VIP Alexandria Magazine | August 2020

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AUGUST 2020

THE GENTLEMEN’S ISSUE USO METRO: SERVING THOSE WHO SERVE

THE CHAMBER ALX’S GOLF CLASSIC

ALEXANDRIA’S MOST INTERESTING MEN

FIRST ANNUAL VIP BURGER AWARDS

THE ULTIMATE CBD STEAK TOPPER RECIPE

AUGUST 2020 • 1


local expertise

EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE

Kristen JONES ALEXANDRIA SPECIALIST | $33M+ SALES IN 2019

703.851.2556 | www.kristenjones.com | kristen@kristenjones.com | Licensed in VA 109 S.MAGAZINE Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 | Equal Housing Opportunity 2 • VIP ALEXANDRIA


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PUBLISHER'S LETTER Welcome to The Gentlemen's Issue, Alexandria! Let's pause for a moment to really take in that fabulous cover. Right? We were so honored to work with all of the local men featured in this issue, but having the opportunity to see photographer Jonathan Thorpe in action was priceless! For those of you who don't know Jonathan, well... I'll let you get to know him yourself. You should get to know all of our featured 'Interesting Men,' starting on page 18. They all have really exciting and inspiring stories to tell and having the opportunity to use our pages to tell those stories made me remember just what VIP was about all over again! That being said, this is Issue Nine, guys! Can you believe it? The past year has flown by so quickly! It's crazy to think that VIP Alexandria Magazine will be celebrating its one-year anniversary in just a few short weeks! Be sure to stay tuned to our website and social media because we're going to be planning some really exciting virtual events to celebrate this occasion, complete with special guests, giveaways and so much more!

VOLUME ONE | ISSUE NINE

OWNER / PUBLISHER Kellie Gunderman kellie@vipalexandriamag.com

OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Jeanette Wages jeanette@vipalexandriamag.com

SALES EXECUTIVE Andrew Gates andrew@vipalexandriamag.com

But let's get back to the issue... In addition to the editorials that lean a bit to masculine side, we have included a gorgeous wedding spread, the return of V.I.P.'s (Very Important Pets), the grand openings of three new businesses and a stirring Salute to Service feature on our local USO-Metro. Learn how it all began, why it all began and get to know the woman who has made it all possible, serving as President for almost 44 years!

EDITOR Warren Gunderman

Finally, as a mother, it would be foolish of me to not urge every single one of my fellow parents to flip to page 14 to read WISE Families' mental health feature on COVID-19 and Your Teen. Their great tips will give you the peace of mind that, even in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, you are raising a resilient and empowered young man/woman.

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Shells Hasley Karle Tati Hernandez, LPC Liesel Schmidt

I'd like to end this month's letter with a few big THANK YOUs. To all of the gentlemen who participated this month: It was an honor to get to know you all. Thank you for letting us share your stories with Alexandria. To Noe Landini for providing us with the beautiful space to shoot our cover. To Jonathan Thorpe - one of the most professional and talented photographers I've ever had the opportunity to work with. To Megan Terry for always diving in at the last moment when we need you most. To Allison Priebe for your always valuable advice and friendship. To my husband, Zack, for always keeping me sane. And, finally, to Jeanette Wages... for eating all of those hamburgers this month. You are a braver woman than I.

PHOTOGRAPHERS Magdalena Papaioannou Megan Terry Igda Warner

Stay gentle, Alexandria. Until next time.

hello@vipalexandriamag.com

Kellie Gunderman

OWNER / PUBLISHER

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All inquiries:

www.vipalxmag.com


WHAT’S INSIDE THE GENTLEMEN

FEATURES

18

Tristan Wright

18

Teddy Kim

12 VIP Wedding: Caitlyn + Spencer

19

Leonard 'Leo' Holton

14 Surviving the New Normal: COVID-19 + Your Teen

19

Michael Aristo Leonard II

17 Alexandria's Most Interesting Men

21

Tom 'Big T' Gale

26 Cool Contours: Take Yourself Further

21

Jonathan Thorpe

28 Your CBD for Men's Health

22

Mauricio Rivero

30 The VIP Best Burger Awards

22

Rick Myllenbeck

36 Weekend Warriors: District Foot + Ankle

23

Adris Tabibi

38 Whiskey + Kicks: The Brocky McKnight Story

23

Noe Landini

42 Take a Risk: US Health Advisors

24

C.J. Cross

46 Salute to Service: Elaine Rogers & USO-Metro

24

Jake Gallun

11

The Chamber ALX Spotlight: Ru Toyama

EVENTS 6

The Chamber ALX's Golf Classic

12 August V.I.P.s (Very Important Pets) 35 Catoctin Creek Distilling Event at Bastille 44 Mint Collective Grand Opening 50 Silver Diner Grand Opening

ON THE COVER (Front) Leonard 'Leo' Holton, Teddy Kim, Noe Landini (Back) C.J. Cross, Adris Tabibi, Michael Aristo Leonard II, Mauricio Rivero, Jake Gallun, Jonathan Thorpe, Tristan Wright, Tom 'BIg T' Gale, Rick Myllenbeck Photographer: Jonathan Thorpe Special Thanks to Noe Landini & Landini Brothers

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The Chamber ALX's Golf Classic Photography Courtesy of The Chamber ALX

The Chamber ALX recently hosted the 2020 Golf Classic, presented by MGM National Harbor. The annual event was a full day of networking, competition and fun! The day began with lunch at the club house followed by a shotgun start to the scramble style tournament. Traveling around the course, guests had the opportunity to meet with sponsors, play games, and participate in mini competitions. After hours of play, teams met back up at the clubhouse for the 19th hole reception and a seated dinner. For more information on The Chamber ALX, please visit www.thechamberalx.com

The Chamber ALX staff members, Maria Ciarrocchi + Lovie Patish, checking attendees in.

Attendees at lunch, foursomes sitting separately at tables 6ft apart

Damien Hillyer and Gelda Maule of Carr Workplaces at hole #3

The Redmon Peyton Braswell Team enjoying lunch

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Attendees taking their swing at Hole 11, sponsored by Kari Steinberg of Long & Foster


AUGUST SPOTLIGHT

Ru Toyama mindset with each new client is “...even though you can afford more doesn't mean that is what you should do. Thus it is my job to get to know each client through the process and find out what exactly they're looking for and what is logical and fits their budgets.” A level of care his customers will appreciate for years to come.

“I love what I'm doing because this career allows me to somewhat continue to serve..." “My Military background greatly prepared me for life as a professional during a pandemic because it was in our training and nature in the military and Naval Academy time to adapt and overcome in almost every and any situation.” Ru Toyama hadn’t formally prepared for his life during a pandemic, much like his entry into being a loan officer after leaving military service, but he has learned to pivot and work with his clients to still help them with the biggest financial investment of their lives during a time of insecurity. Ru joined Monument Home Loans as a Loan Officer, NMLS # 1528382, after serving 10 years in the United States Navy, looking to start a new chapter with his wife, Sharon, who is a Realtor with TTR Sotheby's International Realty, Old Town Alexandria Office. Saying good-bye to constant relocating, 9-5 hours behind a desk and uniforms, Ru was interested in a career in which he could have more freedom to work when and where was convenient for him, and of course his clients. The world of real estate and mortgage was a perfect match. Today his days are more about staying organized, answering emails and giving quality care to his customers until they come to the closing table for their new home or refinance. His motto and

Monument Home Loans

4075 Wilson Blvd., Suite 823, Arlington VA 22203 • 703-650-7431 info@monumenthomeloans.com www.monumenthomeloans.com •nmlsconsumeraccess.org

With the help of his mentors, like Branch Manager Robert Martinson and associations like the the Chamber ALX, Ru has been able to continue to serve his customers and community. “I love what I'm doing because this career allows me to somewhat continue to serve, although not necessarily the same as the service to our country but this career field does allow me to truly focus to serve each client of mine by guiding them and leading them through likely the biggest financial transaction/ decision in their life!" Since joining Monument Home Loans, Ru has been recognized as a local Alexandria Rising Star member in 2017 and was honored with being a member of the Chamber ALX's 40 Under 40 recipient in 2018. They were also runner ups in 2019 as a small business, Best in Business award. Our Chamber has a responsibility to make Alexandria the ideal place to work, live and grow your business. As a member, the Chamber ALX becomes a channel to boost your brand, a resource to find opportunties and build relationships, and a seal of approval to give your business credibility in our community. Whether we're advocating on behalf of busineses to local governmetnt, hosting events to connect you with others, or giving visibiltiy to businesses and nonprofits that Alexandrians should know about - we're working in your best interest. For more information on the 40 Under 40 Awards Program and The Chamber ALX, contact LPATISH@thechamberalx.com Robert Martinson, Branch Manager NMLS# 470762

A division of Mann Mortgage LLC NMLS#2550 Equal Housing Lender This ad is not from HUD, VA, or FHA and was not reviewed or approved by any government agency.

