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Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce Recognizes ACE Winners

The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce hosted their annual Awards for Chamber Excellence (ACE) luncheon late last week. The awards recognize companies and people who demonstrated excellence as chamber and community members.

This year’s honorees are as follows:

  • Committee of the Year: NoVA B2G Matchmaking Conference Steering Committee
  • Small Business of the Year: Tagence
  • Medium Business of the Year: AOC Key Solutions
  • Large Business of the Year: SOS International (SOSi)
  • Member of the Year: Dave and Joanne Adams, Dave and Joanne Adams Group
  • New Member of the Year: Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant
  • Volunteer of the Year: Omicron Kappa Kappa (OKK) Foundation
  • Young Professional of the Year: Colin May, KME.digital
  • President’s Award: Tom Madden, Visual Impact Productions
  • Pinnacle Award: Charles Kapur, Access National Bank

Photo by Chip McCrea Photography

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Taste of Reston Festival Brings Food and Fun to Reston Town Center

Taste of Reston, Northern Virginia’s largest outdoor festival, took place on Friday and Saturday, bringing food and visitors to Market Street.

The 28th annual event is a fundraiser for Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce‘s INCspire Education Foundation, which aims to help businesses grow by providing educational opportunities.

“This is the best-attended ‘Taste’ we’ve had in five years, thanks to our participating organizations, community turnout, and great weather,” said Mark Ingrao, CEO of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s Best of Taste restaurant winners are as follows:

  • First Place: Choolah Indian BBQ
  • Second Place: Agora
  • Third Place: Guapo’s Restaurant

Organizers plan to conduct a debrief on the event to determine how to enhance the festival.

Photos by Don Renner

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Save the Date: ‘Taste of Reston’ Set for June 15 and 16

Attention, food lovers: Taste of Reston, the area’s largest outdoor food festival, is coming to Reston Town Center on June 15 and 16.

The event features samplings from the region’s eateries, live music, beer and wine gardens and a family fun zone. Admission is free, but tickets for tastings can be purchased online or on the day of the event.

Garage parking will remain free throughout the event, which runs from Friday, June 15 from 3-11 p.m. and on Saturday, June 16 from noon to 11 p.m.

The event is produced by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and was voted as the best food festival of Northern Virginia by Virginia Living last year.

Participating restaurants include Agora Restaurant, Choolah Indian BBQ, Founding Farmers Reston, McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant and Trader Joe’s.

Live entertainment will take place in several areas: the main pavilion, which will include regional bands; Library Street stage, which offers interactive entertainment for kids; and the Explorer Street Local & Live Lounge, which will feature acoustic artists.

Volunteers can sign-up online.

Photo by Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Try Reston’s Newest Restaurant For Free — Honeygrow has been named one of the healthiest fast-casual restaurants in America by Food Network – and now, Reston is home to one. For a limited time, Honeygrow’s owners are inviting locals to try a meal for free to get them acquainted with their ultra-fresh salads and stir-frys. Register online to enjoy a free lunch or dinner next week on May 10, as space is limited. The restaurant opens to the public on May 11. (Honeygrow)

Three Chances Left to See ‘Phantom’ — South Lakes High’s musical production of “Phantom” has three shows left this week – Thursday, Friday and Saturday. All shows start at 7 p.m, and the doors open at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are $10 for students and senior citizens and $12 for adults. Purchase tickets online, or at the door as space permits. (South Lakes Theatre)

Calling All Artists, Entertainers and Food Vendors! — The 2018 Reston Multicultural Festival is scheduled to take place on Sept. 22. Reston Community Center is currently accepting applications for performers and vendors. This family-friendly festival welcomes live entertainers, artists, food vendors, community organizations who want to have informational booths, and more. Details are available online, along with a schedule of application deadlines. The festival will take place at Lake Anne Plaza in Reston. (Reston Community Center)

Networking Before Nine — The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce is reviving its bimonthly “Networking Before Nine” breakfast series, starting this week. Sponsored by Microsoft, this week’s event will take place on Thursday from 8-10 a.m. at the Microsoft Retail Store at Tysons Corner Center, 1961 Chain Bridge Road. Current and prospective members should bring plenty of business cards and be prepared to give a 30-second description of yourself and your business during introductions. A presentation on how M365 Business works will also be included. Register online. (Greater Reston Chamber)

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Local EMS Technician Recognized for ‘Amazing Tact’

A local Herndon EMS technician was named the First Responder of the Quarter by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce at a luncheon today.

Acting EMS technician David Bulman, who is currently stationed at station 404 in Herndon, was selected for the honor. Bulman was promoted from an entry fire medic to his current position despite only working for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department for three years.

His experience was tested on June 24 when his unit was dispatched to respond to a a report of a drowning. During the incident, two children were in cardiac arrest at a pool. Bulman and his unit reacted quickly as the lead provider in the double cardiac arrest case.

