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Posts Tagged ‘corporate social responsibility’

Earth Day 2013 Recap

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

The NCC team had a blast celebrating Earth Day 2013 at Belmont Ridge Middle School (BRMS). Students started the morning planting produce with Farmer David Lay, saw live animals from Blue Ridge Wildlife Center, heard from Judy Galen from the Loudoun County Department of Transportation, helped plant trees with Brickman Group and participated in the Southland Industries sock contest! Students also had a chance to learn about two of the newest electric cars, the Nissan ‘Leaf’ and Chevy ‘Volt.’ Thank you to BRMS, our partners and vendors, Nissan of Chantilly, Jerry’s Chevrolet and Holly Morris and team, for your continued support in making this year’s celebration a memorable one!

Fox 5 coverage

Check out the Fox 5 Coverage and photos on Facebook!

Countdown to Earth Day 2013!

Friday, April 19th, 2013



The National Conference Center celebrates Earth Day! April 22nd is Earth Day and NCC has exciting events planned with our partner, Belmont Ridge Middle School. We’ll be providing tips from our farm partner, David Lay of Linda’s Mercantile & Farm Market. David furnishes our Executive Chef Craig Mason with fresh produce year-around, all part of NCC’s fresh and local initiative and sustainability program. In turn, NCC furnishes Farmer Dave with our cooking oil to run his tractors and greenhouses. Our favorite wildlife group, Blue Ridge Wildlife Center will showcase some of the animals they’ve rescued including an owl, a skunk and a hawk (which is also the mascot of Belmont Ridge Middle School, the ‘River Hawks.’)

Loudoun County’s Green Business Challenge award winners, Southland Industries will demonstrate which cars have the cleanest emissions through the sock test! And, our landscape partner, Brickman Group, will plant some trees and landscape the front of the school.

At NCC, we celebrate Earth Day year-round. In addition to our support of local farms, we also have a Green Tour at NCC. It’s a QR Code tour which allows visitors to click on the codes with their smart phones and learn more about how NCC saves the earth through recycling, cycling air and heat, automatic light shut-off, preferred parking for hybrids, etc. Check out photos from last year’s celebration here.

Don’t forget to tune in live to FOX 5 on Monday morning at 7:30am!

2013 Loudoun School-Business Partnership Breakfast

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Last Friday morning, more than 600 attendees including local business leaders, elected officials and teachers, gathered at The National Conference Center for the Loudoun School-Business Partnership Executive Council’s (LSBP) annual breakfast. The event was held to recognize businesses that have gone above and beyond for education in the county. Eighth grade students from Belmont Ridge Middle School, who participate in our school business partnership program, arrived early to help greet guests. The vibrant morning began with entertainment from The Woodgrove High School Guitar Ensemble. Guest speakers and presenters included Jill Turgeon, vice-chair of the Loudoun County School Board, Al Nielsen, chair of LSBP, Donna Fortier and Cynthia Marin of LSBP committee and Peter Arundel, publisher of the Loudoun Times- Mirror. Dr. Edgar B. Hatrick, superintendent of Loudoun County Public Schools, gave concluding remarks.

Congratulations to all of the award recipients and a sincere thanks for all your efforts in making Loudoun County a great place to live!


Award Recipients

Abernethy and Spencer Nursery in partnership with Lincoln Elementary School

George Mason University in partnership with Sterling Middle School

J10 Church in partnership with Farmwell Station Middle School

Loudoun County Farm Bureau in partnership with Woodgrove High School

Wal-Mart Supercenter in partnership with LCPS Head Start Program


2013 “Make a Difference Award” Honoree

Second Lieutenant Jeffrey Mees, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO)



The Woodgrove High School Guitar Ensemble


Bright students from Belmont Ridge Middle School





Small Acts, Big Impact.

