SFCC Annual Meeting
Thursday, April 6, 2017, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
Laurel Hill Golf Club
8701 Laurel Crest Drive, Lorton, VA 22079

Join your fellow Chamber Members at the Laurel Hill Golf Club for the SFCC Annual Meeting.  Enjoy complimentary heavy hors d'oeuvres and cash bar

Special Thanks to our Host and Sponsor
Laurel Hill Golf Club

Laurel Hill Golf Club
Our continuing thanks to Laurel Hill Golf Club and General Manager (SFCC Board Member) Ryan Carmen for agreeing to host and sponsor the event this year.  Ryan and Laurel Hill have also been gracious enough to offer meeting facilities free of charge to the Chamber for our monthly Board of Directors meetings throughout the year and our upcoming Board strategic planning meeting in April.
2017 Teen Job Fair Update

Free employer hiring opportunity!  Space is limited; so don't wait to sign up.  The SFCC is co-sponsoring a Teen Job Fair on April 29th along with co-hosts South County Federation, Supervisor Dan Storck, Supervisor Pat Herrity, and Connection Newspapers.  If you foresee any upcoming hiring needs (part-time, full-time, summer, paid or unpaid) and you haven't already done so, please sign up to participate.  Check out the flyer posted on our web page or contact Good Shepherd's Candice Bennett, SFCC's representative on the planning committee, for additional details.

 A Teen Job Fair flyer is available here.
Chairman's Note

It has been a busy past few weeks here in south Fairfax!  Our collective Chamber thanks again go out to member Keith Martin and his company, KM Builders Inc., for sponsoring our most recent Member Mixer event; to the event's host member, Embassy Suites (which, we have recently learned, has been voted best in the brand for the second year running! Congratulations for that worthy distinction!); and to the event organizer, Dawn Shepherd, whose volunteer efforts have assured many a fault-free Chamber event for us over the years.  Thanks go out, as well, to Karen Cleveland, Executive Director of Leadership Fairfax (LFI), for coming out to say a few words about LFI and its several annual leadership program offerings and to invite our local member business leaders to consider applying to participate in the upcoming class year.
L to R: Thomas W. Repczynski, Jacquelyn Olejniczak, & Candice Bennett

SFCC was "Fired Up" to support Good Shepherd Housing's recent March 11 fundraising event at member Fair Winds Brewery. The "Fired Up to Help" barbecue was smokin', and there's no better way to wash it down than a locally brewed porter (unless of course you prefer any number of FairWinds many other brews on tap!). 

OrangeTheory Fitness (OTF) hosted its grand opening on March 11 at their new Lorton-Fairfax Station location on Silverbrook Road where I doubled down on the orange theme and was treated to a personal tour of the fresh new facility by owner-operator, Brian Laubscher and his partner, Gary Vaughan. The OTF event featured a number of health industry vendors on-site and appeared to be quite a success as parking was at a premium and the OTF lobby was filled to capacity.  If you've got an upcoming event about which you'd like us to help get the word out, just get us the information with as much advance notice as possible and we'll be happy to do what we can.
L to R: SFCC Chairman Thomas W. Repczynski with owners Gary Vaughan and Brian Laubscher

Lastly for now, the SFCC Board is undertaking a strategic planning initiative as we hope to develop and define both near term and long range planning goals and objectives ranging from programming to funding and staffing to communicating.  Members are asked to help us with your feedback in advance of our upcoming strategy meeting in mid-April by taking this short, 2 to 5-minute survey.  If you've been to a recent SFCC event, you've heard me say it already, but the SFCC is for each of us what we make of it.  South Fairfax, our corner of the County, has incredible opportunities for continued business growth and development and we have the key to unlocking that potential firmly in our grasp - you hold the key to unlocking that potential firmly in your grasp.  Please take just a couple minutes to complete the less than 10 questions to help us help you get the most out of your SFCC membership as we strive to maximize your return on investment - your "Chamber ROI", if you will. 

In case you missed it, I encourage you to take just a couple additional minutes to check out this video clip from a recent interview of SFCC Board Member Terry Head, President of the International Association of Movers.  For a limited time, at no cost to either the Chamber or your company, the Chamber is able to offer member business owners the opportunity to sit for an interview and receive a professionally edited and produced copy for your own social media promotional use.

