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Community Connecting Our


Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them, but you know they’re there. AROUND RESTON FACEBOOK COLLAGE – Fall/Winter 2019 Join the conversation –

EDITORIAL Bill Lawson, Early Restonian …..…..…..…..…. 40 Book Report …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…. 68 Capturing the Light …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…. 34 Celebrating Local Entrepreneurs: Pam Ahart …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…. 88 Hal Berens …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…. 16 Beth Greenberg Cotell …..…..…..…..…..…. 88 Amy Dagliano…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…. 91 Mark & Mina Fies…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 90 Rick & Robin Hogan …..…..…..…..…..…..…. 20 Kate Viggiano Janich…..…..…..…..…..…..… 91 Taralyn Kohler …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 85 Rob Lawson-Shanks…..…..…..…..…..…..…. 89 Robyn McClure…..…..…..…..…..…..…..….. 26 Maryam Ovissi…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 86 Jonathon Perrelli…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…. 89 Ray & Cathy Pugsley …..…..…..…..…..…..… 84 Sue & Craig Richey …..…..…..…..…..…..…. 87 Discover Your Live Playlist …..…..…..…..…..… 4 Entrepreneurship in Support of Reston …..… 27 Events Pages …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…. 2 Facebook Collage…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… iv Herndon/Reston FISH Celebrates 50 years!…..…..…..…..…..…..… 80 In the Know …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…. 28 It Takes a Village…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…. 82 Journey to Mindfulness…..…..…..…..…..…..… 38 Lights, Camera, Broadway…..…..…..…..…..… 46 Little Pick Me Ups …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…. 18 Making an Impact …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…. 74 Making Things Happen Takes Partnerships …..…..…..…..…..…..…. 23 Metro Update…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 92 Nature’s Best Photography …..…..…..…..…. 50 New Beginnings …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…. 14 NextStop Theatre Emerging Arts Award…..… 8 Raised Reston…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 54 Real Estate Report …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…. 58 Reston Athletes Represent USA…..…..…..…. 24 Reston Community Orchestra Conductor…..… 36 Reston’s Original Entrepreneur …..…..…..…. 12 REWIND…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 42 RTC Pediatrics Celebrates 40 years!…..…..… 70 Runway to the Cure …..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 10 The Fairy Tale Continues …..…..…..…..…..…. 76 What I Want to be When I Grow Up …..…. 72 Words to Live By …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 44 YMCA Celebrates 20 Years! …..…..…..…..…. 6

Check out our Exclusive Offers Inside

Thank you to all the advertisers that make this community resource possible! Around Reston Magazine / 571-313-0229 /


A Second Me Errand Service, LLC …..…..…..…..… 37 AutoScandia …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… BC Barns at Wolf Trap, The…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 5 Bleevit Interactive …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 21 Chuck Cascio Book Series…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 80 CRUNCH Reston Town Center…..…..…..…..…..….. 25 Frying Pan Farm Park …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…. 7 Generations Medical Aesthetics…..…..…..…..….. 30 Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce …..…..… 22 Heart Power Wellness …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 79 Inform Fitness…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..….. 25 Integrated Dermatology of Reston…..…..…..…..… 35 Just Cats Clinic…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..….. 51 Melone Law, P.C. …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..….. 19 NextStop Theatre Company …..…..…..…..…..…..…. 9 Northwest Federal Credit Union…..…..…..…..…. IBC Pinot’s Palette…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..….. 27 Reston Community Players …..…..…..…..…..…..…. 9 Reston Hospital Center…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 1 Scout & Molly’s Boutique …..…..…..…..…..…..….. 21 Scrawl Books …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 21 State Farm—Kyle Knight Insurance Agency …..… 17 Sunset Hills Automotive …..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 53 United Wellness & Sports Rehab…..…..…..…..….. 79 UPS Store South Lakes, The …..…..…..…..…..…..… 17 YMCA Reston…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..….. IFC


Adams Group, Coldwell Banker …..…..…..…..…..… 63 Care of Trees, The …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 62 CertaPro Painters…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..….. 65 Denny + Gardner Remodeling…..…..…..…..…..….. 69 Foster Remodeling Solutions, Inc. …..…..…..…..… 57 Holly Weatherwax, Momentum Realty…..…..….. 55 Independence Landscape & Lawn Care …..…..… 64 Interstate Movers…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…. 61 JL Tree Service, Inc.…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 52 Marines Plumbing …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 56 M.E. Flow …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 53 My Reston Handyman …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 53 Nova Junk Removal…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 52 Roofing & More, Inc. …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 66 Sekas Homes—Sunrise Square …..…..…..…..…..… 61 Sky Marble and Granite…..…..…..…..…..…..…..….. 67 Tim Finefrock, Keller Williams …..…..…..…..…..… 59 Trademasters…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 60


BGR Burgers Grilled Right …..…..…..…..…..…..….. 49 Cantina D’Italia …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 45 Carrabba’s Italian Grill …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 48 Flippin Pizza …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 49 Kalypso’s Sports Tavern…..…..…..…..…..…..…..….. 47 La Ong Thai Bistro …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 48


Barrett Suzuki Music Studio …..…..…..…..…..…..… 79 Childtime Learning Centers …..…..…..…..…..…..… 81 Fairfax Home Health Care LLC…..…..…..…..…..….. 37 Foley Academy of Irish Dance…..…..…..…..…..….. 79 Goldfish Swim School …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 71 Great Day Learning Center…..…..…..…..…..…..….. 78 Little Hands Music …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 78 Lopez Studios Performing Arts School …..…..….. 83 Marcus Dental Care …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..….. 31 Northern Virginia Orthodontics…..…..…..…..…..… 33 Pal Family Dentistry …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..….. 32 Principal Ballet …..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 77 Reston Montessori School…..…..…..…..…..…..….. 81 RTC Pediatrics…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..….. 71 Smile Wonders Pediatric Dentistry …..…..…..….. 73 Tall Oaks Assisted Living …..…..…..…..…..…..…..… 39

After over a year of fundraising, restoration work, review by the Lake Anne Covenants & Board, the Reston Association Design Review Board and the Fairfax County Architectural Review Board, and exhibit design planning and implementation, the Reston Historic Trust & Museum has installed the new Lakeside Pharmacy icon exhibit at Lake Anne Plaza.

row With Us! Come G For Advertising Information, email

A dedication for the new Lakeside Pharmacy icon exhibit was held on September 18, 2019. Hirad Najafbagy, Farah Najafbagy, and Cheryl Terio-Simon, board member of the Reston Historic Trust & Museum who led this effort, cut the ribbon for the new exhibit. The exhibit at Lake Anne Plaza is located in the breezeway leading up to the Chimney House parking lot, only a few steps away from their original location. More than 80 individuals and organizations provided funding and support for the Lakeside Pharmacy Icon Preservation project. This exhibit was made possible in significant part by the generous donation from Dr. Hirad Najafbagy in honor of his parents, Hooshang and Farah Najafbagy, who immigrated to the U.S. and found their new home, work and oasis in Lake Anne where they operated Calvert Cafe for many years. Read the amazing story of the Najafbagy family and their move to Reston on p.14.

~ Kat Toussaint CONTRIBUTORS Linda Ackerman / Alexia Redick Bartlett / Hal Berens Chuck Cascio / Beth Greenberg Cotell / Amy Dagliano Stacia Datskovska / Ashleigh Dorfman Dulles Corridor Metrorail / Mina Fies / Abigail Fine Tim Finefrock / Steve Freligh / Cate Fulkerson Vladimir Grablev / Connie Hartke / Rick Hogan Taralyn Kohler / Robyn McClure / Dr. Hirad Najafbagy Liz Nason / Maryam Ovissi / Jonathon Perrelli / Ken Plum Natalie Potell / Ray Pugsley / Robert Reed Reston Historic Trust & Museum / Sue Richey Chris Rooney / Mary Saunders / Michael Scheurer Scout & Molly’s Boutique / Jody Tompros / Leana Travis Holly Weatherwax / WolfTrap Performing Arts

Proud to be 2016 GRCC ACE Small Business of the Year


AROUND RESTON PUBLICATIONS 11654 Plaza America Drive, #133 Reston, VA 20190

P: 571-313-0229

Kat Toussaint Publisher

Around Reston Magazine is a community magazine distributed quarterly through direct mail to 25,000+ Reston/Herndon/Great Falls homes. The acceptance of material, advertising or contributions does not constitute an endorsement of the information or products. We reserve the right to accept, edit or reject any material submitted. All rights reserved. The content of this publication cannot be reproduced in whole or part in any media without written permission of the Publisher.

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! E T A D

NOVEMBER Wed, November 13, 2019

11am – 4pm Reston Community Center Lake Anne / Free Presentation by Herndon Historian

and Author Barbara Glakas 7:00 pm / RCC Lake Anne / Free

Winter ONGOING ACTIVITIES/ EVENTS November until March

Reston Town Center Ice Skating Pavilion Season Public ice skating and skate rentals every day. Lessons, Parties, Special events available.

December dates & times vary

Holiday Performances at Fountain Square / Reston Town Center

Enjoy music and dance performances throughout the holiday season.

Saturdays, December 7, 14, 21, 2019

Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides

4:30 - 9:30 pm, Reston Town Center, Departures on Market Street near Clyde’s $5 per person. Children under 5 ride free. Local charities receive all proceeds on designated dates. Presented by Reston Town Center.

Sundays, December 8, 15, 22, 2019

Mini-Train Rides

12 - 4 pm, Reston Town Center— Departures on Market Street near Clyde’s Donated proceeds are received by local charities on designated dates. Around Reston is not responsible for date changes, cancellations or errors. Please check websites for event date and time verifications.


Sat, December 7, 2019

Gifts from the HeART Shopping Event

Nov 14 – Dec 22, 2019, Weekends

Next Stop Theatre presents— Matilda the Musical

269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon The story of a courageous little girl with an unbounded imagination who proves that despite the odds, you can do anything you put your mind to.

Thurs, November 28, 2019

Turkey Day 5K

8:00 am / South Lakes High School

Fri, November 29, 2019

Reston Holiday Parade

8:00 am – 10:00 pm 11:00 parade start. Selected 10 Best by USA Today Travel.

DECEMBER Thurs, December 5, 2019


4:00 pm – 9:00 pm / German Armed Forces Command / 11150 Sunrise Valley Drive Traditional outdoor Christmas market with German art, crafts and German food, drinks, treats. Donations support Cornerstones. .

Sat, December 7, 2019

Holiday Sing Along

4:00 pm / Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, Vienna Musical celebration performance by the United States Marine Band and Sing-ALong Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs with local choir and vocal groups.

Sat, December 7, 2019

19th Annual Alternative Gift Market

10:00 am – 2:00 pm / Unitarian Universalist Church Reston Purchase “alternative gifts” and give to others in a different and more meaningful way.

Sat, December 7, 2019

The Reston Chorale—The Wonder of the Season 4:30pm & 7:30pm / RCC-Hunters Woods Experience the wonder of the season when The Reston Chorale presents two performances of Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria, plus beloved holiday favorites.

Sat, December 7, 2019

Maker Market & Fair Nova Labs

10 am – 4pm / 1916 Isaac Newton Square W, Reston

Sat, December 7, 2019

Jingle on Lake Anne

Lake Anne Plaza Santa arrival 12:00 pm / Festive activities including popular visit from Santa arriving on a lake barge, music, merchant specials, kid’s activities and holiday market.

December 12 – 15, 2019

Conservatory Ballet The Nutcracker RCC Hunters Woods Center Stage / Various times

Sat, December 14, 2019

Herndon Wintermarkt

Herndon Depot Museum / 12:00 – 8:00pm Traditional German-style Christmas Market with a family focus. Free / Food, drink and crafts available at additional costs

Sat, December 14, 2019

Reston Community Orchestra Holiday Concert

Aldrin Elementary School / 4:00 pm

Sat, December 28, 2019

Last Ham Standing

8:00 pm / Next Stop Theatre, Herndon A group of performers take audience suggestions to create wacky scenes and improv games.


Tues, December 31, 2019

New Year’s Eve Party at Kalypso’s Sports Tavern

No Cover Charge. Free Party favors. Champagne Toast at Midnight. DJ and Dancing. 4-course meal beginning at 4pm.

JANUARY Wed, January 1, 2020

New Year’s Day 5K

Reston Town Center / 10:00 am Kick off the new year with a 5K race followed by a fun celebration. Online registration.

Jan 9 – Feb 2, 2020, Weekends

Next Stop Theatre presents— The Mountaintop

269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon / ck times In his hotel room on the night before his assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. meets a young maid who forces him to consider exactly who and what he is fighting for.

Jan 17 – Feb 1, 2020, Weekends

Reston Community Players presents— Ken Ludwig’s The Game’s Afoot

Reston Community Center Hunters Woods Mystery and hilarity in equal parts ensue in this murderously funny whodunit production that will keep you guessing until the final curtain.