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VIP WEDDING

88••VIP VIPALEXANDRIA ALEXANDRIAMAGAZINE MAGAZINE


cs CAITLIN + SPENCER

Story by Liesel Schmidt | Photography by Marianne Wiest & Christian Saab

When Caitlin Brown and Spencer Ong met as teenagers, it was only in passing; a brief moment that led to nothing more than becoming connected on LinkedIn. Years later their tenuous connection on social media was brought into real time when Spencer recognized Caitlin one night as she was leaving a local restaurant. Seeing her face he called out to her, though darkness kept her from knowing who was saying her name. Naturally, she continued on her way home, still unaware of the identity of the man that had tried to get her attention. The mystery was solved at 12:57 a.m. when Spencer messaged Caitlin on LinkedIn, asking her simply: “Where do I know you from?” That question marked the beginning of their relationship. After several years of dating, Spencer knew that the time had come to make sure that they never again lost contact. After spending time with Caitlin’s family on a trip to her uncle’s log cabin

in Kalispell, Montana for Thanksgiving, the two broke off to take a side-trip to visit Glacier National Park on their last full day in Montana. That Friday, November 23, 2018, they drove to their destination and parked at the Apgar campgrounds to begin walking along Lake McDonald until they reached a pier. Hoping for a good shot of the snow-capped mountains in the background, the couple walked to the end of the pier. “I took a photo and turned to see Spencer on one knee with a ring in his hand,” says Caitlin of the moment when she was presented with the stunning cushion-cut diamond that would soon grace her finger, its brilliance set off by a slender band of micro-pave stones. “It was photographed by a secret photographer, and Spencer did an absolutely wonderful job arranging the entire proposal and making it one of the most memorable, beautiful moments.”

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There were more beautiful moments in store on August 17, 2019, when Caitlin walked down the aisle at the Middleburg Barn at Fox Chase Farms to meet Spencer at the altar. “After attending our friends' barn wedding, we fell in love with the casual yet romantic atmosphere of a rustic wedding. We loved the idea of a wedding in a place as picturesque as Middleburg, and the Middleburg Barn provided a rustic yet elegant venue for the kind of wedding we envisioned,” Caitlin says. “From its scenic drive to the beauty of the venue and the equestrian feel, the Middleburg Barn was an absolute dream.” Wearing a Pronovias gown with a sweetheart neckline and lace bodice that flowed into a tulle skirt with lace accents from Elegance by Roya in Tysons Corner, Caitlin spoke her vows to Spencer. Looking every bit the part of the expectant groom in a suit worn with suspenders and bowtie, Spencer offered his own promises to Caitlin. Having been pronounced man and wife by Caitlin’s uncle, the newlyweds joined their guests for a lively celebration filled with fantastic food from the Purple Onion, sinfully delightful desserts, and a full night of music and dancing. After cutting into a delicious bourbon cake with maple whiskey filling and a buttercream frosting made by Signature Sweets by Amanda, Caitlin and Spencer were sent on their way. Amidst the glow of sparklers they left to begin the first night of their honeymoon in a guest cottage on the farm. Ready for their full getaway after having brunch with their families the following day, the newly wed Ongs spent the next two weeks relaxing, golfing and exploring the beaches of Hilton Head, Savannah and Daufuskie Island.

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VIPs

Very Important Pups Photography by Magdalena Papaioannou

The Soltwisch Family w/ Obie

Nick + Ali Dichiaro w/ Galileo + Pangea

Spencer + Caitlin Ong w/ Kobe + Chancellor

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Kevin Mlynek + Michelle Harner w/ Bailey

Mike Benstein w/ Lucy

Lee Johnson w/ Beau + Isobel


Elise + Bill Rosenthal w/ Yoda + Minnie

Simon Espejo w/ Kip

Kjara Wurst w/ Rex

Craig Henson w/ Anna

Dennis Czaplicki + Erika Wollman w/ Kona

Adam Fraser + Katia Wyman w/ Dixie

We are partnering up to provide you with new Alexandria Experiences that will support our community. STAY TUNED TO SOCIAL MEDIA FOR MORE INFORMATION

VIPALXMAG AUGUST 2020 • 13


SURVIVING

the new normal SERIES THREE

COVID-19 AND YOUR TEEN

By Tati Hernandez, LPC Pronouns She/Her The Wise Family – Virtual & Winchester office Clinician specializing in work with LGBTQ+ teens Being a teenager is arguably one of the most difficult parts of human development. Not only are teen bodies changing both physically and cognitively, they are also having to face the day to day stressors of trying to figure out who they are, meet high academic and social expectations, and manage the dialect of being a teen and being asked to start acting like a young adult. Not easy, right? Now, let’s add a global pandemic that no one on earth today has ever experienced to the mix. Yikes! COVID-19 has brought a whole new set of challenges. And our team of therapists at The Wise Family has really seen it all. Along with dealing with their own personal dilemmas, teenagers are now having to reorient to a new way of engaging in school. Teens are missing out on social and essential rights of passage. Major milestones are passing by in a parade of vehicles and video celebrations. And that independence that is part of individuation in teen development? It’s become even more difficult to obtain when they’re being introduced to more restrictions.

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To further complicate the teen scene is that the restrictions that have been put in place for public health reasons have almost universally led to a loss of structure and sense of stability. We’ve seen these shifts contribute significantly in the past several months to increased feelings of loss, grief, loneliness, and anxiety in teens. We are also surrounded by a lot of overwhelming information which contributes to feeling uncertain and hopeless about the future. This is an unprecedented time, and it sucks. Maybe this is an opportunity to explore what’s important and how to help your teen continue to build resiliency. Here are 3 strategies for building resilience in a 2020 teen

1. Recognize that change is a constant

As adults, we have already experienced the difficulties of being a teenager, but things are not the same as they once were. The world is different now because the only constant we can truly count on is change. Parents must be mindful not to generalize the teenage experience both before and during this global pandemic. Your teens thoughts and feelings may be displayed in a very different way from that of their peers. Meaning that your teen might be withdrawing from the family or peers while others might be wondering the neighborhood and sneaking out to see friends. Teens don’t want to be seen through a lens


of collectivism and thinking that all teens are the same makes this pivotal developmental and transitional period in their lives even more frustrating. Talk about changes. Talk about different families, communities, states and countries and how each group has handled life differently – some successful and some unsuccessful. The mistakes we make are merely learning opportunities.

conversation with your teen, say the following word to yourself – W.A.I.T. – it stands for WHY AM I TALKING? If you don’t have a reason that will move the conversation forward calmly and productively, stay quiet.

2. Assure your teen that you believe in them

It’s important, now more than ever, to find ways of showing teenagers support. We often encourage parents to say, “I believe in you, even when you don’t believe in yourself.” By lending your belief to your teen you give them a sense of self- confidence that they may not always feel. It may also create a space where they feel empowered to collaboratively participate in creating a structure at home that allows them to take ownership of their academic engagement and to work on staying socially connected. Other types of support can also look like modeling healthy coping strategies at home and getting creative with how to provide them with different opportunities to continue to create meaning, as well as to explore their values and beliefs.