Fairfax County 2018 Budget Planning

On February 14th, County Executive Ed Long released his Advertised Budget. This begins the process for the Board of Supervisors, in partnership with our community, to adopt a final funding plan for the next fiscal year.  

The proposed General Fund budget is $4.10 billion.  If you include other appropriated funds such as federal and state grants, the total budget is $7.99 billion.

Earlier this week, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors advertised the County Executive's proposed budget, which is based on our current tax rate of $1.13 per $100 of assessed value. When the Board adopts a final budget on May 2, it can set the tax rate lower, but not higher, than what was advertised.

Every year, our Board works to strike a balance between providing quality services our residents expect and rely upon while making sure taxes remain affordable for our residents.  The Advertised Budget is an increase of $88.2 million, or 2.2%, over the FY 2017 Budget.  Of that, $50.95 million - or 58% - is allocated to our Fairfax County School System.

Fairfax County continues to be challenged by a tepid recovery following the Great Recession and cut backs in federal contracting - the bread and butter of our local economy.  Additionally, State law in Virginia limits our revenue sources, resulting in an over reliance on real estate and personal property taxes, which make up about 80% of the revenue we have available to fund schools, public safety, libraries, parks and other local services. A meals tax referendum was not successful when put to the voters last year and would have increased County revenue by about $100 million. Given that, we will do the best we can with what we have.

If the Board of Supervisors votes to adopt the advertised tax rate when the budget is adopted on May 2, the average Fairfax County real estate tax bill would increase by $40.69 annually due to a slight average increase in assessments this year.

There are many opportunities for residents to share comments and concerns regarding the County budget between now and Budget Markup on April 25. In addition to budget town meetings and forums throughout the County, three days of budget public hearings will be held at the Fairfax County Government Center on April 4, April 5 and April 6, 2017. Residents can sign up to speak at budget public hearings here.
Board of Supervisors Appoints Nine Members to Police Civilian Review Panel

On February 28, 2017 the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors appointed nine Fairfax County residents to serve on the newly established Police Civilian Review Panel. The creation of a Civilian Review Panel was recommended by the Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission in their October 2015 final report to the Board of Supervisors.

"The Police Civilian Review Panel will promote further transparency and openness in community policing," Chairman Sharon Bulova said. "Each appointed member will bring a valuable perspective, extensive knowledge and years of community involvement to the table. Together with their impressive skillsets, this group of individuals will set the bar high for how the Civilian Review Panel will operate. I am very proud of our Fairfax County Police Department. This Panel will contribute toward making us a model of excellence for the nation."

The Civilian Review Panel will act as an independent avenue or "portal" for residents to submit complaints concerning allegations of abuse of authority or misconduct by a Fairfax County Police (FCPD) Officer. The Panel will also have the authority to request and review completed Police Department internal administrative investigations regarding a civilian complaint against an officer.  Examples of complaints and cases for the Civilian Review Panel to receive and review may include:
  • The use of abusive, racial, ethnic or sexual language;
  • Harassment or discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, age, familial status, or disability;
  • The reckless endangerment of a detainee or person in custody;
  • Serious violations of Fairfax County or FCPD procedures.
See below for the names and short bios of the Police Civilian Review Panel Members (in alphabetical order):

Hansel Aguilar, Fairfax
Mr. Aguilar, originally from Honduras, investigates allegations of police misconduct at the D.C. Office of Police Complaints. Mr. Aguilar is a former police officer for the George Mason University Police Department and previously worked as a case manager and internal investigator for Youth for Tomorrow. He has served with the Vinson Hall Retirement Community in McLean and with the Fairfax County Office for Women & Domestic and Sexual Violence Services. Mr. Aguilar is bilingual in Spanish and English and believes that oversight is an important tenet of maintaining justice and equality in a democratic society.

Kathleen Davis-Siudut, Springfield
Ms. Davis-Siudut has spent the past 15 years providing training as well policy development and implementation in the areas of sexual violence, human trafficking, and cultural diversity. Ms. Davis-Siudut is of Korean descent and has previously worked for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Polaris Project, and the US Marine Corps. She currently works with the Air Force as a sexual assault prevention and response subject matter expert.