Sat, January 18, 2020

Reston Community Orchestra—Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

4:00 p.m. / RCC Hunters Woods—Community Room Concert pays tribute to Dr. King’s vision of a society free of prejudice and racial divisions, and his belief in the power of music to help create positive change.

Sat, January 25, 2020

Reston Camp Expo

9:00 am – 12:00 pm / RCC Hunters Woods Learn about hundreds of Reston-area summer camps and out-of-school activities / Free

Jan 31 & Feb 1, 2020

Broadway Night performed by South Lakes High School Chorus

2pm & 7pm / South Lakes High School Features over 120 students and approximately 14 musical numbers from Disney favorites! FALL/WINTER 2019 3

DISCOVER YOUR LIVE PLAYLIST With a wide range of artistic genres and exceptional artists, why not create your own live playlist at The Barns?

Take one step into The Barns at Wolf Trap in Vienna, VA and you’ll find a beloved home for music that is vibrant with energy and life. The Barns’ intimate atmosphere and extraordinary acoustics have played host to an enormous array of phenomenal talent and eager audiences for nearly 40 years. Music has a way of connecting itself to life’s most treasured moments. Regardless of your age, it’s easy to find yourself reminiscing along to your own personal soundtrack. But, in the era of Spotify and Apple Music, it can be challenging to find the same energy you experienced “in the moment” on a digitized track. Instead, The Barns offers something real and authentic—a genuine music experience you can feel and share. When you’re at The Barns, you see the hand-hewn timber beams, smell the aroma of freshly pressed paninis at the bar, feel the electricity of the audience’s energy, and hear the wave of sound coming from the stage. There’s no better way to experience music than live, in person, surrounded by fellow music lovers.


Since 1981, The Barns has welcomed all types of artists from talented up-and-coming singer/ songwriters to established rock legends, Broadway stars, classical masters, laugh-outloud comedians, and more. The Barns has also offered emerging artists a chance to show off their talent—Harry Connick, Jr., The Avett Brothers, Lyle Lovett, and Old Dominion all played here early on in their careers. Take a look at any Barns season and you’ll find a slate of new faces and returning favorites from which you can easily craft a live playlist. This season continues that tradition as we welcome beloved folk singers like John McCutcheon and Lucy Kaplansky, great rockers like The E Street Band’s Max Weinberg and the iconic Ronnie Spector & The Ronettes, Broadway superstars like Sutton Foster and John Lloyd Young, and mesmerizing singers like Aoife O’Donovan and Storm Large. Chamber Music at The Barns also features masterful musicians who highlight classical works for various moments in life—all curated by our 2019-2020 Artistic Advisor Wu Han. Among these exceptional performances are countless other remarkable shows. Whatever your listening tastes and preferences are, The Barns has something for every genre, life moment, and emotion you feel.

What will your Barns playlist be? AROUND RESTON MAGAZINE













MAR 16 + 17











JAN 24 + 25 FEB 20 + 21




NOV 22

APR 24

APR 1 + 2







YMCA Reston Celebrates 20 Years! By Liz Nason

This year, the YMCA Fairfax County Reston celebrates 20 years of “Caring for Community” with their annual gala on Saturday, November 16 at the YMCA Reston. David Rodriguez, YMCA Reston Executive Director

The Caring for Community Gala celebrates the partnerships and collaborations that have allowed the Y to increase accessibility and help to make a lasting personal and social change in Fairfax County. In celebration of the 20th anniversary, the YMCA will be rolling out the red carpet and transforming the YMCA Fairfax Reston into a beautiful and elegant cocktail lounge atmosphere intended to cultivate a sense of warmth and connectedness amongst Y members, supporters and staff. The gala will feature fine food, cocktails and wine, events such as silent auction, music, and dancing. YMCA Reston’s executive director, David Rodriguez calls the gala “a can’t miss event to honor our generous community.” The event honors volunteer leaders who have been remarkably generous with their time, advocacy, and financial support. YMCA Fairfax County Reston is grateful to have so many partnerships with like-minded service organizations and agencies such as Transaction Network Services, Griffin-Owens Insurance Specialists, Richey Property Management, Little & Associates, The O’Gorman Team, and so many more. At the Y, strengthening community is our cause. Every day, we work side-by-side with our neighbors to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income, or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive. The YMCA uses the funds from the Annual Gala to reinvest in the local community. Providing financial assistance to more than 1,000 families in Fairfax County and making available early learning care, before and after school care, day camp and swim lessons are among the many life-enriching programs and services. Thanks to the help of donors last year, the YMCA Fairfax County Reston has been able to provide over $340,000 in financial assistance to economicallychallenged families.








thority ark Au unty P fax Co ir rk a a F P e th rm ted by Pan Fa Presen f Frying ends o and Fri


October 2019 – April 2020 Doors open 6 p.m. | Show time 7 p.m.

Cost: $18/advance, $20/door, $136/season pass

PURCHASE YOUR TICKET ONLINE AT or by phone at (703) 222-4664 or (703) 437-9101 Food and beverages available for purchase


Sideline | Nov. 10

Danny Paisley & The Southern Grass | Nov. 24 Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper | Jan. 12 Carolina Blue | Feb. 9 Chris Jones & The Night Drivers | March 15 Troy Engle & Southern Skies | April 5


Concerts are held indoors in the Frying Pan Farm Park Visitor Center 2739 West Ox Rd. Herndon, VA • (703) 437-9101

Visitor Center

at Frying Pan Farm Park A premier rental facility in Fairfax County’s last rural oasis. Learn more at y3u9wgya

Frying Pan Farm Park

2709 West Ox Road, Herndon, VA 20171 (703) 437-9101 • (703) 324-8563 • TTY Va. Relay 711


NextStop Theatre Receives Emerging Arts Award By Abigail Fine

PHOTOS: Lock & Company

On October 18, 2019, ARTSFAIRFAX, Fairfax County’s arts agency, awarded NextStop Theatre Company (Herndon, VA) the region’s Emerging Arts Award. “NextStop Theatre is receiving our Emerging Arts Award as they exemplify the successful growth of an organization that has moved from a volunteer organization to a professional theatre,” said Linda Sullivan, President & CEO of ARTSFAIRFAX. “NextStop serves a community hungry for theatrical productions, and they do it well.” NextStop Theatre was formed in 2013 when the all-volunteer community theatre, The Elden Street Players, made the strategic transition to a professional, nonprofit company. Over the last six years, NextStop has become one of the fastestgrowing professional theatres in the DC Metro region. NextStop produces programming to include musicals, dramas, comedies, educational programs and special events nearly 200 days a year. They employ more than 100 artists annually and serve more than 15,000 audience members each year. “NextStop is honored to be receiving this prestigious award from ARTSFAIRFAX,” said Evan Hoffmann, Producing Artistic Director of NextStop Theatre. “It is hard to explain all of the time and energy that countless artists have put into making NextStop the company that it is today. This recognition by our community is a testament to the strength of the creative will and talent in Herndon and Fairfax County.” NextStop’s programs benefit individuals of all ages and walks of life. While NextStop serves and attracts audiences from across Northern Virginia, DC and Maryland, NextStop specifically curates programming for the diverse, suburban community of Fairfax County. NextStop’s 2019-2020 season exemplifies this passion. This season includes a stage adaptation of the classic “Pride and Prejudice;” a Broadway musical for families based on the Roald Dahl novel “Matilda;” and in the new year, NextStop will present a thought-provoking drama about Martin Luther King, Jr., a farce, often called the funniest play ever written, and the first mega-hit musical by “Hamilton” creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda. NextStop also fosters the next generation of artists and arts supporters with their by-kids-for-kids productions and popular summer camps.  NextStop Theatre Company and ARTSFAIRFAX are both nonprofit organizations, passionate about bringing the arts to Fairfax County residents.





NOV 14 - DEC 22

Tickets starting at $40

Buy 3 Get 1 promo cod FREE with e NextSto pFam


269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon / 866-811-4111 FALL/WINTER 2019 9

3rd Annual

MC: Andrea Roane, former WUSA9 Reporter and founder of “Buddy Check 9”

Presenting Fashion Sponsor was

Scout & Molly’s Boutique of Reston Town Center

Photo Credit: Chip McCrea Photography


The 3rd annual Reston Runway to the Cure Fashion Show was recently held in the Reston Town Center Pavilion. This event brings the community together to raise money for breast cancer research and support programs. This year’s funds are going to Susan G. Komen Foundation and Step Sisters Fund. All 40 of the models were breast cancer patients and survivors. This meaningful evening was a celebration to these brave women and to the many others who are fighting this deadly disease.


Tish Spaulding

Carol Dennison

Monalisa Redmond

Misty Ocean

Shannon Logan

Debbie Eggleston


Faye Cascio

Carolyn Rodenburg

Denise Simms

Divina Alcazar

Regina Cashin

Erin Koelling

Sonya Keshwani

Vanessa Allen

Laira Roth


Robert E. Simon Jr.­— Reston’s Original Entrepreneur By The Reston Historic Trust & Museum

“I pulled out a yellow pad and started working on a preliminary draft of the program for development. First I listed everything I had seen and read about that could be considered essential, and then added everything else I could think of that made living stimulating and worthwhile” —Robert E. Simon Jr. on planning Reston’s development

Born in 1914, Robert E. Simon, Jr., Reston’s founder, was the son of Robert E. and Elsa Weil Simon. His Manhattan upbringing, his family’s travels throughout the U.S and Europe and his father’s involvement with Radburn, a community in New Jersey that incorporated the concepts of the English Garden City movement, all laid the groundwork for how Simon viewed cities, town planning, and community building.


In 1960, Simon was approached about purchasing property in Northern Virginia. The offer came at the perfect time. He wanted to invest the proceeds from his recent sale of Carnegie Hall. He traveled to northern Virginia to see the property in person. He fell in love with the natural beauty that surrounded him and speculated correctly that property between Washington DC and Dulles Airport (which was under construction) was a good place to build a new town. He needed no more convincing and purchased the 6,750 acres of land and started to plan the new town that would bear his initials “RES.” With this land, he saw the opportunity to build more than just suburbia. His goal was to build a community that combined the best of urban and suburban development in America. He wanted Reston to be more than a place to live; he wanted Reston to be a way to live.


To achieve this, he created seven founding principles for Reston so that people could “Live Work and Play” close to home: 1.



4. 5.



There be a wide choice of cultural and recreational facilities as well as an environment for privacy By providing the fullest range of housing styles and prices, residents could remain rooted in the community—if they chose to —throughout the different stages of family life. A byproduct is the heterogeneity that spells a lively and varied community The importance and dignity of each individual be the focal point for all planning, and take precedence over large-scale concepts. People are able to live and work in the same community. Cultural and recreational facilities be made available to the residents from the outset of the development - not years later. Beauty—structural and natural—is a necessity of the good life and should be fostered Since Reston was being developed from private enterprise, in order to be completed as conceived, it must also, of course, be a financial success.

The four lakes in Reston are man-made and included in Simon’s plan for Reston. Simon planned for the future, envisioning that 70,000 people would live in Reston by 1980. The Master Plan created by Whittlesey and Conklin accounted for this density, envisioning seven village centers and a town center, each able to take care of the practical and recreational needs of 10,000 people. While this idea did not develop entirely as envisioned as only five village centers were created, it demonstrates the amount of thought and planning that went into Reston. Simon and Reston have inspired many others, including city planners, entrepreneurs, community members, activists and everyone in between. In 2002, Reston was awarded the American Institute of Certified Planner’s Landmark Award and Robert Simon was named an AICP Planning Pioneer, putting him in the company of Pierre L’Enfant and Frederick Law Olmstead, among others. Learn more about Robert E. Simon Jr. and Reston’s unique history by visiting the Reston Historic Trust & Museum at 1639 Washington Plaza, Reston VA. Candlelight Vigil Bob Simon April 10, 1914–September 21, 2015

The ingenuity that he and the planners brought to Reston gave Northern Virginia many new ideas and concepts that were a significant departure from the norm in the 1960s. This included mixed-use development, clustered, density, dedicated open space, fountains and much more. By Alexandra Campbell, Executive Director of the Reston Historic Trust & Museum. The Reston Historic Trust & Museum is a community organization that preserves the past and informs the present. The Trust offers community exhibits, archives, walking tours, and public events.


