New regional chamber of commerce unveils brand, business award winners
Members of the local business community and Fairfax County officials came together Dec. 9 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Springfield to celebrate the official launch of the newly branded Mount Vernon Springfield Chamber of Commerce and to recognize several individuals and businesses that received awards.
The chamber — formed by the merger of the former Mount Vernon-Lee and Greater Springfield Chambers of Commerce — serves businesses in eastern Fairfax County, including Burke, Franconia, Kingstowne, Lorton, Mount Vernon, Springfield and South Alexandria. Bringing together the two legacy chambers was a gradual process that began this past summer with the aim of creating a regional business organization with “a stronger voice for the needs of the business community,” according to Alex Thalacker, newly appointed chairman of the Mount Vernon Springfield Chamber.
With a combined membership of around 500 local businesses, the chamber will support members with business development and advocacy, and provide opportunities for business leaders to network and contribute to the community, said Holly Dougherty, president of the organization.
Dougherty introduced the newly elected leadership of the chamber. Board members include Chairman Thalacker from the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority; Vice Chairman Eric Christensen from Springfield Town Center; Secretary Phyllis Sintay from McEnearney Associates; and Treasurer Indre Bauza from Supporting Strategies of Northern Virginia.
Newly elected appointees to the board of directors include Anila Angjeli of ALine Architecture; Ken Board of Campos Capital; Cameron Brumett of the National Museum of the U.S. Army; Don Cammarata of Covanta Fairfax; Cynthia Coy of Uncaged Solutions; Michael Drobnis of OptfinITy; George Faulk of K&B Property Solutions; Tammy Finnell of CALIBRE Systems; James Heo of Cox Communications; Tiffany Holliday of Hilton Springfield; Vicki Madden-Jackson of Burke & Herbert Bank; Ray Manfredi of Allstate Insurance; Meghan Snyder of Meghan Snyder Communications; Roberta Tinch of Inova Mount Vernon Hospital; and Mark Viani of Bean, Kinney & Korman PC.
Following the oath-taking by the new leadership team, chamber officials kicked off the business awards part of the event. Winners from around the Richmond Highway corridor included Pampered Pet Boutique and Barkery of Belle View Shopping Center, which was named “New Business of the Year,” and Franconia District Supervisor Rodney Lusk who was recognized as “Citizen of the Year” for his rapid creation of the Workforce Innovation Skills Hub at the Hybla Valley Community Center.
Upon accepting her award, Pampered Pet owner Karen Echeverri expressed gratitude to her parents, customers, vendors, the Chamber and, “most importantly … to my inspiration — my dog Zeus.”
Lusk, who accepted his award on behalf of his grandparents, said he knows that government can be made better. “If we lift up all the residents in our county … we are going to be doing extraordinarily well,” he said.
Other award winners included CALIBRE Systems and Dan’s Van Lines for Excellence in Business; Ray Manfredi Allstate Insurance for Small Business of the Year; MVLE for Distinguished Non-Profit Organization of the Year; and Matt Moore of Edward Jones for being a “Rising Star.”
To learn more about the Mount Vernon Springfield Chamber of Commerce — which will be based out of the former Mount Vernon Chamber’s offices at Mount Vernon Plaza — visit the organization’s new website.