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Momentum Aerospace Group takes on the world’s most difficult problems

From a sinking ferry on a great lake in Africa, 14 lives were saved.

Flying an unmanned aerial vehicle above Lake Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo in summer 2015, a sensor operator sitting next to the pilot noticed a sinking ferry 40 nautical miles from shore.

“We joke around and say he used the “force” because he’s not a maritime guy, not former Navy or solider,” said Joe Fluet, CEO of Momentum Aerospace Group (MAG).

A total of 21 people were aboard the ferry that was capsizing in the lake. The drone operators had been on a reconnaissance mission seeking out intelligence on an insurgent group on the other side of the great lake. They deviated from the mission, took another pass near the sinking ferry and provided the geo-location position data of the doomed boat to the Congolese coast guard.

“In much of the world, when ferries sink everybody dies because there are no radios, no way to get rescue and no way to contact anybody. Those 14 people got to go home and be with their families that night,” said Fluet.

That was a memorable day for MAG; a six-year-old company Fluet founded shortly after retiring from the Army Reserve. Now with more than 600 employees on five continents, operating about 100 aircraft, the company headquarters sits in Woodbridge, Va.

MAG has become the hub for people who want to work in remote areas of the world, taking on difficult challenges, with the mindset of “country first.”

“We’re not a lifestyle company,” Fluet said. “The happy MAG employee has two things in life: work and family. Someone who wants to come in at nine and leave at five won’t do well at MAG because they won’t be happy.”

Checking and responding to emails late at night, and working on projects on weekends is just the beginning of the workload for the type of employees MAG attracts.

The reward for this work is high. “MAG pays above market for most positions”, said Fluet. “There’s also the satisfaction in a job well done, with a focus of a mission is to “make the world smaller and a safer place.” His company’s interests align with those of the U.S., and he expects the same kind of patriotism from his employees.

Before founding his company, Fluet was tasked in 2004 by the Pentagon to set up the very first Aviation Special Operations Unit in Afghanistan. After two tours in the Army and now with the Army Reserve and National Guard, Fluet was tapped for the project because of his experience in the cockpit.

fluet4He spent one year in Afghanistan, where he called on the help of several contractors to get the job done. Unimpressed with the”mercenary” attitudes of many, the contractors he worked with were more about getting paid than providing a service to their country.

“I was unhappy with the contractors I hired at the time,” said Fluet. “I genuinely believed I could do it better than what I’d seen.”

When MAG began, Fluet found himself in Washington, D.C. almost on a daily basis, in meetings, providing support and winning contracts. Better communications technology today means he and his employees can work better remotely. His presence in D.C. has significantly diminished.

He chose to locate in Prince William County because of its business-friendly climate and proximity to the Pentagon, Fort Belvoir Army Base and Marine Corps Base Quantico. There’s also plenty of military service members in the area to make it feel like home.

“I went for a run one morning, stepped out onto my block, and I counted 11 American Flags outside of houses,” said Fluet. “Where else do you see that?”

More companies like his are locating to Prince William County because there’s Class A office space for 25% less than the cost of similar spaces in Northern Virginia. MAG will continue pursuing business from the military, U.N., and NATO, all while working in more remote and non-permissive areas across the globe.

The region took notice of MAG earlier this month when Fluet took home a 2016 SmartCEO Future 50 Award. The ceremony recognizes the region’s fastest-growing mid-size companies. Collectively, Future 50 CEOs employ more than 8,000, and have a cumulative $2.3 billion revenue.

It’s difficult to list what MAG does in a 15-second elevator speech. Fluet says that’s both a curse and a blessing.

“If you hired me to fly to you to Indianapolis because you needed to interview someone there, I’m happy to do that for you. But there are literally 5,000 companies that can do that. I would prefer to be hired to conduct aerial surveillance in Yemen. Not a lot of companies can do that.”

This promoted post is written by Potomac Local under an agreement with Prince William County Department of Economic Development to showcase business in the region.

Winning spinach and chorizo soup now on Manassas menu

A frigid winter evening didn’t hold people back from coming to historic downtown Manassas for the 2nd Annual Souper Bowl, Friday, Feb. 5.

Crowds filled the sidewalks and shops as they explored downtown and tasted 13 different soups. In the end there had to be a winner, and this year’s Souper Bowl Champion was Mariachi’s Tequileria & Restaurant with their homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup, featured at the Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory.

Mariachi’s is a new restaurant in Manassas opening just over a month ago in the old City Square Café location on Battle Street. They featured two soups at this year’s event – the winning Chicken Tortilla Soup as well as a spinach and chorizo soup.

Originally, the spinach and chorizo soup wasn’t a regular menu item, but after such positive praise at the Souper Bowl, owner Antonio Escamilla added it to the restaurant’s daily menu.