New Beginnings The new chapter in our life started in 1979 with the Iranian revolution as my father, my mother, my brother and I left the country to find a new home as things were in turmoil. I was nine years old at the time, but I remember being awakened in the morning while it was still dark getting in the car, heading out to the airport and boarding a military airplane with a few other families. I remember the loud noise of the plane as we took off for a new life in a new country. Our first stop was in Italy where we boarded a commercial plane and landed in Barcelona, Spain. It seems like at the time Spain was one of the few countries in Europe that did not require a visa for residency; therefore, by default, we were in a new country with a new language, new customs and a new life. We lived in a small town outside of Barcelona with the beach and the Mediterranean Sea as my backyard. I learned how to speak Spanish and therefore became the family translator. As kids, my brother and I were enjoying ourselves with our new country, new school and new friends while my parents were desperately trying to arrange for a visa to come to the United States. I remember the excitement when my father called home to let my mom know that they were able to get a visa on an asylum basis to come to the United States. We were all very excited as we never thought that living in the United States was even a possibility. It was bittersweet for me to leave my 14

By Dr. Hirad Najafbagy

friends and my new home in Barcelona, but I was very excited to come to the United States. In June of 1982, our family landed at National Airport in Washington DC. I was 12 years old. After a short stay in Maryland, my parents were able to rent a one bedroom apartment for the 4 of us in Reston, Virginia. They enrolled us in school, and our new life in America began. As my brother and I were getting used to an American school, new friends and learning to speak English, my parents were using all their resources to work. My mother worked as a data processor, and my father started working with friends in the restaurant business in Reston, hopeful to learn a new trade. After a couple years of working in the restaurant, my dad decided that he would like to run his own restaurant and leased an existing restaurant in Lake Anne in 1984. He recruited my mom, and the two of them ran Calvert Cafe at Lake Anne. This was a family restaurant and the whole family had to pitch in. My brother and I were recruited at an early age to learn how to use the register and make sandwiches as needed. I was not excited to work in the restaurant with my parents, as you can imagine, but it taught me many valuable lessons about hard work and perseverance in business. My parents continued to work hard at Calvert Cafe which became a Lake Anne staple for AROUND RESTON MAGAZINE

almost 25 years. I remember many Reston board meetings being conducted with Mr. Simon at my parent’s restaurant. My parents were able to realize the American dream with a beautiful home and both of their sons graduating from college. After college, I continued on my path to become a doctor. I received my Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Northwestern Health Sciences University in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1997 and had opportunities to move to many places in the United States and globally with my extensive knowledge of cultures and languages. At the age of 27, I knew the only place I could ever call home again was here. I started my own practice in Herndon in 1998. United Chiropractic Center as it was initially named, remained in Herndon for 15 years. In 2017, United Wellness & Sports Rehab (, relocated to Reston and is less than two miles from

Lake Anne, the location where my parent’s restaurant, Calvert Café once prospered. The community that supported my family during a time of transition is now the same community that I am so grateful to have returned to and call HOME. On Wednesday, September 18, 2019, my family was honored to be a part of a very special presentation at Lake Anne. The Lakeside Pharmacy icon exhibit was re-erected in Lake Anne Plaza. The event brought back many fond memories of growing up in Lake Anne and working at Calvert Café. This is why I was eager to contribute to the revitalization of the exhibit in honor of my parents, Hooshang and Farah Najafbagy. The exhibit was saved by the Reston Museum and the people of Lake Anne and has now found its home back in Lake Anne Plaza. It is humbling to know that a piece of our family’s history will forever live on in this community.

Farah Najafbagy

Photo by Charlotte Geary FALL/WINTER 2019 15

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Hal Berens Owner—The UPS Stores, South Lakes, McLean, Chantilly

I was born and raised in New Jersey about 30 minutes outside of NYC. I received an Air Force scholarship for Aeronautical Engineering at Embry-Riddle in Daytona Beach, FL. I met my wife of 34 years between my sophomore and junior years when I came home from boot camp and got married the following year. Just before graduation and my commission, I was informed that the needs of the Air Force came first so I became an aircraft maintenance officer. The Air Force was a way of life, and I enjoyed serving my country. In my career field as a flight line aircraft maintenance officer, we had frequent deployments. On one such deployment in support of Bosnia/Kosovo operations in 1996 into 1997, my wife was expecting our 3rd child while taking care of our two small girls. I made the difficult decision to leave the military. At the same time, my brother decided to buy a Mail Boxes Etc. in McLean, VA and asked me to join him as a business partner. I saw the opportunity to become an entrepreneur and took the plunge. After building the business and going through the brand change from Mail Boxes Etc. to The UPS Store in 2005, another opportunity became available in South Lakes at the South Lakes Village Center. My store in South Lakes—Reston is consistently a leading print services provider amongst all other The UPS Stores in northern Virginia. We print everything, from business cards to banners and support many of the not for profit organizations and schools in the greater Reston area. My brother decided to retire, and I bought him out in March 2018. By May 2019, my 3rd store opened in Chantilly, across from the Wegman’s on Westfields Blvd. I’ve learned that I need to flex with marketplace changes in my industry. UPS returns from on-line retailers are growing exponentially. Customers are also realizing that my stores offer professional printing services with full customer service and marketing assistance. With that in mind, I invested in print production equipment that allows us to produce high-quality products in-house. The turn time on projects has decreased while we maintain high-quality standards and print consistency. Today I have 4 kids, some of whom have worked in the stores. My son-in-law manages the Chantilly location and my wife works in McLean helping in the mornings. My goal is to continue to serve our community and help clients grow their businesses. To me, this is success.



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LITTLE PICK-ME-UPS By Natalie Potell

“Dare to be different,” is what my dad used to tell me growing up. It is advice I’ve always taken as a personal challenge. I work as a firefighter at Fox Mill Fire Station #31, and outside of business hours I write. For the last year I’ve been the Poet Laureate of Prince William County and have worked on a project mailing poetry to random residents. Little pick-me-ups in the mailbox is how I think of them. It’s interesting serving two communities in two very disparate ways. Writing is something that comes naturally to me; being a decent firefighter is something I have to strive towards every day. My Captain, a Boston native, often says “you’re only as good as your last call”. There is great truth in those words. When we train by pulling hose lines or going over medical protocols we’re doing that for you—so when we come to your house we’re ready for anything that gets thrown our way. I’m from California, and my old pen pal from Los Angeles who died last year was the reason I chose to mail poems to random residents. When my pen pal’s nephew cleaned out his home, he found stacks upon stacks of letters that I had mailed to him over the course of ten years. He never threw a single one away. It’s these little things—like a letter—that have the power to elevate someone’s day. Long term where do I see it going….I’m not sure at the moment. But I do see myself continuing with the theme of mailing something handwritten to strangers. You might even check out a book from the library one day and find a poem or thoughtful quote nesting between the pages, waiting to be read. It might have come from me. I would be remiss if I didn’t leave the readers of Around Reston with some helpful tips. If you see us coming down the street with lights and sirens, please pull over, or stop and stay put if there is an empty lane we can take—our engine driver Todd Clist, a Reston resident as well, always appreciates this. Also, don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1 if you are having a medical emergency or if there is a fire (no matter the size). Time costs lives. Don’t learn that lesson the hard way.

Natalie Potell

And if you haven’t written a letter in a while…well, now is the time.

And if you haven’t written a letter in a while…well, now is the time.




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Rick and Robin Hogan


Owners—Bleevit Interactive In the spring of 1994, I was living and working in Rockville, Maryland, and was offered my dream job working for one of the world’s largest software companies located in Reston, Virginia. During the interview process, the topic of my less than desirable Rockville, Maryland location came up. I said to the hiring manager that if I were offered the job, I would relocate to Reston within 90 days. On the way home, I stopped by a payphone and called my girlfriend Robin, now wife, and I said “I know this sounds crazy, but I think you need to quit your job in Maryland, pack up the kids and pets and move to Reston with me. I told her I had a good feeling about Reston.” Happily, she agreed, she got a job before we moved and then we got married shortly after and as they say, the next 25 years is history. Both Robin and I spent our careers honing our sales, marketing, and communications skills, working for larger organizations which led us into the world of digital marketing. While working for corporate organizations was rewarding, we always felt that we would like to use our marketing skills to help local organizations. The idea of the creation of a marketing company started to take shape. At the end of 2011, both Robin and I took the plunge together and founded Bleevit Interactive (, an organization dedicated to helping local businesses succeed on the web. Our business was founded on the belief that local brands would benefit from a strong, local digital marketing partner that could help them navigate and leverage the new digital marketing opportunity that was before them. Taking the entrepreneur plunge is never easy, especially at mid-life, but like with most things, creating a plan, staying the course and focusing on adding value is a winning ticket. Today, almost eight years later, Bleevit is a Google partner with a staff of five employees that services a mix of clients throughout Northern Virginia.  Moving to Reston and becoming a part of the community has been life-changing and one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. Reston is now like a comfortable pair of jeans to us. We cherish our integrated and progressive enclave filled with great people who care deeply about our community. When we are not working in Reston, you can find us walking our dog, Lily on one of Reston’s many paths or at the Lake Anne Farmers Market on Saturday mornings.



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The catalyst for business growth and entrepreneurship in the Dulles Corridor

New President and CEO Welcome

Charles Kapur

Monthly Events

Monthly Events

New & Prospective Member Breakfast Coffee & Contracting: GovCon Networking ● Network Night Business Education Series ● Reston Ready for Business GRCC events are open to all members and non-members. Locations vary by host. Event Calendar ● Registration ● GRCC Membership

Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce 1886 Metro Center Drive, Reston, VA 20190 703.707.9045 22


Making Things Happen Takes Partnerships By Cate Fulkerson

During my professional career and years of volunteer service, I have come to learn that the business of creating community does not happen because of the singular efforts of one organization; it takes the collective effort of many to affect the greatest good.   I have been honored to be a part of one particular multiorganization partnership over the years: Ethics Day with South Lakes High School. The Ethics Day program was created 27 years ago by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce (GRCC) for the South Lakes High School senior class. The program helps students learn about ethical dilemmas and behaviors and how perspectives and decisions from these can impact their lives and the lives of others. Using a series of real-life scenarios, and with the guidance of over 90 volunteer Room Facilitators and Table Leaders, students are given the opportunity to consider, discuss, and reach decisions on topics such as digital citizenship and accountability, medical emergencies, drunken driving, and unconscious bias.  The Chamber was the first in our region to host such a program and take advantage of a unique opportunity to work with the business community to give back to Reston in a meaningful way. Putting on a daylong program with four experiential learning modules for 550 plus students is not an easy task. Fortunately, as opposed to working on its own, the Chamber knew that to “make this happen in Reston” would take reliance on partnerships.  Since its inception, over 11,500 students have participated in GRCC’s Ethics Day program with the assistance of nearly 2,100 volunteers from the business community and a multitude of businesses contributing resources to educate the next generation on the importance of making ethical decisions.  Some of the Chamber’s partners sponsoring this event over the years have included the Reston Sheraton Hotel, Leidos, Bechtel, Odin Feldman Pittleman, Dev Technology Group, Points North Strategies, Reston Community Center, Reston Association, Marymount University, Northern Virginia Community College, Northwest Federal Credit Union, Comstock, Microsoft, JBG/Smith, and Reston Limousine. We are blessed to live in a community with organizations who believe in giving back and “making things happen in Reston” in such an impactful and meaningful way — through the betterment of our youth.  Cate L. Fulkerson, Principal of Points North Strategies LLC, is a 40year resident of Reston; 1985 graduate of South Lakes High School, member of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, and Co-chair of the GRCC Ethics Days Program. PHOTO CREDIT: Sean Bahrami FALL/WINTER 2019 23

Reston Athletes Represent USA at International Triathlon Nestled in the canton of Vaud, Lausanne, Switzerland is surrounded by the beautiful clear waters of Lake Geneva (Lac Leman) and the southern portion of the regions famous Alps. Lausanne is a focus of international sport as it hosts the International Olympic Committee and has been recognized as the “Olympic Capital” since 1994. This widely known international sports destination hosts over 55 international sports associations and will host the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics. The international Olympic Museum is also located in the city and traces the history and growth of the Olympic movement since its ancient Greek origins to its modern day revival. It fits then that the International Triathlon Union chose Lausanne to host the 2019 World Triathlon Grand Final this year. During this time, over 4000 triathletes representing over 50 countries participated in the world triathlon event. The competition included elite world-class athletes, many of which will be chosen to represent their countries in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Two talented and experienced athletes from Reston, Virginia were among the over 400 American amateur athletes that comprised Team USA in the various events. Dana Ann Scheurer and Joseph O’Gorman of Reston both qualified to represent their age groups in the Olympic distance race. The Olympic distance is comprised of a 1.5k swim, a 40k bike, and a 10k run. Dana and Joe both qualified for the team by placing in the USA Triathlon National Championship age group race held in Cleveland, Ohio. Dana and Joe wholeheartedly agree that it has been a great honor to be named to Team USA and to represent the “red, white, and blue” in an international championship event. Dana and Joe also concur that the course for the event was one of the most challenging they had encountered. They confronted wind and waves on Lake Geneva and had to bike and run on a course that included inclines that exceeded 17% at several locations. To be able to tackle the difficult course successfully, both athletes had to undertake programmed training programs in the weeks leading up to the competition.

Triathlon has grown over the past ten years and is now a Division 1, 2 and 3 women’s NCAA sport. Dana and Joe encourage other athletes to recognize that the triathlon is a sport that combines three different skills that allow older athletes to continue their enjoyment of sport well into their senior years. Triathlon is not just a sport, but a lifestyle to be enjoyed by many.



