportunity as we are expanding into Phase 2, [but] it has to be a success. We have really focused our economic development around Phase 2 being successful.”

Hudgins, who is also a member of Metro’s Board of Directors, said this is a conversation she “live[s] every day.” She said Metro is unique in many ways, most notably in its partnership between multiple jurisdictions as well as in its infrastructure itself.

“I think people need to understand, it is a different kind of railroad,” she said. “That system is one of the most difficult systems [to maintain] of all those in the country.”

Plum said Metro needs to be revitalized, and in order for that to happen, it needs to continue to receive the support of the surrounding community.

“Please, don’t wash your hands of Metro,” Plum said. “It’s vital to the economic development of our region and I think we all recognize [that].”

The legislative recap event sponsored by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce is a chance for local businesspeople to keep abreast of important issues in the community, said Mark Ingrao, GRCC president and CEO.

“We’re a catalyst for business growth and entrepreneurship in this area of Fairfax County,” he said. “We think that we have the type of programming our members are looking for to connect them with other businesses [and] to educate them on legislative things like this.”

by Dave Emke — March 30, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

State FBLA Conference is April 7-8 in Reston — Numerous local students are among the 120 from Fairfax County who have qualified for the state FBLA-PBL leadership conference. Among them are Cyril Antoney, Adam Asif, Amanzeb Aurangzeb, Rochelle Barasona, Rahbar Chowdhury and Ryan Terrell of Herndon High School; and Spencer Alston, Jennifer Alvarez, Kian Attari, Jon Burbach, Juhi Chandrabhatha, Ayah Elnafe, Conor Gill, Noah Goldstein, Ajit Gupta, Ian Hughes, Jarius Johnson, Rachel Kessler, Bardia Kimiavi, Eric Kiss, Jesse Lynch, Davi Meran, Rabia Mohamednur and Ahmed Rabani of South Lakes High School. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Bechtel Exec Gets Black Women in Business Award — Charlene Wheeless, Bechtel’s principal vice president for global corporate affairs, has been named one of the 25 Influential Black Women in Business by the Network Journal. Wheeless also serves on the boards of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and Reston Hospital Center. [Press Release]

‘Sacred Profane’ Coming to CenterStage — Featuring an all-women cast of diverse ages, cultures and ethnicities, the show features music compositions, pop songs and classical music to create a “loose, provocative canvas with bodies in motion.” It is set for Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) on April 5. [Reston Connection]

by Dave Emke — March 15, 2017 at 9:00 am 2 Comments

Morning Notes

Still Waiting for Willard’s — We reported in January that Willard’s BBQ would soon open at 11790 Baron Cameron Ave., in the Home Depot Shopping Center. On its Facebook page, the restaurant later said it was aiming for a March 14 opening. In a response to a follower’s question Tuesday, though, it now says it hopes to open by the “end of this month.” [Willard’s BBQ]

Red’s Table Chef Talks About Life of Cooking — Adam Stein, the executive chef at Red’s Table (11500 South Lakes Drive), talked with a culinary website about what fuels his passion for food. [The Daily Meal]

Young Professionals Event Slated for Brewery — The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce will host an event Thursday from 5:30-7:30 p.m. to celebrate the ribbon cutting of Crooked Run Brewing (22455 Davis Drive, Sterling). The event will be the kickoff of the Young Professionals Cocktail Connection Networking for the year. [Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce]

Reston-Based Company Sold — ObjectVideo, which develops video analytics software for automated security surveillance systems, is headquartered at 11600 Sunrise Valley Drive. The 19-year-old company, whose work has been widely used by the U.S. defense and intelligence communities, has been acquired by Tysons-based Alarm.com. [Washington Business Journal]

‘Rock of Ages’ Gets Good Review — Reston Community Players’ performance of “Rock of Ages” opened last weekend at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) and will play through April 1. A review says Chris Dore’s “sexy, fun” choreography does an excellent job “showcas[ing] very talented dancing in the ensemble.” Carole Steele’s costumes are said to be “transformative and appropriately gaudy” for the ’80s theme. [DC Metro Theater Arts]

by RestonNow.com — February 10, 2017 at 10:15 am 7 Comments

In a break from previous tradition, 22 finalists for the 2017 Best of Reston Awards were announced Thursday night. In past years, only the winners have been honored.

According to Cornerstones, which puts on the awards along with the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, the new process serves to recognize the importance of the “many fine people, businesses and organizations involved in giving back in greater Reston/Dulles corridor.”

“At a time of uncertainty and change in our nation, the Best of Reston Community Service Awards serve as a powerful reminder that there is so much that unites us,” said Kerrie Wilson, CEO of Cornerstones. “This new approach to the awards was recommended as a way to lift up those who are bringing our community together, and affirms principles of service that are core to the work of Cornerstones and the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce.”

