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Occurrences in the Congressional Record

Entry Title Date
Recognizing Recipients Of The 2014 Greater Reston Chamber Of Commerce Awards For Chamber Excellence September 17, 2014
Gerald Connolly, D-VA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize recipients of the 2014 Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce Awards for Chamber Excellence. The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1982 as a business roundtable in the growing community of Reston, Virginia. For more than 30 years, the Reston Chamber has facilitated business growth and entrepreneurship through its programming, advocacy, and engagement throughout the region. The Reston Chamber currently has more than 600 member businesses that together employ more than 10,000 people. It is the 6th largest chamber of commerce in the Washington, DC-metropolitan region and is deeply embedded in the community. The Reston Chamber hosts annual events such as Taste of Reston, Oktoberfest Reston, and Best of Reston, and it has received national recognition for its Ethics Day, a workshop for high school students on ethical decision making. Members use the INC.spire Education Foundation and free SCORE business coaching programs to help create and grow their enterprises. INC.spire has assisted more than four dozen entrepreneurs create 500 jobs and $45 million of business investment. Each year, through the Awards for Chamber Excellence, the Chamber recognizes member companies, individuals, and volunteers who have demonstrated excellence, innovation, and exceptional dedication to the Reston community. I am pleased to join the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce in recognizing the following Awards for Chamber Excellence (ACE) recipients: Committee of the Year: Charles Kapur, EagleBank, Membership Committee. Committee of the Year: Sam Cousins, SBIS, Membership Committee. Small Business of the Year: Silver Spoon Catering. Medium Business of the Year: Business Engineering, Inc. Large Business of the Year: Sheraton Reston Hotel. Member of the Year: Lisa Nicholls, Tira! Strategies. New Member of the Year: Ellen Moyer, Re/Max Allegiance. Volunteer of the Year: Andy Klaff, Colliers. Joe Ritchie Pinnacle Award: Casey Veatch, Veatch Commercial Real Estate. President’s Award: Tonia Chagnon, Red Thinking. Mr. Speaker, I ask that my colleagues join me in congratulating this year’s award recipients and in thanking them for their contributions to the local economy and outstanding service to our community. I also commend the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce for its role as an invaluable partner to local businesses, nonprofits and schools. The efforts of the Chamber, the member businesses, and volunteers have helped make Reston a truly special place to live, work, and raise a family."
Recognizing The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission On Its 50Th Anniversary September 17, 2014
Gerald Connolly, D-VA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise to commend and congratulate my friends and colleagues at the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) on the occasion of the Commission’s 50th anniversary. When it was first created, the Commission’s primary task was to develop and manage a transportation system for Northern Virginia, but over the years, it has evolved and accomplished so much more than that. NVTC has become a champion for commuters across the region, an advocate for sustainable transit funding, and a leading voice on transportation policy throughout the Commonwealth. One shudders to think what Northern Virginia might look like if not for the persistent efforts of the Commission to bring local, state, and federal leaders together to promote transit solutions that have made commuting more convenient and removed cars from our roads. Just as important, NVTC has become a training ground for staff and elected leaders, helping to inform policy makers and the public about the value of and urgent need for investing in transit choices. For example, the ranks of the Commission’s past chairmen include our colleague, Representative Jim Moran, who served on NVTC during his tenure as the Mayor of Alexandria, my predecessor, Tom Davis, who served as chair during his tenure on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, and, yes, me. I was pleased to serve on the Commission throughout my tenure on the Fairfax Board of Supervisors. Let me take just a few moments to recount some of the major milestones that have shaped the success of the NVTC and the growth of our region. Two major actions in 1964 laid the groundwork for NVTC to flourish. First, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson passed the Urban Mass Transit Act, which pumped $375 million over three years into public transit projects across the nation. The Virginia General Assembly followed by creating the Northern Virginia Transportation District to plan and construct a transportation network that promoted safety, convenience, and economic growth. The Commission did not waste time, starting work on a rapid transit system that first year. Two years later, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (or Metro) compact, a partnership among the regional jurisdictions, was created, and planning began for bus and future rail routes. Momentum increased during the 1970s. NVTC received a federal grant to build the nation’s first transit way, the Shirley Highway Bus Project. Metro broke ground with Blue, Orange and Yellow Line service to Virginia starting in the late ‘70s. NVTC launched a new program known then as Computeride, which later became Commuter Connections, to help commuters plan their trips to work and establish carpools. NVTC secured a major victory in the early 1980s when it worked with the Virginia General Assembly to pass a 2 percent regional gas tax to support Metro bus and rail service. Planning also began for a new commuter rail service extending to Prince William and Stafford counties. Transit service continued to expand during the 1990s with the new Virginia Railway Express (VRE). In 1996, NVTC was awarded the American Public Transportation Association’s Outstanding Government Agency Award. During the past decade, NVTC has been actively planning the next generation transportation network to meet the challenges of Northern Virginia’s growth and working with elected leaders at all levels to provide the dedicated funding that will be necessary to deliver those improvements. It is fitting that NVTC marks its 50th anniversary with one of the largest expansions of the Metro system with the opening of the new Silver Line with service to Tysons and Reston earlier this year. There are now 156 million transit trips in Northern Virginia. Metro, with 91 stations across the region, including 25 in Virginia with six more under construction with phase 2 of the Silver Line, serves more than 750,000 rider trips a day. Metro bus now has 335 routes and 15,000 bus stops throughout the region. VRE, which now operates 30 trains from 18 stations, carries 20,000 passengers daily. Of course, all of that is supplemented by the cities and counties with their own transit services. Demonstrating the tremendous reach and success of NVTC’s collective efforts, transit and ridesharing now carry nearly 50 percent of the region’s peak travelers. Mr. Speaker, the success of NVTC has fueled the success of not only Northern Virginia, but also the National Capital Region. The tradition of collaboration and shared investment that has characterized NVTC will serve our communities for generations to come. NVTC’s collaborative success gives witness to the fact that our politics can work to serve our constituents. I was proud to be a part of it for 14 years, and I ask my colleagues to join me in commending the staff and leadership, both past and present, of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission for their commitment to providing a world-class transportation system and improving the quality of life for those who live and work in the National Capital Region."