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Robyn McClure Owner—Pinot’s Palette, Dulles

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have multiple responsibilities and are on duty twenty four / seven. I’m thankful for the training and experience I gained through my career with Decorating Den Interiors and the gift of being home with my boys. When my oldest son, Zach was a senior in high school, I went back to work at corporate Decorating Den Interiors. I was traveling a lot, and after a short time, I left my position to work as a local consultant starting a business called FunRobyn, LLC. I wanted to be home more and enjoy time with my son before he left for college.

As long as I have been on this earth, my father has never had a traditional J-O-B. I was never really clear what my dad’s job was. That is when I learned the word ‘Entrepreneur.’ Now that I am a business owner with that same entrepreneurial spirit, it makes sense. As a child growing up in South Florida, I did everything from lemonade stands, babysitting, and selling “World’s Finest Chocolate” door to door, I have always enjoyed running my own independent business and trying to make an impact. At 21, I was hired as a Marketing Executive with Decorating Den Interiors on straight commission. I worked hard and was motivated to grow with the company. I was a part of helping dozens of people start, grow and succeed in their decorating businesses. In time, I was offered the opportunity to work for the corporate office in Bethesda, MD. I traveled a lot working with business owners. That experience has proven to be instrumental in my journey. After moving to the DC area to work at corporate, I met my husband. We started our family and moved to the Reston/Herndon area. For 14 years, I was a stay at home mom. With the entrepreneurial mindset I had always had, I found myself volunteering, fundraising, and organizing neighborhood events, etc. Being a parent in many ways is like being an entrepreneur. We wear many hats, and


This sequence of life changes brought me to look seriously into a business of my own. My experience working in franchising made the franchise business model appealing to me. I have always enjoyed entertaining and art, so finding a franchise that offered both was a perfect ‘pairing.’ I found Pinot’s Palette online while researching lifestyle businesses. There are several Paint & Sip franchise opportunities out there, but I hadn’t heard of it in our area yet. My husband and I went to Houston to learn more about Pinot’s Palette; however, we didn’t know how challenging it would be to open this type of business in Virginia. The ABC laws in the state of Virginia make the traditional Paint & Sip business model difficult. I found the solution by adding a retail wine and gift shop to my studio. Once our agreements were signed, we began the process of locating retail space. This took more time than anticipated, so I launched a mobile studio first. In April 2016, we opened Pinot’s Palette at Woodland Crossing, Herndon. ( It’s great to have our own space with all of the paintings, wine, creative atmosphere and retail shop together. Though our studio is now open, we continue to operate the mobile events. We enjoy bringing this fun experience into the community and local businesses. Painting and Sipping is a fun business, and our team and wonderful customers make all of the entrepreneurial struggles worth it!


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Entrepreneurship in Support of Reston’s Vision Submitted by Connie Hartke, Rescue Reston

This issue of Around Reston is focused on entrepreneurs. People typically think of entrepreneurs as founders of private sector businesses, but another type of entrepreneur focuses on promoting and upholding key principles that benefit the community at large. For example, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas was an entrepreneur when she wrote the famous first line of her book River of Grass—“There are no other Everglades in the world”—which raised awareness of what would be lost if housing developers were allowed to drain and build on the Florida Everglades, as was proposed at the time.  Embry Rucker was an entrepreneur here in Reston when he organized the Common Ground Foundation that spurred the creation of the Common Ground Child Care Center, Friendly Instant Sympathetic Help (F.I.S.H.), Reston Interfaith (now Cornerstones), and the homeless shelter (now named in honor of him)—all of which were designed to help us, as a community, assist the less fortunate among us. In 1967, a group of volunteers formed the Reston Community Association (now Reston Citizens Association) to help the county government and Reston’s developer with the creation of this new “town.” This took a dedicated entrepreneurial spirit! Rescue Reston is a grassroots organization that tries in its local way to follow in these entrepreneurial footsteps by protecting the open space that has been a key part of the Reston vision and Master Plan since our community’s founding. Reston was designed with two golf courses—one on the north side and one on the south—that serve as large “green belts” that all Restonians can enjoy via the Reston Association paths that parallel and traverse the courses. Open space is good for us. Scientific studies show that having access to open space enhances not only our physical health but our mood, creativity, and memory. The vast majority of people who benefit from Reston National and Hidden Creek are not the golfers themselves but the hundreds of walkers, joggers, cyclists, kids in strollers, and the elderly who enjoy these open spaces via the RA paths every single day. FALL/WINTER 2019 27

In The Know explores the “hidden gems” of Reston—people, places and things known to few people—and shares their stories with Reston newcomers so that everyone is “in the know.”

IN THE KNOW! Rita Bolle—One of Reston’s Early Entrepreneurs!

For nearly 50 years, as founder and CEO of Reston Lloyd, Ltd., Rita Bolle has negotiated ‘No’s’ into ‘Yes’s; navigated economic challenges and cultural shifts; and triumphed despite adversity. Born and raised in Germany, Rita came to the United States in 1966 with her then-husband. The two decided to start a business with offices in Reston where they lived. Recognizing a demand for more convenient cooking, they acquired the exclusive distribution rights to sell the Romertopf clay cooker, a new German-designed roaster pot. The Romertopf had recently debuted at the Hanover Fair in Germany and was proving to be quite popular. In 1968, they opened a housewares showroom in Lake Anne Village Center. By hosting live cooking demonstrations in big department stores, Rita made Romertopf a household name across the United States by 1972. Unfortunately, the next two years proved challenging. Rita divorced her husband and left the company, which eventually dissolved. Seizing an opportunity to retain the exclusive Romertopf distribution rights in the US, Rita started Reston Lloyd, Ltd. ( However, she faced an obstacle—she was a woman, a young divorced woman. She couldn’t secure a loan without a male cosigner. As a result, the German factory gave the Romertopf exclusivity rights to a man in Ohio. With two young boys to raise, Rita would not, could not accept defeat. She secured an SBA loan with the support of her Reston friends and negotiated exclusive rights from Romertopf’s biggest competitor, Schlemmertopf. Her next hurdle was to compete with the successful brand name she had established years earlier! For almost 40 years, Reston Lloyd, Ltd. thrived. Thanks to stay-at-home moms and homecooked meals, there was significant demand for the Schlemmentopf clay cooker, even more so once Rita had an inside glaze added to prevent food stains and allow for easier cleanup. Rita expanded her product line to include burner covers, as well as stainless steel, enamel and melamine cookware in an array of bright colors. She secured licensing agreements with many top brands and offered private labeling options to stores like Williams Sonoma, Wegmans, Crate & Barrel and more. When online commerce started in the mid-1990s, Reston Lloyd was ready. Reston Lloyd was one of Amazon’s first sellers in the housewares division and remains one of their biggest customers.



As the business grew and product lines expanded, Rita negotiated partnerships with USbased reps and international factories and inked deals with retail firms. Over time, her office and showroom relocated from the basement of the Reston International Center to the Hunter Woods Shopping Center, and then, to a large warehouse in the Spring Street business park and finally, to a massive warehouse on Glenn Drive in Sterling. About ten years into the Sterling warehouse lease, the Great Recession hit, leaving many people with little spending money for colorful housewares. Retail firms either reorganized, closed or went bankrupt. At the same time, a cultural shift was occurring; more women were working full-time outside of the home, and many families were eating out more often. Rita and her now-grown sons, Kevin and Kirk, weathered reduced sales yet they remained in business. Their reward came in 2012. At the same time that the Schlemmertopf factory was discontinuing the production of their clay roaster, the new Romertopf Kermik GMBH company was looking for a new distributor in the US. Because of Rita’s earlier success with Romertopf, the Romertopf company appointed Reston Lloyd as the exclusive importer and distributor for the United States and Canada. Rita became the official distributor for the same company she had initially started in business with 50 years prior. Things had come full circle. Rita continues to stay involved in the business she started, traveling the world meeting with international vendors while her sons manage the day-today operations and order fulfillment. She remains a vibrant member of our community. Lake Anne, where it all began, maintains a warm place in her heart. Ashleigh Dorfman is a long-time Reston resident who enjoys exploring as well as writing about our community.


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Capturing the Light

By Vladimir Grablev

Photography attracted me from childhood. I remember myself turning pages of photo books, illustrating the life of people in different countries and the natural beauty of the Earth. Every image was sending me on an imaginary journey to another unknown place. Watching my father developing his black and white photographs in our little bathroom, fascinated and intrigued me as well. The process of an image slowly appearing on a blank sheet of paper looked like a magic trick. At the age of sixteen, I got my first camera, and used it for a couple of years, taking random pictures of things, friends, and occasional travel adventures. Later life, though, spun up in a more pragmatic direction, and I left my photography experiments behind, focusing on education and professional growth in the IT industry. In 2010, my family and I came to the United States. We settled in Reston, and have called it our home since. Moving to another country is a significant step in the life of any person, so I bought a good digital camera to capture our exploration of the new environment. I was documenting our discoveries and personal observations, and with that, my long-sleeping interest in photography grew into a life-long passion. Eventually, I found myself checking out tutorials and guides from my local library, reading countless articles on the Internet, and studying work of world-renowned masters. I discovered the charm of landscape photography and focused my creative efforts on studying light, composition, and the storytelling aspect of this genre. Joining the Reston Photographic Society in 2017, presented me with an opportunity to participate in numerous shows and exhibits. My works decorated walls of USGS Headquarters, Reston Regional Library, Jo Ann Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, North County Government Center, and other local businesses and venues. Today, my portfolio mostly comprises natural compositions, but I equally enjoy capturing scenes with human elements, that are aesthetically pleasing and meaningful. A big part of my creative process is to shoot black-and-white film, and I like to use this medium to photograph familiar places and everyday scenes. The monochrome look and classic film grain help me better portray those timeless qualities that are not obvious at a casual look. In this regard, Reston offers me many opportunities to explore, observe, and capture its unique character.



“At Integrated Dermatology of Reston, our goal is to provide our patients with the best medical and cosmetic care possible in a welcoming and professional environment.”—Dr. Morgana Colombo

MEDICAL DERMATOLOGY ­— COSMETIC DERMATOLOGY Dr. Teresa Nasabzadeh graduated as co-valedictorian from Lafayette College where she pursued a double major in Biology and Government and Law. Dr. Nasabzadeh received her medical degree in 2010 from Georgetown University School of Medicine. She completed a five year combined residency program in Dermatology and Internal Medicine at Medstar Georgetown University-Washington Hospital Center and is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology. Dr. Nasabzadeh has published numerous articles in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology and has presented research at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting. She has particular interest pediatric dermatology, cutaneous oncology, and the management of complex dermatologic diseases. At Integrated Dermatology of Reston, Dr. Nasabzadeh specializes in medical dermatology, skin cancer and the latest in acne treatments.

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Meet Dingwall Fleary, Reston Community Orchestra Conductor CONTRIBUTOR: Linda Ackerman Dingwall Fleary is the conductor of two orchestras in Northern Virginia, The Reston Community Orchestra and The McLean Symphony. Maestro Fleary has been recognized by the Virginia General Assembly and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for his musical leadership in Northern Virginia citing him in his tenth year with the Reston orchestra as a cultural leader throughout the Commonwealth. He is a highly regarded conductor, pianist, harpsichordist, organist and chamber musician having performed in Europe and throughout the United States. A native of St Louis, Missouri, Dingwall Fleary’s advanced studies were at the University of Kansas at Lawrence and Northwestern University. He went to college on a track scholarship and played tennis with Arthur Ashe. During Dingwall’s first year at the University of Kansas, his roommate was Wilt (the Stilt) Chamberlain. Dingwall chuckles, “I remember how funny our room looked with Chamberlain’s 12’ bed and my 5’ bed.” It was during his college years that Dingwall discovered his true passion, music. Dingwall loves the theatre and has been a theatre musician as well as a stage director. In addition to Dingwall’s athletic and musical talents, he has a love for plants. Some people “talk to the animals,” Dingwall talks to his plants, and they flourish. “I also enjoy being in the kitchen, creating and experimenting with pasta dishes and grilling recipes. Cooking helps maintain my sanity. I’m a grilling geek, and I grill 12 months of the year, rain or shine.” Dingwall has received awards for his creative programming and presentations of contemporary music from such organizations as the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), among others. Before moving to Northern Virginia, he taught music and helped to develop a Kinder Music program at Vassar College, in Poughkeepsie, NY. He was assistant conductor, pianist and harpsichordist with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. In Siena, Italy, Dingwall studied chamber music and conducting at L’Accademia di Chigiana and was selected to coach international students entering the academy’s program. Here at home, he served as the music director for the International Children’s Festival at the Wolf Trap Farm Park. In 1995, Maestro Dingwall Fleary became the music director of the Reston Community Orchestra (RCO). You can enjoy Maestro Fleary and the members of the Reston Community Orchestra at their holiday concert at 4:00 pm on December 14 at Aldrin Elementary School, Reston. 36


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Journey to Mindfulness By Jody Tompros

My husband and I moved to Reston in Fall 1989 as newlyweds. Thom was a psychotherapist who found a perfect fit within the Reston counseling community. I was a city girl at heart and continued to commute to DC for work and graduate school. After a year in Reston, Thom and I knew we had found our home. I interned at the Northwest Center for Mental Health in Reston and went on after graduating to be a clinical coordinator with Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) in Leesburg. In February 1992, we adopted our son, Brendan. Soon after, I became a Virginia LCSW (licensed clinical social worker). Thom and I opened Partners in Counseling, specializing in couples’ therapy. We were successful for 12 years, at which point we began wanting new, different challenges. I began to work for Cornerstones where I spent almost ten years overseeing the social services programs. I also participated in Fairfax County’s 10-year Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness.