3. Really listen to your teen Listening with the intent to hear what they’re saying, instead of listening to respond or problem solve right away is key to healthy parent/teen relationships. Whenever you are in

Active listening provides a better understanding about how teens are feeling, as well as helps parents gain more insight into their thought process and the different ways that they might be communicating with you non-verbally.

All in all, being a teenager is not easy and 2020 feel nearly impossible on the daily. So, meet your teens where they are, reinforce your belief in them and really practice listening. It's important to also remember that no one has all of the answers, and that’s okay. Allow yourself the space to be gentle with yourself. After all, being a parent or caregiver of a teenager is not easy either, and 2020 has certainly made things tough all around. We’re here in Alexandria, Arlington and Winchester to support your teen and your family.

Text ‘WISEHELP’ to 66866 to connect! Be Wise.

Have you tried empathetic listening with your teen?

rather than this

say this Iʼm listening. That sounds stressful.

What if you try this?

What did that make you feel?

I told you that would happen.

How can I help you through this situation? Iʼm always here to listen.

It could be worse!

Is there more? It sounds like youʼre saying... is that accurate?

Aw! Donʼt be upset! Oh! You should read... Youʼll be fine! I totally get it. This one time...

We help worried kids, stressed out teens & the families who love them!

TEXT ʻWISEHELPʼ TO 66866 Alexandria/Arlington/Winchester/Virtual | www.thewisefamily.com | (844) 947-3326

AUGUST 2020 • 15


Alexandria's most (Front) Leonard 'Leo' Holton, Teddy Kim, Noe Landini (Back) C.J. Cross, Adris Tabibi, Michael Aristo Leonard II, Mauricio Rivero, Jake Gallun, Jonathan Thorpe, Tristan Wright, Tom 'BIg T' Gale, Rick Myllenbeck

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Special thanks to: Photographer: Jonathan Thorpe Location: Noe Landini, Landini Brothers On-Site Direction: Jeanette Wages, VIP Alexandria Magazine

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TRISTAN WRIGHT FOUNDER | LOST BOY CIDER

Imagine one day you discover you have been slowly poisoning your body by ingesting something you’re allergic to on a regular basis. If you’ve experienced this then you and Tristan Wright have something in common. In 2015, Tristan went into the hospital wondering how sick he really was. As it turns out, he had a severe gluten and soy allergy. While the diagnosis was better than many alternatives, it was still life changing. When realizing everything he would need toremove from his diet, whiskey and beer were at the top of the list.. Both were beverages he enjoyed in moderation, but saying goodbye to them would change his life.

to study the art and science of the cider industry. He even obtained certificateds from Cornell Viticulture Center and Oregon State University's Cider Production School, and Lost Boy Cider was born.

After taking some time off of the social scene, which almost always involved libations, Tristan remembered a trip to Ireland and how much he enjoyed the ciders there. Tristan quickly began

GUILTY COVID-19 PURCHASE: A ONE WHEEL MOTORIZED SKATEBOARD FROM FUTURE MOTION

TEDDY KIM

PRINCIPAL | AVANTI HOLDINGS GROUP, LLC • PRINCIPAL | OGELSBY MANAGEMENT, LLC PRESIDENT | ALEXANDRIA LIGHTING & SUPPLY

Teddy Kim is a true Alexandria local. Born and raised here, his passion for this city has been proven, time and time again, in all he does as a real estate developer - a career that began when he was no more than a teenager. At the young age of 17, Teddy discovered his love for travel on a trip with friends to Amsterdam. There was no itinerary, no hotel and no parental supervision; nothing more than an eye opening adventure. After that, experiencing new cultures became second nature to Teddy. Two years later, he went to Israel for work despite the warnings that Israel was dangerous. What he experienced there was completely different from what his friends thought they knew of the country. “People would try to project their fear on me and the trip. Living by love more than fear, I couldn’t relate and went anyway. When I got there, everything was beautiful. The beaches were amazing, the people were nice, and the Mediterranean food was incredible!”

FUN FACT: TEDDY HAS NOT OWNED A TV IN OVER A DECADE

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Teddy has now traveled to 58 countries, staying at Relais & Châteaux, boutique hotels with chef owners, as often as possible. When returning home from his travels, he tries to apply the architecture he has seen and innovations other countries use to preserve their history while still moving forward in design. “Traveling is such an invaluable learning experience and is where I have learned almost everything; how to embrace cultural differences, negotiation, critical thinking and personal growth. I am also so inspired by the different food, architecture, art, and nature, which recharges my own creativity to fuel what I do back home.”


LEONARD 'LEO' HOLTON SOMMELIER, OWNER, CHEF | MAGNOLIA'S ON KING

Even in an area rich in history, we often forget that there are living descendants of that history living here in Alexandria. Sommelier Leonard Holton, owner and Chef at Magnolia’s on King St., is the 4th generation great grandson of Solomon Northup, who many know from the memoir and movie 12 Years a Slave. Chef Leo is both very aware and proud of this legacy and it shows in how he lives his life today. “I own a restaurant in the area where my great grandfather was kidnapped and taken as a slave. It’s kind of amazing.” At the time, Northup could have only dreamed of a day when this could be possible. Even for Chef Leo, the path into restaurant ownership was not one he had expected. He had originally gone to school for biology with aspirations to work as a marine biologist. He had also considered training for the US Olympic swim team, a dream he sometimes wondered if he should have chased. But Chef Leo found his way into being a chef-owner while working as a consultant in the restaurant industry. The opportunity to partner with the owner of Magnolia’s came as a surprise but one Chef Leo was more than happy to be a part of. Now living his best

LIFESTYLE CHOICE: VEGAN

MICHAEL ARISTO LEONARD II PRESIDENT, CO-FOUNDING PARTNER | LEONARDPATEL

Growing up in the Rust Belt in Cleveland, Michael Leonard cheered for the Browns and drove large tractors for the park system. A far cry from those days, Michael is now a President and Co-Founder of a Patent Law Firm, representing aerospace, software, nuclear, and consumer products spaces. Recently, a large portion of their work has focused on artificial intelligence (AI) applications for technologies that observe, learn from, and mimic human behavior to interact with computers in a similar manner to humans. Michael’s journey into patent law began after attending The University of Virginia. He was working as a software engineering consultant in Cleveland when he noticed the mismanagement of the consulting firm he worked for. He realized that he was not where he was meant to be. To not call his time in school and on this path a complete waste, he returned to school, this time focusing on patent law. After graduating, he relocated to DC and worked for small and large firmsbefore breaking out with his now partner to begin their current firm. His love of his hometown and the Browns still rings through even after years of disappointment from his team but is adopting a love for the Nationals as Alexandria has become his home. He and his wife, Mary, love supporting the local craft beer and wine scene while experimenting in the kitchen, most recently with Indian and Thai food.

FAVORITE FORMULA 1 RACING DRIVER: LEWIS HAMILTON FOR MERCEDES WHO WEARS THE SAME HAT THAT MICHAEL IS PHOTOGRAPHED IN (ABOVE) IS WHEN NOT IN HIS RACING HELMET. AUGUST 2020 • 19


ALEXANDRIA’S PREMIER LOCATION FOR

Whiskey Flights * Available for dine-in only due to Virginia ABC law.

