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Occurrences in the Congressional Record

Entry Title Date
Recognizing Recipients Of The 2014 Arts Council Of Fairfax County Arts Awards November 14, 2014
Gerald Connolly, D-VA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize the Arts Council of Fairfax County and the recipients of the 2014 Arts Awards. These awards recognize the extraordinary contributions of artists and arts organizations, as well as individuals and businesses in Fairfax County, the City of Fairfax, and the City of Falls Church that support the arts in our community. Founded in 1964, the Arts Council of Fairfax County, Inc. is a non-profit organization designated as Fairfax County’s local arts agency. The Arts Council operates programs and initiatives that include grants, arts advocacy, education, and professional development opportunities for artists and arts organizations. In FY14, the Arts Council awarded over $500,000 in County, public, and private funds through competitive grants and awards to arts organizations and individual artists. These grants helped to fund approximately 13,000 performances and 2,600 arts programs which were attended by more than 1 million people. In addition, The Arts Council of Fairfax County has been a strong supporter and sponsor of the 11th Congressional District High School Arts Competition and has been instrumental in making this program one of the most successful in the nation. The Arts Awards honor supporters of the arts in four categories: the Jinx Hazel Arts Award, the Arts Impact Award, the Arts Education Award, and the Arts Philanthropy Award. It is my honor to enter the following names of the 2014 Arts Awards Recipients into the Congressional Record: The 2014 Jinx Hazel Arts Award will be presented to Bill Reeder and Richard Kamenitzer of George Mason University. Together they have built one of the nation’s most respected higher education programs for the arts and arts management, training hundreds of artists and arts administrators, helping young professionals create new arts programs, and sustaining local arts organizations in Fairfax communities. The 2014 Arts Impact Award will be presented to the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE). Over the past 40 years, GRACE has enriched the Reston community with art exhibitions, arts education programs, and the annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, which has become one of the region’s largest arts festivals with tens of thousands of attendees. Since its inception in 1974, GRACE has mounted more than 250 exhibitions, presenting the work of local, regional, and national artists. The 2014 Arts Education Award will be presented to Cappies of the National Capital Area (Cappies NCA) for its innovation and impact in arts education. Cappies—the Critics and Awards Program—engages high school students in a comprehensive theatre education program. Each year, Cappies NCA involves approximately 3,200 students from 56 schools as theatrical performers, production managers and technicians, and critics. Since its inception in 1999, thousands of high school students have experienced the breadth and depth of the theatre, with many becoming actors, theatre professionals, arts educators, and journalists. The 2014 Arts Philanthropy Award will be presented to Pat and Steve Macintyre for their outstanding support of initiatives that strengthen the arts in Herndon and Reston. Through their generosity over the past three decades the Macintyres have founded or supported organizations including the Herndon Foundation for the Cultural Arts, Council for the Arts of Herndon, League of Reston Artists, Initiative for Public Art—Reston, Herndon’s Art in Public Places initiative, and Technology and the Arts scholarships. Additionally, Pat has served on the boards of many of these organizations. Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating the recipients of the 2014 Arts Awards and in recognizing and thanking the visionaries, leaders, and supporters who help to make our Northern Virginia communities rich with cultural opportunities."
In Honor Of The Retirement Of Reverend Ronald Winters November 14, 2014
Gerald Connolly, D-VA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Reverend Ronald Winters and to congratulate him on his retirement following 49 years of pastoral service to the Northern Virginia Community. Rev. Winters is a native of Indianapolis, Indiana, where he graduated from Crispus Attucks High School in June 1950. He served honorably in the United States Navy and then attended Bishop College in Marshall, Texas. In 1969, Rev. Winters received the Bachelor of Theology and Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degrees from Baltimore College of Bible and Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland. Reverend Winters was licensed to the Gospel Ministry by First Baptist Church of North Indianapolis, Indiana in 1954 and ordained to the work of the Gospel Ministry by Mt. Calvary Baptist Church of Rockville, Maryland in 1965. He served as Pastor of the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Herndon, Virginia from 1965 to 1972, Shiloh Baptist Church in McLean, Virginia from 1973 to 1987, and Peace Baptist Church in Dunn Loring, Virginia from 1988 to 1993. In 1994, Reverend Winters organized the Resurrection Baptist Church of Reston, Virginia where he has served as Pastor for the past nineteen years. Rev. Winters has also been involved in numerous religious and community service organizations. He is the former First Vice Moderator of the Northern Virginia Baptist Association; member of the Board of Directors of One Church One Child of Virginia; Life Member and Past President of the Fairfax County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; and member of the Board of Directors of the Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation. He is the past President of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Northern Virginia and a previous Board member of Food for Others in Northern Virginia. Reverend Winters’ professional experience as a United States Senate Staff member included Special Assistant for Minority Affairs for Senator Vance Hartke (1960-1973); Assistant Chief Clerk for the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee (1973-1975); Special Assistant to Senator Harrison A. Williams (1975-1982); and Special Assistant to Senator Nicholas F. Brady (1982-1983). In 1970, he offered the convening prayer in the chamber of the United States Senate and in 1968 his “Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” was published in the Congressional Record. Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in thanking Rev. Winters for his service to the church, his community, and our country and in congratulating him on his well-deserved retirement."
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."

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