“We’ve had a few different groups of people come in since the Souper Bowl, saying they learned about us and our location after attending the event,” Escamilla said. Mariachi’s is owned by Escamilla, Rafael Martinez, and Primo Castlan who says their goal was to bring authentic Mexican cuisine and traditions to downtown Manassas – “it’s the food your grandmother would make” said Escamilla.

Every Friday and Saturday night a live mariachi band performs in the restaurant but on this First Friday they traveled to both Calico Jack’s and the Center for the Arts to supply an added ambience as attendees sampled the soups from both locations.

Head chef L. Fernando Babadilla says the key to the winning Chicken Tortilla Soup is his homemade tortilla recipe that he has had perfected for nearly five years. Chef Fernando’s secret to the spinach and chorizo soup – homemade chorizo. The chorizo mixed with the creaminess of the spinach makes for a soup packed with flavors everyone can enjoy.

This year’s Souper Bowl saw nearly a 20 percent increase in attendance with many already talking of their excitement for next year’s event.

It was a great kickoff for this year’s series of First Fridays, the next of which is Friday, March 4. Don’t forget to mark your calendars and come out to enjoy a fun evening in historic downtown Manassas! For a comprehensive list of events going on in Manassas this year, go to www.visitmanassas.org.

This post is written as part of a paid content partnership between Potomac Local and City of Manassas to showcase businesses and economic development in the city.

Go green and refill your Manassas Olive Oil bottles

Did you know you can return and refill your old olive oil and balsamic vinegar bottles for a discount, and go green at the same time?

Manassas Olive Oil customers can now return and recycle their used oil bottles.

“The glass bottles we give you, you can refill them as long as they’re brought back clean and dry and refilling them gives you a 10% discount,” said Manassas Olive Oil General Manager Cameron Thompson.

Manassas Olive Oil says recycling old bottles is better for the environment because it keeps empties out of landfills and off sides of the road. (more…)

Have Your Next Group Event at Manassas Olive Oil

This is a sponsored column written by Potomac Local for Manassas Olive Oil

The Manassas Olive Oil Company was founded on the notion that great olive oil should be shared with others.

Alex and his daughter Amanda, both military veterans, opened their shop on Grant Avenue in Manassas to share their passion for fresh olive oils and balsamic vinegar with their friends in thier sunlit tasting gallery.

A tasting is now an event that you can share with your friends and family. Manassas Olive Oil is available for bachelor parties, after-hour night time events, and culinary shows.

Becuase of Manassas Olive Oil, more people in and around Manassas are having fun while tasting delicious oils and vinegar. Recently, Manassas Olive Oil shared partnered with Love, Charley for a First Friday event featuring free tastings, raffles, and coupons. (more…)

Beat winter blues with lecture series at Old Courthouse

In the winter of 2004-05, the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division was in a programming quandary.

There were very few programs offered during the months of January, February, and March and there was, at least, one venue, the Old Manassas Courthouse that was underutilized during those months.

An idea was raised to offer during these months a series of lectures on Thursday evenings that would be free to the public in the upstairs Ball Room of the old courthouse located at 9248 Lee Avenue in Manassas and the Winter Lecture Series was born.

The lectures featured topics that in some way tied to the county. Today the Historic Preservation Division will offer the 12th annual series which is now called the History Lecture Series because in has been extended into April. Topics have ranged from prominent people to historic events that shaped the history of the county, to world events that county citizens might have participated in.

This year is no different. (more…)

Local beans, great atmosphere key to Manassas coffee shop success

“Business Beat” is a sponsored column written by One Degree Capital CEO and President Rod Loges. His column examines ideas and best practices that help local businesses succeed.

groundscentralstationPssst, slow down. Take a moment and smell the coffee… or the tea or even the great breakfast sandwiches made by Matt Brower and his team at Grounds Central Station in Downtown Manassas.

Go there for the coffee, go back again and again for the great people and experiences.

I originally found GCS in March 2015 while in Manassas on business. I had time between meetings and wanted a great cup of coffee and an equally good experience. Not being too familiar with Manassas I turned to Yelp for guidance and boom – I found GCS (with a 4.5 star Yelp rating to boot).

Over the past year, I have been back to GCS, oh, a couple of times! I have gotten to know Matt and his merry band of baristas pretty well.

One thing Matt serves – above and beyond a great Americano – is “community.” (more…)

Stay on the path to a New Year, New You at Manassas Park Community Center

“Shaping the Future” is a sponsored column written by Manassas Park Community Center Marketing Manager Jason Shriner. The column highlights the many ways you can have fun, get fit, and improve your life.

With the New Year, now is a great time to think about the year ahead. When I was younger, New Year’s Day didn’t really mean much more than partying, but now it’s a favorite time of mine where I like to set goals for myself. I especially like resolutions that involve learning something new or that result in a tangible finished product.