Bulman showed “amazing tact” in managing the team and creating a stable scene until additional resources arrived, said Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Kit Hessel.

“Dave pushed himself to the highest professional medic level which helped maintain a very stable emergency scene… Dave’s love of the job shows every shift helping maintain readiness, preparing drills, and pride in making a difference on emergency incidents.” Hessel said.

The honor is given during an appreciation luncheon by the GRCC for local EMT, fire and rescue and police departments. The annual tradition, which began a decade ago, includes donations from more than 40 restaurants and businesses.

“As a growing district in our county, we are never really cognizant of what these first responders do every day, so the business community wanted to thank them for what they do and recognize these men and women who put their lives on the line every day to ensure we are safe.” said Mark Ingrao, president and CEO of the GRCC.

Photo courtesy of GRCC. 

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SLHS Seniors to Take Part in 25th Annual Ethics Day

Seniors at South Lakes High School will get a taste of the gray world of ethics tomorrow.

Students are participating in this year’s Ethics Day from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sheraton Reston. The day, which is led by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, is designed to encourage the business community to collaborate with local youth. Chamber members will facilitate and lead discussion with youth involving four complex, real-life scenarios.

The event is marking its 25th anniversary tomorrow. It was launched by Charles Veatch, one of Reston’s key business leaders, in order to help local youth understand the importance of integrity in action. Similar programs happen across Fairfax County and the area.

More than 550 students will participate in the program. Roughly 75 chamber member volunteers will guide students through discussions about real-life scenarios.

Topics that will be discussed include bystander responsibility, unconscious bias, organ transplants and driving. Students will analyze each scenario and reach a conclusion based on the discussion.

For more information, contact the chamber via email or by phone at 703-707-9045.

Photo via Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce

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Hackathon in Reston to Explore Solutions for Gridlock in Fairfax

Entrepreneurs, technology companies and students are invited to tackle one of the county’s most pressing challenges on November: historically gridlocked transportation.

The county and the Virginia Department of Transportation are partnering to present the Transportation and Mobility Hackathon on Nov. 16 and 17 at the Refraction in Reston. Registration ends on Monday at 5 p.m. Space is limited and the event begins at 10:30.

Participants will have the opportunity to pitch projects for future collaborations with public and private partners. Cash prizes for ideas range between $1,500 and $3,000. The hackathon is designed to open doors for creative, new technologies that will relieve congestion, boost safety and improve mobility especially for seniors and individuals with disabilities.

In a statement, the county indicated the event is intended to “spur the development of innovative new technologies and grow and diversify our economy.”

The event is sponsored by the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, George Mason University, 1776, Virginia Tech and Refraction.

Email Eta Davis for more information.

 

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What’s Going On This Weekend Around Reston?

Local restaurants will offer up their favorite fall menus on Saturday during Flavors of Fall, a free annual festival that includes live entertainment, dancing and family activities at Reston Town Center. Admission is free.

The outdoor festival, formerly known as Reston Oktoberfest and run by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, will take place from noon to 11 p.m.

New to the festival this year is a cornhole tournament, which will feature regional teams who will compete for prizes, including travel and weekend getaway packages. Another addition this year is a craft beer and VIP lounge, where attendees can purchase tickets to experience 18 different craft beers.

Confirmed restaurants include Barcelona Wine Bar, Choolaah Indian Barbecue, Clyde’s of Reston, GreenFare, The Melting Pot, Mom’s Momo, Pittsburgh Rick’s and Tavern 64 Regional Kitchen.

There is plenty else scheduled to take place this weekend in the area as well. Take a look at our list below.

(Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar.)