Monday, January 28th, 2013

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”- Robin Williams 

Since 2010, the National Conference Center has partnered with Belmont Ridge Middle School to give eight-grade students an opportunity to learn about hospitality and business operations. Through the business-school partnership program, NCC has invited the students for a variety of fun-filled sessions including workshops on exceptional customer service to culinary sessions with Executive Chef Mason. Our partnership has given both the students and NCC employees invaluable learning experiences and reinforce our commitment to education and making a difference in the community.

We recently learned about the incredible story of Phoebe Lisle, one of the school’s seventh-grade students. In a very poignant, handwritten note to President Obama, Pheobe expressed the need for action to be taken, surrounding the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. Her candid words caught the attention of the White House and prompted an invitation to the president’s gun control press conference on January 16. At just age 13, Pheobe reminds that even the smallest actions can have a large impact. Read more about her story here.

“Setting the Table” – The Basics of Banquets

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Most people probably understand the basics of setting a table and if you’re in the hospitality industry, it’s even more likely you understand how to fully set a table. Each month, directors at the conference center take two days away from their regular duties to work with six classes of eighth graders and teach them about the basics in the events and hospitality industry – hoping to spark an interest in their future career plans as well as develop their critical thinking among other skills. This week, they learned the basics of setting the table:

To watch other YouTube videos, go to NCC’s YouTube Channel (

NCC’s 5th Grade Holiday Card Winner

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Imagine being 11 years old and having your artistic abilities displayed on a holiday card for companies around the country. The National Conference Center’s annual holiday card contest with Selden’s Landing Elementary took place in November. Each year, a fifth grade art class from the elementary school comes with pencil, paper and a drawing board in hand. The students draw what they envision a wintery holiday season at the conference center to look like by taking in their outdoor surroundings. Read about the contest on our past blog post, Be the First to Choose Our Holiday Card. Our associates narrowed down to a Top 10 and NCC Facebook fans voted on the Top 3 with “likes.”

5th grade art class anxiously waiting to hear who won NCC’s holiday card contest

Kareem Elsharkawy’s winning version was featured on the front of NCC’s 2012 holiday card

Eric Whitson Director of Sales and Marketing presented Michael’s gift cards to the winners.
Pictured here: Eric Whitson, Mr. Loya (art teacher), Kareem Elsharkawy (1st place),
Valerie Navamal (3rd place), and Rodrigo Nadal (2nd place – not pictured)

Congratulations to those who won. We hope to see these students again when they’re in eighth grade for our school business partnership with the local middle school where we host a monthly lesson on catering, culinary and event planning.

Hospitality Proteges (Video)

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Looking back on the days when you were in high school, did you have the resources that students have today? Today, company executives are more willing to take time out of their days to educate and act as a valuable resource to help future generations. For instance in our partnership with Belmont Ridge Middle School, our Director of Sales and Marketing, Director of Catering, Director of Food and Beverage and account executive spend their entire day, two days out of each month in the school year teaching 7 classes of eighth graders about the hospitality industry. On a much larger scale, ARAMARK’s Global Rick Management (GRM) team traveled from the headquarters in Philadelphia to our conference center to partner with a local high school nearby. The GRM group graciously worked with members of our team like Executive Chef Craig Mason, to speak to students of Monroe Technical High School on best food practices and safety. Here’s the video from the event:

Other rewarding topics that ARAMARK’s Global Risk Management spoke on included resume building,  interview skills, career options, dress for success, culinary demonstration, safety workshop stations (environmental, food safety, toxicology, social networking protocol and distracted driving). The day was engaging and knowledge sharing with a younger generation who could benefit from the guidance of experienced ARAMARK professionals.

In addition to ARAMARK’s GRM team, thank you to all of the NCC team who helped make this a success including Executive Chef Mason, Patricia Trammell, Kelli Mueller, Ernie Camposeco and Adam Hughes who all lended their expertise for the execution of this event.

Breast Cancer Cookies Hot Out The Oven!

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

It’s a cookie for a cause! We’re supporting National Breast Cancer Awareness with pink cookies during the month of October. These chocolate cookies by Otis Spunkmeyer are part of the “Pink Looks Good on You” promotion. Our support helps Otis donate over $60,000 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation to help save lives by increasing awareness and providing mammograms to those in need.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation website states alarming facts like every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. It is the leading cause of death for women between 40 and 55, yet when detected early, the 5-year survival rate is 96%.