Steve Descano, Springfield
During his six years as a federal prosecutor, Mr. Descano led numerous investigations conducted by FBI, IRS and USPIS agents. While at the Department of Justice, he analyzed documentary evidence, interviewed witnesses, and reviewed the investigatory work of agents and other prosecutors. Mr. Descano currently works as Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel for Paragon Autism Services and serves on the Criminal Justice Committee of the Fairfax County NAACP. Mr. Descano also serves on the Fairfax County Trails and Sidewalks Committee, is a graduate of West Point, and was nominated by the Fairfax County NAACP to serve on the Civilian Review Panel.

Hollye Doane, Oakton
A Fairfax County resident for more than 30 years, Ms. Doane spent most of her career as an attorney in Washington D.C. representing an array of clients, including the National Down Syndrome Society and Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation. Ms. Doane has been an advocate for the disability community for more than 20 years and understands the importance of building positive relationships between law enforcement officers and people with disabilities. Her experience as a journalist prior to attending law school gave her an appreciation for clear, timely and transparent communication between government officials and the community. After her retirement, Ms. Doane trained as a mediator and facilitator and currently serves as a lay pastoral minister in her church.

Douglas Kay, Fairfax
Mr. Kay is a trial lawyer who has handled civil litigation, criminal defense and personal injury cases for over 20 years. He currently focuses his practice on commercial litigation matters. As a criminal defense attorney, he has represented individuals charged with everything from simple traffic matters to the most serious felony offenses in state and federal courts. Mr. Kay previously served as a judge advocate in the U.S. Navy and Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney for Fairfax County. A lifelong Fairfax County resident, Mr. Kay attended Fairfax County Public Schools, coaches his son's youth basketball team, and served on Fairfax County's Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission. Mr. Kay was nominated to serve on the Civilian Review Panel by the South Fairfax Chamber of Commerce and the Fairfax Bar Association.

Randy Sayles, Oak Hill
Mr. Sayles has over 35 years of law enforcement and criminal investigations experience. He worked as a Federal Agent for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and served as a police officer for the Denver, Colorado Police Department. Mr. Sayles enjoys giving back to the community by volunteering for the Clean Fairfax Council and Creekside Homeowners Association, and was the recipient of a Fairfax County 2016 Environmental Excellence Award for removing 800 bags of trash and over 1200 illegal signs along nine miles of Centreville Road. Mr. Sayles served as a member of Fairfax County's Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission and has continued to work with the Board of Supervisors and Fairfax County Police to implement the Commission's recommendations.

Jean Senseman, Lorton
Ms. Senseman is a licensed clinical social worker who has spent many years working with clients who experience mental illness, PTSD and substance use disorders. Ms. Senseman has worked in private practice providing treatment and therapy for individuals young and old who experience a wide variety of mental health disorders. Ms. Senseman taught at George Washington University Medical School and volunteers for her Condo Association Finance Committee. Previously, Ms. Senseman worked at the Woodburn Community Mental Health Center and at the Bailey's Crossroads Community Shelter helping residents of all socio-economic backgrounds receive mental health treatment.

Adrian L. Steel, Jr., McLean (Chairman)
Mr. Steel served on Fairfax County's Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission and has continued to work with the Board of Supervisors to implement the Commission's recommendations. Mr. Steel has been appointed by the Board of Supervisors to serve as the first chairman of the Police Civilian Review Panel. Mr. Steel has demonstrated extensive knowledge and a strong commitment regarding 21st Century police policies and best practices, including civilian oversight. Mr. Steel currently works as a senior counsel at Mayer Brown LLP where he has practiced law for over 35 years, and previously served as Special Assistant to FBI Director, William H. Webster.

Rhonda VanLowe, Reston
Ms. VanLowe was appointed to the Governor's Taskforce for Improving Mental Health Services and Crisis Response and served on the Public Safety workgroup. She has devoted much of her community service work to serving those with unique physical, mental, emotional, intellectual or cognitive backgrounds. Ms. VanLowe practiced law in law firm and corporate settings, served as Board Chair of The Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program, Inc., and received the National Women of Color Special Recognition Award at the 2008 STEM Conference. Ms. VanLowe is a 36-year resident of Fairfax County and looks forward to working together with members of the Panel to develop procedures that will set the foundational tone and tenor for the work of the Panel.

