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Posts Tagged ‘education’

A Colorful Morning

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

With the holidays just around the corner, we couldn’t have been more excited to host students from Seldens Landing Elementary School. For the seventh year,  fifth grade students from Ms. Nolan’s class had a opportunity to sketch a winter scene and submit their artwork for a chance to be featured on our Holiday Card. The top 10 sketches will be narrowed down internally and we’ll be giving you a chance to vote for the top three on our Facebook page. The winning picture is featured on the front of the National Conference Center’s holiday card and the 2nd and 3rd place runner-ups are featured on the back of the card.  We can’t wait to see what the students come up with! Stay tuned!


Phillip Saims, Director of Sales & Marketing greets and shares some history about NCC with the students



Stephen Loya, Art Teacher at Seldens Landing Elementary School


Gurnoor Dhaliwal - Kayla Rotell

Students excited to begin drawing!


Navjot Singh


Audrey Dukes 1 (3)


Christopher Satterfield

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





BRMS Students Learn Banquets and Stewarding

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Belmont Ridge Middle School students recently got a behind-the-scenes look into hospitality. As part of our business-school partnership, more than 100 students participated in a banquets and stewarding session where they learned how to complete a requisition sheet and how to set the perfect table.  The sessions were held on February 12th and 13th and were led by Gene Bussineau, director of banquets and event operations, Ernie Camposeco, stewarding manager and Sharon Meyers, director of catering.


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.

[Video] Eighth graders learn about pleasing customers

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

“Pleasing the customer” and “If we keep the customer happy, we can get the customer to come back” was a reoccurring theme when I asked several eighth graders their main lesson learned from session three in the school-business partnership between Belmont Ridge Middle School and NCC. Eighth graders who are comprehending what makes a business successful at this age will thrive in the hospitality and meeting/events industry if they choose to follow that career path. The eighth graders who come to NCC monthly are currently help plan the Loudoun County School Business Partnership breakfast in March 2012.

Are Your Attendees Ready for Food for Thought?

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Assorted local cheeses at our May Tasting

In the community of event professionals, Food for Thought is often a topic of discussion. Without speaking too scientific, food for thought is defined as food options high in nutritional value which stimulates brain activity and enhances meeting performance, attention and overall experience. As research is performed and results of food for thought items are shared among meeting professionals in the industry, more planners are developing an interest in what their attendees are consuming and venues are rising to the requests. However, are meeting planners and venues the only ones excited about food for thought?

As a venue who is active in the #eventprofs community, we like listening and responding to what attendees are saying, online and offline. Walking through the halls yesterday, I heard “Boiled eggs, I’ve seen better snacks.” and “Hummus, it’s so bland.”

After approaching Executive Chef Craig Mason with the news, he said,

“Planners are all about food for thought. But, when we place a ‘build your own trail mix’ on the break stations with mixed nuts, raisins, dried blueberries, banana chips, Reeses Pieces and plain M&Ms. Attendees kill the Reeses Pieces and M&Ms, leaving the rest.”

However, as event professionals we’ve come a long way and these same attendees who prefer the candy may also be the ones who are wondering where the fried chicken is at lunch. Our current break-station rotation includes food for thought items such as hard boiled eggs with flavored salts, hummus with pretzels and crackers, vegetable crudité, assorted cheese cubes and a ‘make your own trail mix’ bar. On Fridays, our break-stations feature cookies and brownies as a special treat; attendees also won’t feel the 2:00 sugar crash as most meetings adjourn early afternoon on a Friday, but for attendees to choose the unhealthier option demonstrates to a venue and for meeting planners, we still have a long way to go.

What’s the solution? Education! For the break-stations, we’re designing a food for thought card explaining why those options were chosen for the break-station, the benefits and how to make smarter choices for day-to-day healthy living and enhanced meeting performance. It’s all about educating planners, venues and attendees on the subject of food for thought. Feel free to read our Food for Thought white paper with Andrea Sullivan of BrainStrength Systems.

What has been your encounter with attendees and break-station choices? Is it favorable or do you also view this as an opportunity for education?


Belmont Ridge Middle School Learns Hospitality

Friday, January 14th, 2011

You first read about it in Leesburg Today, now read about it from an eighth graders’ view -

Eighth grade student, Brett Woods of Belmont Ridge Middle School wrote this about our business partnership with the school, “At the NCC we learned about taste testing foods that you will be serving at events that you plan. You eat very small portions just to know the taste. You do this to make sure the food is proper for your event. The foods they let us taste were some of the most delicious things I had ever tasted. Based on what I ate, I know that the cooks there work hard and are good at what they do. I can’t wait to go back. I am looking forward to going back. I am excited to see what we will be learning next. This is a wonderful experience.”

Learn about the Partnership… Eighth grade students at Belmont Ridge Middle School are getting an up-close look at the inner workings of the hospitality industry, through a partnership with NCC. Since October, the students have been visiting us to get hands-on experience in various aspects of the field, from housekeeping to the front desk and the kitchen to the banquet hall. Now the students are gearing up for their final task: overseeing the catering of a large-scale breakfast in March. From start to finish the students will be involved with every aspect of the event, including food preparation, serving guests and final clean up. This will be the third year students have participated in the program, which is part of the conference center’s overall goal of supporting education in the community.

The next session of Belmont Ridge Middle at NCC will be later this month. Stay tuned for their next blog post.
To watch a recap of the last session, visit our YouTube channel.

Holiday Cards Worth Framing

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

For the past four years, Selden’s Landing Elementary School has traveled to our property to draw their interpretation of what the Holidays look like at The National Conference Center.

At the November Menu Tasting for clients of The National Conference Center and West Belmont Place, clients are asked to vote on their favorite creation. Congratulations to our 1st place winner, Jun Luu. His winning vision is featured on the front of our 2010 Holiday Card sent to clients, local community members and more. We gifted Jun Luu with a $100 giftcard to Michael’s to continue to expand his creativity. Congratulations to our 2nd place winners who tied – Aoife O’Conner and Sarah Katherine Lawless. They each received a $50 gift card to Michael’s.

Pictured from left to right: Eric Whitson (Director of Sales & Marketing at The National Conference Center),
Sarah Katherine Lawless
(2nd place winner), Mr. Steve Loya (Art Teacher at Selden’s Landing Elementary),
Aiofe O’Conner
(2nd place winner), and Jun Luu (1st place winner)

Middle School’s Business Partnership Teaches the Value of The Hospitality Industry

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Add Some Color to Your Morning

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

What would you “color” if you were told to draw the Holidays?

A fifth grade art class from Selden’s Landing Elementary School travels to NCC each year to “color” the Holiday/Winter season.  Internally, the pictures are narrowed down to the top 10 favorites. These are displayed at our Fall Tasting and Cooking Demonstration by Executive Chef Craig Mason in November and guests are asked to vote on their own favorites.  The winning picture is featuring on the front of the National Conference Center’s holiday card and the 2nd and 3rd place runner-ups are featured on the back of the card.  Here are some pictures from today’s event to color your morning: