The National Conference Center Blog
As part of a proud Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce tradition, the 2013 Valor Awards were held on Friday, April 5th at NCC, to honor local heroes for their selfless acts of heroism and commitment to protecting our community. The Chamber’s President & CEO Tony Howard gave opening remarks followed by the presentation of colors by Loudoun County Sheriff’s Honor Guard. “God Bless America” was sung by Sergeant Chris Sayer and the invocation was delivered by Deputy Specialist Steve Logan, both from the Loudoun County Sheriff’s office. Emceed by ABC 7 and WJLA-TV’s Scott Thuman and Leon Harris, the duo presented more than 60 awards to the men and women in uniform for their courageous efforts in 10 heart-rending incidents. Thuman and Harris recapped the events of each, including the story of four deputies that saved a driver from an overturned, burning truck; a group of firefighters who saved a 37-year-old male who underwent cardiac arrest; to the 23 members of Fire & Rescue that responded to a river rescue, saving the life of a driver in the midst of Hurricane Sandy’s havoc.
We’d like to give a warm thanks to the Chamber for an incredible tradition and extend our gratitude to the 2013 Valor Award honorees for risking their lives every day to keep our community safe.
We’re very excited to have a talented new team of Sales Account Executives! In addition to learning about their impressive backgrounds, we decided to have a little fun and asked them to reveal five interesting facts about themselves.
Aron graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelors of Science in Tourism Development and Management with a minor in communications. He has worked for several hospitality properties including the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, Arizona, Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa and the Barton Creek Resort and Spa in Austin, Texas.
- I played Water Polo in high school.
- I’ve been to 5 of the 7 Continents (North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia).
- Asian food is my favorite cuisine.
- I am a chocolate fiend!
- I was born and raised in the Los Angeles area.
Kinsey recently graduated from Seton Hall University with a Master of Business Administration. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in Media Communications and a minor in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg. Her previous work experience includes working for Philips Respironics as a Marketing intern and Customer Relations Representative, Pepsi Beverages Company as a Pre-Sell Representative, Event Coordinating Assistant at Twiggs European Flower Market and most recently, a Promotional Specialist for TEAM Enterprises and an Event Attendant/Bartender for Irwin Country Club.
- My favorite food is peanut butter and jelly.
- I hate everything about makeup but collect mascaras.
- I turned down two field hockey scholarships to pursue my childhood dream of becoming a meteorologist.
- The first concert I went to was N*Sync and I cried.
- I color-coordinate my closet. (ROYGBV)
A long time NCC veteran, Cristian Guzman has been with the property for 10 years, working in various departments including front desk, our business center, supporting five sales managers as an Administrative Assistant and recently being promoted to Sales Account Executive. As the liaison for a select group of clients, he plays an integral role in supporting our government team.
- My favorite team is the Washington Redskins.
- I’m very impatient.
- I have met Michael Jordan before.
- As a kid my favorite performer was Michael Jackson.
- I LOVE POPEYES!
Recently, the Loudoun County Public Schools purchased some of The National Conference Center (NCC) property for the purpose of building a new high school. As a result, we are pleased to announce that construction on a new 500 space parking garage has begun. Located directly across from our Front Desk entrance, the garage is scheduled to be completed by December 2013. Once completed, the existing parking lots (A & B) will be turned over to the school system for construction of athletic facilities. Completion of the high school is slated for fall 2015. In order to accommodate the new high school, the entrance road leading into NCC will change with a new two lane road being constructed along part of the existing loop road and tying into the new garage. During this time, we will be coordinating with the county and our construction partners to ensure that any impact to you, our guest, is minimized.
We will continue to keep you informed as we move through the construction period. Our staff will be working diligently to ensure that your stay is productive and safe. We thank you for your cooperation and look forward to sharing these exciting changes with you.
