Reston, VA

Two Reston companies were recognized in D.C. Inno’s 2020 Inno on Fire, which recognizes people, companies, initiatives and organizations driving innovations in the area. 

SOC Telemed is a Reston telemedicine provider that found new success with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and the increased need for telehealth, according to the writer of the article, Sara Gilgore. By March, SOC Telemed had 600 health systems and counting looking to start emergency medicine programs. As a result, the company continued to grow its team. SOC is run by interim CEO Paul Ricci.

Parabon NanoLabs is a small Reston DNA company that has been involved in identifying suspects and aiding in police cases, according to Gilgore. This year, the company got its own TV docuseries called “The Genetic Detective” on ABC. The show follows the genetic genealogy division and the head of the unit, CeCe Moore. Two years ago, Moore was hired to build the division, and since then the company has helped in about 500 police cases and has identified 109 positive suspects, according to Gilgore. 

D.C. Inno finalists are found from nominations and editorial coverage and then selected by the D.C. Inno team, according to Gilgore.

Photo via Parabon NanoLabs

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American Real Estate Partners (AREP) is bringing in muralist Kelsey Montague to paint the face of the Reston International Center parking garage. 

The painting of the mural will take place over three days, and will be commemorated on July 17 from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m, according to a statement released by AREP. 

Visuals in the mural will include two colorful wings to celebrate the people of Reston. However, that’s not the only symbol in the painting. The mural will also include elements honoring the COVID-19 frontline, recognition of the community’s dedication to wellness, inclusion and racial equality, according to the statement. 

The project was created in an effort to provide joy and hope to future community members, visitors and tenants of Reston. 

Montague is a world-renowned muralist, and has over 270 large-scale murals across the world, according to the statement. Her signature “What Lifts You” wing mural was used in the launch of Taylor Swift’s “ME!” in Nashville. Montague was also the only female artist selected by the NFL to create art for Superbowl LIV.

Photo via American Real Estate Partners

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With Virginia’s transition into Phase 3, Reston Association pools are further opening to the public today (Monday). Those interested in swimming can begin making reservations and can reserve as far ahead as August 6, according to a statement from Reston Aquatics.  

The pools open include Lake Newport Pool, Golf Course Island Pool, North Hills Pool, Glade Pool, Newbridge Pool and Dogwood Pool. To make a reservation, click on the link for the desired facility. Reservations are made through Sign-Up Genius, which does not require an account to set up. 

There are limited activities allowed at the pools due to extra safety precautions. Swimmers can use the lap pools, go diving, free swim and exercise. Swim lessons and fitness classes are open for instruction, and in certain locations, self-guided exercise spaces are now available. 

However, spas, wading pools and play features are still closed, according to Reston Aquatics. Pool goers must also provide their own swim equipment such as goggles and lifejackets since the facilities are not loaning equipment to the public. 

Health questionnaires will be provided to each patron upon entrance to the pool with questions regarding symptoms and the likelihood of having the virus.

Pools are requiring face coverings when patrons are within 10 feet of each other but are not to be worn in the water. Additionally, 10 feet of space is required at all times indoors. Patrons must bring their own water, as all water fountains will be closed to the public. 

Locker storage is also closed to the public, so patrons must plan on storing their belongings on the pool deck. Lounge chairs will be sanitized after each reservation to ensure cleanliness. 

Photo via Reston Association/YouTube

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The Virginia State Bar president-elect for 2020-2021 is Jay B. Myerson of Reston.

Myerson is set to serve as president in 2021-2022, and is succeeding Brian L. Buvia, the current president of the VSB. Myerson will assume the president-elect position on July 1 and is the first attorney whose law firm is based in Reston to serve in this statewide capacity, according to a statement from The Myerson Law Group. 

The VSB is an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia, and the president regulates and supports more than 50,000 Virginia lawyers, according to the statement. 

“It will be a real privilege to work with the many talented attorneys across the Commonwealth,” said Myerson. 