Over the past few years my resolutions have included listening to more podcasts and TEDtalks, learning to sew (this includes sewing a costume from scratch), creating my own board game, and learning sign language, photography and how to indoor rock climb. When you’re a kid, school can really make learning feel like a chore, but after I graduated college, I realized how much I missed learning new things and challenging myself. You don’t realize how easy it is to stand in one place until you look back on the year and realize it!

Make a promise to yourself this upcoming new year; find the new you! Here are some tips and strategies on choosing resolutions and seeing them through.

1. Be true to yourself and set resolutions you’ll enjoy

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life it’s that if something feels like a chore, then I will find every excuse in the world not to do it. Motivation is an incredibly powerful thing, but it doesn’t come externally. Even when somebody else is encouraging you, you must ultimately want to do it for yourself in order to see your goals through. If you are an extrovert and you have fitness goals, participate in fitness classes! There is nothing more isolating than wearing headphones and working out – totally toxic to an extrovert’s success. Remember to set yourself up for success when choosing your resolutions!

One of my favorite fitness classes at the Manassas Park Community Center is bootcamp. In this high intensity class, the instructor challenges my classmates and me to perform a variety of strength training and cardiovascular exercises, all while maintaining an elevated heart rate. As a self-identifying geek, I never knew I was capable of doing some of the exercises until I participated. It’s not all excruciating work! I feel like we laugh constantly in the class as we awkwardly try new exercises and tease the instructor. Other popular fitness classes at the community center include Zumba, Aqua Zumba, and yoga.

2. Create a plan

Aside from fitness and learning something new, financial responsibility is another popular resolution. Whatever your resolution is, make sure you actually plan out how you’re going to achieve it. Ask yourself these questions to start. Is it fitness related – Where do I want to work out? Should I hire a personal trainer? If it’s learning something new – What time can I dedicate? What expenses are involved? If it’s fiscal What is a budget I can manage? Do I have monthly expenses that I can do without?

One method that helped me save money was to track my spending on a spreadsheet. True, this is a chore (although I do love a good spreadsheet), but knowing that I would eventually have to input a purchase into a spreadsheet where it will be staring back at me – possibly judging me – has been enough to deter me from certain purchases. Plus it’s pretty rewarding to see a year’s worth of spending slowly declining throughout the year! Another tip that I use to talk myself out of a purchase is equating how much an item costs to how much I make hourly. Is this new gadget really worth 2, 4, or 8 hours of my time at work? Cash and especially credit cards can be intangible concepts, but your sweat is pretty real!

Consider incorporating a class into your plan like the programs at the Manassas Park Community Center. INOVA will be teaching a free class called “Eating Better on a Budget” on January 5 or come check out People, Inc.’s free “Credit and Budgeting Workshop on January 20. Talking with professionals and researching ideas online, including articles, videos, and podcasts, are great ways to get fresh ideas to incorporate into your plan.

Belly dancing: Learning new dances, like belly dance, is a great new year’s resolution!
Try group exercise classes or working out with a friend if your routine gets stale
The Manassas Park Community Center recently built a second fitness room featuring all new exercise equipment – come try them out!
The personal trainers at the Manassas Park Community Center love finding new ways to shake up your workout – like boxing!
You can get 2 30-minutes personal training session as part of your membership to the Manassas Park Community Center
Try something you’ve always wanted to, like scrapbooking, by taking a class at the Manassas Park Community Center
Taking classes, like sign language, gives you a chance to meet people who share your interests and can help practice your new skills
Zumba is one of our most popular classes at the Manassas Park Community Center

3. Set realistic and measurable goals

Businesses are successful because employees have somebody holding them accountable. Excellent managers use plans with defined goals to set expectations that both the employee and the manager can agree upon. Similarly, anytime you sign a contract, you’re actually setting a level of expectations. These are expectations you are expected to perform as well as what you expect the other party to perform. Plans, goals, expectations, and accountability all result in getting things done. So why not do the same for your resolution?

I don’t expect you to draw up a contract between you and yourself for your new year’s resolution, but you should at least create an event in your phone’s calendar eight weeks from now that says, “Lose this many pounds,” “Save this much money,” or “Be able to ask for help in the grocery store in a foreign language.” When you have a goal, you have a real expectation with a real deadline for yourself to work towards as opposed to some nebulous concept of “lose weight,” “save money,” or “learn Spanish.” Don’t just set one goal either – set milestones leading up to your final goal so you have a timeline to reinforce your plan.

When setting fitness goals be sure to consult a professional so that you are setting safe and healthy goals. Your Primary Care Physician and the Personal Trainers at the Manassas Park Community Center are two good resources, and a fitness assessment is included free of charge with every membership at the community center.