Last Wednesday, March 13th, NCC employees gathered to celebrate ARAMARK’s first annual Employee Appreciation Day (EAD). EAD is the kick-off event for ARAMARK’s new Global Recognition Program, Encore! Encore!, which represents “a hearty round of applause for everyone who supports our clients and consumers where they live, work and play”. As a photo slideshow was displayed of the various departments, employees enjoyed an assortment of pastries, ice cream and hot apple cider. Kurt Krause, general manager of NCC, welcomed and thanked employees for all their hard work, and then introduced a video from Eric Foss, ARAMARK’s newly appointed CEO and Lynn McKee, executive vice president. Speakers also included Ken Sullivan, director of facilities, Rich Valero, director of rooms & operations, Julie Smith, director of finance and Joseph Lane, director of food & beverage. Employees then received an appreciation gift, a lucite collectable that included a first year coin and slots of commemorative coins in subsequent years, accompanied by a letter of thanks from Eric Foss.
Thank you to all who took part in making this a special event for our employees and a big thanks to Dawn Dinius for capturing such great photos!
Whether it’s your first day on the job or you’re at a networking event with a new group of people or even at an all hands meeting for the first time, you’ll likely be given two minutes to introduce yourself. For some professionals, you may have already perfected your elevator speech (or maybe you’re secretly wishing you could mix it up) and to others, those two minutes feel like two hours. In school, teachers often came up with icebreakers as a way for students to make introductions and mingle. As someone that’s managed employee orientations, I’ve found myself observing a room with blank stares, listening to 20 elevator speeches and thinking to myself “How can I make this more enjoyable for everyone next time?”
In this role, I recall a time where I was invited to the West Coast office and had to attend an orientation. On top of the agenda were “Introductions” and I thought to myself “Piece of cake. Same thing as always.” The facilitator, a top executive, introduced himself, gave a brief overview of his position and then started talking about his pets. His pets! I love pets. I too, have a pet! Then, he started talking about his family, the kind of music he liked and his love for baseball. Again, having facilitated the orientations on the East Coast office, you could imagine my surprise at his casual approach to this meeting. Something so minimal completely changed the dynamic of the room. Not only did it create such a lively, engaging atmosphere as we went around the room but I discovered that I had so much in common with my colleagues and was able to connect with them on a personal level.
With the integration of web and popular culture, brands are beginning to adopt the mentality of showing more personality more and more. This creates a gateway between brands and their customers to engage and also gives companies a chance to reinforce that although business is a priority, they are human and are relatable. Likewise, when meeting facilitators can find creative, non-traditional ways to break the ice while still weaving in the company culture, it allows for a more interactive session. Attendees not only leave with valuable takeaways but leave energized, having thoroughly enjoyed themselves and looking forward to the next meeting.
In what ways are you making your meetings memorable? Leave us a comment below!
Last Friday evening at NCC was every epicureans dream. Hundreds of guests gathered for the biggest and most delicious celebration of the year, YMCA Loudoun County Chocolates Galore & More! Since its inception 26 years ago, the event has helped to garner funds that enable YMCA to serve the needs of local families and children throughout Loudoun County. Guests were in for a real treat, as they enjoyed live music from Katz Band, dancing, free-flowing champagne, a silent & live auction and a chance to sample desserts and gourmet foods in the Hors D ‘Oeuvres Competition featuring the finest restaurants and caterers in the area. Judges included culinary enthusiasts, Kimberly Van (Yelp NoVA), John Andrews (YMCA Board Member), Danielle Turner (chef & food writer/stylist) and Rebekah Pizana (pastry chef & food writer). NCC was ecstatic to win Best Presentation for Hors D’Oeuvre in both the Critics’ Choice and People’s Choice categories for Executive Chef Mason and team’s delectable concoction: smoking maple Bourbon cola topped with salted caramel and chocolate applewood smoked bacon.
Congrats to our team here at NCC and to all the winners of this year’s Chocolates Galore & More!
Best Taste Dessert – Bungalow Lake House
Best Presentation Dessert – Market Salamander
Best Taste Hors D’Oeurvre – Hooked
Best Presentation Hors D’Oeurvre – National Conference Center
Best Taste Dessert – Sweetz Bakery
Best Presentation Dessert – Simply Cakes by Alison
Best Taste Hors D’Oeuvre – Hooked
Best Presentation Hors D’Oeuvre – National Conference Center
Special thanks to Dawn Dinius and Tom Barry for the fabulous photos! Check out more photos and videos on Facebook.