Myerson graduated from Georgetown University and Georgetown University Law Center. From there, he founded The Myerson Law Group, P.C. where he supervises a six-attorney domestic, criminal and civil litigation practice, said the statement. The practice is located in Fairfax County.

Myerson is a five-time recipient of the Fairfax Bar Association’s President’s Award and was the 2018 recipient of the Local Bar Leader Award. He was past president of the FBA, where he led efforts for judicial funding, according to the statement.

The attorney was also elected to the state Bar Council in 2014, just completing his second term. He has also served for the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates.

Myerson and his family are longtime Reston residents. 

“I’m especially looking forward to working with the wonderful VSB staff, the Chief Justice and other justices on Virginia’s Supreme Court,” said Myerson.

Photo courtesy of The Myerson Law Group, P.C.

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After someone spread hateful symbols and messages across Reston, a social media group decided to rally and reject the graffiti with colorful, inclusive and tolerant messages of their own.

Chalk Hooligans, a social media vigilante-type group founded in 2016, decided to revive its mission and stand alongside community members of Reston by spreading words of love, appreciation and hope along with pleasant pictures drawn with chalk on public sidewalks.

In the past, the group posted photos of support in places of worship that were being targeted by hateful acts.

“When your neighbors have hate thrown at them, cover them with a blanket (or sidewalk) of love,” said one post.

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn released a statement yesterday thanking the people who removed the hateful graffiti.

“What heartened me and I hope it will you, too, is that neighbors came together and bought food for the workers who were removing the spray paint,” Alcorn wrote.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine also condemned the hate with a post on Twitter, praising a sign put up in a local window about loving your neighbor and staying “Reston Strong.”

Photo via Chalk Hooligans/Twitter

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For nonprofits struggling to make money off of fundraising events, Reston-based FrontStream just released a new product allowing groups to raise money through remote events.

Panorama allows nonprofits to host walks, runs and other athletic events and track the participants’ distance and time, which is a feature completely unique to the company, according to Terry LoPresti, FrontStream’s chief technology officer.

To help keep event participants engaged, the software offers gamification and real-time competition with others involved in the fundraiser, according to LoPresti, who said examples include the ability to earn special badges or set the view so users can pretend to be in the Swiss Alps.

Event organizers can also host auctions, crowdfund, coordinate sponsors and purchase items through the tool, the website said.

Instead of canceling events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people are contacting FrontStream to host events digitally and learning how this software can simplify the fundraising process, according to LoPresti.

Once a client contacts the FrontStream team about hosting an event, she said they can “have them up and running within an afternoon.”

Given the complexity of the app, users and event organizers can customize features to suit their needs, according to the website.

For example, credit card companies often charge processing fees with any system that uses card transactions, but users can choose to cover these minimal fees so their donation goes directly to the charity, LoPresti said. If given the chance, almost all of the donors will choose to cover the transaction fee, ultimately saving the nonprofit money, according to LoPresti.

Though FrontStream wouldn’t share how much it costs to host a certain event on Panorama, LoPresti said that without customizations, it could theoretically be done for free.

LoPresti stressed that the software isn’t a temporary trend, but instead a long-term, fundamental shift for fundraising that works for organizations of all sizes.

“Taking your event digital is not temporary,” LoPresti said. “It isn’t here just cause of COVID. It is here to stay. It has forever changed the face of fundraising because we can engage on so many levels.”

Photo courtesy Panorama

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Fitness studios in Reston and Herndon are among the locally-owned businesses struggling with the loss of revenue after they were forced to shut down because of the pandemic.

Several studio owners told Reston Now that they saw a dramatic decrease in revenue after they decided to offer a membership service payment freeze — even though they also began offering classes that can be streamed from someone’s living room.

For example, take New Trail Cycling Studio owned by Liz Kamp. Opening in late 2018, the studio is a somewhat recent addition to the Reston area.

One of her biggest challenges so far has been managing to keep her staffers on payroll so she can reopen when this is all over, she said.

“The revenue isn’t there,” Kamp said, adding that larger companies like Peloton are taking away their business by offering free classes.