106 South Union Street Old Town Alexandria, VA 22314

www.virtuefeedgrain.com 20 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE


TOM 'BIG T' GALE Director of Operations/Executive Bourbon Steward | Virtue Feed & Grain

SIDE GIG: TOM IS AN AUCTIONEER

Life is too short to be anything but happy. Nobody understands this more than someone who worked in the funeral business for 35 years like Tom “Big T” Gale. Growing up in the Northern Neck region of Virginia, his pharmacist father probably saw his life path clearer than Tom did at the time; making him promise to stay in the field he studied for at least 10 years, which he did. His father also said he would grow up to love life, bourbon, and to be of service to others in need, which he also did. Being a funeral director requires being on call 24/7 to be there with people on the worst day of their lives and seeing some of the best and worst in families. Tom said he was very blessed to have his wife support him in his profession and for her support when he knew he was done with the

business. After retiring, Tom and Lisa decided to take their boat and move to Key West, where they stayed for two years before changing directions to begin a second life here in Alexandria. Tom, now Director of Operations and Executive Bourbon Steward at Virtue Feed and Grain, is lovingly referred to as Big T by customers and his work family. Big T is following the path his father knew was coming - bringing the joy of bourbon to the world. The thing he loves the most about this second chapter of his life is being in the service business. People want to be there, they want what is being offered, and it makes them happy. He never considers going to Virtue as a day at work. He considers his coworkers his family, and is grateful every day to William Smith and his family for bringing him into the fold and literally saving his life when he had a stroke on the restaurant floor. He is living out his philosophy, “Every day is a holiday, and every meal is a feast”, never taking a moment for granted in his life.

JONATHAN THORPE

PHOTOGRAPHER | JONATHAN THORPE PHOTOGRAPHY

One doesn’t normally spend years in school to become a doctor only to turn around 30 days into practicing and walk away to chase a new passion. However, that’s exactly what Jonathan Thorpe did. When Jonathan graduated from Pennsylvania College of Optometry in 2008, he received a camera as a graduation gift from his mother. That is where his life began to change course. He worked his first gig that same year. With no professional experience under his belt, he shot a major sports tournament and much to his surprise sold one of his photos that was then seen in sporting shops across America. From then on photography became his passion, with a side of motorcycles. Last year Jonathan was in a major motorcycle accident in which he was thrown from his bike and was clinically dead for 4 minutes. “Life is so much better after you die, it’s like now I can truly live.” Letting nothing stand in the way of his passions, he’s still out on the open road, still working on bikes and of course shooting every picture he can, including this VIP spread.

GUILTY PLEASURE:JONATHAN HAS NEVER HAD A CUP OF COFFEE

Jonathan works with major national brands traveling the country for shoots as well as teaching and lecturing to help young photographers find their voice and confidence. His vision is focused and there is no looking back!

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Both men and women book weeks in advance for an appointment with Mauricio Rivero to get the latest and trendiest bobs, pixies or faded barber cuts. But once upon a time, they were lining up to see him on stage as the drummer for Crash Boom Bang. Hair and music have always seemed to fit together naturally, but becoming a hairstylist wasn’t exactly the career Mauricio envisioned when he was jamming out on stage. He was a musician for a decade, touring as a drummer with The Army of Freshmen, before taking his first trip overseas to the UK with the band Bowling for Soup. He has also toured with The Plain White T’s and the Gin Blossoms.

His love for hair began at a show in London. The guys in the band asked him to clean up the back of their hair before a show. Soon after, he was introduced to the apprenticeship program with PR@Partners. “My experience with being a musician and stage performer is what kick started my passion for trendy designer men’s cuts. Now I get to be the stylist I always wanted to go to.” Don’t let Mauricio’s new career fool you into thinking he has stepped out of the spotlight. He now participates in famous hair shows, including London Fashion Week, and enjoys mentoring other young, future stylists as a Cutting Director at PR@Partner’s Academy. Melding his two passions together with style, you’ll never know if Mauricio just walked out of the salon or off stage after a great drum solo.

FAVORITE MUPPET: FOZZIE THE BEAR

RICK MYLLENBECK INDUSTRY ENGAGEMENT ADVISOR | NATIONAL GEOSPATIAL-INTELLIGENCE AGENCY CO-OWNER | SONOMA CELLAR

Silicon Valley was in its infancy when Rick Myllenbeck joined the scene, working for tech firms in the early 1980s after serving in the Navy. “Working for Apple in the 80s was epic – no other company I’ve worked for since has come close to that experience. There were innovations being announced every day, the environment for employees was superb, and the energy level was second to none.” After a successful 30+ year career, the Pentagon asked Rick to relocate on a Navy Reserve assignment from California to the East Coast. Three days before leaving, he met his wife while picking up wine. The two knew long distance wasn’t for them, but they remained in close contact and eventually realized they wanted to be together. While living in Alexandria, the couple continued to bond over their love for Sonoma wine tastings and yearned to create a California-inspired wine tasting experience here. This led to the opening of Sonoma Cellar on King Street five years ago. Now, they have the opportunity to share their passion for “New World” wines with Alexandria through their restaurant. But Rick’s desire to bring a bit of California to our local streets

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did not stop at wine. He is also the mastermind behind the Old Town Festival of Speed & Style - a single day event filled with vintage cars, fashion & fun. The part: it all benefits the community. In addition to owning Sonoma Cellar, Rick has “the honor of continuing to serve,” working as the Industry Engagement Advisor for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency where he applies his tech industry background to the benefit of the agency.


ADRIS TABIBI

NOE LANDINI

HEAD BARTENDER | THE MAJESTIC

MANAGING DIRECTOR & CEO | REX MANAGEMENT

Adris Tabibi spent the first few years of his life in the Cognac region of France with his mother, making French his first language and shaping his future thoughts on the world of food and culture. He quickly dropped the French language, adopting English after moving to Alexandria and attending the Montessori school. Alexandria quickly became home. To stay local, he attended college at George Mason studying Music Production.

With a name that is synonymous with fine Italian dining in Alexandria, it is hard to believe that Noe Landini originally had no interest in following in his father’s footsteps into the restaurant business. As most kids with family owned businesses, he began working in the restaurant laying tile then worked his way into the kitchen, but it never felt like a family business to him. At 22 he left the restaurant industry behind. By 24 he began his own company, working in frozen food imports in the Middle East. On a trip home he learned that his uncle was about to sell the restaurant. After looking into some buyers, he decided to partner with his father and bought his uncle’s half of the business. Noe has since expanded to owning multiple restaurants in the area and occasionally throwing on his Chef whites and getting back into the kitchen.

Adris became a certified sound engineer, working in recording studio sessions and even working as a DJ for a few years in DC. Later, Adris became a Director at the Howard Theater managing a large team while helping rebuild a business. Unfortunately, this led to him feeling as though his life was out of balance. He missed being around people every day. Deciding he needed some time to re-center and breathe, he returned to France, immersing himself back into the food and beverage scene which had always been a passion. While in France, he learned about the oyster industry by working on an oyster farm. When he was ready to return to the USA, he knew he wanted to go back into bartending, the career where he was always the happiest. Today, you’ll see him at Majestic, chatting with regulars and people visiting Alexandria for the first time, while wowing them with creative cocktails and the energy of someone who has passion for every moment of their life.

GUILTY PLEASURE: ADRIS HAS A LOVE FOR HIGH-END COUTURE AND SNEAKERS AND HAS TRAVELED THE WORLD FOR SNEAKER RELEASES.

Though he has many business accomplishments, Noe still likes to explore the world and have fun. Born in Alexandria and raised with his time split between here and Maremma, a seaside region of Tuscany along the Tyrrhenian Sea, built strong roots in his Italian heritage, an appreciation for culture and travel, and developed his love of being on the water and most of what he knows about boating. “Being on the water is one of my favorite things. I’ve traveled the Intracoastal Waterway several times. I fish and actually catch things, and dive. I wish I could do more of that.” The love of all things outdoors also extends on land where he spends time on a ranch he owns with friends hunting and riding dirt bikes.

