Reston, VA

To help startups and small business owners, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce decided to host free online “business success” webinars.

These online events will teach people how to manage various challenges, covering issues like prolonged teleworking and financial strife, according to a press release.

Each event will be held through Zoom, a free digital teleworking software.

“These are free webinars designed to provide education around issues that are on the minds of people and businesses right now as a result of the coronavirus pandemic,” the press release said. “They have also adapted their popular Business Education Series (BES) to a webinar format.”

Though the seminars kicked off on March 27, there are several more scheduled in the next couple of days.

On Wednesday (April 1) people will be able to attend the digital seminar “Practical Tips for Prolonged Teleworking“from 1 until 2 p.m.

A seminar on “Financial Advice for Yourself, Your Business, and Details on SBA Loans” will be hosted on April 3 from 1 until 2 p.m.

To finish off the series, “How to Maintain Wellness (Physical, Mental and Nutritional) When it Matters Most” will be held from 1 until 2 p.m. on April 7.

People can visit the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce‘s website for more information on upcoming digital events.

Photo courtesy Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce 

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Thursday Morning Notes

Donations Sought for Diva Central Dress Drive — Reston Community Center is looking for formal dresses, shoes, jewelry handbags, and accessories for the annual prom and middle school formal dress giveaway. Donations will be accepted through Feb. 29. [Reston Community Center]

It’s All Business for Reston Chamber’s New President — “When Mark Ingrao, the former CEO and president of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce announced he was leaving in June 2019, the Chamber went on a national search to find his successor. In the end, the organization opted to choose someone from within — Charles Kapur, a local banker who was then serving as the Chamber’s chairman of the board.” [Reston Patch]

Accident Closes Spruce Street in Herndon — An accident that happened around 4:30 a.m. this morning has prompted the closure of Spruce Street. Drivers should use Locust Street or Vine Street to detour around the accident scene. [Herndon Police Department]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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The latest tenant to open near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station is celebrating its opening at an event next week.

M&T Bank, which is located at 1886 Metro Center Drive, plans to hold a grand opening on Wednesday, Jan. 22.

The company says the new location will “include more business bankers to meet the needs of local small-business customers and feature a new design intended to improve the customer experience by removing barriers between customers and bank employees.”

Customers of the M&T’s former branch at Wiehle Avenue are encouraged to visit the larger branch at Reston Station, the company says.

Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce President Charles Kapur will attend to share a few remarks. 

Image via Google Maps

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The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce relocated to new offices earlier this month.

Chamber officials celebrated the move from Suite 150 to Suite 230 at 1886 Metro Center Drive at a ribbon-cutting event on Friday, Jan. 10. The organization is responsible for managing business growth and development in the Dulles Corridor.

Late last year, the chamber named Charles Kapur, a banking professional, as president and Chief Executive Officer.

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Monday Morning Notes

Silver Line Extension May Open in September — “The opening of the Silver Line extension could come as soon as September if all things go according to plan, Metro officials said. But with a sprawling $6 billion project, that’s not always guaranteed. The extension is being completed in two phases. The first was opened in 2014 and added five new stations to the Silver Line: McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro, Spring Hill and Wiehle-Reston East.” [WAMU]

Metro Board Delays Naming Rights Bid — The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has withdrawn an item from its board meeting involving potential naming rights for the Innovation Center Metro Station. [Washington Business Journal]

Self-Driving Trucks are in Town — “The vehicle manufacturer Daimler Trucks and the technology firm Torc Robotics are now testing self-driving trucks on U.S. public roads for the first time with Interstate 81 in southwest Virginia as the initial target, CNBC reported in September.” [Fairfax County Times]

Last Day for Thanksgiving Food Drive Locations — Today (Monday) is the last day to drop off donations for the drive, which is organized by the Reston Community Center, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and Cornerstones. [Reston Community Center]

Photo by Jay Westcott

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With the holiday season approaching, organizations are setting up campaigns to help those in need.

The Reston Community Center teamed up with the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and Cornerstones to collect food and basic necessities, while Food For Neighbors is sponsoring an online fundraiser to provide meals for those struggling with food insecurity.

On the Food For Neighbors’ website, anyone can donate money to help feed families. They are asking for amounts in $50 increments, which will provide a meal for one family.

Under the RCC, there are more than a dozen locations where people can drop off non-perishable items, including food, paper towels, plastic bins and hygiene items.

They are looking for food items that are unopened, unused and unexpired, including coffee, tea, canned products, oatmeal, dry beans and rice, peanut butter, jellies, flour, sugar, condiments and cooking oil.

Volunteers can sign up online to sort the items.

Below, is a list of locations where people can drop off new items.

  • RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road)
  • RCC Lake Anne (1609-A N. Washington Plaza)
  • Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce (1886 Metro Center Drive, Suite 230)
  • Atlantic Union Bank (1800 Robert Fulton Drive, Suite 105)
  • Hunter Mill District Office (1801 Cameron Glen Drive)
  • Guide Post Montessori Herndon (13251 Woodland Park Road)
  • Long and Foster Realtors (2100 Reston Pkwy, Suite 102)
  • Reston Association — HQ (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive)
  • Reston Associaton — Central Services Facility (12250 Sunset Hills Road)
  • Reston Association — Walker Nature Center (11450 Glade Drive)
  • State Farm Insurance (11868 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 200)
  • Tall Oaks Assisted Living (12052 North Shore Drive)
  • The Harrison at Reston Town Center (1800 Jonathan Way)
  • Washington Hilton Dulles (13869 Park Center Road)
  • YMCA Fairfax County Reston (12196 Sunset Hills Road)

Photo via Facebook

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Charles Kapur, a lifelong long resident of Northern Virginia and a professional in the banking industry, will lead the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce as President and Chief Executive Officer.

“It is an honor to serve the business community as the President and CEO of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce,” stated Kapur. “Reston is a community unlike any other in Northern Virginia – it has a profound appreciation of its history, a diversity of cultural and economic opportunities for businesses and residents alike, and an enthusiasm for the growth of this region.

Kapur succeeds Mark Ingrao, who left the chamber shortly before his 10-year anniversary with the organization to lead the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association.

After joining the chamber’s Board of Directors in 2011, Kapur co-chaired the membership committee, served as treasurer and chair-elect, and completed two terms as chair.

Maggie Parker, co-chair of the chamber’s board, described Kapur as a “consummate professional.”

“He has devoted himself to Reston and Northern Virginia both as a businessman and volunteer for the past decade. We are indeed fortunate that he will be leading our business community’s biggest advocate, the GRCC,” Parker wrote in a statement.

Kapur kickstarted his career in community banking in 2001. He currently serves on the board of the Greater Reston Reston Arts Center and the Ashburn Rotary Club as a founding member and fundraising director.

In the past, Kapur has served on the boards of the Ashburn Society of Virginia, ArtsFairfax, and ACTS of Prince William County. He has been honored with the chamber’s annual President’s Award in 2016 and the Pinnacle Award last year.

Kapur’s position begins on Oct. 2. His first work will include preparing the chamber’s policy positions for the upcoming legislative session n Richmond and launching a new information series for members.

He has a bachelor’s degree in management from George Mason University and graduated from the Virginia Bankers Association of Bank Management in 2013. He lives in Bristow with his wife and two daughters.

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Several local restaurants are offering special deals for the annual Northern Virginia Restaurant Week, which ends on Sunday (September 15).

The week, which is organized by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, features special menus and deals by local restaurants. This year’s event kicked off on Monday (September 9).

The following restaurants are participating:

Restaurants will offer menus specifically designed for the event. Reservations are highly encouraged.

The event is sponsored by Boston Properties and Carrabba’s Italian Grill.

Photo courtesy Mon Ami Gabi

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The annual Reston Pumpkin 5K and Kids’ Pumpkin Dash is set for Sunday, October 13.

Although the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce dropped its plans to host the annual Flavors of Fall festival, the pumpkin dash is expected to feature the same activities and programs as in previous years.

Participants are encouraged to debut their Halloween costumes the event, which start at 8:15 a.m. at Reston Town Center.

Registration for the 5K is $20 per person through October 11 and $25 per person from October 12 to October 13. Registration for the kids’ event is $10 per person until October 11 and $15 per person from October 12 to October 13.

All runners will receive a T-shirt, race bib, and post-race refreshments.

Awards will be given baed. On several age groups to the top male and female participants.

More information about the event is available online.

Photo via Don Renner

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For years, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce has sponsored and hosted the Flavors of Fall Festival.

But this year, the organization will drop the one-day flavors event, which gives attendees the chance to savor the flavor of autumn brews and food from area restaurants.

Low turnout over the last several years, as well as new priorities for the organization, pushed the chamber to drop the event this year.

GRCC’s Board of Directors and staff issued the following statement earlier today (July 18):

The very popular and successful Taste of Reston is not affected by this announcement and will go on as scheduled next June.

A sincere thank you to the chamber membership for the countless volunteers and support of Flavors of Fall. Thank you to Boston Properties for providing the Reston Town Center venue for the past ten years. We would also like to thank all of the sponsors and participants who made this event a part of their autumn schedules. 

The change of plans will not affect the Pumpkin 5K and Kids Dash, which has seen increases in turnout. That event is set for October 13 at Reston Town Center.

Photo by Don Renner

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It’s not to early to get into fall mode. Registration is now open for the annual Flavors of Fall, a free annual festival that includes live entertainment, dancing, and family activities.

This year’s festival, which is organized by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, is set for Sunday, October 13.

The Reston Pumpkin 5K begins at 8:15 a.m. at Reston Town Center and the kids’ pumpkin dash starts at 9:15 a.m. Registration is $25 for adults and $20 for children age 14 and under. Prices rise after September 9.

Restaurants will also serve samples from their favorite fall menus. Two dozen tickets cost $20. Each sample typically requires between three and five tickets. Beer and wine requires six to seven tickets.

At the end of the race, awards will be given.

Registration is open online.

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Northern Virginia’s largest outdoor food festival, Taste of Reston, returns to Reston Town Center this weekend.