Though she said she understands the benefit of the free classes, especially for people who have been laid off or had pay cuts, she admitted it is detrimental to her business in the long-run.

For preexisting New Trail Cycling members, Kamp said the studio froze in-person memberships or packages until non-essential businesses are able to reopen.

New Trail Cycling does offer a few free classes on Zoom as well as a new paid digital membership, but Kamp said she will never be able to compete with companies like Peloton when it comes to the production value of the videos.

For $15 per week, people can sign up online for unlimited classes through Zoom. The studio also offers a digital nutritional coaching session for $10, which is led by medical professionals. People can rent equipment from the studio depending on the circumstances, the website said.

“I have to hold onto the hope that the community values what we do here and understand that their support now is what will help me open my doors again,” Kamp said.

She said she understands it will be a difficult path forward, hearing from her members and receiving positive feedback on the new digital classes keeps her afloat personally.

“Right now it’s about trying to keep people connected and supporting our participants however we can from a distance,” Kamp said. “We are all missing the in-person connection and community.”

New Trail Fitness decided to start a Facebook group for members who missed seeing each other at the studio, according to Kamp. The group features daily challenges that include things like meditation and self-care tips.

Meanwhile, Homegrown Power Yoga in Herndon is yet another small fitness studio affected by the pandemic.

Owner Alison Adams told Reston Now in an email that the yoga studio was quick to adapt after the mandate to close non-essential businesses. Within 12 hours, they were able to offer online Zoom yoga classes, she said.

“As incredibly hard as it has been to close our doors, and work with the unpredictability of the sustainability of our business,” she said. “This is nothing compared to what each person who is working the frontline is contributing during this crisis.”

The studio is also offering free classes to medical workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Adams.

Photo courtesy Liz Kamp/Charlotte Geary Photography

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UPDATED at 2 p.m. — Tysons Reporter received new information from area hospitals about current needs and shortages. At this time, area hospitals are NOT in need of homemade medical masks, according to the spokesperson from Reston Hospital Center

A Reston father and his two sons teamed up to make a group to help people who could be severely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

After feeling bored in self-isolation, Colin, Hayden and their dad, Ray Whitney, researched how they could best assist their community and discovered a group called Caremongers out of Canada. After some guidance from its volunteers, the trio founded one of their own chapters for the Reston community.

Caremongers Reston VA is a group that writes letters and shares ideas with others on how to help and delivers groceries or medicine to people around the area who are elderly or immuno-compromised, according to Ray.

Ray said he founded the Facebook page for the group around March 18, and already, the group has helped roughly 40 people — and continues to grow its outreach efforts through a partnership with the United Christian Parish Reston, where the family attends services.

“Right now it’s really just me and my sons trying to push things through and get things set up,” Ray said.

The group said they were able to write a letter to a 100-year-old WWII veteran who celebrated his birthday on Sunday (March 22) without a group of friends due to health concerns.

Currently, Ray said Caremongers Reston isn’t accepting donations.

“This is a unique opportunity for everybody to help,” according to Ray, who added that everyone is in a position to do something, even if it’s digitally reaching out to someone who might feel lonely in self-isolation or quarantine.

For people posting on social media, the group is using the hashtag #SpreadLoveNotCOVID19 to promote thoughtfulness during this time. 

To protect themselves, the family is ensuring that they wear gloves during curbside deliveries, leaving the house only when they have to and making sure to practice social distancing — i.e. keeping 6 feet away from people — when they are out, Ray said.

Ray added that they are trying to be cautious but not fearful.

For kids, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that not every child will react the same way to stress from the pandemic and suggests that parents share facts with their kids and reassure them that they will be safe.

Colin is a 4th-grade student at Lake Anne Elementary and Ray said he is simply excited to be helping his community and that he seems to be handling everything okay. Hayden is currently a 9th-grade student at South Lakes High School.

“We are really proud of the fact he wants to step up and help people,” Ray said.

Photo courtesy Ray Whitney 

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An addiction treatment center for drugs and alcohol recently announced its plans to expand into the Reston area.

