Chairman’s Message

April 2020

Hello Members,
I hope this letter finds you and your families well and living your best life. As I was preparing to write this letter, my wife turned me on to a professional coach, mentor, and social observer – Andy Andrews and his thoughts help me prepare this message. You can check him out at andyandrews.com.

My theme this month is “Choosing…Hope or Fear.”
Andy defines fear as “an empty emotion, and a creative misuse of your imagination.” Why is this? If you think about it, fear is an emotion that creeps up on us before an event actually happens. Our mind and imagination is in overdrive thinking about a terrible outcome that my never come to pass. Think about this, imagination is what we use to problem solve, it is that creative “thinking outside the box” we all talk about and can create wonderful outcomes in business and our personal lives. Therefore, if we let fear dictate our daily activities, we are giving up the potentialities we have now and in the future.

As you know, I am not that big a fan of Facebook. I found myself drawn into the negativity of people and ideas on the site, so I have almost completely stopped viewing and posting, and guess what, I feel a lot better. In fact, I unfriended five people last week for negative posts about the current state of our country and economy and it was truly uplifting. Do this and you will feel better too. This brings me to Hope.

Andy defines hope as that part of our imagination that gives us the ability to see what can happen with a positive outlook on life. Again, who really wants to be consumed about the possibility of 100,000 to 250,000 Americans dying and our economy collapsing when we can be hopeful about finding a cure for the Corona Virus? This is what gives me hope, we are social distancing, research is happening throughout the world to develop a vaccine, our corporations are marshalling all of their resources to defeat the virus and the federal government has developed a sustainability plan that the world has never seen before to help carry our nation through this crisis. Yet, the media only focuses on the most dire and hopeless news they can find. It is no coincidence that viewer ratings go up as their reporting becomes more negative, so how about tuning them out for a while. My hope and one that I have chosen to embrace, is that we will defeat the virus and have a stronger economy that is more vibrant than before the virus attacked us.

So how will YOU choose? Fear and Negativity or Hope and Faith. It is all up to you.
See you in May!

Stanley Koussis
Stan Koussis

Stan Koussis

Chairman

Andrews Federal Credit Union

March 2020

 Have you seen my latest social media post? If not, I have included it for you to read.

Leadership Mount Vernon-Lee was in The House…The Virginia House of Delegates that is. Our February class meeting was held in Richmond during the hectic 60-day session. We met with Delegates Krizek and Sickles and Senators Barker, Ebbin, and Surovell. After our meetings, it was off to lunch and then a tour of the State Capitol. It is no wonder Virginia is called The Birthplace of American Democracy, going back to 1619 with the Virginia General Assembly and the House of Burgesses in Jamestown.”

If you are wondering why I am posting this, please read on. Leadership Mount Vernon-Lee, whose mission is to prepare and mobilize leaders to work for the good of the whole community, is currently accepting applications for the Class of 2020-2021, that begins in September of 2020.
Our program is unique from the start. Held at the magnificent facilities of the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon, our students have the perfect balance of elegance and historical context to study and learn from leading scholars and historians who have devoted their careers to the study of our pre-eminent Founding Father and Commander-in-Chief, George Washington.

The program is an immersive leadership learning experience; as we seek to challenge create opportunities to influence positive change and impact quality of life in the Mount Vernon and Lee districts. The purpose of our signature program is to transform a diverse and highly motivated group of individuals into a network of leaders who are equipped with knowledge and commitment to benefit Fairfax County. In addition to providing on-site, experiential learning, the program also strengthens leadership competencies in areas such as relationship building, servant leadership, integrity, innovation, and appreciation for diversity and inclusiveness.
So no matter what you are looking for, whether its personal enrichment, professional development, or impacting public policy, we have a seat at the table just for you.

Please click here to apply online or reach out to Holly Dougherty for an application To Be Part of History.

Until next month,

Sincerely,

Stanley Koussis

Stan Koussis

Stan Koussis

Chairman

Andrews Federal Credit Union

February 2020

This past Saturday, Holly Dougherty and I were able to represent the Chamber of Commerce at the Mount Vernon Town Hall Meeting that was held at Mount Vernon High School. I was struck by the large number of community groups that either are headquartered or do business in our part of Fairfax County. As I visited each of the display tables, I noticed that many of the exhibitors brought candy to entice people to stop and chat. Not to brag, but thanks to Jason Hunt and Roy Rogers Restaurants, we were able to pass out brownies to many of the attendees. They were the hit of the exhibit.

Seriously, what really stood out more to me than anything else at the Town Hall was the mission of all the organizations in attendance “To Serve the Community” and specifically our community.  I have since gone back and reviewed our mission statement, which is “To champion business and build community in partnership with our members.” This is what we strive to do for you, our members.  We advocate for you, to help make your business successful and in turn make this a better place to live, work, and raise a family. I believe that in order to have a vibrant community, a strong partnership between business, government, and community stakeholders must exist. One cannot exist without the other.

This is a generous, giving and caring community and like any volunteer organization, our success is based on the involvement of our members. Whether you are interested in economic development, improving our public schools, working for a more sustainable environment, or influencing public policy, we have a place for you. Our committees are always looking for new members and your contribution in any of our committees will help make a difference in what we accomplish throughout year.

I look forward to seeing you at the February Biz Breakfast on February 13th at Belle Haven Country Club.

All the best,

Stan Koussis

Stan Koussis

Stan Koussis

Chairman

Andrews Federal Credit Union

January 2020

Is it 2020 already? I don’t know about you, but it feels as though 2019 flew right by and the new year is upon us. As I begin my year as Chairman of the Board, I would like to review our results from last year and share with you my thoughts on what I hope to accomplish in the coming year.

First, I’d like to thank Sonja Caison (The Cleaning Authority) for her leadership during the past year. Our Chamber of Commerce is financially sound and membership has increased over previous years. We will miss Sonja’s commitment in supporting the community and our membership at-large. The Executive Committee says farewell to our Treasurer, Chris Reddick (The National Capital Bank). During his tenure, Chris introduced a structured approach to budgeting and planning for the future. We will miss Chris’ counsel, but welcome our new treasurer Ken Board (M&T Bank) who is excited about his new role in helping steer the Chamber financially in the coming years. Finally, our Secretary, Phyllis Sintay (McEnearney Associates Realtors) has agreed to stay on for another year. Phyllis is the unsung hero, keeping things orderly and providing a record of all meetings.

Second, 2019 was a great year for chamber events. We had a number of exciting and varied breakfast and after-work Drinks and Deals networking events. More importantly was our 21st Annual Chamber Golf Classic. An energized Golf Committee brought in new sponsors and new contests resulting in a $17,000 contribution to the Education Scholarship Fund to be distributed to deserving students in the Mount Vernon and Lee districts in 2020. The Economic Summit continues to be successful, as is the Police and Fire Fighter Tribute. Our newest signature program, Leadership Mount Vernon-Lee launched in 2019 with 17 class members and we are looking to increase the class size in 2020.

Third, it is said that the only thing that is constant is change, and this is true for us in the Chamber. Change in the Virginia Legislature, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, and the Fairfax Economic Development Authority will provide challenge and opportunity for our membership. We do not live in a vacuum and realize that success requires partnership between business, community, and government. We will seek out and expand these partnerships to help our community grow.

Please know that we are committed to advocate on behalf of your interests because we know that your success is also a success for our community.

I and the Board look forward to serving you this year and are always open to hear from you and are committed to listening to your concerns, recommendations, and ideas.

Sincerely,

Stanley Koussis

Stan Koussis

Stan Koussis

Chairman

Andrews Federal Credit Union