How did you get into this line of work?
In 1995 I was VP at Whole Systems Design, Inc., a company involved in product production and promotion. My duties at WSD included producing ads, brochures and packaging for our products. The internet was just getting off the ground and we were interested in the possibilities it represented for marketing. We looked into procuring a website, which represented a substantial investment. Our co-worker was an accomplished Apple tech and convinced us that we could DIY the project. He arranged installation of a T-1 line and set up a server, initially just to host our own website. The first website I built was for our product Masterball, a 3-D puzzle. I'm sure there are more sophisticated sites being built by grade schoolers today!
It didn't take long to realize that there was tremendous potential in providing internet hosting and web development services to other businesses, even though at the time most of the people we pitched to didn't know what the internet was. I left Whole Systems Design in 1998 and have since worked as a freelance web developer.
Were you an artistic child? Is being artistic an attribute you need to be successful or are other skills more important?
I have always had a passion for art, and having a good design sense is a very useful skill for a web developer. However, there are many aspects of web or app development outside of graphics creation. There are jobs for anyone with good communications and analytic skills.
How do you keep your designs fresh and interesting?
It's hard to believe how much has changed with the internet since I first started working on websites in 1995. I can remember having conversations with clients convinced that no one would ever be foolish enough to buy anything online! And, just as with fashion, cars, or haircuts — styles change. To stay current with trends, I spend roughly 10 hours a week reading about new web development tools and trends.
Please give a rundown of the services you provide. Is it common for you to stay on to manage a website you’ve created or can a customer hire you only for the initial setup? Do you have a specialty or an area where you devote most of your time?
About 80 per cent of my business is building new websites or redesigning existing sites. Some of my clients want to maintain their own websites, and there are others that I work with for ongoing updates and continued development of their sites. I produce regular email newsletters for several clients, and also do some work with print graphics such as brochures, flyers, advertising and postcards.
What sets your business apart from similar operations in this competitive field? How do your clients find out about you?
When I first started building websites there were no WYSIWYG web software programs or content management systems, such as WordPress. I learned to write html code from scratch. So in addition to creating the graphics and design for a site, I have a strong understanding of what is ‘under the hood.' Most of my new work comes from client recommendations.
Describe a typical day, assuming any of your days are typical. Do you have any tips or tricks for staying healthy and engaged while spending a good part of the day in front of a computer?
I am lucky in that I have never had any problem being self-motivated. Freelance work definitely requires discipline and good time management. I don't think I can describe a 'typical' day, as every day is different, depending on what projects I have ongoing. Last week I had two major jobs in progress. I was working with a client in France that was texting me starting at six in the morning (noon Paris time), and migrating a site from a server in Fiji, where they were just getting into the office at six in the evening, my time.
Tips for staying healthy while sitting at a keyboard all day? Don't do what I do! Get up and exercise!
What’s your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of the job is when there are checks in my mailbox.
Can you give us an idea of your client base?
Over the past 20-plus years I have done work for World Bank, AOL/Time Warner, Lockheed Martin, and Sony, as well many local businesses and organizations.
What are your other interests and hobbies when you’re not working?
In addition to graphics and web development, I have worked in the travel industry for over twenty years, representing classic barges cruising the canals and rivers of France. Learn more about this fabulous way to tour France at my website, https://BoutiqueHotelBarges.com
In my spare time, I enjoy photography and relaxing with friends. I also make several yearly 'field trips' to art museums in Washington, Baltimore, Richmond and Philadelphia. Over the past year I have taken dog agility classes with my Briard, Mr. Muddy Waters. He is a very shy dog and it has been great fun to see how much self confidence he has gained learning to tackle the various agility obstacles.
Contact info: dawnshepherd.com email@example.com
\What is your background? How long have you been in business for yourself and why did you want to become a leadership coach?
My background includes 20 years of leadership experience in the active duty and reserve components of the US Air Force as well as consulting in the private sector. I have a doctorate in Strategic Leadership from Regent University as well as a master's degree in Public Administration from Troy University. My company, Uncaged Solutions LLC, has been actively in business since December 2017 and focuses on leadership coaching, training and facilitation. I started the company to help individuals, teams and organizations focus on self-awareness as a foundation to help achieve breakthrough results in the various aspects of their lives.