FAVORITE HOBBY: NOE LOVES RIDING CAFE RACERS UP THE COAST OF ITALY AUGUST 2020 • 23


C.J. CROSS MANAGING PARTNER | HOPS N SHINE CO-FOUNDER | GOCRAFT BREWING FOUNDING PARTNER | CROSS MEDIA GROUP

Fitness and the restaurant industries don’t always feel like a natural fit, but for C.J. Cross, that’s just how life has worked out. Alexandria knows him as the owner of Hops N Shine and the man who has been publicly vocal in an effort to keep people in the service industry fed, paid, and healthy during these difficult times. But at one time, his life was spent at the gym or building websites for gyms. As a trainer, C.J. focused on helping prepare athletes for marathons and triathlons, but quickly realized he was better at the marketing side of the business. Working from a coworking space in DC, he had the brilliant idea to create a co-work

style business for breweries. Being a brewer himself, he began pitching the idea for a brewery incubator to connections he had in the industry. His excitement for the project led to a partnership that would become Hops N Shine and, coming soon to Tyson’s Corner: ShipGarten. Still keeping his foot in the fitness world, C.J. also participates in the annual Bike to the Beach ride, which raises money for Autism research and awareness. Collaborations between businesses and charities has always been a way of life for C.J., and one of the best ways for everyone to be successful in a sometimes chaotic world.

FUN FACT: ON A WHIM AFTER GRADUATING FROM COLLEGE IN 2004, C.J. MOVED TO LAKE TAHOE WHERE HE SKIED OVER 100 DAYS THAT SEASON

JAKE GALLUN VICE PRESIDENT | BETH EL HEBREW CONGREGATION

Being an Architect and having been a fixture in Old Town Alexandria for 35 years could be enough reason to consider Jake Gallun an interesting man. What truly makes him shine has been his life after retirement. Since leaving the days of suits and ties behind, Jake has immersed himself in being of service to others.

LOVE LIFE: JAKE'S FIRST DATE WITH HIS WIFE WAS TO THE WASHINGTON DC KITE FESTIVAL 24 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE

Serving as a Vice President and as a member of the Board of Directors for Beth El Hebrew Congregation, he has been involved in a number of projects calling on his architectural background. Most recently he designed a playground in accordance with the principles of the Reggio Emilia philosophy

for the Northern Virginia Jewish Community Center’s day care facility at Beth El. Jake also works as a volunteer at the US Capitol Building, helping with educational programs for Capitol visitors and assisting at special events such as state funerals and, most notably, a visit from the Pope. However, what most excites him is when he talks about his volunteer “work” as a chef for “Brotherhood Catering”. As part of an all-volunteer team, they cater breakfasts, brunches, lunches, and dinners for up to 225 people, with all proceeds donated back to Beth El’s Brotherhood to support their charitable work.


AUGUST 2020 • 25


For some reason, every time we see articles and ads promoting self-care, we often see women meditating, working out, or in a bubble bath. Does that mean self-care is only for women? Absolutely not! Selfconfidence, centering and feeling great about yourself is just as important to men as it is to women, even if it isn’t advertised. Story by Jeanette Wages | Photography Courtesy of Cool Contours

In the extremely visual world of today, men as well as women strive for perfection (or at least the best version of themselves). Working out and eating healthy are always on the list of recommended lifestyles but a little assistance never hurt anyone. At Cool Contours they offer CoolSculpting and CoolTone which can help reshape your body without surgery, incisions, anesthesia, recovery, intense exercise, or strict diets. CoolSculpting is a revolutionary fat-freezing technology that can reduce stubborn pockets of fat in trouble spots such as the abdomen, flanks, or chin, and can even target the male chest area. CoolTone takes results a step further by toning and strengthening muscles. CoolTone tones and strengthens muscles using the latest innovation in electromagnetic muscle stimulation, or MMS technology. Magnetic waves bypass skin, nerves and fat to penetrate deep into muscle layers to induce involuntary contractions. By using MMS to stimulate more muscle fibers, CoolTone generates more powerful and intense contractions than could be achieved by exercise alone. Whether targeting abdomen, buttocks, or thighs, CoolTone strengthens, tones, and firms the muscles in the treated area resulting in a more defined and toned appearance. So get in there, gents and give Ryan Reynolds a run for his money!

At almost 40, I wasn’t sure I was going to see my abs again. After the second session I felt noticeably tighter in my mid-section and after the final 6th session I was amazed to the see the difference in definition of my before and after photos! The whole CoolTone process was a breeze and allowed me to continue my workouts the same day with no discomfort at all. I can’t wait to continue monthly maintenance! - Bryce S. – CoolTone on Abdomen

26 26••VIP VIPALEXANDRIA ALEXANDRIAMAGAZINE MAGAZINE


by TONE + FIRM + STRENGTHEN MUSCLE

N O S W E AT R E Q U I R E D BOOK YOUR FREE CONSULTATION WWW.COOL-CONTOURS.COM

COOL CONTOURS

3020 HAMAKER COURT, SUITE B105, FAIRFAX, VA 22031 703-260-1131 • INFO@COOL-CONTOURS.COM AUGUST 2020 • 27


While CBD is an appealing option for a wide variety of people, CBD has many benefits specifically for men and men's health. CBD is one of the numerous active cannabinoids found in industrial hemp. Unlike the main psychoactive cannabinoid in marjuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) CBD does not give you the feeling of being intoxicated. In fact, it may have the opposite effect! CBD products were made more readily available on the market with the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill which made CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC legal in all 50 states. Since then, you can find high quality and organic CBD in Alexandria at Your CBD Store on S. Washington St. What we know about CBD and its uses are positive and exciting, as more research comes to light we hope to see even more benefits. Here are just a few of the ways that men can use CBD and why.

Anxiety and CBD

CBD works in conjunction with your body's endocannabinoid system, this system is made up of a network of receptors that help regulate several important functions of the body, like the nervous system and immune system. CBD can have a calming effect on the brain which reduces stress and anxiety. Several studies point to the potential benefits of CBD for anxiety, as some research has even shown a therapeutic effect for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Alertness and CBD

Often people struggle with the midday or late afternoon lag in energy where we normally reach for that next cup of coffee or sweets. By stimulating your energy levels during the day, taking CBD can help improve your energy levels, quality of sleep and overall health.

Post-Workout Soreness and CBD

It's not always all about the pain to gain. A far more natural way to deal with sports-related injuries or post-workout soreness is to use CBD topically as well as internally.

Visit our new website for more information

www.ycbd.me/alexandria

We know there are major concerns over prescription pain drug overdoses, researchers are focusing on looking for safer alternatives for pain management. CBD shows great promise for treating pain and inflammation from workouts and contact sports. In fact many professional athletes who take CBD are upfront about how CBD has changed their lives, the list includes several retired NFL players and many in the MMA arena. In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its list of banned substances, which provided a path for pro-athletes to take a more natural approach to pain relief and their overall health. While maintaining a healthy way of living looks very much the same for men and women alike - there are certainly some issues that affect men a little differently than women. Whether you're taking CBD to fight off stress and anxiety, or improve your stamina throughout the day and quality of sleep - CBD may be just the right addition to your health and wellness routine.

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY MEGAN TERRY

THE ULTIMATE STEAK TOPPER

SUNMED CBD INFUSED BUTTER Supplies: 12 ounce canning jar with lid, Stockpot, Kitchen towel, Silicone oven mitt or jar tongs, Mesh strainer, Cheesecloth, Liquid measuring cup Ingredients: 1 cup unsalted European-style butter (melted), 3 grams SunMed CBG Flower Directions 1. Pour the butter into the canning jar. 2. Add the crushed SunMed CBG flower and stir to combine. Seal the jar tightly. 3. Stand the jar upright in the stockpot and add water until it is level with the top of the jar. 4. Place the stockpot, uncovered, over high heat and bring to a gentle simmer. 5. Let simmer for 2 hours, checking the water every now and again and adding more water as needed to maintain the original level.