The family-friendly event, which is organized by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, will include nearly 30 restaurants, a craft beer lounge, cooking demonstrations, beer on tap, live entertainment and a family fun zone tomorrow (June 14) and Saturday, June 15.

Festivities kick off tomorrow from 4-11 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Entrance to the festival is free, but food tickets are $1 per ticket or $20 for 24 tickets. Tickets can be purchased online.

Restaurants participating for a taste include Cooper’s Hawk, Not Your Average Jow’s and the Wine ‘n Dine Market Place. Live entertainment will be provided by Cherry Crush Band, New Blue Soul, Delta Spur and Vinyl Rhino.

The local YMCA will offer games and prizes in a family fun zone.

Parking is free for the duration of the event.

More information about the festival, which is expected to draw thousands to the town center, is available online.

Photo via Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce

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Reston Landscaper Wins $200,000 in Lottery Scratcher — Brett Calhoun scratched the winning Jewel 7 ticket in his car, but had to send a picture of the ticket to his wife to make sure he was reading it right. Calhoun, a landscaper, bought the winning ticket the 7-Eleven at 29900 Centreville Road in Herndon. [Inside NOVA]

Taste of Reston Needs Volunteers — The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce is looking for volunteers to help put on the annual event on June 14 and 15. Volunteers will receive a volunteer T-shirt and a dozen taste tickets. [Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce]

Reston Nonprofit Marks 140 Years of Supporting Military Families — “Before he got a job assisting military members and their families, Michael Meese was in the military himself. Meese served in the U.S. Army for 32 years, a period that included deployments to Iraq, Bosnia, and Afghanistan and concluded with a stint as professor and head of the Department of Social Sciences at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. After retiring as a brigadier general, Meese became the chief operating officer for the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association, and he has worked at the Reston-based nonprofit since 2013, now holding the title of executive vice president.” [Fairfax County Times]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Mark Ingrao, a leader who diversified Reston’s business community and launched new collaborations and programs, plans to leave his position as president and CEO of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce next month.

He plans to leave a few days before what would have been his 10-year anniversary with the chamber. Ingrao will serve as Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association. His last day is on June 27 — the chamber’s annual awards luncheon and member meeting.

Ingrao joined the chamber in July 2009 as the chamber struggled with nearly $150,000 in debt, declining membership, and the slowdown following the recession.

With Ingrao at the helm, the chamber’s financial position strengthened, membership increased and a new sponsorship strategy helped the organization position itself as a “collaborative organization and community steward,” according to Charlene Wheeless, the chamber’s chairman.

“Mark led the association to historic milestones, including growing the Chamber from the 13th largest in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area to the 7th largest,” Wheeless said.

She listed his accomplishments as the following:

  • Retired $150K in debt within his first year;
  • Reorganized the staff structure more focused on new members and membership benefits; 
  • Positioned the Chamber as a founding member of the Northern Virginia Chamber Partnership, successfully advocating for our members at the Virginia General Assembly; 
  • Led the Chamber’s Taste of Reston festival to being named the “Best Food Festival in Northern Virginia” by Virginia Living Magazine;
  • Launched the B2G Matchmaking and Expo, which has become the largest event of its kind for government contractors outside the Beltway; and
  • Created Northern Virginia Restaurant Week as a collaboration with other chambers in Northern Virginia

Ingrao says he’s been grateful and honored to serve Reston and its business community, which he has watched grow as the Silver Line comes to the the area.

“The development that has occurred in the last 10 years has been remarkable,” Ingrao said. “Reston is a planned community and it has everything that anyone would want: great housing, great work centers, great community. It doesn’t have to be built out and that’s what makes it unique.”

But that growth is not without challenge, Ingrao cautioned. Although he expects the completion of the Silver Line to reduce the number of Metro riders and commuters coming from Loudoun County, he anticipates managing traffic will be a major challenge for the community.

“I think there will be a lot of discussion about what the old Reston was and what the new Reston will be,” he said. “But the opportunities that are here will continue to grow and perpetuate.”

Ingrao’s successor has not yet been named. A search committee is leading the chamber’s recruitment efforts.

He hopes to continue to adopt a collaborative, transparent and inclusive leadership approach in his new position.

“I’ve been lucky to be here for 10 years,” Ingrao told Reston Now. “I’ve really enjoyed the people and the work that we’ve been able to accomplish. It’s been a great ride.”

 File photo

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Heritage Preservation Review Board Dives into Downtown Legislation — The Town of Herndon’s board will hear public feedback on Comstock’s proposal to develop downtown Herndon. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Herndon Council Chambers Building. [Town of Herndon]

Lunch with the Four Mrs. Hemingways  Hear each of Ernest Hemingway’s four wives tell their story about a man who changed literary history. The performance is set for noon today at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods. [Reston Community Center]

Volunteers Needed for Taste of Reston — The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce needs to fill more than 300 volunteer positions for the event, which is set for June 14 and 15. Each volunteer gets a free T-shirt and 12 taste tickets. [Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce]

Reston Hospital Center Helps Sterling Teachers Make Their Dream Classroom — The local hospital and Stone Springs Hospital purchased $5,000 in supplies to help teachers at Sterling Middle School afford their dream classroom. [WUSA 9]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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