By RCA President Colin Mills
Remember a few weeks ago, when I mentioned that RCA planned to
fill open seats
on the Board?  I am
happy to report that we received applications from some highly qualified and
impressive candidates.  At Monday’s Board
meeting, we reviewed the applications we received, and interviewed the
candidates that applied.
I came away with the same feeling I have when I’m reviewing
nominations for Citizen
of the Year
: I’m really proud of the dedicated and hard-working citizens we
have in Reston.  I wish we had enough
open slots to seat everyone who applied; each candidate has a lot to offer
Reston and RCA.  But we had only three
seats available, and as with Citizen of the Year, we had to make a difficult
But we did make a decision, and we welcomed three new
members – Nick Georgas, Yavuz Inanli, and Annmarie Swope – to the Board.  I’d like to introduce them here, so you can
get to know the people who will be working on your behalf at RCA.
Nick Georgas first learned about Reston when he studied it
in college.  He was fascinated by what he
learned, and he wanted to be part of it himself.  When he found the opportunity to live here,
he gladly took it.  I’ve heard some
version of this story from many folks who decided to live in Reston.  When you combine that with the number of
Reston natives (like me) who choose to stay, it’s a testament to the strength
of Bob Simon’s vision and what a fascinating and well-planned community we have
built together.
Nick is a landscape architect and planner, and he has
observed the Fairfax County planning and development process up close.  He followed the discussion over the revised
Comprehensive Plan with interest.  Like
us at RCA, he thought that several parts of the plan could be better from a
citizen perspective, most notably the open space that will be provided in the
station areas. 
RCA has been very involved in land use and planning
discussions over the last several years, and Nick allows us to strengthen a
strength.  We have brilliant analysts
like Terry Maynard and Dick Rogers, and plenty of experience on the citizen’s
side of the planning process.  What we ‘ve
lacked is engineering expertise and an insider’s view of the process, and Nick helps
us out in both areas.  I’m really excited
to have Nick on board.
Yavuz Inanli has believed in community service throughout
his life.  He grew up in Cincinnati,
where in addition to being a student leader in his high school, he participated
in a community coalition that developed award-winning anti-drug workshops.  His commitment to service continued in
college at Fairleigh Dickinson, where he led an effort to reignite interest and
participation in student government.
Yavuz has only lived in Reston for a little over two years,
but he’s already developed an attachment to the community and a desire to get
involved.  He has particular interest in
transportation, especially public transit. 
A daily transit user himself, Yavuz has been following the discussions
of Bikeshare and Silver Line-related bus service changes with great
interest.  He hopes to help Reston remain
a place for people of all incomes, offer a multi-modal transit network, and
provide a place for young professionals to start their lives and for families
to raise their kids.
One reason Yavuz wants Reston to remain a magnet for young
professionals is that he is one.  While reviewing
the applications, I appreciated how many young people, including both Nick and
Yavuz, decided to apply.  I’ve talked a
lot about the importance of
getting young people involved in Reston’s civic activities
, and I couldn’t
be prouder to see those efforts paying off.
It’s become cliché to say that young people are too busy to
get involved in civic activities, or that the young are more interested in
saving the world than getting involved in their own backyard.  But people like Yavuz and Nick show that’s
not true.  Plenty of young people are just
as dedicated and civic-minded as the pioneer generation of Restonians who built
this community.  I’m delighted that these
two impressive young men decided to get involved with RCA.
Annmarie Swope has lived in Reston for 12 years, and she’s
already very active in the community. 
She is deeply involved with the PTA at Aldrin Elementary, where she has
served as co-chair of the Health and Wellness Committee and the After School
Program Committee, and where she founded the Business Partnership
Committee.  She is also a Reston Little
League coach.
Annmarie first became interested in RCA during the
discussions over the RCC rec center proposal last spring.  We’ve been wanting to get her involved with
RCA for months, but with all her other activities, she’s had to consider her
priorities carefully.  I’m happy to say
that she has decided to step up and get involved in RCA!
Annmarie is a longtime marketing and communications
professional, and I look forward to her helping RCA communicate more
effectively with the community.  She is
also very interested in Reston’s future development, and she wants Reston’s
citizens to have a strong voice in implementing smart long-term change in the
community.  She is passionate about
education, and is currently involved in the discussion over Fairfax County
school funding.  Her energy and expertise
in this area should be a boon to our Education Task Force.
RCA and Reston are blessed to have these three smart,
hard-working, and forward-thinking people putting their talents to work for the
community.  Annmarie, Yavuz, and Nick
bring a variety of skills, interests, and life experiences to the RCA
Board.  I’m very excited to work with them
to help RCA become an even stronger voice for our citizens and our community.

Miss your chance to submit an application?  Don’t worry: RCA’s next election is coming up
in a few short months.  And our
committees are always looking for a hand. 
Drop me a line if you’d like to get involved.