What are the most important skills a leadership coach should possess?
The skills I feel are most important are active listening, empathy and engagement.
Can you explain how you arrived at the name Uncaged Solutions and the tagline “vision focused leadership for change”? What differentiates you from similar operations?
The name Uncaged Solutions was birthed from the personal desire to have freedom of creativity and the professional desire to help others achieve their goals through a customized approach that keeps their vision at the forefront of everything they do. What differentiates Uncaged Solutions from other coaching businesses is the custom approach that is designed to help our clients Envision the leaders they want to become, collaborate with them to create a Plan that serves as their personal roadmap, Act each day and Achieve the results they desire.
Are you a one-woman operation and what sorts of businesses do you serve? Are there any sectors of the business community that comprise the bulk of your business or that is a specialty of yours?
I currently am a one-woman operation serving clients in the nonprofit, government and private sectors. Leadership is not limited to a particular sector and Uncaged Solutions does not focus its services in a particular area but rather endeavors to help anyone who wants to become to better version of themselves. Uncaged Solutions helps clients with a wide range of challenges and projects.
What are some common problems facing small businesses and how can you help them solve these problems?
The common problems or areas of improvement that are facing businesses, small and large, are self-awareness, communication, trust, accountability and valuing others. Uncaged Solutions can offer coaching, training and facilitation to organizations to help them achieve breakthrough results.
What would you say to a business owner who is waffling about hiring a leadership coach?
There are so many out there so it is up to you to meet with them to see if what they offer truly brings value to the organization and the people in it. If a leader wants more for themselves and their people, investing in a leadership coach can be worth it. Coaching has value, but it is vital for the client to be open to self-awareness and engaged for it to be effective and impactful.
Uncaged Solutions recently offered an eight-week virtual Leadership Gold mastermind study. Can you explain what that is and tell us if there are any similar programs on the horizon?
A mastermind study is when like-minded people who are interested in self-development come together and help each other learn and grow through the sharing of experiences and perspectives. It is facilitated by a coach. Leadership Gold, written by John C. Maxwell, served as the basis of the mastermind study. As the facilitator, I chose and focused on certain lessons in the book (eight weeks is not enough time to go through the entire book) and created a safe environment for participants to share and encourage others to grow. The next virtual mastermind will be based on his latest book, Leadershift starting Sept. 9 and will last for six weeks. The cost will be $119 per person. I do facilitate mastermind groups for organizations in-person as well.
You’re a John Maxwell certified coach, trainer and speaker. Can you explain the significance of the label? What sorts of topics are you available to speak about?
John C. Maxwell is an American author, speaker, and pastor who has written many books, primarily focusing on leadership. Titles include The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader. His books have sold millions of copies, with some on the New York Times Best Seller List. In 2011, the John Maxwell Team (of which I am a part) was created so men and women (and now children) can be certified to coach, train and speak utilizing the Maxwell Method. I joined the John Maxwell Team in February 2018 because its core values aligned with those of Uncaged Solutions. Having the John Maxwell brand creates respectable credibility and allows me to continue his legacy when sharing some of his materials in our facilitations. The primary topics I am available to speak about include leadership, self-growth, and focus. I am also a certified MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) Practitioner as well as being certified in DISC.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
Serving others by adding value to them.
Contact info: Cynthia Coy-Blackwell www.uncagedsolutionsllc.com
How long has Physicals Plus been in business and please explain the “Plus” in the business name?
Physicals Plus has been in business since October 2014, almost five years. “Plus” refers to other services provided besides physicals, such as drug and alcohol testing, TB skin tests, respiratory mask fit testing, spirometry and gives the business flexibility to add other services.
Your website features a photo of a commercial truck. Why did you make that choice?
The main idea was to market to the trucking industry and develop a business with a specific focus.
What differentiates you from similar operations?
As a small business and solo practitioner, I have the flexibility to schedule outside of regular business hours if a client needs it. Also, I can spend much more time during the physical exam versus a busy urgent care or typical medical office. wait times are almost non-existent because the patient load is manageable by one practitioner. Also, when scheduling, I allow plenty of time between patients.
Does the majority of your business come from individuals or do you contract with other businesses to screen their employees?
