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Occurrences in the Congressional Record

Entry Title Date
Recognizing David P. Bobzien On The Occasion Of His Retirement As Fairfax County Attorney June 24, 2016
Gerald Connolly, D-VA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize and commend David P. Bobzien, of Reston, on the occasion of his retirement after a distinguished career spanning three decades of public service to the residents of Fairfax County, the largest local jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the National Capital Region. For the past 23 years, David has served as the Fairfax County Attorney. Prior to that, he served four years on the Fairfax Planning Commission, representing the former Centreville District, and he also is a past chairman of the Fairfax County Goals Advisory Commission. I had the great pleasure of working with David throughout my 14 years on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, particularly during my 5 years as chairman. David was responsible for providing sound legal advice to the Board of Supervisors on any number of issues, from land use and zoning applications to civil litigation to personnel matters. He was always meticulous and thoughtful in his approach and was a trusted counselor to the board and county staff. David also has more than a decade of service with the federal government, where he served as assistant counsel in the Office of Professional Responsibility of the Department of Justice. Prior to that, he spent four years in private practice as an associate with the Fairfax firm of Fitzgerald and Smith, and he also served four years as a Captain in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the United States Army. Mr. Bobzien has ably represented Fairfax on a number of boards and associations and has used his passion for the law to benefit communities across the Commonwealth. He is a former president of the Virginia State Bar. He was the first government attorney ever to hold that post. He is a past chair of the Local Government Law Section of the Virginia State Bar, a past president of the Local Government Attorneys of Virginia, a past president of Lawyers Helping Lawyers, the organization that assists lawyers in Virginia suffering from substance addiction or mental illness, a past president of the Fairfax Law Foundation, and a past president of the Virginia Law Foundation. Even as he neared retirement, David has remained active and is the current chairman of the Virginia CLE Committee of the Virginia Law Foundation and is a board member of Virginia Law Foundation, the Fairfax Law Foundation, and Lawyers Helping Lawyers. He is a Virginia State Bar delegate in the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates having previously served on the ABA’s Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence. He is a fellow of the Fairfax Law Foundation and the Virginia Law Foundation and a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. His leadership and commitment to the law have been recognized by his peers. In 2012, David was selected to receive the Golden Gavel Award from the Fairfax Law Foundation’s Society of Fellows. The Golden Gavel Award recognizes individuals, organizations, and businesses for their exceptional community service. Mr. Speaker, David Bobzien’s commitment to our community and the mission of local government is unparalleled, and he leaves behind a legacy of integrity that will benefit our community for generations to come. His career in public service is truly commendable and deserving of our sincere appreciation. When I was chairman of the county board, we often joked when retirement announcements like this came before the board that we should pass an ordinance to disallow such talented and dedicated professionals to leave public service. I certainly wish that was the case here. I have been privileged to call David not only a professional colleague but also a constituent and a friend. I wish David and his wife, Cathy, and the rest of their family the best of luck in his retirement, and I ask my colleagues in the House to join me in expressing our appreciation for his unswerving devotion to serving the residents of Fairfax County."
Congratulating Alexis Frost June 24, 2016
Gerald Connolly, D-VA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Ms. Alexis Frost, who is a 6th grade student at Lorton Station Elementary School, for placing second in the Junior Division, Individual Performance Category, of the Virginia National History Day Contest. She, along with winners from other states competed at the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Conference, which took place June 12 through 16 at the University of Maryland in College Park. Each year there is a specific theme on which the students’ research must focus with this year’s theme being: “Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History.” For her entry Alexis created a performance titled “Amelia” in which she portrays Amelia Earhart, an early aviation pioneer who was the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and who was an inspiration to women throughout the world. This year approximately 600,000 students from across the United States participated in these contests. For the contests, students create entries showcasing original historical research utilizing primary and secondary sources. They then present their information in one of five categories: documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, and website. Less than 1 percent of all contestants are invited to go to the national competition. At the National History Day Finals, Alexis’ project along with those of the other state winners were evaluated by more than 300 historians and education professionals. Scholarships totaling $150,000 were awarded to the winners of the contest ranging from $250 through $1,000 per award. Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in commending Alexis Frost for her outstanding performance in the National History Day contest and in wishing her the very best at the National Finals as well as throughout her educational career."
Commending Heritage Baptist Church On The Occasion Of Its 35Th Anniversary June 24, 2016
Robert Wittman, R-VA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the 35th anniversary of Heritage Baptist Church, led by Pastor Michael Edwards. During its 35 years of selfless service to the Kingdom of God and to the community, this church has proven itself to be a congregation full of energy, conviction, and action. Heritage Baptist Church was founded by Pastor Michael E. Edwards and held its first service on June 28, 1981 at Potomac Senior High School. One year later, in 1982, Heritage Baptist Church moved to a new location on Telegraph Road in Woodbridge. As the church continued to grow in faith and in members, Heritage built a new church on Spriggs Road in Woodbridge, Virginia where it has continued its growth and expansion. Sensing the role it could play in the community and in educating children, Heritage Baptist church opened Heritage Christian School. The School began as a K5 through 9th grade institution with 70 students and, through the Lord’s blessing, has grown to over 390 children in K4 through 12th grades. The School’s mission is to equip young people, both academically and spiritually, to fight for the faith and to engage culture in the service of Jesus Christ. Heritage Baptist Church, with Heritage Christian School, has served the community by opening their doors to our office on April 30th, 2016. Heritage Baptist facilitated our Women Veterans Forum and staffed the event to help meet our administrative needs. Attended by representatives from the Veterans Affairs’ Administration, the Virginia Department of Veteran Services, and many other Veteran service organizations, the event celebrated the role women have played in our nation’s military and provided support resources to our local women Veterans. Heritage Baptist Church’s support of this event shows their commitment to our nation’s military, Veterans, and larger community."