For more information, please contact Chairman Bulova's Chief of Staff, Clayton Medford, at 703-324-2321 or email clayton.medford@fairfaxcounty.gov.
Member News

The Workhouse Arts Center will be hosting a Bridal Showcase this Sunday, March 26. The Bridal Showcase will feature 30+ vendors (a few vendor spots still available; table and promotion cost: $120) that will inspire any bride planning their big day.  The event is to be held at the Workhouse Arts Center, Building W-16, Vulcan Muse & McGuireWoods Gallery this Sunday, March 26, from 1pm-4pm (2:30pm Wedding Dance Preview presented by Ballroom Expert, Cookie Bell. 3:00pm Bridal Fashion Show presented by Labella Bridal Consignment Boutique). Tickets are $10 per person. For more information or to attend/sponsor, email Rachel Piering or call Rachel at 954-740-2329.

Lorton Community Action Center Annual Spring into Action Gala will be held on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at Harbour View, nestled on the Occoquan River. This exciting night of philanthropy will feature a cocktail hour, silent auction, dinner, a live band, and dancing. Plan your next date night or girls' night out for a cause that will benefit the 3000+ low-income individuals that we serve each year in southern Fairfax County.  Purchase tickets here.

Good Shepherd Housing's annual Transforming Lives Gala will be held on April 29, 2017, at the Westin Alexandria. Tickets and sponsorships are now available!  For more information, call 703-768-9404.

The Workhouse Arts Center is pleased to be hosting its Annual Golf Tournament (and non-golfer Paint and Sip Brunch) on Thursday, May 11th starting at 8:30am at Laurel Hill Golf Club.  For more information or to attend/sponsor, email Rachel Piering or call Rachel at 954-740-2329.

Other Happenings

Mulch Sale. South County High School is sponsoring a mulch sale with delivery scheduled for this Saturday, March 25th, 2017. The cost is $4.25 per 3 cu. ft. Bag of Premium double shredded hardwood bark mulch. South County's Baseball, Boys' Soccer, and Wrestling Teams will deliver mulch to your home for a $10.00 fee (exceptions apply).  Orders may be picked up at SCHS between 8:00am and 10:00am on March 25th. To volunteer to help or if you have any questions, contact Erich Gunderman at 703-446-1580.

11th Annual South County Golf Classic
.  The annual golf outing benefitting the SCHS Athletic Boosters Club and PTSO is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, June 6, 2017, at Laurel Hill Golf Club.  It will be a 12:30p.m. "shotgun start" (practice facilities access beginning at 11:00a.m.). The $160 participation fee ($135 for FCPS employees) includes: grilled lunch at the turn, beverages on the course, dinner (all you can eat and drink), golf with cart, and spectacular prizes!  To register and for additional sponsorship opportunities.  For more information on playing, sponsorship, and rules/regulations, contact Liz Mullany or Dane Work.

Upcoming Events of Interest

March 26: 1 - 5 p.m. Second Annual 'Ides of Bark' at Grist Mill Park. Win prizes, watch Fairfax County Police K9s showcase their talents, pet technicians will demonstrate proper care, CPR and first aid techniques. There will also be local animal businesses with booths and giveaways set up.

March 30: 9:30 a.m. Lorton Road widening project ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Barrett House, located near the intersection of Lorton Road and Workhouse Road
April 6: 6 - 9 p.m. South Fairfax Chamber Annual Meeting, Laurel Hill Golf Club,
8701 Laurel Crest Drive, Lorton, VA 22079. 

 April 18: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at Mount Vernon High School. VDOT holding public information meeting on Rt. 1 widening.
April 21 & 22: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The American Horticultural Society's Annual Spring Garden Market at River Farm.
May 8: 7 - 10 a.m. Friends of Little Hunting Creek and partner organizations have planned a protest at the International Bottled Water Association 1700 Diagonal Rd. Alexandria.
May 10: 7 30 p.m at the Huntley Meadows Visitors Center. Rod Simmons, the Natural Resource Manager for the City of Alexandria will discuss the varied geology of Northern Virginia.
May 13: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Community Shred event at Mount Vernon District Police Station.
South Fairfax Chamber of Commerce | SouthFairfaxChamber.org
South Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, P. O. Box 68, Lorton, VA 22199-0068
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