The majority of business initially was through contracted businesses but as word of mouth spread, the amount of individual business has increased to where it is today with a fairly equal split between the two. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration put into regulation May 2015 that only Certified Medical Examiners can perform the DOT physicals. To become a CME you must take an accredited course and test before you can apply to be on the National Registry of CME.
Why would an individual come to you for a physical or other service rather than going to a doctor’s office?
Many physicians’ offices focus on physicals covered by insurance such as annuals with labs. Students will come in for their sport or camp physicals because of similar issues with insurance or they have waited until the last minute to get their physicals and the pediatrician is booked for several weeks.
What insurance do you accept?
Physicals Plus does not participate with any insurance carriers primarily because these types of physicals are not covered by insurance. Employers will often pay for employees’ drug tests and physicals as a condition of employment. Sport and camp physicals are also not typically covered by insurance.
You have a background as a family nurse practitioner. Where did you work before and why did you make the decision to start Physicals Plus?
My background is in Family Practice but I started out in Pulmonary Critical Care for many years, then transitioned to primary/family practice. I started my own business because I wanted to practice on my own terms, spend as much time with patients as I wanted or they needed with no one pushing me to see more patients. I wanted to work the hours I wanted and take vacation when it was convenient for me and my family. So, I wanted to be my own boss.
Is Physicals Plus a one-woman operation? If so, how do you manage the workload? If not, who else do you employ?
Physicals Plus is a one-woman operation which I can manage well on my own. When I do special testing for large groups, I contract nurse practitioners or medical assistants to help out. My son and husband have also helped with both the clinical and business sides of the practice. They are trained in respiratory fit testing and drug testing.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of the job is being able to sit and talk with my driver/patients and go into greater depth about their health/diet/exercise and anything else they want to talk about.
Do you need an appointment? What are your hours? And what areas do you serve?
Regular hours of operation are Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Anything else about the business that our members might want to know?
Physicals Plus is still growing and we truly appreciate referrals from the community.
Contact info: Zita Buky firstname.lastname@example.org 703-220-6006 http://www.physicalsplus.com/
How did you get involved with the Harbour Grille?
My business partner Todd Crompton and I along with my wife Lisa have run a successful restaurant in Old Town Fredericksburg called Brock's Riverside Grill for twenty years. We were looking for a place where we could use the same recipe: Private events, outdoor seating, fresh food and live entertainment on the water. The Harbour Grille even has a railroad bridge in sight, the same as Brock’s.
When did you take over running The Harbour Grille? And does the location have any special meaning for you?
The current ownership has been involved since October 2018. I actually worked my first restaurant job at a restaurant in the same location called The Harbour Inn when I was 19. I worked security and then I was the kitchen expeditor, which means I was in charge of seeing that the right food got to the right table.
Didn’t you meet your wife Lisa at a restaurant?
I met Lisa in 1990 when we were both bartenders at Gecko’s, which was in the same building that now houses the Harbour Grille. We worked together as bartenders until 1999 when Brock’s opened and then got married in 2000. We’re still working together.
What changes have been made to the Harbour Grille since you took over?
We are and will constantly make improvements in all aspects of the restaurant, including physically (new booths in dining room, large gathering tables in the bar and deck areas). We’ll improve our menus and daily specials, staff policies , private events and holiday events as well.
Do you have any unique menu items that you’re famous for?
Our Old Town Salad, Crab Cakes, Bacon-wrapped scallops, Seafood Carbonara and New York Strip are our TOP sellers!
Any upcoming events? Brunches? Happy Hours?
We have live music every Friday (acoustics starting at 8 p.m.), Saturday (starting at 9 p.m.) and Sunday afternoon (starting at 4 p.m.). Sunday brunch is very popular on the waterfront with our Sunday Deck Party.. Happy Hour is 4-7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Happy Hour goes till p.m. on Thursdays.
Can the Harbour Grille accommodate private events?
We have spaces that can hold 20-120 people for office parties, rehearsal dinners, retirement parties, birthday parties and other private events. Our Port Room is equipped with audio and visual for presentations and is a great space for groups of up to 50. Our Starboard Room is our main dining room and can seat up to 120 guests. Both rooms have beautiful views of the Occoquan Harbour Marina.
Anything else about the restaurant that our members might like to know?