  • A trail of illuminated hand-carved pumpkins is welcoming visitors to “THE GLOW: A Jack O’Lantern Experience,” now through Oct. 29 at Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive). Presented by Townsquare Live Events, the “enchanting Halloween wonderland” features a third-of-a-mile trail decorated with more than 5,000 pumpkins. Tickets, which are $16 for kids ages 3-12 and $22 for adults, are available online and must be purchased in advance.
  • The South Lakes High School homecoming parade will begin at 5 p.m. tonight at Hunters Woods Village Center. It will proceed down Colts Neck Road to South Lakes Drive to the high school, where is is expected to arrive between 6 and 6:30 p.m., and it will be followed by the South Lakes Seahawks’ homecoming game against Langley. SLHS Leadership will be collecting funds for Hurricane Harvey relief.
  • Get ready to run in the Reston Pumpkin 5K and Kids Pumpkin Dash on Sunday at 8:15 a.m. in the Reston Town Center (11921 Freedom Drive). Participants are encouraged to debut their Halloween costumes.
  • Join the Greater Reston Arts Center as it says goodbye to “A Bird in the Hand,” a wooden, nest-like sculpture in Reston Town Square Park (11990 Market St.), Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Watch the “Amazing Acro-cats,” a troupe of performing house cats, at NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive) as they complete tricks through the magic of clicker training. Shows run on Saturday at 4 and 7 p.m., on Sunday at 1 and 4 p.m., and on Monday at 1 p.m. Purchase tickets online here.
  • Sue Wrbican: Well Past the Echo” will be on view at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) through Nov. 18.
  • Meet author Maya Corrigan on Saturday from 6 – 7 p.m. in Scrawl Books (11862 Market St.) as she talks about Edgar Allen Poe and her book “The Tell-Tale Tarte.”
  • The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center.
  • During “Giraffe-toberfest,” celebrate fall with animals at Roer’s Zoofari (1228 Hunter Mill Road) on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors can meet the zoo’s giraffe “Waffles.” Tickets are $20 and all proceeds will support giraffe conservation.
  • Kids can create a healthy snack with food from Kidwell Farm (2739 West Ox Road) at Frying Pan Park. One-hour sessions in the “Kids Can Cook!” program begin at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. The cost is $7 per child. An adult must attend class with the child.
  • Watch Mucca Pazza as they combine marching band traditions and street theater spectacles on Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road). Tickets are $20 for Reston residents and $30 for all other residents.
  • Many restaurants and bars in Reston will have live music this weekend. These include Crafthouse (1888 Explorer St.) every Friday and Saturday night from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; and Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.) every Friday from 6-10 p.m; and Kalypso’s Sports Tavern (1617 Washington Plaza N.) every Saturday from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
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‘Flavors of Fall’ Serves Up Cuisine, Family Fun on Saturday

Local restaurants will offer up their favorite fall menus on Saturday during Flavors of Fall, a free annual festival that includes live entertainment, dancing and family activities at Reston Town Center.

The outdoor festival, formerly known as Reston Oktoberfest and run by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, will take place from noon to 11 p.m.

New to the festival this year is a cornhole tournament, which will feature regional teams who will compete for prizes, including travel and weekend getaway packages. Another addition this year is a craft beer and VIP lounge, where attendees can purchase tickets to experience 18 different craft beers.

The event, one of the largest outdoor festivals in Northern Virginia, draws around 35,000 attendees, according to Mark Ingrao, president and CEO of GRCC.

“The whole idea is two things. It’s an opportunity to give back to the community and it’s an opportunity for us to showcase our businesses and restaurants to the community,” Ingrao said.

Confirmed restaurants include Barcelona Wine Bar, Choolaah Indian Barbecue, Clyde’s of Reston, GreenFare, The Melting Pot, Mom’s Momo, Pittsburgh Rick’s and Tavern 64 Regional Kitchen.

Entertainment includes Scott Kurt & Memphis 59, The Fabulous Dialtones, and The VIPS.

The next day, attendees can debut their Halloween costumes at the Reston Pumpkin 5K and Kids’ Pumpkin Dash. Races begin at 8:15 a.m.

For more information, visit RestonFlavors.com. Admission is free.

Food tickets are $1 per ticket or $20 for 24 tickets. Tickets to taste three 5-ounce drinks from craft beer vendors are $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. Participants must show valid identification to drink.

Proceeds will benefit the INCspire Education Foundation, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce’s 501(c)(3) education initiative, which provides a mentor network, business education and business training. The chamber represents more than 650 businesses in the Dulles Business Corridor, according to its website.

File photo of 2015 festival

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Nominations Open for 2018 Cornerstones of Our Community: Best of Reston Awards

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2018 Cornerstones of Our Community: Best of Reston Awards, presented by Cornerstones and the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. Nomination forms are due by 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3.

According to information provided by Cornerstones:

Awardees will be selected for working selflessly without consideration of recognition to improve communities served by Cornerstones and the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. Nomination applications can be found at www.cornerstonesva.org/BOR. Finalist selections and notifications will be completed by early January 2018.

In 2018, finalists will not be broken into categories, as they have been in previous years. Rather, they will be recognized collectively as “Best of Reston Finalists.” According to Cornerstones, this will enable them “to consider the merits and diversity of community service, volunteerism and/or philanthropy, whether demonstrating an immediate impact or sustained over a period of time, without the restrictions of being defined by a category.”

The 2017 awards event raised more than $515,000 for Cornerstones, in support of 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. Highlights from last year’s event are available at Cornerstones’ website.

The awards have been given out each year since 1992.

The 2018 ceremony will be held Thursday, April 12 at the Hyatt Regency Reston (1800 Presidents St.).

Anyone with questions about the nomination or selection process can contact to Likitta Crawley at [email protected] or by calling 571-323-9570.

Image from 2017 Best of Reston Awards courtesy Chip McCrea Photography

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Tuesday Morning Notes

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]

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Leidos, NYA Joe’s, Pinot’s Palette Big Winners in Chamber Awards

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.

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Meats, Desserts and Everything In Between at Weekend’s Taste of Reston

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.

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Taste of Reston Coming Up June 16-17; Volunteers Sought

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

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Thursday Morning Notes

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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