Sandstone Care specializes in addiction treatment and care for young adults and teens. The center plans to open its doors for patients this spring at 11415 S. Isaac Newton Square, according to its Facebook page.

“We’re excited to announce the opening of our Reston, VA office in early Spring 2020!” the post said. “Stay tuned for more information, including details of our upcoming Open House!”

Currently, Sandstone Care has locations in Colorado and D.C. for patients ages 13-30, according to its website. Outpatient care options include detox, teen residential treatment, extended care, sober living programs and more, according to the website.

Reston Now reached out to Sandstone about the upcoming location and is awaiting more details.

Photo via Sandstone Care/Facebook

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Love is in the air, and these local events can help people get in the Valentine’s Day spirit.

Here’s where to find themed events in Reston and Herndon this week.

Reston

People hoping to enjoy a professionally cooked meal at home can order a special take-out dinner for two from Founding Farmers. For $65, people can enjoy three courses with two sides, a rustic white boule, dessert and two unscented glass votive candles, according to the website.

People should order by today (Wednesday, Feb. 12,) at 3 p.m. and pick up the meal on Thursday (Feb. 13) between 2-7 p.m. at the Reston location (1904 Reston Metro Plaza).

Beer My Valentine at Lake Anne Brew House (11401 N. Shore Drive) on Friday (Feb. 14) offers people over the age of 21 a special flight and pretzel drizzled in chocolate from 4-10 p.m.

The 55+ VDay Ride and Coffee Hour in Reston will take place at the New Trail Cycling Studio (1641 N. Washington Plaza) from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Friday. Participants will be able to take an exercise class and then head to the Lake Anne Coffee House after to relax.

A Valentine’s Show at Café Montmartre (1625 Washington Plaza) will take place from 7:30-10:30 p.m. on Friday with an open mic and dancing. People interested can call 703-904-8080 for tickets.

Herndon

People with a sweet-tooth can attend the Valentine Cake Decorating Workshop at Amphora Bakery (294 Sunset Park Drive) in Herndon. For roughly $70, people can learn to bake and decorate a themed cake. This event will take place from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday (Feb.13).

Parents’ Valentine’s Night Out allows Herndon parents to take a break by offering a babysitting service from 6-9:30 p.m. on Friday. The cost is $35 per child, and people can register online. This is an official event that’s sponsored by the town.

Valentine’s Day Singles Mixer in Herndon at Breakers Sky Lounge (2445 Centreville Road) lets people meet potential dates while playing pool, darts, and karaoke. This event is free and open to the public on Friday from 7-10 p.m.

The Valentine’s Winter Brew Fest will take place from 1-8 p.m. at Mile 20 (783 Station Street) on Saturday (Feb. 15), letting guests taste-test beers from several local breweries. Tickets are $18 per person, $27 for two people or $5 for entry and only one sample. There will be music, karaoke and booths from businesses at this event.

People with a passion for art can gather for a paint and sip event at Pinot’s Palette (12976 Highland Crossing Drive) from 6-8 p.m. on Friday. The theme will be Van Gogh. The event costs $40.

Photo by Laura Ockel/Unsplash

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After the mysterious horse beheading at Lake Anne Plaza back in September, the artist of the wooden sculpture said that he is in the process of building a replacement.

The new horse is almost complete and will be available for public viewing shortly, artist Marco Rando said, confirming that natural decay caused the damages.

The name for the upcoming piece is “Intent, The Wooden Horse” and includes pieces from the previous version for the sake of nostalgia — including the head, Rando said.

“The horse is a metaphor for the energy and work required to bring an idea into existence, and the heart is the symbol for creative passion fueling intent,” he said.

Rando, who currently works at South Lakes High School, said he received assistance throughout the project from his students, who helped to conceptualize the design and will create graphics for the horse’s heart.

“These students are in my STEAM Studio Art & Design classes. They have been given a real-world assignment to design, create and fabricate a public work of art for Boston Properties and Reston Town Center,” Rando said. “The students have collaborated to achieve exceptional work.”

