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News
Dudley Martin Chevrolet Sold

MANASSAS, Va. — A family name in the car business in Manassas has been replaced.

Dudley Martin Chevrolet on Sudley Road has been sold and will become Manassas Cheverolet. The sale was recently completed, and the new owner is Michael Bates.

Dudley Martin bought his first car dealership in Dumfries in 1938. He later purchased a Chevrolet deadership at the corner of Va. 28 in Manassas in 1954. After it relocated to its current spot on Sudley Road near Sudley Manor Drive, it has sold Chevrolet cars and trucks ever since.

The car industry is still on the rebound, said the dealership’s finance director, John Martin, whose grandfather started the business. But he adds there is a future in the business as the customer is still looking for a well-made product and good service after the sale.

But the sale of his grandfather’s business is bittersweet.

“For anyone who’s grown up around here, there are a lot of people who are in their forties, even in their sixties, who remember playing on a Dudley Martin-sponsored baseball team when they were a kid,” he said.

Martin has been with the dealership since 1987 and will stay on under the new ownership. He declined to speak to the specifics of the sale.

 

News
Bonefish Grill Opening Monday on Prince William Parkway

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Bonefish Grill will officially open its doors on Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge.

A ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled at the chain eatery that is located in an old UNO Chicago Grill next to Best Buy, near Potomac Mills mall.

More information about what hours the eatery will keep was provided in a press release:

Bonefish Grill will open its doors on Monday, November 11 at the restaurant’s newest location at 2680 Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge, Va. The restaurant will serve lunch Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Dinner will be served seven days a week: Monday through Thursday from 4 – 10 p.m., Friday from 4 – 11 p.m., Saturday from 2 – 11 p.m., and 2 – 9 p.m. on Sunday and brunch will be offered from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.

The restaurant is headed by Managing Partner Anna Bennet and Joint Venture Partner Chip Phillips. Nearby, Bonefish Grill has locations in Gainesville and Fredericksburg.

 

News
Woodbridge STEM Pre School Academy Taking Off

Potomac Local Leaders

How old were you when you committed to memory the periodic table of elements? How about when you learned of the application of centripetal force on roller coasters? What age were you when you programmed your first robot to project a Nerf ball 10 feet in the air? 

Well if  Seidah Ashshaheed has anything to do with it, children in Prince William County will know the answers of those questions before they learn how to walk.

Living in Northern Virginia, the technology sector continues to grow with a increased demand for a highly skilled workforce in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Creator and owner of STEM Tot Academy Seidah Ashshaheed, believes that our nations growth and success starts in preschool.

Vickers:  STEM for preschoolers is an interesting concept why have you selected to start a stem Academy for such a young age and here in Prince William County.

Ashshaheed:  About a year ago I started searching for a preschool that had a strong science, technology, engineering, and math component for my three year old niece. Like many children her age, she displayed strong natural inquiry skills.  As a middle school principal I have been equipped to design mini lessons for her that entail measuring earthworms, observing cicadas, and creating volcanoes.  

For the past two summers, experimenting has been paired with a related STEM field trip. Her attention to details and recall is remarkable, again like many children her age.  I realized that everything I needed in a preschool was at home.  Having Pre-K-12 experience as an educator allowed me to develop a STEM curriculum and write my first children’s book, ABC’s STEM and Me: An Alphabet Book on Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, which will be available mid-October.  

I must thank Kayla Seabridge, my illustrator for the beautiful images of children depicted in various STEM careers.  As a Prince William County resident and former Prince William County educator, I wanted to develop a business and provide a quality preschool program in my community. 

Ashshaheed

Ashshaheed

Vickers: After reading through your  curriculum for your Academy, I’m confident that families will line up to be a part of your program. What was the inspiration and credentialing involved in the creation of your STEM Tot  curriculum?  

Ashshaheed: Again, my niece is my main inspiration for developing STEM Tot Academy and its resources.  I must also give credit to the College of William and Mary and the National Defense Education Program’s STEM Education Alliance:  Virginia Demonstration Project.  

While serving as a middle school principal in King George, Va., I worked closely with Dr. Hardinge of the College of William and Mary and a team of wonderful individuals with STEM related careers, to infuse STEM into the curriculum at my school, thanks to a grant.