Nominees for the awards are as follows:

INDIVIDUAL OR FAMILY SERVICE

  • Robert Goudie
  • Vernon and Kathy Joyner
  • Bill Keefe
  • Shreya Papneja
  • Maggie Parker
  • Bob Schnapp
  • Vincent and Gillian Sescoe
  • Herb Williams-Baffoe

CIVIC AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT, VOLUNTEERISM THROUGH NONPROFIT SERVICE

  • Herndon Community Leo Club Youth
  • Omicron Kappa Kappa
  • The Reston Chorale
  • Touching Heart
  • Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts
  • Women Giving Back

LARGE BUSINESS

  • JK Moving Services
  • Navient
  • Odin, Feldman and Pittleman, P.C.
  • SOSi

EMPLOYEE-OWNED AND SMALL BUSINESS

  • SpeedPro Imaging Northern Virginia
  • Storycatcher Productions
  • Synergy Design & Construction
  • The CST Group

Up to two awardees will be selected from each category and will be honored April 6. Proceeds from the celebration benefit the programs and people served by Cornerstones.

Mark Ingrao, president and CEO of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, said the candidates are all vital parts of the community.

“We believe that service is a cornerstone of any thriving community, and this event… says it all,” he said. “Through their volunteerism and philanthropy, the past Best of Reston honorees and the candidates for the 2017 Awards work throughout the greater Reston and Dulles corridor region to make it a stronger community.”

Leidos, which hosted Thursday night’s reception, has partnered with cornerstones as the Annual Champion Partner. The company presented Cornerstones with a $100,000 check during the event.

“It is our hope that this support will be a beacon and spread the light of the good work Cornerstones does on behalf of Reston and beyond,” said Melissa Koskovich, Leidos senior vice president and marketing director. “Partnering with Cornerstones, who empowers people in our community to become self-sufficient, allows us to have a lasting impact in Reston and the greater Dulles Corridor.”

For more information about the awards, visit Cornerstones online.

Photos courtesy Chip McCrea Photography

by Dave Emke — February 7, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Morning Notes - Winter

RCC Board Seeks Community Input — The Reston Community Center Board of Governors will hold a community relations and program policy meeting Monday from 6:30-8 p.m. at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road). Discussion topics will include new programming approaches and content for inclusion in RCC’s FY19 budget; capital project planning for the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center; and the board’s progress in meeting new Strategic Plan goals and objectives. [Reston Community Center]

How Can LinkedIn Work for You? — The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce (1886 Metro Center Drive) will host a workshop Wednesday morning on how the social networking service can help attendees improve business development and polish their personal brand, or with a career transition. [Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce]

Reston-Based Company May Lose Listing — Audience-measuring firm comScore, headquartered on Democracy Drive, saw its stocks plummet Monday. This happened after an announcement that it would miss a February deadline for filing financial statements, which may result in its stock being delisted by Nasdaq. [WTOP]

by Jennifer van der Kleut — December 7, 2016 at 9:00 am 0

Morning Notes - Winter

In Defense of Political Theater Over the Silver Line — Metro board members Jack Evans and Corbett Price have threatened to veto the opening of the Silver Line to Dulles and Loudoun County if Virginia doesn’t help fund Metro more. In response, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) called those suggestions “parochial theater,” and labeled some board members’ comments “cheap and reckless.” Are they really? GGW’s David Alpert says maybe not. “Their argument about the Silver Line isn’t totally crazy,” he argues. “Still, it’s dangerous for one jurisdiction to block new service in another.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Beware of Package Thieves — The Fairfax County Police Department had at least 15 reports of packages being stolen from doorsteps across the county this past weekend, it said. The arrival of the holiday season generally means an uptick in package and mail theft. Whenever possible, police advise citizens to require a signature for package deliveries, ask that packages be delivered to neighbors if you will not be home, or have packages delivered to their offices. [Patch]

Reston Singing Groups to Open Registration — Two local singing groups for people over the age of 65 are opening to new members: Encore Reston Chorale, which performs classical choral music, and Encore Rocks Reston, which performs more contemporary and rock-and-roll music. Members do not need prior singing experience or know how to read music. Singers may also be seated during rehearsals and performances, if needed. Weekly rehearsals in Reston are scheduled to begin next month. [Encore Creativity]

Network, Celebrate, and Check Out New Reston Homes — The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce will host its annual holiday celebration, “Tinsle ‘n Tinis,” tomorrow from 6 to 9 p.m. in the rooftop bar at Reston Station’s BLVD apartment complex (1908 Reston Metro Plaza). Attendees can network with other local business professionals, celebrate the holiday season and enjoy festive martinis and hors d’oeuvres during the event. Proceeds from the event are slated to go toward a local education nonprofit. [Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce]

Fairfax County Police Respond to Annandale Shooting — Two women were shot and wounded after a fight outside of a home in Annandale last night. Fairfax County Police rushed to the scene of the crime around 6:30 p.m. yesterday. [NBC Washington]

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by RestonNow.com — June 27, 2016 at 2:45 pm 4 Comments

Chamber logo Bechtel, Hidden Creek Country Club and Around Reston magazine are some of the Reston businesses that have earned honors in this year’s Great Reston Chamber of Commerce Awards for Chamber Excellence (ACE).