Photos courtesy Marco Rando

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Nostalgia might just be a common theme at an upcoming game night hosted by the Reston Historic Trust & Museum.

At the Retro Game Night on Friday (Feb. 28), attendees can gather with friends and family to play a variety of games from 6-9 p.m. at 1639 Washington Plaza, according to a press release.

More than a dozen games provided by Staring Player Pop-Up will be available for guests, the press release said, adding that people are also welcome to bring their own games.

This event is free and open to all ages. Attendees will receive a “The Game of Reston” poster, according to the press release.

Photo courtesy Reston Historic Trust & Museum

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(Updated) In the holiday spirit, the Reston Town Center Holiday Performances this weekend are among several events bringing together people from around the community.

The free event tomorrow (Saturday) will feature two performances. People can listen to the Northern VA Ukulele Ensemble. The last performance of the season will feature Rick Landers playing guitar from 3-3:45 p.m.

The performances are set to take place between Market Street and Democracy Drive.

Tomorrow (Saturday)

  • 4th Annual Children’s Winter Wonderland (11 a.m.-2 p.m.) — The kids’ wonderland event will take place at the Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road). Families will be able to enjoy crafts, refreshments, face painting, games and a visit from Santa.
  • SBC December Gala (1-3 p.m.) — This event features ballet and musical performances at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive). Tickets are $35 for adults and $25 for kids.
  • Cissa Paz Music (6:30-9:30 p.m.) — Artist Cissa Paz will perform Brazillian music at the Lake Anne Coffee House & Wine Bar (1612 N. Washington Plaza).
  • Christmas Party Ho-Ho-Hoedown (8 p.m.-midnight) — Sully’s Pour House (754 Elden Street) is hosting a holiday celebration with a white elephant gift exchange, raffle and an ugly sweater contest.

Sunday (Dec. 22)

  • Christmas Orchestra (9-10 a.m.) — This free event at the Herndon United Methodist (701 Bennett Street) gives community members a chance to listen to live instrumental music from their fellow community members.
  • Bootcamp, Brunch and Booze: Indoor Winter Series (9-11 a.m.) — This event features a workout from Fitness 2 Go along with brunch from LoKL Gourmet at 12001 Sunrise Valley Drive. Tickets are $25.
  • Storytime Social (11 a.m.) — Scrawl Books (11911 Freedom Drive) invites families to a reading of “Let the Children March.” This free event includes snacks and coffee for the adults.

Photo via Reston Community Center Facebook

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(Updated at 2 p.m.) A Vietnamese restaurant, gym and nail salon are planning to come to a new development in Reston.

Alo Vietnam will occupy a 1,746-square-foot space, according to Renaud Consulting. Other newcomers will include A+ Nails and F45, Josh Weiner, the senior vice president of the commercial real estate firm KLNB, told Reston Now.

The Faraday Park development consists of multifamily buildings with ground-floor retail at 1831 Michael Faraday Drive.

More from the consulting firm about the restaurant:

The group comprising the team of Alo Vietnam is made up of 4 partners, which includes 2 established local businessmen and 2 famous chefs from Vietnam. Together this group owns and operates 4 well-known restaurants in Saigon, Vietnam.

Alo Vietnam also has a wine and beer license pending for its Herndon location at 2321 Dulles Station Blvd, Suite C.

Photo via Alo Vietnam/Facebook

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Leidos Buys Hypersonic Weapons Contractor — “Leidos Holdings Inc. will ring in the holiday season with a new acquisition: The Reston company announced Tuesday it plans to purchase defense contractor Dynetics Inc. in a $1.65 billion cash deal.” [Washington Business Journal]

A Look at Reston’s Battle for Its Soul — “It’s been a fiasco–a rambling, wide-ranging dispute marked by bureaucratic false starts, allegations of manipulated photos, and the widespread belief that Reston as we knew it is slipping away.” [Washingtonian]

Reston Hospital Honored — “Reston Hospital Center this week earned a Top General Hospital designation from The Leapfrog Group, a watchdog organization that reviews heath care safety and quality across the U.S.” [Reston Patch]

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