Dulles Chamber Hosts High Level Conversations With Senator Kaine
The Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted an afternoon of conversations with Senator Tim Kaine on April 7, featuring not only an intimate discussion of hospitality issues for area hoteliers, but also a panel discussion of health related jobs and innovations co-sponsored by We Work For Health and Virginia Bio.
During the afternoon, hoteliers had an opportunity to meet with Senator Kaine to discuss the depressed nature of hospitality in Northern Virginia in light of the industry’s rebound elsewhere throughout the country.
“The hospitality industry in our region is struggling due to the deterrents of sequestration, government shutdowns, and per diem rates among other things,” said Eileen Curtis, president and CEO of the Dulles Regional Chamber. “The combination of increased federal regulations regarding business travel and the vulnerabilities of industries such as government contracting that provide a large percentage of business travel have negatively impacted our area.”
A related concern expressed during discussions was the relative health of domestic travel at Dulles International Airport.
Senator Kaine noted that he and Senator Mark Warner are aware of the imbalance between Dulles International Airport and Reagan National Airport, remarking that the original intent of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority was not to set the two airports in competition, but to have them work as a team.
“Senator Kaine indicated that federal legislators are giving serious attention to the matter,” Curtis said.
Hotel owners and managers in attendance were unanimous in noting that the health and revenue of the Northern Virginia hospitality industry are serious components of state revenues as a whole and could negatively impact the state’s budget if measures are not put in place to stimulate that sector.
Following these intimate discussions, the senator took part in a panel discussion the chamber hosted in partnership with We Work For Health and Virginia Bio.
Moderated by Don Owens of Griffin-Owens Insurance Group, the current chairman of the Dulles Regional Chamber Board of Directors, the panel included Senator Tim Kaine, Virginia Bio President Jeff Gallagher, and Patients First Founder Dr. Dana Kuhn.
The panel discussed innovations, jobs, and the future workforce of life science industries.
Referencing these advancements, Gallagher noted the impressive incubation of biopharmaceuticals taking place Virginia, while Kuhn spoke of the innovative ways in which Patients First is helping those with chronic illnesses cut medical costs.
“Senator Kaine was liberal in his praise of Virginia’s progress, but also pointed out areas he felt could be improved, including the need for attracting more venture capitalists and creating a solid research and development community,” Curtis said.
Kaine indicated that the proximity of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office should be a major incentive to expand the research, development and investment community.
The senator also addressed the need for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) training, citing his support of career and technical education.
“The senator feels that career and technical education can not only support STEM industries, but can also provide real-life applications for related subjects that may entice students to engage in STEM-related courses of study,” Curtis said. “The panel provided much-needed insights into an industry that has great potential not only for current innovators, but for the future workforce of Virginia.”
Dulles Chamber Supports Landfill Extension
Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Eileen Curtis recently joined area leaders in discussing the Lorton Landfill with Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova.
“The landfill, which is due to close in 2018 under its current contract, is an issue that has wide implications for our county and region,” Curtis said following the meeting.
EnviroSolutions Inc., a local waste collection, disposal and recycling company, is petitioning Fairfax County to extend its contract to 2034.
Proponents of the extension expect it would return millions of tax dollars to the county’s revenue base and provide a state-of-the-art green energy park at the site that would embrace alternative energies such as wind turbines, as well as geothermal and solar initiatives.
Those in favor of the extension believe the landfill’s closure would force construction debris to be hauled south of Richmond for disposal, generating higher costs and a negative impact on economic development.
“The resulting impact also has the potential to add to our local transportation issues,” Curtis said.
The Fairfax County Planning Commission narrowly approved recommending the extension to the board of supervisors. While the concept was reasonable, some commissioners felt the application information to be incomplete.
“While there are uncertainties yet to be resolved, the concept of maintaining this huge asset for the county and introducing a green energy park is compelling,” Curtis said. “The Dulles Regional Chamber will support this plan.”
New Members - March 2014
Atcap Home Health Services, LLC
Home Health Services
Chantels Cake & Pastries
Keough Senior Living
Senior Living Facility
Patrick Keough II
Corporate & Business Law
Tysons Corner, VA
New York Life - Pat Velander
Engineering Design & Consulting
Stonebridge Title, LLC
Title & Escrow Company
Washington First Bank
New Members - February 2014
Chantilly Dental Center
Fairfax Public Access
Hope For The Warriors
Non-Profit Military Group
Premier Home Appraisals, Inc.
Real Estate Appraisals
Sanctuary Executive Driving Services
Limousine, Taxis & Bus Services
Southway Builders, LLC
Architects, Contractors & Builders
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia
Non-Profit Human Services
New Members - January 2014
American Cancer Society
Health Care & Wellness
BAM Mail by CAT Media
Computer/Service, Parts & Supplies
Embrace Home Loans
HVAC Distributors, Inc.
Heating & Air Conditioning/Wholesale
Computer/Software Development & Design
Interstate Moving & Storage
Moving, Storage & Relocation Services
Laura Lee Designs, LLC
Success in the City
Cynthia de Lorenzi
- New Members - December 2014
- Dulles Chamber’s Stars Over Dulles Gala Raises $10,000 for USO-Metro
- Northern Virginia Chamber Partnership Urges General Assembly to Close the Health Insurance Coverage Gap for Virginia's Working Uninsured
- Dulles Chamber’s T3 Expo Offers Free Employment Resources for Veterans
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