Commending Prince William Chamber Of Commerce Chairman Dalena Kanouse June 21, 2016
Gerald Connolly, D-VA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate Dalena Kanouse on the completion of her term as Chairman of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce. Each July, a new Chairman assumes the responsibility of working with Chamber staff and board members to promote the interests of the local business community. After the passing of her late husband, SGM (Ret) Sam Kanouse in 2009, Mrs. Kanouse assumed the reins of his business, Management and Training Consultants, Incorporated (MTCI) as President and Chief Executive Officer. As a U.S. Department of Defense contractor, Mrs. Kanouse sets the strategic vision and strives for excellence as the leader of more than 100 employees. Mrs. Kanouse brought the same resolve to her role as Chairman. Recognizing the evolution of the Northern Virginia economy, she stressed the importance of remaining current on workforce development trends and broadening a business’ footprint within the field of government contracting. She also led the Prince William Chamber’s workgroup on the establishment of a 3-year strategic plan. The Prince William Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of nearly 70,000 employees in the metropolitan community of 432,000 residents. Dedicated to maintaining an environment where businesses and people thrive, the Prince William Chamber focuses its efforts in the area of business growth, economic development, advocacy, education, and community outreach. Signature events include the Prince William Valor Awards, Business Awards, Education and Innovation Scholarship Program, and Salute to the Armed Services Luncheon. As a military spouse, mother of two, and grandmother to three, Mrs. Kanouse has proven to be a strong advocate for military families and early childhood education both personally and professionally. She actively serves on multiple committees and councils within the Chamber, including the Chambers Veterans Council and Education and Innovation Committee. Under Mrs. Kanouse’s leadership, the Chamber awarded $7,500 in scholarships to local high school students this year. Mrs. Kanouse is a strong believer in practicing what she preaches. As a display of her commitment to hiring veterans, MTCI maintains a Bronze Level Certification in the Virginia Values Veterans (V3) program. During her tenure, Mrs. Kanouse increased Chamber membership, retention, and utilized her personal network to expand the reach of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce in the community. Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in commending Dalena Kanouse on her effective leadership and successes as Chairman. Mrs. Kanouse has proven herself to be a visionary leader whose efforts will leave a lasting impression on the Prince William Chamber of Commerce and the community it serves."
Celebrating The 50Th Anniversary Of The Prince William County Department Of Fire And Rescue June 21, 2016
Gerald Connolly, D-VA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate the Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue on its 50th anniversary and to commend the men and women who have selflessly served in the Department during its history. What is now the third largest career fire department in the Commonwealth of Virginia began in 1966 with the hiring of Phil Ponder from Dumfries as the first paid firefighter and Shelby Jones of Williamsburg as the first fire marshal in the county. Later that year, Mr. Jones was appointed Director of Fire and Rescue Services, the equivalent of today’s Department Chief. Prior to 1966, the local community relied solely upon the Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer Fire Department that was formed in approximately 1938 out of necessity because there were no fire and rescue services offered between the cities of Alexandria and Fredericksburg. Since its inception, the Prince William Department of Fire and Rescue has led the way. In 1967, Prince William County became the first jurisdiction on the East Coast to implement the 911 System. That same year, Prince William became the first county in the Commonwealth and the National Capital Region to implement a physical ability exam for career firefighters. In 1994, Mary Beth Michos was hired as Chief; and became the first female fire and rescue chief of a metro-sized department. The Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue continues to maintain one of the most progressive combination fire departments in the country and its legacy of “firsts” continues. It is one of only three jurisdictions in the Commonwealth of Virginia with delegated training authority granted by the Virginia Department of Fire Programs. Always on the front lines, the Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue came to the aid of those directly impacted by the tragic events of September 11th in New York City and at the Pentagon. When tragedy struck again in 2005, Prince William fire protection personnel swung into action to provide assistance to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The Department of Fire and Rescue is comprised of three sections: community safety, operations, and support systems. At the time of the Department’s founding, approximately 50,000 people lived in Prince William County. Today, the Department of Fire and Rescue effectively serves a population of 432,000 with a staff of 555 uniformed and 60 civilian personnel providing around the clock services from 21 fire stations in a county spanning 348 square miles. In 2015, the Department responded to approximately 48,000 calls, and it recently broke ground for Station 26, which is expected to open in mid-2017. Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to recognize the Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue as it celebrates 50 years of service to the residents of the county. I thank the brave men and women of the Department as well as its leadership for their tireless commitment to public safety and the protection of lives and property in Prince William County."

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