Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mike Devine Wins Tourism Award

Visit Loudoun the tourism and marking organization for Loudoun County, presented Mike Devine with an award for the great work he has done at Aldie Mill to promote tourism. Mike is the miller at Aldie Mill and offers weekend milling demonstrations and tours from April - October.

Mike's wealth of knowledge about milling, and local history inform and entertain everyone that visits this great 200 year old grist mill along Rt.50 between Gilbert's Corner and Middleburg. Everyone at NVRPA is proud of the great work that Mike does!

Also receiving an award was the Aldie Heritage Association for the work they have done to host Aldie Harvest Festival. This same group is an important partner with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority with our programs and activities at both Mt. Zion Historic Park and Aldie Mill Historic Park.

Algonkian Regional Park was also nominated for the North Face endurance run that they host each year on the trails along the Potomac.

Tourism is one of the great value that great regional parks offer a community. Facilities and events that attract visitor from outside the area results in big tax dollars to help fund local priorities. We are proud to be part of the collection of attractions that make our area a great tourism destination.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

2011 Employee Achievment Awards

Today we had our annual All Staff Business Meeting for the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.
In addition to presentations on every aspect of our operations, the high point of this meeting is recognizing some of the great accomplishments from our staff through the Employee Achievement Awards. Every year staff are asked to think about who should be nominated for an award and submit those nominations. Then we create a cross-functional committee with different employees each year to serve as the committee to review all the nominations and make the selection of the achievements that deserve special recognition. This year we had a great group of award winners.

Below are the 2011 NVRPA Employee Achievement Awardees:

Amporn Ringenbach – Algonkian

Above and Beyond

From going the extra mile in providing home cooked meals for large groups cleaning the pool, to providing planters and flowers at her own expense to make the park beautiful.

Jake Bumbrey – HQ

Customer Service

Jake has shown the highest professionalism in serving the customers in all our parks. His attention to detail and consistent follow-through have helped countless projects reach a good outcome. All those who work with Jake say he has earned their appreciation for being such a solid team player.

John Houser – Occoquan

Community Partnership

From the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial to the Occoquan River Communities, to OWL and much more, John dedicates his time and great partnership skills to building NVRPA’s connections with external groups, in a way that is unprecedented in the history of the agency.

Robert Clark – Catering

Customer Service

Taking responsibility for the Catering Department’s picnic service has not only expanded revenue for the agency, but has provided seamless service to customers using many different parks. In addition to outside customers, park staff have benefited from the complete and self sufficient service that Bobby has provided.

Laurie Short – Meadowlark

Team Player

Through a period of great staffing changes and new initiatives at Meadowlark Gardens, Laurie has led the horticultural staff with calm and confidence that has been a unifying force.

Everett Shepherd – Occoquan

Above and Beyond

With enthusiasm and love for the park, Jack has set the standard of dedication, helping with park events on his own time, and taking on every task, large and small, with a positive attitude, while he looks for the next opportunity to make the park better.

John Woods – Pohick


Spending five days in the park to clear downed trees that posed a hazard to park patrons and staff is one of many ways Matt continues to put safety first in everything he does. When training other staff in safety sensitive jobs like propane tank operation and use of chain saws, Matt is always methodical in making sure the safety procedures are followed exactly.

Mike Devine – Aldie Mill


Team Player

Continually doing research about issues related to Aldie Mill, Mike educates and delights the public every weekend during the season with mill tours and demonstrations. He kept the mill and programming to the highest standards during a transition in management. During the construction of replacement milling wheels, Mike met with contractors and oversaw much of the installation of the new wheels.

Chris Stoudt – Temple Hall


A favorite of the public for his great farm tours, and a favorite of his co-workers for cheerfully taking on dirty jobs and being there to work even unpopular shifts. Chris brought new energy and enthusiasm to the Corn MAiZE this year, including his lead on the pig races.

Kate Rudacille – HQ


When the W&OD Trail was at risk of having a two mile section closed for a year, Kate took the lead in finding and negotiating a detour trail that kept all 45 miles open. This herculean effort included in depth work with county staff, VDOT, Dominion Power, a home owners’ association, as well as negotiations with public and private land owners. What seemed at times impossible, Kate was able to accomplish.

Axel Boy – Fountainhead



As a seasonal ranger, Axel has taken personal initiative to do significant historical research into both the Davis-Lewis Family who owned the area of Fountainhead Park as well as the history of this area during the Civil War. Axel then has used this research to lead interpretive hikes for the public. In addition to the historical interpretation, Axel has led night fishing tournaments, kids fishing derbies, paddle tours and many other programs that have raised the profile of Fountainhead Regional Park.

Dan Iglhaut – HQ


Cost Savings

From the widening of the Capital Beltway, Dulles Toll Road, Battlefield Parkway, Claiborne Parkway and Pacific & Atlantic Boulevards to cell transmitters on the W&OD, Dan is a one man show in representing NVRPA’s interest in these projects. Where most comparable agencies would have three or four staff to handle this complicated workload, Dan has the skills and dedication to handle an incredible array of projects, with great professionalism.

Award for the greatest % increse in net revenue went to Cameron Run Regional Park.

Award for the greatest % decrease in carbon footprint went to the Carlyle House Historic Park.

Rewarding success in both applying good business tools to improve the bottom line, as well as rewarding conservation of energy is part of what makes NVRPA such a model organization. We are both one of the most efficient park agencies in the nation, generating 82% of our own operating revenues, and at the same time one of the leaders in environmental protection among park agencies.