Not only did we see the immediate impact that providing project-based experiences in classrooms often renders, we saw students who were often turned off by science and math reinvigorated.  In 2010 research conducted by Dr. Valentine out of the University of Missouri, an alarming truth about schools was revealed.  

As students advance through schools, the level of engagement, decreases.  Providing hands on opportunities for youth must be consistent from preschool through grade 12.  As educators we are famous for targeting a group at a time.  

My goal, is to ultimately, continue to add a grade, through 8th grade, challenging youth with a rigorous STEM based curriculum, that encompasses, field experiences, guest speakers, and much more.  This is what we are doing with our preschool/child day center now.

Vickers: Where do you see youth that graduate from STEM Tots 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 years from now?  

Ashshaheed: First and foremost, I want students to leave our program with a firm literacy foundation, who are also innovative thinkers, problem-solvers, and who are versatile enough to enter any profession they choose and contribute positively.  

A sound STEM curriculum in the early years assists with the development of critical thinking skills.  Our motto at the Academy, is OBSERVE, THINK, CREATE.  Yes, students will still receive the early years curriculum, which includes science and math.  

What we are doing is providing the experience in 3D, so that our students can be exposed enough to express interest if they so desire in STEM careers later on in life.

Vickers: A combination of mixed programming allows families of various needs to benefit from a program like yours. Besides full day preschool, what other programs will you be offering year round?

Ashshaheed: I am so thrilled that our program will provide before and after care for school age children ages 5-12, with transportation capabilities.  The after school program will also be a STEM enriched program.  

The academy will also provide Camp STEM-u-lation for children in the community, ages 5-12, which will include thematic weeks, guest speakers in various STEM careers, and a plethora of STEM related field trips.  STEM Tot Academy, will also provide weekend workshops for children ages 5-12 for those students interested in developing websites, robotics, coding, and more.

Vickers: Our Tech sector is such a large industry in Northern Virginia , are you working with any other agencies to align with other regional STEM collaborations nationally or regionally?

Ashshaheed: I am having various discussions with a few agencies right now.  The STEM alphabet book has been most interesting.  I created the book for my niece, but also to help fund the various daily labs taking place in the program and the on-going PD for my staff.  Vetting the book through various mediums to include kindergarten and first grade teachers, has rendered much discussion regarding the lack of resources and research out there for young children as it relates to STEM.  My mission is to help close that gap.

Potomac Local Leaders series are the stories and interviews with the men, women and youth that through their commitment to community change the world each day. Glenn Vickers is an experienced business professional enhancing philanthropic resource development, corporate citizenship programming and nonprofit business operations; Vickers enjoys working with government, private and nonprofit organizations for social change #GOVickers

News
Reopened Woodbridge Gym Celebrates Success

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — A local gym with a reputation for being a body builder’s destination is working to remake its image as a tried and true community staple.

Earlier this year Powerhouse Gym in Woodbridge abruptly closed to its customers with no explanation. Its members wondered what had happened to a gym where they paid for a membership. Its employees wondered if they would still have a job.

But the facility wasn’t dark for long. Just two days after the shutdown, co-owner Kelly Kirk returned to Powerhouse to finish the job he started when he helped open the place in 2007 as a co-owner.

Prior to his return, he was missing from Powerhouse for nearly a year. He left after a disagreement with the gym’s then two other co-owners who no longer work there.

Since coming back, Kirk took full control of the gym has labored to right the ship. He found investors, worked out a short-term funding plan with his corporate office, and worked hard to not only retain his membership base but to grow it. So far, it’s worked.

He credits his gym members with making his comeback, and the overall success of the gym possible.

“We had members come in as we were tying to reopen the place, carrying and moving equipment…we had one guy come in and repair fixtures in our bathrooms and I was like “dude, do I owe you anything?” and he was like “nope, don’t worry about it,” said Kirk. “I know of few other gyms in this area who have those kinds of members, who would come and help out for free to get the place up and running again.”

Kirk is jovial, and for many he is the reason why members come in everyday. From the novice to the expert athlete, Powerhouse has become a place where judgment has been traded for a few laughs and the swapping of personal stories about everyday life.

Powerhouse on Thursday held a special open house for its members and the community to celebrate this year’s successes. Access to the gym was free all day, and several vendors came out to show their wares.

It was also a chance to show off a new group exercise room, new cycle studio complete with colored disco lights, a new women’s locker room, and new personal training programs.