As a property whose signature items focus on stewardship and community outreach, we enjoy doing our part and serving you cookies for a cause. If we haven’t told you before, pink looks good on you!

9 Ways to Commemorate 9/11 at Your Meetings

Friday, September 9th, 2011

Commemorating ten years since the attacks of 09/11 doesn’t have to be organized by your venue, community or city. In fact, if your hosting a meeting over 09/11, the Monday after or even a month from the anniversary, you can plan a small or large commemoration yourself.

  1. Host a candle-light vigil – Ask your venue if they can offer outdoor space for you to host a candelight vigil in honor.
  2. Offer a moment of silence – For those who lost their lives or loved ones in the attacks of 09/11.
  3. Wear Red – The National Conference Center team wears Red on Fridays to support our troops in the War on Terrorism.
  4. Invite local police and firefighters to your reception – Express your appreciation for their work.
  5. Challenge your members - to receive disaster relief training and CPR certification.
  6. Send cards to the victims of fallen heroes - This is a group activity to remember those who lost their lives and offer support to others. Find the resources for Fallen Heroes.
  7. Create an offering – Send money to the non-profit Tuesday’s Children which is a family service organization promoting healing and recovering for those families coping since 2001.
  8. Ask active-duty and veteran military and emergency personnel to stand - If you have active or retired personnel in your meetings or conferences, ask him or her to stand to be recognized (and possibly appear in uniform).
  9. Play the national anthem and pledge of allegiance – One of the simplest forms of commemoration that means something to everyone attending.

As a planner, you don’t need a lot of time or budget to commemorate 09′/11. It’s the small things that count and touch others, especially those who were effected by the events. What do you have planned for 09/11? If you decided to commemorate with an idea from this list, which did you choose?

How to Successfully Place CSR in Your Meetings

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Photo Credit: WEBN-TV

CSR, the common acronym for Corporate Social Responsibility is becoming a popular trend in the meetings and events industry as more people from Generation Y enter the workforce (also known as a generation of “can-doers”) and the value of outside training seems to need a CSR component to it.

What are ways you can successfully adopt CSR initiatives into your meetings and conferences?

  1. Eco-friendly products - Purchase lanyards, USBs or other items that are made in the US and eco-friendly. It’s a small aspect of a meeting but attendees appreciate the value of eco-friendly items, if you choose to share this with them.
  2. Food miles play a role  – Choose suppliers such as caterers that use local ingredients. At NCC for instance, we often blog about how we grow our own herbs, established a farm to table program and did you know we recycle our canola oil? It’s used for tractors who harvest the corn for our canola oil – talk about a cyclical relationship.
  3. Venues – Is the venue going to have an impact on your organization’s reputation and/or corporate social responsibility? Choose a venue that can tell you about their green efforts and how they meet your objectives and uphold the reputation of your corporate social responsibility.
  4. Apps and Gaming – After Green Meetings Industry Council received overwhelming praise for their 2011 conference app Game On!, we can most likely expect to see a rise in conferences and meetings using apps for agendas, games, networking and more. It’s not only innovative but exhibits initiative in the future of green meetings.
  5. Donating in new ways  – Is it possible for you to arrange leftover banquet entrees to be donated to local charities? Worried about the legality and logistics of donating food to charitable organizations? Find out about the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act on the Feeding America website. Some donations could be as simple as reception centerpieces with fruit in vases – produce like oranges, grapefruits and avocados make ideal items that can easily be donated.
  6. Community service projects – Planners can implement community service projects in their meetings which educates attendees, creates last bonding experiences and many memories. Work with local chapters of a charitable organization where you’ll be meeting and volunteer in groups of teams.

What are some of your corporate social responsibility initatives when hosting meetings and/or conferences? Is it well-received by those attending? What’s your opinion on the subject?