In January 2007, I began taking Intuitive Painting classes from Judith Forst, a local artist and the first executive director of Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE). Going to Judith’s Intuitive Painting class was the perfect emotional and spiritual outlet to release some of the pain and grief that I worked with every day in my position, helping displaced families and individuals. Painting became my place of creativity and healing. As I became more involved in painting, I began to feel the call to teach. This call became more intense when, after leaving Cornerstones in 2016, I spent three weeks in Sicily, the ancestral home of my maternal grandparents. I came home with clear guidance that teaching would be the next chapter of my life. In May 2016, I established Mindfulness Painting Experience: Creating Art from the Soul. The first Mindfulness Painting class was four students. Since then, the classes have grown to average 8-10 students each and are offered in my home studio in Reston and the Reston Community Center. In addition, I have collaborated with Reston Community Center and Cornerstones teaching Mindfulness Painting classes at the Embry Rucker Community Shelter in Reston. Other collaborations include Elden Street Tea Shop, Rise Well Being Center, Leadership Fairfax, Shelter House and others. I hope to continue expanding this offering of mindfulness brought to life in paints.


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Bill Lawson, Early Restonian By Stacia Datskovska

I enter Bill Lawson’s townhouse just as his “100-pound puppy,” Murdock dashes out for a walk. Bill, retired architect and former basketball player, standing six foot ten inches to prove it, greets me with warm enthusiasm. Bill lives in Hillcrest Cluster, and part of the cluster’s design can be credited to Bill himself. He was on the Reston Zoning and Planning Commission in the 60s. “I was in the school of architecture at Howard University studying urban planning,” Bill recalls of his early start in design, “and my course professor was active in the development of Columbia, Maryland.” Columbia and Reston began their development at the same time adhering to similar planning concepts. Upon learning this, Bill was inspired to work in the architectural sector in Reston. To this day, he believes it is Reston that takes the prize in terms of liveability and urban elements. “Being in the favorable Baltimore-Washington corridor, Columbia was a bigger commercial draw, and initially, it grew faster; however, I think Reston is greener and more residentialfriendly,” Bill comments. Bill uses the architect term, “garden city” when discussing Reston’s design concept. This phrase goes back to 1898 and revolves around the idea of a commercial town center, lots of greenbelts, and surrounding villages. The concept entails an accessible, family-friendly atmosphere, which Bill associates, in part, with road planning. “Many of Reston’s roads are purposefully curved,” Bill informs me, “to reduce traffic


speed for safety. I think in some places, that should have been thought through differently—those Wiehle Avenue ‘S’ curves near Lake Anne are something!” In terms of the changes in Reston since the ‘60s, Bill believes the main one is residential growth. Reston’s population goal was 75,000 at the start, with a limited commercial sector. However, with the Dulles Airport and the subsequent growth of the tech industry, commercial growth in Reston took off, which lead to increased residential demand. “Early Reston Town Center, states Bill, was one block, with a movie theater and the Hyatt hotel being the main attractions.” The Town Center has grown considerably since then. Bill believes it has room for improvement, especially the paid parking policy, which Bill argues is a root cause of the recent business turnover. Wary as he might be about parking and roads, Bill savors every moment living in Reston. It was during his time as a contractor that he decided he wanted to move here with his wife from Washington, D.C. Bill felt strongly connected to the space. “My family thought I was nuts!” Bill reminisces through enthusiastic laughter, “I was active in the civil rights movement, and Virginia was considered a hostile and segregated place. There was white flight from the district. My parents were nervous.” Though he also felt trepidation, Bill could look beyond that. “I could just see, in Reston’s


design, that it was a utopia, a paradise. Indeed, we lived the ideal and constantly thought, “Why go anywhere else?” Among the things that Bill considers “the ideal” is safety or the fact that you could keep your doors unlocked! Bill confesses that this was often a point of disagreement with his wife-- his D.C. upbringing made him a little more cautious about ditching the lock. Being his cluster’s designer and first resident, Bill is revered by his neighbors. He has lived through three generations of residents. Many ask him, “What’s behind this wall?” Bill admits he often has no clue, but can say for sure which walls are bearing walls, saving his neighbors a few remodeling disasters along the way. Bill smiles brightly as he shares, “My daughter Leslye, Marketing Associate at Tall Oaks Assisted Living, and I now live together with her dog and cat. We lost my wife, Kay, eight years ago; since then, they’re the best thing that ever happened to me.  Bill reveals that he is Langston Hughes’ distant cousin. “My mother, Charlotte Hughes Lawson, was Langston’s first cousin, and she had a stack of his letters that he had written to her; they were very close.” Unfortunately, Bill has not located them yet, however, he treasures the connection (his daughter went to Langston Hughes Middle School). Bill Lawson’s fulfilling career and family life have kept him grounded in a community that he was and is lucky to grow and evolve alongside. He continues his journey. Among Bill’s daily pleasures is sitting on his deck and watching the cardinals, chipmunks, and occasional opossum cohabitate gracefully. Another is spending time at Lake Anne, where his family has a founder’s brick. Bill hopes that Reston’s planning concept is preserved for years to come. What is Bill’s advice to future generations of Restonians? “Don’t change Reston. Maintain the integrity of its original design and vast, open greenery for people to enjoy.” Looking at his loveable companion who has returned from his walk, he adds “...and where dogs can run freely!”

Stacia Datskovska is a high school junior who is passionate about journalism, especially bringing awareness on happenings in the local area. She hopes to one day be a foreign correspondent, covering the world’s most pressing issues.





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Lights. Camera. Broadway!! South Lakes Chorus presents 15th Annual Broadway Night

For two nights at the end of January every year, South Lakes High School’s stage is transformed into a Broadway stage—filled with Reston’s own up and coming Broadway stars from South Lakes High School, Langston Hughes and Rachel Carson Middle Schools and area elementary schools. This year, the South Lakes Choral Department is excited to produce the 15th edition of Broadway Night—with a theme based on the songs of Disney. Broadway Night’s 2020 performances will be on Friday, Jan 31 at 7 PM and Saturday, Feb 1 at 2 PM and 7 PM. The production will feature over 120 students and approximately 14 musical numbers from many Disney favorites. For 15 years, Broadway Night has served as an opportunity for students to develop and share their talent with the local community in a fun, supportive atmosphere. “The nature of this show is to be inclusive of every student who wants to experience musical theatre,” comments South Lakes High School Choral Director Rita Gigliotti (known as “Mrs. G”). Auditions were in September and rehearsals have already begun. Each year, students bond over the excitement of sharing the stage and stepping into the spotlight together. The production is a chance for students to make new friends, and the sense of family Broadway Night fosters is undeniable. Students take on leadership roles in running all aspects of the show—directing, production, 46

By Leana Travis, South Lakes High School Senior

technical theatre, publicity, costuming, and choreography—with guidance from performing arts professionals, parent volunteers, and FCPS staff. It may be Mrs. G’s 15th Broadway Night, but with every year comes new faces and much untapped potential. “I am extremely proud and always inspired by the joy, enthusiasm, dedication, and just the magic that the students bring to the show every year, and that’s what really makes it exciting and enticing year after year to come back,” Gigliotti shared. As high school seniors prepare for their final Broadway Night, they reflect on memories made over the years through the experience. “Broadway Night has been one of my school highlights every year,” says Ryan van Hilst, a senior at South Lakes. “It’s an awesome time to have so many students and volunteers come together in such a short time—the end result is always an amazing, inspirational performance.” Broadway Night at South Lakes High School holds a special place in everyone’s hearts, and this year’s production will surely be enjoyable for everyone on the stage as well as those in the audience. Come enjoy popular Disney classics at Broadway Night! Visit for more information. AROUND RESTON MAGAZINE


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Nature’s Best Photography Where People Bring Nature into Focus

If you have a passion for nature and enjoy sharing your outdoor experiences through the lens of a camera, there is a local Reston publisher producing an award-winning magazine that needs to be on your “must have” list. Reaching its 25th anniversary in 2020, Nature’s Best Photography magazine ( was launched in 1995 with a simple, yet ambitious goal: To celebrate the beauty and diversity of the natural world through the art of photography and storytelling. “From the beginning, we wanted to engage and inspire the public in a very personal and dynamic manner to make a difference in the way people viewed nature through highquality presentations of Earth’s flora and fauna,” says copublisher, Steve Freligh. “When I say we, I refer to my wife and co-publisher, Deborah Freligh, the creative mind who magically turned our early ideas into stunning magazine layouts. I had been a photo editor for fifteen years with the National Wildlife Federation, where I met Deb working as an art director. While there, we witnessed first-hand the power of spectacular imagery and passion-filled storytelling. With the early help from NWF and Nikon Inc., we designed and launched our first issue—it took off and received outstanding reviews from newspapers across the country – even London as I remember.” Today, with corporate partnerships and prestigious public venues and organizations around the globe, this 25-yearyoung mission has united a growing community of outdoor enthusiasts eager to share their visions of nature. Reston businessman, Chuck Veatch, an avid nature photographer (Nature of Reston book) and Reston community leader, joined the Nature’s Best team in 2004, and helped support our annual international photo awards where winners are featured in the publications as well as displayed in large-format print exhibitions. Photographers at all levels of experience were invited to enter and they responded. The program is now one of the most highly-respected nature photo competitions worldwide. Since its beginning, Nature’s Best Photography has been exhibited at the Smithsonian and other prestigious museums and venues around the world (including the Aperture apartment building in Reston), reaching millions of viewers with a stunning record of today’s wildlife and wild places. “Dedicated photographers brave the elements to create images and films that transport us into the wild and inspire a sense of wonder. Their memories are our discoveries and their visual storytelling rekindles our own passion for the outdoors and a sense of urgency to conserve it,” remarks Chuck Veatch. Based in Isaac Newton Square, Reston, the Nature’s Best Photography team welcomes those in the neighborhood who may be interested in joining their mission. Your photographs or films can make a difference in how we see the world and our place in it. 50


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‘Raised Reston!’

CASEY VEATCH Casey spent hours of his childhood playing whatever was in season in and around Hunters Woods Elementary School. During his college years, he taught tennis lessons at Uplands and Shadowood courts as well as at the Stonegate Community Center. I asked Casey what he remembers about Reston that someone newer to the area wouldn’t know. He shares, “In the early days, Reston Avenue (now Reston Parkway) ended at a stop sign just after you crossed the Dulles Access Road. If you went left, you were going through the woods to Herndon. If you went right towards Lake Anne, you would weave through the woods (now Oracle) go over the railroad tracks, pass the Bowman Distillery to Temporary Road before reaching North Shore Drive to get to Lake Anne.” The footprint of Reston has certainly changed!

There are no First Families in Reston, but if there were, the Veatch family would be considered one of them. The Veatch family were early settlers in South Reston, making their home on Bugle Lane by Hunters Woods Elementary in 1968. Casey Veatch was among the first students to enter both Hunters Woods Elementary AND South Lakes High School. Each school had the most current physical facilities, and according to Casey, the most wonderful teachers. At Hunters Woods, he mentions Mrs. Cursii, Mr. Mack and Mr. Chaler. At South Lakes, a few of his memorable teachers were Mr. Cascio, Ms. Bresnick (Now Cascio), Mr. Isaacs, Mr. Berry, Mrs. Thomas, Mrs. Leis and Mrs. Flinn and his basketball coaches, Jim Lewis and Wendell Byrd. He also mentioned two of the South Lakes secretaries, whom he kept in touch with after he graduated, Kay Spinks and Linda Waddell. It seems that anyone who has ever met Casey remains friends with Casey.