“I think we bring a new sense of structure to personal training here,” said Erika Dauitch, owner of Athletes Addiction, a company of personal trainers who have worked with student athletes and families to help get them in shape.

Dautich and her company partnered with Powerhouse and have taken over many of the personal training responsibilities at the gym.

“It’s a great partnership that just kind of fell into place,” she added.

Per an agreement with Powerhouse’s corporate office, Kirk said he must only use the Powerhouse and logo in his gym. With few other corporate rules in place, he’s able to add other things not commonly found at other area gyms.

“We’ve added the power lift platform and a chalk tub for lifters to rub their hands in, and we’ve got 200 pound dumbbells on the way,” he said.

Perhaps he’s most proud of a 10×6 U.S. flag donated to him by a 90-year-old WWII veteran. It now hands prominently from the ceiling as a point of pride.

News
DAKS Grill Closing, Owners Promise New Location

DALE CITY, Va. — DAKS Grill on Minnieville Road will close today.

The owner of the business in a statement to Potomac Local News noted the restaurant will reopen soon in another location, but did not state why this location of 23 years would close.

“We are deeply saddened to announce the closing of our Dale City location,” the statement read.

The restaurant has come to be known for its American fare and its outdoor patio. In recent years the size of the establishment’s parking lot grew smaller as new businesses, including a car wash, opened next door.

The location in an old stone house dates back to when much of Woodbridge was a rural farming community. A historical marker next to the restaurant denotes the old stone farm house as being common architecture of Northern Virginia during the early to mid part of the 20th century. Originally a hog farm, the farm was converted to dairy in the 1950s. The buildings were later torn down in 1991 ending the life of the last major farm in eastern Prince William County, the marker states.

Next to the old the spot as the location of the old Russell General Store, this was at the center of commercial life for the farming area then known as Bethel, Smoketown, and Hoadley, and Agnewville, the marker states. Before it was demolished, it served as the home for Ernie Sullins Outlet – a discount clothier known for their outrageous local TV commercials.

News
Prince William Businesses Get the ‘Big Picture’

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The big picture is: every business has a story. We have a diverse business community that works hard everyday to provide the goods and services we need to make our world go round.

I attended the Prince William Chamber of Commerce Connections event this week and had a blast. I made some great new connections and re-connected with people that I haven’t worked with in a few years.  

I find it refreshing to find people at trade shows who are willing to try something new, be a little different and have some fun.

So the tag team of Eric Williams, broker at Exit Choice Reality, and Lee Mergler,  owner of Advance Title & Mortgage, took to the hallways at Connections to see who made “The Big Picture”.  

If you see your picture in the slideshow, leave your contact information in the comments section or email us so we can tell your story.

 

 

News
‘Connections’ Turns Out Business Owners

MANASSAS, Va. — One of the region’s largest networking event took place Thursday afternoon at the Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center in Manassas.

“Connections” is an annual event held each year by the Prince William Chamber of Commerce and is billed as the area’s largest trade show. A business showcase, vendors paid starting rates of $475 for a table at the event which was expected to draw 1,500 people.

By 5 p.m., the crowd had grown to 600 attendees with two more hours to the go. A total of 93 vendor booths of 103 were sold at this year’s event, and that meant that fewer booths made for a wider walkway for attendees.

“Some people seem to like that the walkway is wider than it has been in years past and have asked that we do it this way again next year,” said Andrea Whaley, who is in charge of events at the Prince William Chamber of Commerce.

As people strolled past the vendors tables and spoke with company owners and representatives, some vendors saw a mix of old friends and customers and new faces.

“They come up and talk to me on just about everything, to new banking products to their kids in college,” said Melissa Gill, of The Fauquier Bank.

While traffic remained heavy, some vendors also said they would have liked to see more residents who live in Greater Manassas and Prince William County come to the event in addition to the steady stream of businesses owners.

But for Prince William Professional Networkers President Nina Lomax, this even was about making the right connection. Her organization is open to business owners in the region looking to build sales and refer services.

“It’s all about building relationships and that’s what were dong out here today,” she said.

There were five food vendors Connections this year, and attendees were lining up at the Grafton Street restaurant booth – which serves a mix of American fare couple with the setting of an Irish pub – to try their special chicken pot pie filler and bread. Some came back two and three times to have their cups refilled with the special ingredient normally served at the restaurant on Tuesdays.