6. Make sure it never reaches a full boil. 7. After the first hour, “burp” the jar by unsealing the lid to release any pressure buildup and then recap it. 8. After 2 hours, lay the kitchen towel on a heatproof work surface. 9. Using the oven mitt, remove the jar from the water, set it on the towel, let cool until it can by handled. 10. Then, while the butter is still liquid, line the strainer with the cheesecloth and strain the butter into the measuring cup, squeezing any solids at the very end to extract all the butter. 11. Compost or discard the plant matter. 12. Use right away, or transfer to a clean jar and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Viit www.ycbd.me/alexandria for all of your favorite SunMed CBD Products.

AUGUST 2020 • 29


FIRST ANNUAL

VIP AWARDS

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Story & Photography by Jeanette Wages

We know what you're thinking. Isn't it a bit cliché to review burgers in the men's issue? The truth is: burgers aren't just for boys. In fact, our testing team consisted of women, men and even kids! We had a blast venturing out into Alexandria in search of the best burgers our taste buds could handle... and what we found will make you mouth water. So, it's only fair that we provide you with this one simple warning: Do not read any further on an empty stomach. Don't say we didn't warn you.

A burger at Fish Market? “That’s cute, but I’ll pass,” would have been my response had a trusted local (who knows his burgers) not told me I had to check it out. The brioche bun was perfection, with juicy, flavorful patties and just the right options for toppings to please anyone. Missing this burger would be a huge mistake.

We love the play on words for this fun burger! This delightful combination of a juicy meat patty tucked within a grilled cheese sandwich makes us reminisce back to chilly mornings, watching cartoons in our jammies. Getting playful and ordering it with the tomato soup for dipping brings back an indulgent, child-like feel that cannot be beat.

The Guinness Burger is my all time favorite Fork and Knife burger. A tender beef patty placed on creamy mashed potatoes, smothered in Guinness gravy and topped with crispy onion rings leaves me longing for cooler days by a fireplace. Don't forget to pair it with an ice cold Guinness

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The Flappy Jack Burger is exactly what you dream of when you think of combining brunch with a burger. Two light, delicious pancakes create the bun with just the right amount of gooey egg and crunchy bacon. If you feel like taking it to the next level, drizzle on some maple syrup for that perfect brunch bite.

Feeling adventurous? Swing over to Del Ray and give Holy Cow a try. You can't go wrong with any of their delicious burgers, many of which have playful names. My go-to is The Southern with pimento cheese, fried green tomato and cajun remoulade. Kellie & her eleven-year old son couldn’t get enough of The Hot Mess with gouda, bacon, mac & cheese, crispy onion straws and Sriracha aioli.

Sometimes you want something other than your typical beef burger, and lamb is one of my favorite proteins that doesn’t get the spotlight enough. Haute Dog does a spectacular job of keeping it about letting the patty shine with just the right amount of mint, red onion and tomato.

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In the world of internet reviews it’s hard not bring up The People’s Burger, because if you ask the community where they would go for a burger it will be brought up by multiple people. This beautiful burger is showcased with oyster mushrooms, Banyuls-Onion jam, cheddar, pickled cucumber and a special sauce.

Do you know how many burgers an eleven-year old boy can eat? Three. The answer is three. Kellie's son Jack came with us to try Foster's Grille's Old Fashioned Charre Burger and he couldn't get enough! It's a simple, yet declious, combination that won't overwhelm a child's eyes... but delightfully fill their growing bellies!

As a meat eater, I was a little worried to try this category but was pleasantly surprised by the Mushroom Burger at Live Oak. The patty had a crispy on the outside but juicy center just bursting with flavor. The burger held itself together better than any other veggie burger I’ve tried. I will definitely be back for this one!

There is nothing like a good old fashioned, simple burger done to perfection. The bun was soft, locally sourced bacon, thick, crispy pickles and multiple types of cheese. This no frills burger hit the spot perfectly paired with a frozen Mint Julep.

AUGUST 2020 • 33


FIVE GUYS BURGERS & FRIES

When we decided to review burgers for the Gentelmen's Issue of VIP Alexandria Magazine, I knew where my family would want to go first! As a Military Family who has lived in five different states over sixteen years, Fives Guys has become the official 'comfort food' of our home! It's so reassuring to know that when it comes to Five Guys, no matter where we are... some things are just always made to perfection!

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Elegant Kusmi Teas

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Freshly-Baked Pastries

Join Us for Alexandria’s Fashionable Afternoon Tea • 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.

OUTDOOR SEATING IN THE WINE GARDEN Curbside available

1900 Mount Vernon Ave • (571) 281-0338 34 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE

207 King Street • www.mysonomacellar.com


Catoctin Creek Tasting Event at Bastille Photography by Igda Warner

Chefs and Owners of Bastille Restaurant, Christophe and Michelle Poteaux, recently partnered with John Shope and Catoctin Creek to present a three-course prix fixe dinner paired with Catoctin Creek based cocktails. John Shope told VIP, which had exclusive access to the event, “This was the very first dinner that either Catoctin Creek or Bastille had done since the beginning of March. We were very focused on cleanliness, social distancing and overall safety. We couldn’t have had a better group attend and the food & cocktails paired together magnificently. The Bastille team is a really passionate and dedicated talent!".

Patricia Gray, Chad + Jamie Supinger

Chef Michelle opened with a very thoughtful introduction and worked closely with Bar Manager, Jacob, to create smart pairings throughout the evening. Jacob's cocktails included a black truffle Roundstone Rye Distiller’s Edition and brilliantly peach infused Catoctin Creek 1757 Virginia Grape Brandy, topped with a lemon ginger smoke bubble that blew everyone away. Guests laughed a lot, chatted plenty and had loads of one on one time that made for a truly memorable evening. If you would like to see Catoctin Creek host a dinner or cocktail event at your restaurant or bar, email Virginia Sales Manager, John Shope, directly at John@CatoctinCreek.com.

Dave + Suzy Slade

Vanessa Pares + Matt Batko

Chef Michelle Poteaux

Michele Singer + James Carson

Kate Golden Hayes + Chery lHilton

AUGUST 2020 • 35


WEEKEND WARRIORS

Story by Jeanette Wages

With so many of us trapped behind a desk, or sometimes in even less optimal conditions working from home (no judgement I move my laptop to my couch too) it’s sometimes hard to get movement worked into our schedules. When the weekend rolls around, we want to get out and play sports, go for hikes,m and workout harder to make up for a week of sitting. WE ARE THE WEEKEND WARRIORS. We recently caught up with Dr. Lonny Nodelman, a Harvard-trained and board certified podiatrist, at his District Foot and Ankle office to learn about this population and the injuries he treats at his clinic. Walking into this brand-new clinic immediately puts you at ease with its warm, welcoming but industrial feel which is not the standard of most medical offices.

TESTIMONIAL

"Dr. Nodelman was exceptional. Both visits were extremely efficacious. He saw me quickly and safely with no one else in the office for maximum social distancing/ safety. He was extremely professional and has greatly improved my quality of life with the recommended orthopedic inserts. I highly recommend Dr. Nodelman!"

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FEATURING DR. LONNY NODELMAN OF DISTRICT FOOT & ANKLE

The first common VIP weekend warrior injury we discussed is “plantar fasciitis”. This is an injury to the plantar fascia, a strong band of connective tissue on the bottom of the foot. Pain–– typically occurs on the bottom of the heel and commonly presents with “first step pain”, especially when getting out of bed in the morning. It can be debilitating and disruptive to not only day-to-day activities but also can limit sports activities. Treatments range from simple (stretching recommendations, custom made orthotics) to more advanced (radial shockwave treatment and injections).

The second most common VIP weekend warrior injury we discussed are “stress fractures”. These are different from regular broken bones like a broken ankle. Stress fractures are also known as insufficiency fractures and occur after repeated loading of the bone. With overuse, the bone structure starts to deteriorate and eventually results in a crack in the bone. Dr. Nodelman said these are pretty common in certain foot bones. Typical treatment is immobilization in a fracture shoe or boot and cessation of athletics until healing is achieved. Dr. Nodelman reports that it normally takes about 6-8 weeks to recover from such an injury. Progress can be tracked with the digital x-ray system conveniently located at his clinic.