Casey, his wife and four children live in Loudoun County; however, he continues to be an active part of Reston, through both his professional work and his volunteer activities. He is a Principal and Founder of Veatch Commercial Real Estate in Reston. His list of volunteer activities is long. He works with Cornerstones, Reston Chamber, Northern Virginia Family Service, Leadership Fairfax, Reston Bible Church & their High School Ministry, Multiple Basketball teams, High Tech Prayer Breakfast, and Loudoun County EDA. Casey tells me that it was, and is, the people that made Reston such a special place to grow up. ‘Reston is a great balance of open space, trees, commercial development and residential development. But most importantly, it was the diversity of the people, in all senses.’ Do you want to share your ‘Raised Reston’ story? Contact Holly at

CONTRIBUTOR: Holly Weatherwax Reston resident since 1970 Momentum Realty Real Estate agent


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AROUND RESTON­— 2019 Fall/Winter Real Estate Market

Fall has arrived in Reston and winter is on its way. The trees have lost their leaves giving home buyers an opportunity to better see the neighborhoods that are normally hidden by foliage. Soon the Holidays will be here and so will the decorations that accompany them. Homes show great when they are decorated nicely and buyers this time of year are serious and ready to make an offer. That’s good news for anyone in Reston that wants to sell before next spring.

Months of Supply: In September, we had 1.5 Months of Supply in Reston. That means that if no new homes were listed for sale we would sell every home on the market by November 15th. A balanced market is typically defined as having a 3 month supply. This means it is still a strong Seller’s Market in Reston. We can see here that the number of homes available on any given day has been decreasing for the last 5 years.

Closed Sales: This graph shows the total number of homes sold each month in Reston over the last 5 years. The trend line clearly shows that the number of homes sold increasing over time. This might come as a surprise because while we are selling more homes the number of Active Listings on any given day has been decreasing. Technology is likely the reason for this phenomenon. The real estate market has become more efficient. Buyers are able to quickly find their home of choice using today’s tech tools.

Real Estate Gauges: These gauges provide a quick glance of how the real estate market performed this past September compared to the last 5 years. The Median Days on Market and the Average Days on Market are both much lower than the 5 year average. Most homes in Reston receive a contract in 17 days. The gauges on the right show the Median and Average Sale to Original List Price Ratio. They are both much better than the 5 year average. Most homes in Reston sold for 99.7% of their asking price. Reston is comprised of many unique neighborhoods and home styles. If you would like to know how your home value compares to Reston overall, then simply contact your local Realtor. We can provide these statistics for your home and neighborhood specifically.


CONTRIBUTOR: Tim Finefrock with Keller Williams Realty Reston AROUND RESTON MAGAZINE

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Tim’s Tips 6 Reasons to Sell Your Home During the Holiday Season



1. JOB TRANSFERS. People have to buy now as they are starting a new job in January. 2. CORPORATE BUYERS ARE STRONG BUYERS. They just want a nice home at a fair price and have little time to bargain hunt. 3. TAX REASONS. Some buyers and investors need to buy before the end of the year for tax reasons. 4. FEWER HOMES AVAILABLE. Less competition means buyers are more likely to buy your home. 5. HOLIDAY DECOR. Homes show better when decorated for the Holidays. 6. BUYERS ARE SERIOUS. Fewer people are just looking and the showings are serious buyers.





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HIDDEN HISTORY OF HERNDON By Barbara Glakas © 2019

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Barbara Glakas currently serves as the historian of the Herndon Historical Society. She has spent several years researching, writing stories and making videos about the history of the town of Herndon. Barbara is a native of Fairfax County, Virginia.  She is a graduate of James Madison University and is a retired teacher from Fairfax County Public Schools. Barbara currently lives in the town of Herndon.

Behind the town of Herndon’s past as a sleepy farming community hide forgotten tales of growth and progress. A mysterious stranger who passed though the village one night suggested the name Herndon, after the captain of a sunken ship. The Civil War split loyalties among the townspeople and brought an unexpected Confederate rain on the town. Prohibition brought bootleggers with it but its repeal caused an uproar from temperance-minded residents. Lively community events were everpresent in the 1920s, but so was the Ku Klux Klan. Barbara Glakas uses rare photographs and firsthand accounts to tell little-known stories of the people, places and events that shaped the history of the town of Herndon.

Adulting 101: #Wisdom4Life By Pete Hardesty © 2018 Basic life skills go mostly untaught in classrooms, so graduates are on their own to figure out how to live successfully in the world. Without any guidance, where does one start? ADULTING 101 is a clever, practical, and timely guide to show how to: • Find a job and be successful at work • Buy the items you need as an adult (apartment, car, insurance) • Set goals, prioritize, and get work done • Communicate professionally and effectively • Save and invest wisely • Navigate personal and professional relationships • Avoid the common mistakes of being out on your own And much, much more This book gives young adults what they need to succeed and make a real impact, inspiring future leaders to change the world and be the person he or she was meant to be.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Pete Hardesty moved to Reston in 2017, and it feels like home. He currently serves as the Young Life College Divisional Coordinator in the Eastern Division.  Pete grew up in Baltimore, MD and graduated from the University of Virginia where he was pre-med with the emphasis on “pre.”  He then joined the staff of Young Life and served for 7 years in Virginia Beach and 13 years at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. During that time, he crammed his 3 years of grad school into 17 and finally received his Master of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary in 2014. Pete is a frequent keynote speaker, speaking to groups of young people of all sizes.  He is a certified speaker coach with SCORRE workshops, and enjoys helping people become excellent communicators.  Pete has been working with young people for 25 years, and loves helping them “adult.”   AROUND RESTON MAGAZINE


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Reston Town Center Pediatrics

Celebrates 40 Years! Before there was a Dulles Toll Road or even Reston Town Center, there was Reston Town Center Pediatrics. What began as a seed of an idea blossomed into a pediatric practice that has given care to tens of thousands of children. The practice is now seeing children of parents who were once themselves patients there. This year, Reston Town Center Pediatrics celebrates its 40th anniversary. It all began when Drs. Steve Harrison and Tony DiPaola were pediatricians working at a busy local HMO in the ’70s. “We were seeing up to 40 children per day. At the end of one day, exhausted, we looked at each other and decided there had to be a better way to deliver care, a way that would allow us to spend the time needed at each visit” shares Dr. Harrison. We wanted to make sure all the needs of each patient were met while allowing time to get to know each family, ensuring a more fulfilling experience for all.” With this philosophy in mind, the two doctors quit their steady jobs and founded DiPaola and Harrison, P.C.—soon to become Reston Town Center Pediatrics ( They took with them their favorite nurses: Page Lesh, who for many years was the head nurse at the practice and recently retired and Mary Bright who is still working at the practice as a certified lactation specialist. The first office was in a building off Reston Avenue near what eventually would be the Hyatt. Trees and meadows, not concrete, were the backdrop as one looked out the windows. It was not uncommon to see deer roaming as the afternoons approached evenings. In 1986, Reston Hospital was built and with it a medical office building. “We wanted to continue to be an integral part of the burgeoning medical community in Reston, so we decided to move the office to the hospital’s building. Reston Town Center Pediatrics is still located there as the primary pediatric group on the hospital campus.” As Reston has grown, so has Reston Town Center Pediatrics. Although Dr. DiPaola has retired, Dr. Harrison continues to see patients. He is now joined by Drs. Hope Scott, Vince Ascrizzi, Michelle Susco, Suzanne Powers, and Angel Rampal and by nurse practitioners Nancy Darmory, Jane Thompson, Katherine McHugh, and Amy Jacobson. Despite growing in size, Reston Town Center Pediatrics maintains its original philosophy of giving high-quality pediatric care in an unrushed environment, a philosophy it plans to keep for decades to come. 70


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What I Want to be When I Grow Up Delegate Kenneth R. “Ken” Plum

Counselors, teachers, and parents spend a lot of time and effort determining young people’s interests and aptitude looking to their future careers. Pathways are defined as to the courses that need to be taken, schools that need to be attended, and people that need to be met. For many including myself the early consternations over career planning did not seem to have much to do with where or how I pursued life and careers. That is not to say that there is no value to early career planning or thoughtful consideration of the path that one should take in life. It is essential. What is questionable about the approaches often used is that they rely too much on steering rather that exploring. If the coach, counselor, parent or other decides for the young person, or middle age or senior, what is best for that person and steers them to that planned for outcome the results are likely to have limited success. Such an approach may mean that a parent or counselor weights the choices to their favorite college (with as much prestige as possible) or occupation (professional of course doctor or lawyer but seldom a technician, tradesperson, or service job). A broader approach that encourages the maximum amount of career exploration, internships, talent development, travel, and reading creates a broad funnel that over time would start to form a focus that could be further refined. It may well be that an existing job would not meet the persons talents or interests. Maybe the creation of one’s job rather than just adopting the current workplace may be the best match. Remember that entrepreneurship is a career choice. None of this is to imply that contemplating one’s future in solitude will lead to productive results. In fact, what is proposed involves years of active exploration, hard work, dirty hands, and some failures. All of these are learning experiences that are meaningful unto themselves as well as leading to a successful future. Grabbing onto something because it is easy is not likely to lead to happiness or success. I had a career with Fairfax County schools that I absolutely loved. Overlapping that is the career I have as an elected official. From each of these I have learned a great deal. I do not consider myself finished, however. I continue to consider what I want to do with the knowledge and experiences I have gained. I am always looking for the next adventure for when I grow up. Delegate Kenneth R. “Ken” Plum represents the 36th District, including all of Reston, in the Virginia House of Delegates



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Making an IMPACT By Chuck Cascio

Heather & Paul Thomas Reston kids, Paul Thomas was five years older than Heather Fitzsimmons. Unaware of each other, each enjoyed similar aspects of growing up in Reston. Though their South Lakes High School (SLHS) years did not overlap (Paul graduated in 1982, Heather in 1987), he enjoyed “being part of the Pep Club, singing and swaying while the marching band played George Benson’s ‘On Broadway’ during football games” as well as being field hockey manager and a yearbook staff member. She played a year of softball and belonged to the National Honor Society, but playing French horn “influenced me the most because I interacted with kids from other grades and academic interests, yet we worked together to create a cohesive sound for concerts.” Off to college, Paul thought he “wanted to be an engineer but eventually realized I wanted to teach math.” With his Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics and a Master of Science Degree in Operations Research and Management Science from George Mason University, he taught math and computer science at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria and coached field hockey, girls soccer, and boys tennis. He says, “Every student I taught or athlete I coached is a wonderful gift, and I am so happy to have helped them in whatever small way that I did.” In 1992 Paul attended a party at UVA, where a friend was a doctoral candidate. Coincidentally, Heather had a friend who was a graduate assistant in the same department as Paul’s friend, so Heather, who was finishing a Masters in Teaching at UVA after receiving a degree in French there, attended the same party. According to Paul, “Heather got dragged along for what was supposed to be just a short appearance.” The “short appearance” turned into something much longer. Heather and Paul, two Reston kids who never met until after college, married in 1994 at Reston’s Hidden Creek Country Club. Since then, in addition to raising their two children, Jack and Maggie, they have influenced thousands of people through their dynamic careers. After completing her college education, Heather Fitzsimmons Thomas returned to Reston, teaching at Langston Hughes Intermediate, SLHS, and Cooper Middle School in McLean. But, she says, “I found myself engaging in conversations with students



that seemed more ‘counselor-like’ so I decided to get some training.” Heather received a Masters Degree in Counseling from VA Tech and was a counselor at Oakton High School for two years before “staying home with Jack and Maggie for 11 years.” Then Heather burst back into education, serving as a guidance counselor for six years at SLHS and is now Director of Student Services (DSS), a position that requires her, in part, to “supervise counselors and student registration and to coordinate the master schedule” for the entire school year. Meanwhile, Paul left teaching and is “essentially a house husband who can work from home.” He founded Docent Learning, which provides customized educational services such as curriculum development and design, training and professional development, and various education consulting services. He has participated in numerous textbook development projects and says, “I’m lucky to be able to see people I have taught, some of whom now have kids at South Lakes or Herndon, and to have a dozen textbooks on my bookshelf with my name at the top of the list of contributors.” He is the same Paul Thomas who is involved in many Reston-based projects. An RA Board member from 2008-2012, at the time of this printing he was running for a second three-year term on the Reston Community Center Board. He adds, “I have been a roadie for the SLHS Marching Band and president of the SLHS Parents

Teachers and Students Association. I spend most of my days in my dungeon with three computer monitors, so volunteering helps me connect with people and give back in some small way.” Heather says of her work, “School counselors are so important; we’re a safe space for students. Covering the academic, career, and social/emotional domains means we can be a resource and support for all kids, and every day is different! I love that I live and work in my community. It’s not without its challenges, but the benefits far outweigh those.” For Heather, each year’s highlight is “the SLHS graduation because I know how far some students have come, getting that diploma took every bit of academic effort and perseverance. Then some students sailed through school and were super involved, and now they are so excited for the next chapter. It is a happy time for everyone.” Paul adds, “We have a truly remarkable community. Being involved helps me feed into, and off of, that amazing energy.” Two kids, now a couple, still enjoying similar aspects of life in Reston.