“We’ve got enough here to feed the crowd five times over,” said co-owner Tom Flannigan.

News
Bonefish Hiring 115 for New Restaurant

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — A new Bonefish Grill restaurant is one step closer to opening its doors in Woodbridge and his now hiring new employees.

The restaurant on Prince William Parkway next to Best Buy will replace the old UNO Chicago Grill which closed earlier this year.

Bonefish plans to hire 115 people for positions in the new eatery when it opens. They’re looking for servers, bartenders, and kitchen staff.

Applications are being accepted online between now and the anticipated Nov. 11 opening date for the new restaurant.

This newest Bonefish Grill will join locations in Fredericksburg, Kingstowne, Fairfax, and Centreville.

News
McMillan to Lead Realtor Association

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — A Prince William County resident of more than 22 years will now lead the REALTOR Association of Prince William.

April McMillian will take over the reigns at the association known as PWAR. The changeover comes after CEO Richard “RJ” Marshall resigned Oct. 5.

More in a press release:

McMillan originally joined PWAR in 2005 as the Development Manager, prior to that she worked with the Potomac News and has been a Prince William County resident for over 22 years.

“I see many opportunities for PWAR to continue proving outstanding Member service to our constituency and look forward to working alongside the Officers, Directors and staff in this transition period,” said McMillan. “At this time we are looking forward to attending the VAR Convention in Virginia Beach, meeting the newly selected VAR CEO and fine tuning the Fall Conference and Annual Meeting that is fast approaching on October 10th.”

“I am excited that the Executive Team has decided to appoint April to the Interim position and we are looking forward to her energy and enthusiasm and although RJ Marshall will be missed, we have the utmost confidence in April and her ability to engage our Membership,” said Beverly Frowen, 2013 Board President.

The association has its office in Woodbridge and dubs itself as a credible voice for real estate issues in Northern Virginia and represents over 2,000 REALTORs and home industry career professionals.

News
Pollo Campero Opens Tuesday, Part of Revitalized Marumsco Plaza

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — The work to revitalize Woodbridge’s Marumsco Plaza takes another step forward Tuesday with the opening of a Pollo Campero restaurant.

The eatery known for its Latin flavors, and fried and grilled chicken, will open its newest location at the U.S. shopping center. It will join several new stores at the plaza, including a new Walgreens Pharmacy, and a newly relocated BB&T Bank.

The new restaurant is expected to bring 25 new jobs to the area, and is one of 400 Pollo Campero eateries worldwide.

More in a press release:

“We are excited to continue our expansion throughout Virginia where we have such a large base of devoted Pollo Campero fans,” said President and COO of Campero USA, Roberto Denegri. “We are honored to be a part of the Marumsco Plaza revitalization and look forward to becoming more involved with the Woodbridge community and sharing the tastes of Latin America.”

The opening in Woodbridge will mark the fourth restaurant in Virginia for Pollo Campero and the ninth restaurant serving the Washington D.C. market. To celebrate the newest addition to the Pollo Campero family, guests purchasing a minimum of 10 pieces at any Virginia Pollo Campero restaurant can take advantage of $1 Pollo Days and purchase a leg or thigh for only $1 through mid-October.

Pollo Campero is known for its unique Latin flavors and hand prepared fried and grilled chicken, made exactly the same way as when its first location opened in 1971 in Guatemala. The restaurant’s distinctive menu also includes fan favorite Latin specialty drinks like Jamaica and Horchata, hand-rolled empanadas and signature Latin desserts like Flan.

Though Pollo Campero has a global reach today, it was founded as a small family restaurant in Guatemala. The establishment quickly grew to become the world’s largest Latin chicken restaurant chain and is embraced by more than 85 million people worldwide every year.

 

News
Westminster at Lake Ridge Names New Director

LAKE RIDGE, Va. — Westminster at Lake Ridge today named Libby Bush its new executive director for the continuing care retirement community.

Here’s more in a press release:

With more than 20 years of experience in the senior-living industry, Bush comes from Westminster Canterbury in Richmond. As a Vice President for 12 years, she was a key member of its executive team and oversaw four divisions including independent living, assisted living, memory care and nursing. She joined Westminster Canterbury in 1992 as a Personal Care Unit Manager.