Other common VIP weekend warrior injuries treated by Dr. Nodelman include achilles tendonitis, tendon ruptures, ankle sprains, shin splints and ingrown nails. Dr. Nodelman is welcoming new patients and is available to treat these weekend warrior injuries as well as other foot and ankle issues. Dr. Lonny Nodelman is originally from Ottawa, Canada and moved to the USA after completion of his undergraduate studies at the University of Ottawa. He attained his medical training at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine where he graduated in the top 4 of his class. He underwent residency training at Cambridge Health Alliance, where he was a fellow in surgery at Harvard Medical School. Along the way, he met his beautiful wife, who is originally from the Northern Virginia area and they relocated back to NOVA and call it their home.

DON’T LET FOOT & ANKLE PAIN SLOW YOU DOWN

4875 EISENHOWER AVENUE SUITE 230, ALEXANDRIA 703-832-9013 | WWW.DISTRICTFOOTANKLE.COM

Lonny Nodelman, DPM, FACFAS

AUGUST 2020 • 37


PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW

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Whiskey

& Kicks

THE E "BROCKY" MCKNIGHT STORY

Story by Jeanette Wages Photography by Matthew Aughey The DC area cocktail scene has been going strong and cranking out delicious drinks from some real masters in the industry for years, but never gets as much notoriety as larger places like NYC. We are also home to a booming distilling industry making whiskey, gin, rum and vodka right here in our backyard. E “Brocky” McKnight had always been the “drinker” of his friend group but after one proper whiskey tasting at Jack Rose Dining Saloon he made the switch from drinker to true appreciation of spirits and cocktails. “I had always been into Gin and Rum. I went to Jack Rose with a friend and he ordered George T

Stagg. I had no idea what it was. It came out on a metal tray with an empty glass, a water dropper, ice and the bottle. They measured and poured it. He told me to try it. I had never had whiskey before. He said just let it touch your lips then taste the whiskey. Don’t drink it. I did as ordered and every pore on my body opened up. I was hooked instantly.” That one taste led to something bigger than he could imagine, as he founded and hosts the YouTube show and brand Whiskey & Kicks. Whiskey & Kicks is exactly what you think and then so much more than that, it’s a show combining Brocky’s love of Hip Hop culture, especially shoes, and his passion for finding the best drinks and bartenders around the DMV area. He’s sat down and chatted with bartenders about what brought them to the industry, their favorite drinks, their brand and of course those things on their feet, whether it’s industry standard work boots or their collection of Nikes. You’ll even see interviews with local favorites like Brett Oye at Brabo, Nate Wilkinson at Vermilion, Jon Schott of The People’s Drug and an upcoming episode with Adris Tabibi of Majestic. Realizing how much people love what he’s doing because it’s local, relevant, fun and relatable Brocky keeps expanding his brand with merchandise and event partnerships including whiskey and cigar tastings. He even throws an annual shoe drive called Soles for the District, where people donate shoes for those in need right here in our communities, each shoe drive ends with an actual event partnered with MAJOR, a high-end sneaker boutique, and spirit sponsors which have included FEW Spirits and Jack Rose in the past. Of course, the next step in his evolution we are most excited about is his new partnership with VIP Alexandria magazine, bringing his passion for shoes, booze, cigars and so much more to your doorstep. WATCH WHISKEY & KICKS: REAL TALK ABOUT BOOZE & SHOES AT WWW.WHISKEYAND KICKS.COM

AUGUST 2020 • 39


JOIN US! Walk or Run on September 26th for the Virtual St. Jude Walk/Run in DC! St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and ther life threatening diseases. Families from all 50 states and around the world are treated at St. Jude and never receive a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food—because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. Even in challenging times, St. Jude’s mission continues: Finding cures. Saving children.® Register to be a part of healthy living challenges and an exciting event day experience! Support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through participating as a Team or an individual in this year’s St. Jude Walk/Run event this September. A fun, family-friendly event with more than 86,000 participants across the country, the St. Jude Walk/Run is more than just a 5K event. It brings communities together during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month to support the kids of St. Jude.

Register at www.stjude.org/walkdc

40 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE


Once you choose hope, anything is possible.

1,500+ FUN AND AFFORDABLE SOCKS FOR MEN, WOMEN, CHILDREN, AND BABIES.

To book your appointment, email us at info@healthyminds-therapy.com or call 540-845-6940

WWW.OLDTOWNSOCKCO.COM • 1003 KING ST. ONE-STOP CONVENIENCE. HAIRCUTS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

We are here to support you though these stressful times. If you need support, you can easily connect with us through our Virtual Vent Sessions and Online Services.

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Because every handcrafted object has a life of meaning behind it

Eco-Leather Messenger Bag Featuring individual pockets for your phone, pens, and cards plus ample space for notebooks, folders, and papers, the Eco-Leather Messenger Bag is a must-have for work or school. Eco-leather is crafted without using hazardous chemicals in the tanning process. This “vegetable tanning” was used in India in ancient times to tan leather. From our artisan partner group CRC Exports in India, which helps small, informally organized craft workshops develop into self-sustaining businesses.

915 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314 • (703) 684-1435

www.tenthousandvillages.com/alexandria AUGUST 2020 • 41


GO AHEAD... TAKE A RISK.

WE'VE GOT YOU COVERED. Story by Jeanette Wages

For many, insurance is hard to understand. It is much easier to bury our heads in the sand and pretend it will take care of itself. But the fact of the matter is: we all have a choice to make. We can believe we will stay young and healthy forever and risk not having insurance OR we can choose security and live our lives without fearing the burden of emergency medical debt. We know that seeking out the right type of insurance plan can feel like throwing darts at the wall but, luckily for us all, there is another option. There is help. Whether we're teaching our children how to climb a tree, going on a cross-country motorcycle trip, or training for a triathlon, there is a peace of mind that comes with knowing our health is covered. To Ahmed Attia, insurance is not a necessity, it’s a passion. “The way I see it, when you’re young and healthy you pay into these premiums, and it seems like someone else is always using them in the hospital… but one day that might be you.” During his lifetime he’s owned multiple businesses and gone down many paths including leaving Egypt to live in the USA. While he owned a popular Hookah bar in the area, he found he needed major heart surgery. At that moment he knew he needed to go back into the insurance business.

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There are over 900,000 bankruptcies in the US annually caused by medical bills. 28.1 million Americans are diagnosed with heart disease, 22.9 million with cancer and every 40 seconds someone suffers a stroke. We should all be educated on health insurance, but where does one start? To begin, there are two major types of plans: HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) and PPO (Preferred Provider Organization). Both offer a network of doctors who agree to accept the plan as payment for medical services rendered. PPO plans give the customer more options for seeing doctors and specialists, and these are the plans you can expect to see when meeting with Ahmed Attia. Once you’ve made the decision to look into plans, you’ll want to consider a few things like your family health history, your current health, and family members. When meeting with an insurance agent, ask questions, look at the options, and make sure you are in the hands of someone with whom you are comfortable and who has your best interests at heart. You shouldn’t fear living your life because an accident or unexpected health crisis could happen. You should know that you’re covered.


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WE COVER 15 MILLION PEOPLE 4900 Leesburg Pike 313 Alexandria, VA 22302 AUGUST 2020 • 43


MINT COLLECTIVE GRAND OPENING Photography by Igda Warner

Mint Collective recently opened at 101A S. Saint Asaph St. by sisterin-laws and co-owners of Mint Condition, Megan Podolsky and Katie Coslov. Among the many things these sisters love, Mint Collective offers custom masks from Tulsa and D’maran, a new perfume line by Elia Parfum, dresses from Charlie Holiday, candles from CMS Supply Co., mask chains from The Neon Camel and Fifty-Two Thursdays and original abstract art from local artist (and Megan's mother) Cindy Wallace. To learn more about Megan, Katie, and their stores check out their website at www.shopmintcondition.com

FOLLOW US

@shopmintcollective

HOURS

MON-SAT SUNDAY

10 AM - 5 PM 12 PM - 5 PM

571.312.5443

44 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE


Your “Wake Up and Live Fully Store. COFFEE NOW AVAILABLE! Rise to be your best with the fresh, bold taste of Sträva; craft roasted coffee precision infused with organic, broad spectrum hemp cannabinoids and natural CBD. It's empowerment for mind, body and soul. Choose your perfect roast and strength to wake up feeling alert, calm and focused.

