(copy) DRBA Meeting and Annual Election

  • December 23, 2015
  • 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
  • Mt. Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Avenue


Registration is closed
  • Annual Election (see slate of candidates below)
  • Acting City Manager Mark Jinks will discuss the current city budget, as well as where he sees Alexandria in ten years and in fifteen years.
Networking: 11:30am -12pm
Luncheon: 12pm - 1pm (Catered by Caboose Cafe)

$15 for members
$20 for non-members

Location:  Mt. Vernon Recreation Center
               2701 Commonwealth Avenue

*Members are reminded to bring twenty (20) coupons for the Giveaway Bags.

DRBA Members Seeking Board Positions

The following eight people are seeking the six open seats on the Del Ray Business Association’s Board. When elected, they will serve a two-year term – the top six vote getters will be named to the Board. The election will be held at the next DRBA Membership Meeting, Tuesday, January 20, at noon at the Mt. Vernon Recreation Center.

Vice Chair Bill Blackburn is seeking the office of President of DRBA – there is no opposition at this time. 

The six winners will be joining six current board members: Bill Blackburn, Pam Fitzgerald, Sue Kovalsky, Pat Miller, Gayle Reuter, and Stacey Swartz.

Serdar Basegmez grew up in Istanbul, Turkey, one of the most diverse and exotic cities in the world. He came to the United States after college where he studied hotel management. Over the years he has owned and operated multiple small businesses -- restaurants, coffee shops, caterers, convenience stores, bakeries, dry cleaners, etc. He has owned Greener Cleaner of Del Ray since 2009 and Red Poppy Catering since 2005 and is getting ready to open a second Greener Cleaner in Arlington. Serdar is a licensed Food Safety and Sanitation Instructor. He is a member of Old Town Eagle Club and the Capitol Lions Club. His hobbies are yoga, golf, skiing, movies, and reading. Serdar is seeking re-election to the DRBA Board and if re-elected would work to get pedestrian warning lights on the Avenue and raise money for DRBA events and charities in our community.

Leslie Duss has lived in Del Ray since 2009 and has participated in many community events throughout the years. She especially enjoys attending DRBA-sponsored events with her husband and two young children, and occasionally with their dog. In 2011, she started the DIY/Lifestyle blog, DIY Del Ray, with friend Katie Briscoe. The blog has become a popular Del Ray website, where she and Katie frequently write about independently-run businesses on and "off-the-Ave," and about local happenings. Leslie loves living in Del Ray and would appreciate helping to boost the thriving community spirit among our businesses and the people who support them, whether they live in Del Ray or come to visit from other neighborhoods and towns. If elected to the board, Leslie would like to help improve the website, help with the social media presence and communication, and help with knowledge-sharing and collaboration among members.

John R. Gagain Jr. specializes in developing meaningful and productive relationships across the corporate, nonprofit, and political landscapes. John co-founded Infinity Media -- a digital media-marketing firm that works with partners and clients looking to grow their businesses through new technologies and marketing techniques. He is currently working with new high-tech start-ups and young entrepreneurs seeking new business opportunities. John is new to Del Ray. If elected to the board, John hopes to help colleagues and DRBA Board Members work to make the association one of the most effective organizations on this side of the Potomac.

Hilary Riedemann is the president of HR+PR, where she specializes in creating integrated communications campaigns. She’s a seasoned communication specialist with more than a decade of experience in social media, public relations and corporate communications. Her talents lie in her ability to meld online and offline campaigns into effective and successful integrated communication programs. Somewhere between getting married, working full time, and raising two kids, she managed to grab a master's degree from Georgetown, and continues to indulge her hobby of traveling. She has lived in Del Ray for the past eight years, and is actively involved with the DRBA, Del Ray United Methodist Church, Her Corner, and chairs the marketing committee of Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia. If elected to the board, Hilary would love to help increase the DRBA's presence on social media, and get more involved in helping Del Ray be the best neighborhood in the area. With her background in communications, she believes she can be an asset in promoting our neighborhood both online and offline.

Darby Rush is a Virginia native, animal-lover and an advocate for women and small businesses. She is mother of two children, born and raised in Alexandria, and both now in college. Originally from Virginia Beach, Darby relocated to Alexandria in 1989. As co-owner of Kiskadee, located on Mount Vernon Avenue for the past 7 years, with Cornelia Hall, she embraces the Del Ray neighborhood as her home away from home. If elected to the board, Darby would like to use Kiskadee's collaborative partnership with stores in Old Town for Alexandria Stylebook to promote Del Ray. A true "buy local" believer, she would love to be a part of the board to continue the great work of the DRBA in making Del Ray the place to be!

Meghan Stewart, originally from Detroit, MI, relocated to Del Ray in 2010. She founded Shot In The Dark Photography in 2012. Her photos have been published in Food and Wine, Northern Virginia Magazine, and Travel + Leisure. Her love for photography developed from shooting in the metro-Detroit area and through documenting her travels, including a year spent living in a Ghanaian village. Meghan also enjoys hiking, cooking and craft beer. Her desire is to meet new people and to learn from them through similarities and differences. Meghan has been involved with the DRBA through many events -- Halloween Parade, Art on the Avenue and First Thursdays. If elected to the board, Meghan would offer her photography services at least once every quarter for use on the DRBA website and social media with photo credits. She would also love to offer her constructive ideas and time, as well as get to know better the other business owners in the community and to collaborate with them.

Brian Story has lived his entire life in Northern Virginia. His father is a retired Alexandria City police officer, his mother a retired city employee, and both his brother and sister-in-law currently work as city police officers. The experiences has given Brian the opportunity to see the city grow and change, and according to Brian, Del Ray signifies this change. The community and inclusive emphasis that the DRBA creates has allowed this area to be one of the city centers. It is his goal to continue this trend as a member of the board. During the last year, Brian volunteered during many DRBA events, aided in the planning of the Halloween Parade and chaired August’s First Thursday. Outside of the association, he continues to lead a small networking group in Alexandria. If elected, it would be Brian’s goal to bring his experience as a networker to the board and find ways outside the monthly lunches to connect and meet with each other and the community.

Rebecca Underly is a culinary powerhouse. A resident of Del Ray since 1995, Rebecca owns and operates both the Del Ray Cakery established in 2010, a special order custom dessert company, and Culinary Endeavors, a recipe development and food writing operation. She has developed scores of original recipes for clients like Wal-Mart, Shop Rite, Kroger, and cookbook authors and magazine publications. In 2011, she co-founded the Del Ray Montessori School, which offers primary, elementary and parent-child programs to families. Rebecca graduated from Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana, and taught second grade in Alexandria schools for five years. She graduated from L'academie de Cuisine's professional Culinary Arts and Pastry Arts programs. She served as pastry chef at the Blair House, the President's guest house, where she was honored to cook for Nancy Reagan and a host of other dignitaries. If elected to the board, Rebecca would look forward to growing her businesses and promoting the many other Del Ray businesses she patronizes and loves.

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