Recognizing The 23Rd Annual Best Of Reston Awards For Community Service May 23, 2014
Gerald Connolly, D-VA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the recipients of the 23rd Annual Best of Reston Awards for Community Service. The Best of Reston Awards are the result of collaboration between Cornerstones (formerly Reston Interfaith) and the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and are presented to individuals, organizations and businesses whose extraordinary efforts make our community a better place. I am pleased to enter the names of the following recipients of the 2014 Best of Reston Awards into the Congressional Record: Individual Community Leader: Carol Ann Bradley. Ms. Bradley has dedicated herself to service both locally and globally. She has worked with Global Camps Africa, the Friends of the Reston Regional Library, the Embry Rucker Community Shelter, the Southgate Community Center, the Reston Community Center, the American Association of University Women, The Links, Inc. and Educators, Then, Now and Forever. Individual Community Leader: Jerry Ferguson. Mr. Feguson uses his broadcasting skills to highlight local nonprofits. He is the director of Development and Outreach for Fairfax Public Access, which provides television and radio cablecasting services to the region. As a volunteer he has filmed and produced videos for numerous nonprofits and civic groups. Individual Community Leader: Cate Fulkerson. Ms. Fulkerson began serving Reston as an entry-level clerk at the Reston Association and climbed the ladder to her present role there, Chief Executive Officer. She also serves as the chair for the Reston Character Counts! Coalition, chairs the annual Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce’s Ethics Day for South Lakes High School, and remains active in Leadership Fairfax. Individual Community Leader: Bonnie Haukness. Mrs. Haukness has given 40 years of service in many aspects of the Reston community. She is a board member of the Reston Historic Trust and Reston Museum, and she chairs its annual fundraiser, the Reston Homes Tour. She also co-chairs fundraisers for Cornerstones, helps organize the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, and also has led the Friends of Reston‘s fundraising event to send children to summer day camp. Individual Community Leader: Davida Luehrs. Ms. Luehrs is a champion for the visually impaired. She works with the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the American Council for the Blind, and Visually Impaired People of Reston. She has assisted 14 Lions Clubs with hearing and vision screening programs for pre-school children, founded VisionWalk, and chaired Dining in the Dark fundraisers. She is also active in the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, school band boards, Reston Swim Team Association, parent teacher associations, blood drives, and meals on wheels. Civic/Community Leader: HomeAid Northern Virginia. Members of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association started HomeAid in 2001 to help the homeless gain stability by putting a roof over their head. It currently contributes resources to build and renovate homeless shelters as well as transitional and affordable housing. HomeAid has completed more than 70 projects and served more than 10,000 individuals, work valued at more than $10.5 million. Small Business Leader: Brennan & Waite, P.L.C. Founding members (and husband and wife) Matthew Brennan and Carol Waite have led their firm to support many local causes, including the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, Habitat For Humanity, Let’s Help Kids, the Mosaic Harmony Choir, FACETS, Cornerstones, and Leadership Fairfax. Mr. Brennan also developed a training program to help those interested in serving on county and nonprofit boards. Corporate Business Leader Cooley, LLP. This law firm encourages employees to give back to the community by offering paid leave time to volunteer and providing matching funds for money raised by employees to support local causes. Last year the firm contributed more than $1 million to nonprofits around the United States. The company’s pro bono efforts have led to contributions of more than 33,000 hours by 466 attorneys on more than 687 different pro bono projects per year. Mr. Speaker, I ask that my colleagues join me in congratulating the 2014 Best of Reston honorees for their continued commitment to our community. I express my sincere gratitude to these individuals, businesses, and organizations for contributing their time and energy to the betterment of our community."
Health Care May 21, 2014
Roy Blunt, R-MO
"The American part of this company, Serco, is based in Reston, VA, but this is a British company. They were already in trouble with the British Government, I have read, for not providing the services they guaranteed to provide. It is amazing to me that to do the work to implement this program, we get a Canadian company to design the Web site, which is already in trouble with the Canadian Government for failure to do what they said they would do, but we hired that company anyway. One would think there would be American companies that aren’t in trouble with anybody’s government that could design the Web site. Then we got a British company that is in trouble with the British Government to operate these centers for the written applications. No wonder taxpayers are wondering, Who is minding the store? Who is managing the government? Who is doing this work that would make common sense anywhere else?"
Recognizing The 23Nd Annual Best Of Reston Awards For Community Service May 6, 2014
Gerald Connolly, D-VA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the recipients of the 23rd Annual Best of Reston Awards for Community Service. The Best of Reston Awards are the result of collaboration between Cornerstones (formerly Reston Interfaith) and the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and are presented to individuals, organizations, and businesses whose extraordinary efforts make our community a better place. I am pleased to enter the names of the following recipients of the 2014 Best of Reston Awards into the Congressional Record:"

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