301 S. Washington St. Alexandria, VA 22314 571.312.4705

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Serving Old Town for 25 years

Creating vibrant smiles for healthy lifestyles!

We Pride Ourselves in Comprehensive Examinations to Educate Patients About Their Overall Dental Health

New Patient Exam Special

Exam includes necessary X-rays, Velscope Oral Cancer Screening, Periodontal Examination

Dr. Kathleen Mullaney FAGD 700 North Fairfax St., Suite 230, Alexandria, VA 22314

AUGUST 2020 • 45


SALUTE TO SERVICE

SERVING THOSE WHO SERVE & THEIR FAMILIES Featuring Elaine Rogers, President USO-Metro Presented by Defense Credit Union Council Story by Kellie Gunderman | Photography Courtesy of USO-Metro

We’ve all heard of the USO. We know them as the patriotic organization that brings great entertainers to troops stationed around the world and provides hope and support to wounded warriors and their families. What you may not know is that the USO is a nonprofit, charitable corporation with charters located across the country and even overseas. Their mission: To strengthen America’s military service members by boosting troop morale and keeping them connected to family, home and country. However, caring for the family units living within our nation’s military was not always one of the USO’s primary objectives. As the largest charter of the USO, USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore (USO-Metro), has been serving our nation for 79 years. Founded in preparation for World War II, USO-Metro has always been an organization that is vital to our nation’s military success - maintaining high morale for the service members who became America’s first line of defense during WWII. The charter also served our men and women in Vietnam and led us through the trials and tribulations of war in the Middle East.

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When Elaine Rogers became the President of USO-Metro in 1977, it was the post-Vietnam War era. Vietnam was a war that shook our nation to its very core and resulted in 58,000 American lives cut short. In the aftermath of this nineteenyear war, the draft was decommissioned. Our service would thereafter be known as an all-volunteer force and with that allvolunteer force came older, more established service members with families. Suddenly, USO-Metro saw a need to evolve and create programs to not only care for our service members, but their families as well. Elaine did not know it at the time, but when she accepted the position of president of USO-Metro, she was about to emark on a journey that would forever shape the way we support our military - spearheading an evolution that would turn USO-Metro into what it is today. Elaine was just 24-years old. “It’s been my whole life. I grew up in the USO. I love meeting heroes every day. I love my job. I’m so passionate about what I do. It’s been the adventure of a lifetime," admits Elaine.


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A native of Harrisburg, PA, Elaine graduated from Catawba College in Salisbury, NC and went to work for organizations such as the Red Cross and the Pennsylvania Department of Social Services before finding her home with USO-Metro in 1976. Just one year later, she was responsible for the charter, leading the charge to support those who chose to serve especially those with families.

“We quickly learned we had to change our whole organization. Our priority remained on the service members, but we knew that we had to begin creating programs that provided support to the families as well.”

Though the focus of USO-Metro has evolved to include families, that does not mean the traditional services offered to service members have vanished. The USO was created and continues to exist to be the representative of the American people to our military and Elaine promises that this will never change.

- ELAINE ROGERS

Elaine went on to discuss how the USO has continued to support our troops and boost morale. “In times of war, especially following 9/11, we’ve brought entertainment and sports to military hospitals. We have had the opportunity to work with Bob Hope, Robin Williams, Tom Hanks and Terry Bradshaw. We work hand-in-hand with military hospitals at Walter Reed and Fort Belvoir, providing music therapies, art therapies and adaptive sports opportunities. These therapies not only help the wounded, but also their families.” Elaine says she cannot choose a favorite program; they all hold a very special place in her heart. But Project USO Elf is a popular program amongst military families in the Washington-Baltimore region. This program allows corporations the opportunity to ‘adopt’ military families and shop for items on their Christmas lists. USO volunteers then accept the items, wrap them and provide them for pick-up at USO Fort Belvoir. For more information on this program, please visit www. usometro.org/holiday Through all of its history, through the evolution of programs available to service members, and the focus that has been

Elaine knew that the support system at home was just as important to a service member as the quality of boots on his/ her feet, the equipment provided to them for combat, or the quality of the vehicles helping them to reach their destinations. Caring for someone’s family was a sure way to boost the morale of an individual service member. When asked what drove USO-Metro to make so many positive changes for our military families, she said, "We wanted to become that home away from home that so many military families needed. The military families needed support and the service members needed that peace of mind that their loved ones would be cared for no matter what." Among the programs currently available to military families through USO-Metro are Your USO Meal, Movies on the Lawn, seasonal festivals, couples’ retreats, the Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program for children, food assistance, Turkeys for Troops, Trees for our Heroes and services for fallen soldiers. For a full list of services and more information, please visit www.usometro.org/programs

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OUR VOLUNTEERS ARE VITAL TO LIFTING THE SPIRITS OF OUR TROOPS AND THEIR FAMILIES... THEY LEAD WITH THEIR HEARTS AND SERVE OUR NATION'S HEROES WITH INTEGRITY.

placed on supporting those service members through supporting their families, there is one key piece that in 79 years has never changed: the USO volunteers who make it all possible. Though USO-Metro's board of directors, laedership and staff have dedicated their lives to these advantageous programs, Elaine knows that none of it would be possible without the donors, corporate partners and, most of all, the voluntters. “Our volunteers are vital to lifting the spirits of our troops and their families. They take the time to welcome visitors at our center or local airports, cook homemade meals and ensure our events run flawlessly. They lead with their hearts and serve our nation’s heroes with integrity.”

To Elaine, her team, and her countless volunteers who have made all of this possible, we thank you. Thank you for 79 years of service to our nation’s heroes. We look forward to celebrating your 80th aniversary with you in February 2021.

To members of the community who are interested in becoming involved with USO-Metro, as a donor, please visit www. usometro.org/donate If you would like to volunteer, you can visit www.usometro.org/volunteer To the service members and their families who are out there overcoming obstacle after obstacle, living their best lives in such unique circumstances, Elaine wants you to know that USOMetro says, “Hello!” You are the heart and soul of our nation Meet Elaine Rogers and when you need USO-Metro, they will be here.

President and Chief Executive Officer of USO-Metro Today, USO-Metro is the largest USO affiliate in the world. With ten locations and a “deployable” Mobile USO, USO-Metro provides signature USO services across the greater metropolitan Washington, D.C. and Baltimore region where more than 300,000 troops and their families reside. Under Elaine Rogers’ leadership, USO-Metro has significantly increased the scope and depth of the programs it provides to active duty military and their families, as well as wounded, ill and injured service members and their caregivers. The organization focuses on needs-based programs and services which include morale-building programs, entertainment, ticket distribution, six USO Centers, a Mobile USO and four USO airport lounges that serve 500,000 service members and their families living and traveling throughout the National Capital Region. For more information on Elaine or USO-Metro please visit www.usometro.org

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SILVER DINER GRAND OPENING Photography by Igda Warner

The much-anticipated Silver Diner recently opened on corner of Alexandria's King and N. Beauregard streets. The diner will service breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as late-night fare. The grand opening offered cozy booths, all-day breakfast, a varied meny with healthy options, a full bar and lively music provided by the tabletop juke boxes The diner is part of a new community called Arrat at West Alex that will begin leasing new apartments later this near. For more information, visit www.arrayatwestalex.com

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