CONTRIBUTOR: Chuck Cascio, author of The Fire Escape Stories, Volumes I, II & III. For more information on Chuck, visit



Fairy TaleContinues

This year the Sugar Plum Fairy is alighting in Reston with her chorus of sweets and more magic than ever. While continuing to honor tradition and values rooted in excellence, Conservatory Ballet’s 47th production of “The Nutcracker” offers families a renewed experience. Splendid backdrops, fanciful scenery, and elaborate costumes bring to life an updated adaptation of this holiday classic. Enhancements in performance design are only part of the excitement. The ballet school itself is getting a refresh, led by newly appointed ballet school director, Alexia Redick Bartlett. Since 1972 the Conservatory Ballet ( has been the premiere ballet academy in Northern Virginia. Committing herself to doing “[her] best with their best,” Julia Redick founded the school with a specific intention in mind: that every studen has the right to be taught. Earlier this year, Redick retired from her role as school director and named her daughter, Bartlett, as successor. Bartlett’s Company Principal Ballet is now located at 11495 Sunset Hills in a brand new state of the art school. As a third-generation ballet dancer and teacher, Bartlett is thrilled to continue this 95-year family tradition, rising - en pointe - to the occasion. Mrs. Redick will stay on as artistic director emeritus. With an esteemed faculty from Principal Ballet that includes Elena Ovchinnikova, PhD, MD, formerly Principal Ballerina with Bolshoi Ballet 76

in Moscow; Morgann Rose, formerly a Principal Dancer with Washington Ballet; and Valentina Palladino, classically trained at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, the performance is sure to be magical. Conservatory Ballet’s 47th production of “The Nutcracker” continues to feature an all children’s cast. More than 75 elementary, middle, and high school students, many of whom are children of Conservatory alumni, will take the stage. From our littlest bears to our Snow Queen and Sugar Plum, these lovely children and patient parents have worked tirelessly to create a performance that will enchant and delight. Conservatory Ballet is so thankful to have Reston, Fairfax County, and especially Reston Community Center, who are consummately committed to the arts in our community. The Conservatory Ballet will also be participating in several Reston holiday festivities, including the annual tree lighting and holiday parade on November 29 at Reston Town Center, as well as a special Nutcracker high tea and performance for younger audiences in December. A delightful holiday confection, Conservatory Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” is the perfect way to introduce children to the arts and create lasting holiday memories. Performances run December 12th through the 15th at The CenterStage at Reston Community Center, with some shortened performances for younger audiences. Tickets can be purchased at the Reston Community Center box office. AROUND RESTON MAGAZINE


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HERNDON-RESTON FISH CELEBRATES 50 YEARS By Robert R. Reed and Mary C. Saunders

The vision that became Herndon-Reston FISH ( began in 1969 when neighbors united to help after a fire destroyed a local home. Working with Fairfax County Health and Human Services, FISH is committed to helping local residents through short-term crises. As funding for FISH has increased, the process to help lowincome families cope with financial crises by paying rent, utilities, and critical medical services has been carefully refined. FISH’s rapid payments to avoid evictions and utility cutoffs is a centerpiece of their assistance program. FISH relies on trained volunteers to coordinate and assure that appropriate awards are made and distributed timely. In 2015, the Herndon Farmers Market welcomed the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) managed by FISH. Each year, 35 households receive SNAP benefits to spend on healthy locally grown food. The Bargain Loft Thrift Shop, a program of Herndon-Reston FISH, opened on Elden Street, Herndon in 1974. The Bargain Loft is now located at 336 Victory Drive, Herndon. In December each year, the store transforms into a winter wonderland of holiday necessities. The sale of good quality used items is a significant source of funds that help those in need. Donations to The Bargain Loft are always appreciated. 80

Early on FISH established food distributions at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Today this program is a holiday distribution of food and toys through local organizations, businesses, schools, and churches. Between 1,200 and 1,600 individuals benefit from the holiday program each year. Operated as a wholly volunteer organization for 40-plus years, the need for full-time management became critical with an increased assistance budget and associated grant contract obligations. FISH now has a full-time Executive Director and four part-time employees who manage programs and The Bargain Loft; however, the organization still relies on volunteers and always welcomes more. Herndon-Reston FISH recently announced Mary Saunders, a longtime Reston resident, as its new executive director. Mary is excited to lead the organization, with the help of devoted volunteers focused on the mission of better serving our community. Over the years, FISH has experienced significant growth, including integration with County and local assistance programs. In 2016, FISH joined the Connections for Hope Partnership, a collaboration of ten local organizations that make it possible to efficiently and effectively provide essential services to residents in need. In fiscal year 2019, alone, FISH programs helped nearly 2,400 individuals (729 households). AROUND RESTON MAGAZINE

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It Takes a Village

Thirty-one South Lakes High School graduates are currently in college working towards their undergraduate degrees thanks to the help of the Reston Scholarship Fund at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia (RSF-CFNOVA). That number would be thirty-two, but their first student, Sofia, graduated last May from George Mason with a B.S. degree in Developmental Psychology. The diversity of this deserving group of students, many first-generation, represents the diversity that makes up Reston; the Reston that Robert Simon hoped for and foresaw. The students or the students’ families hail from Bangladesh, Peru, Iran, Pakistan, Mexico, El Salvador, Cameroon, Sudan, China, Nigeria, Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, as well as the U.S. What all these gifted students have in common is a tremendous drive to succeed—high achieving Reston students in need of a financial boost to help them with their post-secondary studies. Liz and Gil Blankespoor, long-time Reston residents, opened the Reston Scholarship Fund in 2016 after meeting a member of the wait staff at a local restaurant. They learned from this woman that despite her working two jobs and her husband three, they did not know how they would be able to pay for their daughter’s college. This was the impetus to start the Fund. First started as a 501 ©(3) in 2016, the Reston Scholarship Fund joined the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia in 2017. The goal of the Fund is to award ten scholarships per year to graduating South Lakes High School students, based on financial need and merit, who will be attending Northern Virginia Community College in the fall. Each scholarship, with a maximum value of $16,000, is annually renewable for up to six years as long as the student maintains a GPA of 2.75 or higher and demonstrates continued financial need. However, it is not just the financial aid that is helping dedicated students. The Fund also has a vigorous mentorship program led by residents, Roz Rakoff and Jo Leir. Every student is assigned a mentor who meets regularly with the student to offer advice and support—anything from selecting a major to procuring a laptop. The success of RSF-CFNOVA is dependent upon contributions from fellow Reston residents and local companies. Learn more about the Reston Scholarship Fund at the Community Foundation of Northern Virginia. 82


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Ray and Cathy Pugsley

lebrating Ce



Owners—Potomac River Running

In 2006, Potomac River Running ( opened its third location in Reston Town Center. The Reston community immediately embraced Potomac River Running, and the store quickly became the highest volume store in terms of sales.

Ray and Cathy Pugsley have both been running for years. Ray started running in 6th grade and ran in college at Dartmouth. Cathy has been running since ninth grade and ran in college at William and Mary. The two met through running. They unknowingly crossed paths several times throughout college and eventually met when they were both training with the Reebok Enclave team in Georgetown after college. Both Ray and Cathy have impressive running histories. Ray has run in many championship races throughout his career including NCAA championships and USATF Championships. He has also been to the Olympic Trials twice where he finished 6th in the 5000m race in 1996. Cathy led William and Mary to its first-ever appearance at the NCAA Cross Country Championship meet. After college, she qualified for the USATF Championships and also ran a marathon in a time of 2:58. In the early 2000s, Ray and Cathy, along with Cathy’s sister Margie and her husband Brendan, decided to turn their passion for running into a family business. They opened Potomac River Running, a run/walk specialty store, in Ashburn in 2003 and have now expanded to nine locations. Margie and Brendan decided to return to their teaching careers, so Ray and Cathy are now the sole owners of Potomac River Running. They have two daughters, ages 14 and 11, who are also runners.


Potomac River Running is so much more than the nine local running stores. They put on races, offer training programs, and are heavily involved in the local community. The Reston Town Center races such as the Lucky Leprechaun 5K and the Firecracker 5K are always well attended by the Reston community and beyond. Ray and Cathy are supporters of the local high school cross country and track teams and contribute to other great organizations like the USO.    Ray and Cathy share, “The most rewarding part about owning Potomac River Running is the feedback from customers. We love hearing stories of how our services change the lives of so many people.” One of Ray and Cathy’s favorite events hosted by PRR is the Gingerbread Mile that happens in Reston Town Center every Black Friday. “It is amazing to see over 1,000 kids running their hearts out and the many parents cheering them on.” Ray and Cathy’s biggest trial has been the effects of the internet on the traditional brick-andmortar stores. Ray and Cathy quickly learned that it was crucial to stay ahead of the retail curve. They have made it a point to look forward to the next innovation in technology and customer service. In 2017, they started their online store to reach a larger customer base. A recent trial for the Reston location was the change in parking regulations at Reston Town Center. Potomac River Running along with many of the other Reston Town Center businesses felt the pain of loyal Reston customers deciding to shop elsewhere to avoid parking charges. Fortunately, the updates to the parking policies have helped bring back some of those lost customers. Ray and Cathy are excited about the future of Potomac River Running and continue to strive to help the Reston community with their running and walking needs.


Taralyn Kohler

lebrating Ce



Owner—Move Your Mission, LLC

PHOTO CREDIT: Anderson Wozny

Through Move Your Mission, I’ve had the opportunity to fire-up charities throughout the U.S. creating fundraising campaigns, rebranding, energizing boards and caffeinating supporters. The “Race with Purpose” fundraising concept which I authored was featured in Running Competitor Magazine.

Growing up, my mom unconditionally encouraged me to follow my passion and said that the career would follow. She was spot on as my professional calling as a social entrepreneur found me. Energizing communities sets my soul on fire, and I am blessed to live my passion every day.   My connection with the Reston community began 2 1/2 years ago when I participated in the Reston Sprint Triathlon and met Doug Bushee, founder of the Reston Sprint Tri and CORE Foundation. This was my first triathlon and a few weeks before the event, I realized that somewhere between childhood and adulthood, I had lost my ability to swim. I couldn’t even put my face in the water, and my swim time was one of the longest in the event. I ate a big piece of humble pie and ambitiously vowed that I would become a better swimmer and cross the finish line of an Ironman 70.3 triathlon. I have met that goal six times having just completed my 6th Ironman in October 2019, exemplifying that sometimes one’s greatest opportunities start with failure.  At that same time, after a successful 15 years in telecommunications, I formed the entrepreneurship, “Move Your Mission, LLC,” a boutique consulting firm specializing in empowering organizations to reach new heights through coaching, strategy, and thought leadership  (

However, it was my gritty, athletic journey that opened the door to a conversation towards working with Reston based, CORE Foundation, a 501 (c)3. CORE supports community leaders who want to make a difference which rooted me in Reston where I now work and play. As well as running my own business, Move Your Mission, I’m now serving the community as the Executive Director of CORE Foundation and am a member Leadership Fairfax Class of 2020. Reston embodies one of my core values of community and an active lifestyle. As a non-profit leader, I believe that we can increase our impact in the community by lane-sharing, and I love that many Restonians share this philosophy. For example, through collaboration with the Reston Swim Team Association, CORE held a joint Spring bike drive and successfully collected over 50 bikes which were then given to kids in need. Similar collaborations with the YMCA, Lake Anne Brew House, Surf Reston and New Trail Cycling Studio brought innovative events to Reston including the Trick-or-Tri and the Lake Anne SUP (Stand Up Paddle Board) Triathlon which made history in the sport of multi-sport. Professionally, I often draw from sports analogies ... I utilize a bike chain component in my “Move Your Mission” logo, many of my best ideas are generated while working out, and I believe that there is enough room at the finish line for all of us. As an advocate of lifelong learning, I always tell the person that I was yesterday, “on your left.”  


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Maryam Ovissi



Owner—Beloved Yoga Sanctuary As an Iranian-American who is also a Restonian, I have been influenced by the places I have called home. Early on, I understood the importance of service, and this shaped everything that has transpired in my life. In college, I founded a non-profit called Evolving Perceptions, dedicated to offering an annual exhibit (first one was in Reston.) and scholarship prizes to Iranian and Iranian-American artists. I graduated early from James Madison University because I got my “dream” job working at the Sackler/Freer Galleries of Art, Smithsonian Institute. After two years of spending time buried in books and images of ancient sites and objects as a slide librarian researcher, I felt a desire to be part of the transformative power of art in the modern sense. After a long road, I arrived in California with a Master’s in Arts Management, from Boston University, and supported the building of the Asian Art Museum in the old San Francisco Library. At the same time, I was running a private art gallery for Iranian diasporic artists with weekend exhibits and events. I always knew the importance of self-care, exercise and well-being. One of my friends was devoting her life to Yoga, and I decided to support her by taking private yoga classes. This experience shifted everything I understood about exercise, spiritual growth and creativity. Yoga brought together for me these three dimensions of life that I felt were essential to revealing our eudemonia (individual state of excellence) by honoring all the layers of a person: physical, energetic, mental and emotional. Fourteen years ago, I opened Beloved Yoga Sanctuary ( I wanted to create a serene space to practice Yoga in Reston and make yoga accessible. After moving four times, in 2018, we moved into a beautiful new space on Sunset Hills Road. I poured into it the ultimate vision: A place to sit and gather, rooms to offer multiple classes at prime times for all ages and abilities, learning spaces to study and a studio that honored the original teachings of yoga. For the last 11 years, the Beloved Yoga team has held the Love Your Body Yoga Festival each June in Reston Town Center to gather the yoga and wellness community. Profits are donated to the Friends of Southgate Community Center. I serve on a few boards with enthusiasm and commitment to their missions: The Greater Reston Arts Center, Friends of Southgate Community Center/SCC Advisory Council and most recently joined GMU’s Gender and Policy Advisory Board. In 2016, I was honored to be chosen as a Best of Reston Honoree. This award was extremely meaningful for me as it was a recognition of how leading a business enterprise is a path of service to enhance the commUNITY. We cannot work in isolation to serve the community’s well-being and journey to peace; it is imperative to volunteer and get involved.