“I’ve known and admired this community from a distance, so I’m delighted to be joining the Westminster Ingleside family,” said Bush, whose mother was president and CEO of a non-profit retirement community in Kansas City for more than two decades. “Residents and staff show great pride in Westminster at Lake Ridge and I’m honored to be part of this campus.”

Lynn O’Connor, President and CEO at Westminster Ingleside Retirement Communities and Foundation, said: “We are thrilled to have Libby Bush as Westminster at Lake Ridge’s Executive Director. Libby brings a philosophy of resident centered care and service, balanced with a demonstrated track record in successful business performance, operations, and leadership. Libby has the experience, skills, and passion to lead Westminster at Lake Ridge into the future, sustaining its mission into perpetuity!”

Bush holds a B.A. in Sociology from the College of Wooster and expects to earn an M.A. in Management of Aging Services in 2014.

 

News
‘Save ‘N’ Serve’ Thrift Opens This Weekend

MANASSAS, Va. — Northern Virginia Family Services will open a new thrift store this weekend on Portsmouth Road in Manassas.

Here’s more in a press release:

Save ‘N’ Serve is located on Sudley Road in Manassas, in the same shopping plaza as Toys “R”Us and the Party Company. The store’s physical address is 10360 Portsmouth Road. Store hours are:

Monday – Friday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sunday: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Staff and volunteers have been organizing donations and stocking shelves in anticipation of the thrift shop’s opening, and volunteers and donations are still needed to not only open the store, but also to sustain successful operations.

The store will accept clothing, shoes, accessories, books, housewares, linens, small appliances, records and CDs, artwork, sporting goods, gift items, collectibles, estate goods and luggage. Items must be new or gently used, broken items or donations needs cleaning or repair cannot be accepted. Please visit www.nvfs.org/thriftshop or call 703-335-2659 with donation questions.

Donations can be brought to the store’s back door during normal operating hours – please ring the doorbell and someone will meet you at the door.

Save ‘N’ Serve joins NVFS’ Clock Tower Thrift Stores in Falls Church and Centreville. The revenue generated from these operations supports critical programs for families and children. For more information about Northern Virginia Family Service, please visit www.nvfs.org.

News
Books-A-Million Relocates Inside Potomac Mills

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Books-A-Million has moved to a new location inside Potomac Mills mall.

The bookstore opened a newly renovated 14,000 square-foot store near the Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th.

The book retailer held a grand opening celebration over the weekend where 200 tote bags and a $200 gift card was given away.

Books-A-Million has long been an anchor store in the outlet mall, which boasts 200 stores and the title of Virginia’s largest outlet mall.

Based in Birmingham, Ala., Books-A-Million has 250 stores in 50 states and Washington, D.C. The company is the second-largest retailer of books, according to its corporate website.

News
Vickers Joins Leadership Prince William

Leadership Prince William, which is dedicated to cultivating and connecting leaders in the Greater Prince William Area, today announced the hiring of Glenn Vickers for the new position of Program Manager. Vickers begins his new role with Leadership Prince William on September 18.

As Program Manager, Vickers will join Executive Director Kathy Bentz in advancing the non-profit organization’s mission and supporting its Board of Regents. He will assist in coordinating, marketing and developing Leadership Prince William programs, such as the Signature Leadership Class for adults, alumni engagement and continuing education programs, and a variety of special events. Vickers will also help create new initiatives to support the development and enrichment of area teens and young adults.

“Glenn will be a tremendous addition to the Leadership Prince William team,” said Bentz. “We were looking for someone to support our existing programs and help us make an even greater impact in our community, particularly with local youth. Glenn fits the bill perfectly and we are thrilled to welcome him to Leadership Prince William.”

Vickers most recently was Director of Operations Virginia for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington. He brings 11 years of successful experience in strategic business development and philanthropic engagement leading boards, corporate partners and community stakeholders. Glenn has been credited with the reopening of the General Heiser Boys & Girls Club in Dumfries Virginia; strong government relations, including the award-winning, 1,000-volunteer Big Day of Service; and as a viral marketer, leveraging private public partnerships for grant, foundation and grassroots resource development.

“I’m humbled and excited for the opportunity to work with Kathy Bentz, the Board of Regents and all of the alumni who make Leadership Prince William such a progressive organization. This is a transformational group whose alumni have already impacted our region for generations of leaders to follow, “said Vickers.