Winners were announced at a lunch last week. The honorees are companies and individuals who demonstrated excellence as Chamber and community members throughout the year.

ACE Award Winners

  • Committee of the Year: GovCon Committee
  • Small Business of the Year: Around Reston Magazine
  • Medium Business of the Year: Hidden Creek Country Club
    Large Business of the Year: Bechtel
  • Member of the Year: Iris Britt, Iris Britt Consulting
  • New Member of the Year: Intelice Solutions
  • Volunteer of the Year: Roman Blazauskas, SpeedPro Imaging
  • President’s Award: Charles Kapur, Access National Bank
  • Pinnacle Award: Cynthia Hyland

The Chamber also announced its new officers. Outgoing Chairman Michael Bradshaw (Google) passed the gavel to Incoming Chairman Charles Kapur (Access National Bank).

Charlene Wheeless (Bechtel) was elected by the membership as the Chair-Elect. Dee Kakar (M&T Bank) was elected to serve as the Treasurer for 2016-2017. Matt Clary (Law Office of Matt Clary) was selected to serve as General Counsel for 2016-2017.

(more…)

by RestonNow.com — February 8, 2016 at 11:30 am 13 Comments

Traffic LightThis is an op-ed submitted by Terry Maynard, co-chair of Reston 2o20. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

On Thursday, Feb. 11, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a seminar called, “The Changing Future of Reston, ” but — as the agenda shows — it’s really about who will pay for the added public infrastructure the intense private development of Reston’s urbanizing corridor will require.

Noting that Fairfax County has identified $2.63 billion in needed transportation improvements because of the expected Metro-related development, the Chamber agenda includes:

During the first half of 2016, the County expects to settle on a plan:

  • Who should build the new transportation improvements; and
  • Who should pay for them; and
  • What revenue sources should be used to pay for it (sic). Potential revenue sources include federal, state and/or county taxes, new or expanded tax districts on existing businesses and residents, proffers or other vehicles, with collections commencing as early as 2017.”

And the panelists? Two developers, the chief of the county transportation staff, and RA’s Chief Executive Officer, all led in their discussion by a developer-paid Reston land use attorney.

It doesn’t take much thought to figure out where this discussion is headed: Developers are looking for ways and rationalizations to shift the infrastructure cost burden to others. And the only significant option within the County’s control is shifting the cost burden to us, its residents. (more…)

by Karen Goff — January 15, 2016 at 10:00 am 2 Comments

2016 Best of Reston Honorees/Credit: Chip McCrea Photography

From a local yoga studio to corporate giant Google, eight individuals and businesses who have had an impact on making Reston a better place will be honored this year as the Best of Reston.

The 25th annual awards for community service are a collaboration between the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and Cornerstones. The awards gala April 7 at the Hyatt Regency Reston is a major fundraiser for Cornerstones, the Reston non- profit that helps people in need find affordable housing, food and other necessities.

This year’s gala has a goal of raising $500,000, says Cornerstones. That’s similar to the amount raised each of the last two years, says Cornerstones chair Jill Norcross. Two years ago, Cornerstones was able to double its stock of affordable housing with money raised.

The community gathered at Reston Station Thursday night to announce the 2016 honorees:

Individual Community Leader

Jim Elder — A coach with Reston Association’s tennis program since 1997, Elder is being honored for teaching Reston youth that good sportsmanship and fair play are as essential to playing the games they love as skills, stats and strategy.

Leila Gordon/Credit: Chip McCrea PhotographyLeila Gordon — Gordon, the executive director of the Reston Community Center was chosen for “putting community at the center of the Reston experience.” Gordon has been instrumental in increasing community arts, education and recreation programs for people of all ages and incomes in Reston.

Small Business Leader

Maryam Ovissi of Beloved Yoga/Credit: Chip McCrea PhotographyBeloved Yoga — Maryam Ovissi, founder of Beloved Yoga, earns the award for “providing the tools for self-empowerment, self-healing and self-realization coupled with the belief that giving back to community is powerful when we thrive together.” Ovissi takes her yoga and meditation programs into the community to bring it to new participants such as youth and seniors. She is also founder of Reston Town Center’s annual Love Your Body Day. (more…)

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