Sue & Craig Richey

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Owners—Richey Property Management Craig and I have always had entrepreneurship in our blood. We met at Virginia Tech, and it wasn’t long before we started a business while still in college. After college, we moved back to Northern Virginia, got married, worked in the corporate world and operated a sideline business. After having children, I got into real estate in 1997. A few years after I started in real estate, Craig left his corporate job to join me. We began as Realtors helping buyers and sellers. Eventually, we became real estate investors and have built up a small portfolio of rental properties in the Northern Virginia market. Little did we know that the decision to get into real estate would eventually lead to establishing our residential brokerage and property management company, Richey Property Management ( in 2006. Like Reston, our business, located on Sunrise Valley Drive, has grown over the past 13 years. What began with a handful of property management clients has grown to serve over 300 landlords. We feel fortunate to have a great team that is committed to quality service, which helps continue our growth in the right way. Our focus has always been to provide the best experience and value to our clients. We bridge customer service and technology in the most optimum way while maintaining a personal experience that reduces stress for our owners and renters. Giving back and being involved in the community through volunteering and philanthropy is also a big part of our lives both personally and professionally. I am the current Board Chair at the YMCA in Reston and have held leadership roles in many other organizations. Craig has been involved in the Vienna Rotary for over 15 years and has been the local president for several years of the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) chapter. Being an entrepreneur is challenging, but extremely rewarding. We wear many different hats and have done every part of the business from the ground up. Each day is a learning experience. We learn new things about our clients, our business and ourselves. There have been many roller coasters over the years with good times and difficult ones; however, we are firm believers that the things that challenge us only make us stronger. We love our team, our work and our community!


Pam Ahart and Beth Greenberg Cotell

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Owners—All Friends Pet Care Pam and I met in 1973 at the age of two, when my family moved in next to hers on Yellowwood Court in Reston. We became instant best friends. On any given day, we were scouring the woods behind our houses, looking for tadpoles, animal tracks, or other evidence of little critters. We had a deep love for animals from a young age and spent our days dreaming of what we would be when we grew up. It didn’t matter much what it was; we just knew we wanted to be with the animals. In 1988 we graduated from South Lakes High School and were apart for the first time since elementary school. Pam graduated from college, and I entered the workforce, working mainly for trade associations. By April 1998, Pam and I were once again side by side, this time as agent assistants at the Washington Speakers Bureau in Alexandria. Pam came to me after work one day and mentioned she had read a lot about pet sitting in New York and California, and thought that would be a great way to achieve our goal of working together with animals. It was perfect: we could do it part-time, while allowing our full-time salary to pay the bills. We came up with the name, Best Friends Pet Care, and a motto “your best friend is our best customer!” We asked our high school art teacher to create a logo for us, which we still use to this day, with one small adjustment! Nine months into the business, we had to change our name, as we got a “cease and desist” letter from Best Friends Pet Care, a nationwide company who had trademarked the name. So “Best” became “All”, and the motto still worked! Within six months, we had 50 clients and were burning the candle at both ends, trying to juggle pet sitting before, during, and after work. We had to decide: could this really be a full-time job? Could we pay our bills with just pet sitting? In September 1998, we attended the Pet Sitters International annual convention, where we mingled with dozens of other pet sitters from around the country, and got our question answered: YES it was possible to work full time as a pet sitter! In January 1999, we took All Friends Pet Care ( full time. I was living in Alexandria at that time, and Pam was in Reston, so we split Fairfax County down the middle, and we each managed our territory. We knew the only way to grow was to hire, and had our first ten pet sitters onboard by the end of our first year. 21 years later, AFPC is going strong. We currently work with over 65 pet sitters and are thankful for every one of the 1600 clients who are a part of the AFPC family. From toddlers growing up in Reston, to entrepreneurs following our dream to work with the animals, we couldn’t be happier with the paths this journey has lead us to follow—together!



Jonathon Perrelli and Rob Lawson-Shanks

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Owners—LifeFuels Jonathon Perrelli

The idea of LifeFuels, the world’s first smart nutrition Bottle and three-part hydration system came to Founder and CEO, Jonathon Perrelli, back in 2006. It was driven by the challenge to keep hydrated and meet the daily-recommended nutrient and vitamin intake. In 2014, his idea was revitalized by the consumer craze for fitness tracking and smartphones. Perrelli’s desire to integrate consumer electronics, concentrated beverages and app development led to the inspiration and development of the first LifeFuels prototype in January 2016. Today, as CEO, Perrelli oversees a team of close to 50 employees in Reston made up of electrical and mechanical engineers, industrial designers, software developers, beverage scientists, marketing and customer experience professionals. LifeFuels was far from Perrelli’s first business venture. The 47-year-old entrepreneur graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Finance. In the mid-’90s, Perrelli developed an interest in startups and began investing. From then to now, Perrelli has invested in over 50+ companies personally and through his venture fund. Before LifeFuels, the entrepreneur founded six companies, including venture capital fund, Fortify Ventures. It was at Fortify Ventures where Perrelli met his future business partner, LifeFuels

Rob Lawson-Shanks

CTO and Founder, Rob Lawson-Shanks. Earlier in his startup journey, at only 10 years old, Lawson-Shanks developed an entrepreneurial spirit that led him to jumpstart a multimedia company, IdleArt. He also founded Caplify, an interactive micro-content delivery system in 2012. To this day, Lawson-Shanks has a passion for all things tech, design and sports, and is the technology guru behind the LifeFuels bottle. In January of 2018, Perrelli and LawsonShanks brought the LifeFuels bottle and FuelPods to CES, an annual trade show held by the Consumer Technology Association. There, the bottle sparked interest from Keurig’s Executive Leadership Team. It is also the winner of the 2018 CES Innovation Award. Shortly following CES, The Keurig Team visited the LifeFuels office in Reston, and three months later, Keurig invested in the company. In April 2018, the United States Patent and Trademark Office awarded LifeFuels its first major patent. Soon after, LifeFuels closed its Series A investment with Keurig and set up shop for bottle manufacturing in China. The FuelPods are produced, formulated, and filled in the U.S. LifeFuels bottles recently came available on the market, and can be purchased through their website,


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Mark and Mina Fies


Owners—Synergy Design and Construction People often wonder how the daughter of a hippie truck driver teamed up with a guy who loves spreadsheets intending to shake up the remodeling world, however, that’s what happened when Mark and I created Synergy Design and Construction ( 11 years ago! We formed our company as newlyweds when the economy was undergoing one of the worst financial meltdowns in history. As someone who previously worked in both real estate and the design industry, I often heard “renovation nightmare” stories and saw firsthand the impact a poor experience had on people’s lives - both physically and emotionally. I had also moved eight times before I was ten years old, and it left me with a sincere gratitude for the concept of ‘home.’ So, despite the odds, the timing felt right to start a new business founded in the belief that we could provide a better home remodeling experience. The strong sense of community in Reston has always stood out to us. The feeling that people are looking out for one another played a big part in our decision to put roots down here.  Like many new business owners, we started small, working out of our condo in Church Hill Place and eventually got our first real office on Bowman Green Drive, beside the Bowman Mansion. We moved our offices to a larger space near Plaza America in 2017. A key to our success was our shared vision of bringing “synergy” to design and remodeling. We knew being married and running a business together would present challenges, but as business partners, we complemented one another. My design expertise and commitment to creating a more zen-like experience, coupled with Mark’s analytical mind and project management approach were a perfect balance that enabled us to grow our business.  Mark and I are big believers in energy and how it affects everything in our lives. We go out of our way to not only improve the aesthetics of our client’s home but, more importantly, the way they feel about it. This belief extends to our community. It’s important for us to grow our impact within the local community. That’s why it was such an honor when our team was recognized for their dedication in making a difference to others as a 2019 Best of Reston Honoree. We love living and working in our community of Reston. It has fantastic energy! 



Amy Dagliano and Kate Viggiano Janich

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Owners—Rowan Tree

My best friend Kate and I have known each other for over 15 years. Two years ago on our shared birthday we were out for karaoke and chatted about how it would be nice to bring women together to connect with one another and to focus on all of those things we tend to put on the back burner. It was a really nice thought, and that’s where we left it. I had recently recovered from a two-year battle with Lyme disease and was ready for a new path in my life. Lyme disease broke me down to nothing, but it also opened my heart up. Being stuck in bed full time allows you some time and space to assess your life and focus on what’s most important, and I knew a change was in order, but I didn’t know what it would be. Kate happened to also be in a position in her life where she was searching for a new fulfilling role in her career. A few weeks went by after our karaoke idea, and we both kept rolling the idea around in our heads. One day, I went to Kate’s house so we could work from home together. Little did we know, we were coworking. It was the best day – we worked, we caught up, we went for a walk at lunch, and on our walk, Kate turned to me and said, “You know that idea we had a few weeks ago? I kind of want to do it.” “Me too!” I squealed.

We had no idea exactly what that meant, but we spent the next several months researching ideas, attending “starting a new business” workshops and mentorships through Fairfax and Loudoun County. We started interviewing local women and hosting Cheers + Chats focus groups to listen and understand what women loved about work, what they struggled with, and what they wished they had more of. We took that information and formed the basis of Rowan Tree, a coworking + cogrowth community space focused on women entrepreneurs ( When we were looking to locate Rowan Tree, we were drawn to the Herndon/ Reston area because of the strong sense of community. We decided to do pop up events with local businesses to start building our community. We were welcomed with open arms and hosted events at Artspace Herndon, LakeAnne Brewhouse in Reston, Pinot’s Palette in Herndon, and Ono Brewery in Chantilly. Local businesses were actively working to help us build our business and our own community. It was the best thing we could have done when starting our business. Eventually, with 20 founding members behind us and some financial backing from our crowdfunding campaign, we were able to secure a space in Sunset Business Park in Herndon. The “treehouse” as we refer to it, is the perfect blend of the comforts of home mixed with the necessities of the office, and a little bit of magic. There were and still are plenty of hiccups and new things to learn as we continue this journey, but it’s been the most rewarding and exhilarating experience I could imagine. We are grateful to have planted our roots here and can’t wait to see how we continue to grow.


Photo Credit: Phil DeLeon

METRO CONSTRUCTION UPDATE Submitted by Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project

THE SILVER LINE PHASE 2: MAKING A CONNECTION Connecting Phases 1 and 2 of the Silver Line is a major challenge. And it’s all happening at the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station, the very busy terminus station of Phase 1 of the line that will eventually connect suburban Maryland, downtown DC and Fairfax County to Ashburn in Eastern Loudoun County. It requires exceptional cooperation between the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), which is building the rail line, project lead contractor Capital Rail Constructors (CRC) and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), which will eventually the operate Phase 2 as part of the existing regional transit system. The Phase 2 tie-in at Wiehle-Reston East Station got off to a very good start in early October thanks to a decision by WMATA to

completely close the station to passenger service so that the contractor, MWAA and WMATA could complete critical safe braking testing. During the closing, rail passengers used shuttle buses from the Wiehle-Reston East to the Spring Hill Station in Tysons. While there were three major sports events downtown that weekend, passengers had advance notice of the closing. This wasn’t the only time the station will be closed as preparations for opening of Phase 2 next year. Now that safe braking tests are done at Wiehle-Reston East, other tests can be done. According to project leaders, WMATA and MWAA officials are trying to complete a schedule and duration times for those necessary closings so that customers can know exactly when the closings will be taking place and what their options are. That information will be important for the more than 420,000 riders who are using the Wiehle station, according to June ridership numbers supplied by the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission Meanwhile, construction is almost complete at the Reston Town Center Station, where the pavilions that lead to the pedestrian bridges and on to the station in the median of the Dulles International Airport Access Highway. This complex and nearby private construction project has completely changed the landscape of Sunset Hills Road.

In the coming months, check Around Reston Magazine and for close-ups of other Phase 2 stations. 92


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Profile for Around Reston Publications

Around Reston Community Fall/Winter 2019  


Around Reston Community Fall/Winter 2019