Leadership Prince William’s mission is to develop, inspire and connect community leaders. Nearly 200 adults have graduated from the program and a new 35-member class will begin the program in late September. To learn more about Leadership Prince William, contact Kathy Bentz at 571-765-7568, visit leadershipprincewilliam.org.

Vickers has also served as Potomac Local News’ Philanthropic Engagement Coordinator. 

News
Looking for a Job? Come to Potomac Local’s Job Fair in Dumfries

Potomac Local Job Fair
Sept. 18
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
General Heiser Boys and Girls Club, Dumfries

Officials said more than 150 attended Dumfries' first ever government contractors jobs expo on Wednesday night.

(File photo)

Join companies like Home Depot, Safeway, and Wegmans who will be on site talking to job applicants about the benefits of working for these companies located right here in our area.

The job fair will take place from Wednesday, Sept. 18 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Gen. Heiser Club, at 17565 Old Stage Coach Road in Dumfries. Admission and parking are free.

About The Home Depot

The Home Depot is the largest home improvement retailer in the U.S. with stores in all 50 states. The company was founded in 1978 with the goal to become larger than rivals like Lowes Home Improvement Warehouse.

About Safeway

Safeway is the second largest grocery store chain in the U.S. with nearly 1,700 stores nationwide. Founded in the early 20th Century, Safeway has grown to become the 11th largest retailer in the U.S.

About Wegmans

Wegmans, the independently owned chain of 83 grocery stores, has gained a cult-like following — especially after it was named Best Grocery Store by the Food Network in 2007. In the past five years, Wegmans has made their way into our area with the opening of several stores in Fairfax, Fredericksburg, and Prince William.

News
Defense Agency Leaving Prince William

MANASSAS, Va. — The Department of Defense is trading Prince William for Fairfax County, and will move 300 jobs from the Manassas area to Chantilly.

The Defense Contract Management Agency will close its office on Battleview Parkway in the Blue Ridge Office Park near the Manassas Campus of Northern Virginia Community College and will move all of their employees into a new office at 14501 George Carter Way in Chantilly. The new facility is about 10 miles from the office on Battleview Parkway, which has been open since 1993.

“The current DCMA facility in Manassas is approximately 36,000 square feet. Due to reorganization and additional workload, DCMA has outgrown its current facility in Manassas, but is remaining in the local area,” according to agency spokesman Billy Ray “B.R.” Brown.

The move comes about a month after DCMA told Potomac Local News the company had no intentions of leaving their Manassas-area office. The relocation should be complete by next summer.

DCMA’s Manassas area office provides administrations services to 1,000 federal contractors in the area. The agency is comprised of nearly 10,500 civilian workers and over 500 active duty military employees worldwide.

News
City Barbershop Secure in Location by the Rails

Where is Manassas? 

Editor’s note: “Where is Manassas?” is a series of stories showcasing small business owners in the Greater Manassas area.

MANASSAS, Va. — When Jazmine Mitchell was traveling through Old Town Manassas, he was stopped by a train, and then noticed how many people had got off the train and walked by the small shops.

Seeing that, he thought it would be a great location for a barbershop. Mitchell found a space for lease, and in October 2007, “Jaz Cutz” was officially established.

“The best business to buy is an existing business,” said Mitchell.

In the barbershop business, you have to locate yourself where your customers are. For Mitchell, his customers are primarily located in Manassas. This is why he chose the city by the rails to open business.

Although, he really feels that Manassas chose him because his customers like him so much.

Mitchell says that it is his job to take care of his internal customers, too, which are his barbers and stylists. He says the better he takes care of his five staff members, the better they will take care of their customers.

Mitchell also said everyone needs to have the same “wants and desires out of this business.” He knows that all his staff have their own individual goals, but once he marries those goals with the business goals.

To Mitchell and is other barbers, customer service is number one. As a business man Jaz understands the fact that his customers have a choice of where they want to go. He wants to be their first choice so it is always made sure that the customer is taken care of properly. He wants customers never feel like they are doing the shop a favor by coming in. The atmosphere created, the skill set of each barber, and the shop’s commitment to customer service is what draws people in and brings repeat customers.

Mitchell’s word of advice to people attempting to start their own business is to look for investors rather than partners. He also said to note that, the life of an entrepreneur is different than the life of an employee or manager of someone else’s business.