Nobody has been successful in this location since the Harbour Inn. I always wanted to make it a great restaurant again, and we are bringing a similar style to this location that we have at Brock’s Riverside Grille. High-quality fresh food at reasonable prices with great service in a great atmosphere with entertainment on the waterfront!
Contact info Leo LaPointe email@example.com 703-548-0088 www.theharbourgrille.com
What inspired you to form Leadership Fairfax?
Community leadership development programs were formed all over the country in the 80s in response to a new understanding that leaders could in fact be developed (as opposed to being born) and that in order to have a strong and sustainable community it takes leaders from the public, nonprofit and private sectors working together.
How long has your company been serving the community?
Can you highlight a few leadership projects that have improved a community?
I would first like to note that we run three experiential programs: Leadership Fairfax Institute (LFI) for senior leaders who want to continue to grow and augment their leadership journey by learning about the issues in the community; Emerging Leaders Institute (ELI) for people who are just starting to manage people and projects and is more skill focused but participants execute a project submitted by a nonprofit to learn about giving back; and Lifetime Leaders Program (LLP) is for people who are retiring and want to learn about options for their next chapter ie. volunteering, joining a board, part-time work or starting a social enterprise.
Any upcoming events you'd like to highlight?
We are in the middle of the recruiting season for our programs that begin in September and run one full day a month through June. We have two upcoming information sessions where people can learn more about them to determine if they are a good fit. We host information sessions and webinars for folks to learn more about us. Information can be found on our website but upcoming sessions are scheduled for: Monday, 5/6/19 12:00-1:00 Informational Webinar; and Tuesday, 5/7/19, 5:30-7:00 Live Information Session, Leadership Fairfax Office 8230 Old Courthouse Rd., Vienna, VA 22182.
Is there a way for our members to become involved?
Chamber members can enroll in one of our programs, attend our signature events or simply engage in the community to make it the best it can possibly be for all Fairfax County residents. If they are doing this work they are sure to run into many of our 2000 alums.
How do the elected officials support your mission?
We are so grateful that our elected officials partner with us on a regular basis. They know that our alums “get it” and are trained community leaders with a broad perspective. To that end they look to us to fill critical seats on Boards, Authorities, Commissions and Task Forces. Each spring we host a Board of Supervisors Breakfast that is both informative and fun. We call it a “peak under the tent into the daily lives of the supervisors” and attendees really do get to know them at a deeper level.
Contact info: Karen@leadershipfairfax.org 703.752.7555 www.leadershipfairfax.org
1) How long has Silverbrook Nursery been in the community and what year business since opening in 1999–and now celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. When in season, Jerry Haley, together with his brother Brian, daughter Cindy, and nephew Buzz staff approximately 35 employees, the majority of whom have been with the nursery for many years and considered “like members of our extended family,” according to Jerry.
The family bought the 8.5 acre property in 1999 and take great pride in the appearance of the nursery. “It is more like a park and sanctuary with many animals and birds plus three ponds,“ Jerry offers. Fellow dog lovers are encouraged to stop by to meet the family’s new nursery dog “Pippa,” a black mixed lab rescue dog about eight months old. She has a wonderful temperament and will smother you with love!
2) Do you have specialty services/products? When we do an estimate, always free, we take into account the topography of the property, amount of sun or shade plus sprinklers or dog traffic. We also consider how much maintenance are you willing to do yourself. Does the customer have a favorite color or fragrance plus what is appropriate for the area? How hardy is the plant being considered or is a new cultivar more appropriate? We hand pick the material at Silverbrook and prune as necessary before installation. We dig the right depth for every plant and add the correct soil amendments and mulch. We also water as needed. We don’t want the material just to survive, we want it to thrive and provide years of enjoyment plus value to the property whether residential or commercial.
Additionally, we do outstanding patio and walls designed by craftsman who have over a minimum of ten years experience. Our goal is to exceed your expectations. We also help with drainage issues to move water away from your home and prevent damage. Landscaping, done correctly, is to compliment your property, not camouflage it. We truly believe ‘less is more.’ We see the vision of our landscaping and how it will grow in 10-20 years.