The hours are much longer and even on your days off, you will still have a lot of work to do. He also said business owners should be involved in the community. By doing that, they are giving the public something positive to talk about.

News
Patch Consolidating Websites, 480 Laid Off

AOL is slashing 480 jobs at its regional Patch.com online news network.

The cuts were announced this morning during a conference call by CEO Tim Armstrong, and they come one week after Armstrong made news for publicly firing an employee on the spot after he took a photograph of him during a conference call.

Of Patch’s websites, 60% of them will continue, 20% will partner with traditional media outlets, and the remaining 20% will be shut down.

It’s not clear what will come of local Patch.com websites in Dale City, Lake Ridge, Manassas Park, Manassas, and Woodbridge, as editors for those sites could not immediately be reached for comment Friday morning.

Since launching in 2009, Patch.com set out to provide local news in communities that lacked a daily newspaper, or where there was a need for additional local news coverage. Patch quickly scaled to some 800 websites nationwide, and employed one reporter/editor for each site that covered a geographic editor, and a several sales staff members.

News
Prince William Chamber’s Kris Johnson Wins Top Sales Award

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — The American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) has again recognized Kris Johnson, Membership Development Director at the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, as a national leader in new member recruitment. Johnson signed more than 290 new members to the chamber over the last 12 months, ranking her among the top sales professionals in her industry.

Johnson was presented with the Membership Development Division’s National Sales Leader Award during ACCE’s Annual Awards ceremony at the association’s annual convention, July 23-26, in Oklahoma City. The award is based on the total number of individual sales and total dollar amount as submitted to ACCE by the sales professionals on a quarterly basis. Awards are presented in each of four dues income categories.

To qualify, chamber membership sales professionals must be members of ACCE’s Membership Development Division’s Circle of Champions program. In addition, the eligible sales to new members must have been made between June 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013.

Rob Clapper, President & CEO of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce said that this is the second year in a row that Johnson has received this award. “Speaking on behalf of the Chamber’s Board of Directors and staff, I would like to say that we are extremely proud of Kris and her accomplishments. To move into a new income category and still produce top sales for the nation — that’s impressive,” he said. “We are lucky to have someone who not only believes in the work we do as a chamber, but also cares a great deal about the success of our members.”

News
‘Blue Light’ Going Dark at Manassas Kmart

MANASSAS, Va. — A Kmart store in Manassas will close its doors after its lease was not renewed.

More in a statement from K-Mart spokesman Howard Riefs:

The Kmart store in Manassas will close to the public in mid-September. Until then, the store will remain open for customers. The store began its liquidation sale on June 30.

As a part of the ordinary course of business we close stores for a variety of reasons. This store is being closed because the lease was not renewed.

The store closures are part of a series of actions we’re taking to reduce on-going expenses, adjust our asset base, and accelerate the transformation of our business model.

These actions will better enable us to focus our investments on serving our customers and members through integrated retail – at the store, online and in the home.

The store in Manassas has 71 employees. They will have an opportunity to apply for positions at other Kmart and Sears stores.

Kmart has had its ups and downs since its found in the early 1960s. In 2002, it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from its creditors and later emerged from bankruptcy. In 2005, the company bought the Sears retail chain and formed Sears Holding Corporation.

The store in recent years has been eclipsed by retailers Walmart and Target, but it was apart of the American lexicon with its “blue light specials” and “attention Kmart shoppers.”

There are nearly 1,300 Kmart stores in the U.S. Locally, a Kmart store remains open in Dale City.

News
Old Dominion Expands Service Center

MANASSAS, Va.  – Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. today completed an expansion to its Manassas Service Center, allowing the company to accommodate increased customer demand throughout Northern Virginia.

The 40-door facility serves as a gateway to Washington, D.C., and is strategically located near Interstates 95 and 66. The service center employs 40 people.

“With 12 additional doors and numerous technological upgrades, Old Dominion is now better poised for growth in the region,” said Michael McCormick, manager of the Manassas Service Center. “We look forward to offering our premium service from our larger, improved service center.”

The facility’s service area includes Washington, D.C., and much of Northern Virginia (Manassas, Dulles, Stealing, Chantilly, Springfield, Alexandria, Culpepper, Chantilly, Quantico and Stafford).

The service center is located at 7937 Gainsford Court in Bristow, Va. The facility is one of nine Old Dominion service centers operating in Virginia.

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