3) How can residents prepare in the Spring for great lawn care/gardens/landscaping? Here are some tips:
Stop in and ask us any questions regarding your lawn or plants. We have a full in-house library to address any questions. If we are not sure of an answer, we will research the issue and personally get back to you.
4) Do you have a personal story about the community that you would like to share?
What I refer to as “psych income” is the real joy at completion of a job where we far exceed the clients’ expectations. It’s a matter of trust that we know what we are doing. With our years of experience, we can provide a vision for a property that a client can’t see. We once did a job in Clifton on a home just outside a cul-de-sac . Five other owners saw the huge improvement in the landscaping and approached us to create designs for their yards! No sales talk, just ideas that were appropriate.
Another time, a lady who lived nearby Silverbrook came in and explained that her daughter had purchased a home in McLean that was in need of work. She wanted Silverbrook to remake the front yard and walkway to the home as a house warming gift to her daughter. She engaged us, and the daughter did not know we were coming. She came out of the home three or four times during the day to observe but never said a word. When we finished, she came out and viewed the dramatic change and started to cry with big tears streaming down her face! What a testimonial!! Our guys really felt appreciated! 😊
5) Do you have any upcoming events? We will be celebrating our 20-year anniversary with a Spring Fling event on Saturday, May 4th from 11-4pm. Admission is free. For our event, we are offering a 20% discount off one item (tree, shrub or flower)! We will also offer a bargain meal - a hot dog, bag of chips and a drink for a dollar. We also have a large playground with swings and slides available for children, and will be sure to have some surprise gifts to present throughout the event.
When was Walking the Dogs started?
In March of 2007 - we have been serving the local area for 12 years! It’s hard to believe it has been so long. When I first started the company I figured if anyone loved their dog half as much as I loved my dog, they would pay me to walk their dog. I started putting out fliers and the business grew. I asked a couple of friends I had volunteered with and trusted, to join me on this new adventure. Many of our new employees were also military spouses, like me.
What type of animals do you care for?
I was surprised at the number of people who needed care for their cats, and other small animals so we added small animal care.
I have had cats most of my life, and am pretty crazy about them, so it was a natural fit to expand to small animals as well. We have had a few pets who have needed in depth care and we are able to provide things like insulin shots, sub Q fluids, and inhalers, etc for our clients based on our team’s experience with those types of issues. Having kids, I have also owned several types of small animals (hamsters, rabbits, etc) and tanks of fish, so we expanded from there. Our team is comprised of ladies with extensive knowledge about birds and reptiles as well.
We have served all of the following over the years: guinea pigs, rabbits, reptiles, fish (salt water, fresh water, koi ponds), sugar gliders, birds, ferrets, hamsters, turtles, and chickens.
We also do house checks, mail pick up, and plant watering inside or out when clients don't have pets, or take their dogs with them but still want someone to provide that lived-in look for their homes.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
Wow, that is a tough one! Probably getting to meet all of the pets. I get to see so many of them since I do the majority of our new client meetings. I also enjoy getting to meet all of the nice people who love their pets and want the best for them. Some of our clients have become personal friends to me and/or our team. We have met some really interesting breeds of dogs and cats, and some pretty fabulous rescue pets as well. I was surprised early on how attached you get to other people's pets. They really become a part of our family when we see them on a regular basis. Did I mention puppies and kittens... Ya, there would be that too! :-)
How does a client contact you?
Most of our new clients start with either a phone call or an email. It is probably 50/50. Once in a while someone will reach out to us through our social media, texting or through another existing client.
Sounds like a great job – are you hiring?
We are always looking for great people to join our team who love pets and want to spend their days outside getting exercise with dogs or inside snuggling with some kitties, bunnies, etc! We hire a lot of military spouses (active duty and retired); we find they are a great fit for our company. We also have several team members who are currently teachers that work with us. They do pet sitting for dogs or other small animals in the evenings or on the weekends. My husband is retired military, and we spent many years moving around. I know firsthand how hard it is to find a flexible job that is part time.
Lastly, what areas do you serve?
We serve the following areas: Springfield, Burke, Fairfax Station, Lorton, Fairfax, and a small bit of Annandale. We try to maintain that personalized feel to our company. We want each client to feel they are getting specialized treatment from our dedicated team for their special pets and the security of knowing their home, as well as their pets, are in good hands with us.