4. Celebrate accomplishments and be flexible

Willpower is a limited resource. When you’re trying to lose weight, you can only deprive yourself of ice cream for so long. Torturing yourself like this is a surefire way to turn your resolution into a chore. If you reach a fitness milestone, treat yourself! Be flexible and don’t punish yourself for accommodating unexpected events. If your car gets a flat, replacing a tire isn’t a hindrance to your financial goal – emergencies are a reason you wanted to save money in the first place!

5. Don’t stop, won’t stop

It’s going to take persistence and practice to reach your final goal, so don’t give up! It’s said it can take an average of 66 days to form a habit – although this number can vary vastly depending on the habit. [1] If you find your motivation waning, try to focus on the end goal or try to find ways to make the project fun again. Getting a friend involved, changing locations, or switching up your routine can help keep your resolution enjoyable.

Finally, don’t stop once you’ve achieved your resolution. Keep working out, keep saving money, keep practicing that language, but also set a new resolution for yourself! Yes, even in the middle of July! Have you reached your target weight? Why not try hiking or indoor rock climbing? Keep learning and keep moving forward so that next December 31st you can look back and reward yourself for all the resolutions you’ve accomplished – and look forward to all the resolutions you want to try.

How knowing ‘Why’ led website developer WIX to $1 billion

“Business Beat” is a sponsored column written by One Degree Capital CEO and President Rod Loges. His column examines ideas and best practices that help local businesses succeed.

Five, four, three, two, one… Happy New Year! Well, almost! The New Year is a great time to evaluate our business goals and make sure we know the answer to the question, “Why do we do what we do?”

Here is a great example: Avi, a business associate I met in 1999, said to me at the time, “Rod, I want to make it easy and affordable for business owners to build and manage websites.”

In 1999 that was easier said than done. But Avi and a few of his associates started a company that set out to do just that. While his company attracted millions in venture funding, they never gained a critical mass and eventually sold to a competitor.

Flash forward several years later to a phone call I received from Avi who proudly claimed, “Rod, I have finally found a way to make it easy and affordable for business owners to build and manage websites.”

Now, those who know me know that I am a bit of a tech snob. I remember looking at the phone thinking, “WOW, that is a big claim to make!”

Sure enough, Avi’s tenacity paid off. Today his company, WIX, trades on NASDAQ and has a value of just under $1 billion – that’s right – just under $1 billion.

One Degree Capital is a customer of WIX.com, and we love it.

Across three businesses and over 16 years, Avi always knew his “Why” and stuck to it. As quoted from the company’s website, Wix’s vision is “We make it easy for everyone to create a beautiful, professional web presence.”

A common thread that runs through most successful companies is that they know their WHY – the main reason they do what they do. They know and stay committed to their “Why.”

So here is a question for you: As a business owner do you know your “Why?” If you need some help, ask yourself the following questions:

— Why? Why does your business exist? Are you passionate about this?

— Who? Do you enjoy working with your target audience?

— How? Do you serve your customers in a unique and valuable way?

If you are interested in learning more about how to build your “why” here are several great resources:

Simon Sinek, internationally acclaimed author of “Start with Why,” has a powerful TED Talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sioZd3AxmnE that is sure to inspire you to action.

Jeff Parks, a Prince William County-based seasoned consultant and a Coast Guard veteran, says “Live your passion, give your gift.” www.performancebreakthroughs.com. Jeff has helped over 200 organizations define their purpose and build “High-Performance Organizations.”

Margie Warrell wrote this incredible article “Know Your Why – 4 Questions to Tap the Power of Purpose.” Also, she has written three books on Leadership, Life, Courage and Purpose.

Sharon Dilling, owner of Fairfax-based Ability Potentials helps people identify their unique skills, energies, and passions. It works! I took Sharon’s assessment test years ago, and it said I should be the general manager of a commercial finance company. She was right!

As the owner of One Degree Capital for the past six years, I can tell you that I LOVE working with my third hero: The American Small Business Owner. Sharon’s test was so helpful that I have paid for a number of people to take it.

The people who are open and willing to explore the suggested career paths have told me they later that they have truly found their “life’s work.”

What is your “Why?” If you know of any locally owned businesses that have a strong “Why” please share them in the comments section – I would love to learn more about the amazing business owners in our local area.

BBC, WaWa, ’90-Day Fiancé’ are just some of the big names filming in Manassas

The tent was set up and light was barely coming over the horizon when the crew from Twin Productions began filming two commercials for Wawa, the food and gas chain of Pennsylvania.

“Manassas was like a perfect Hollywood back lot,” said Sasha Levinson, director for the Wawa commercials. “So many areas to create stories in, Manassas was an ideal place for our story to come to life.”

“Manassas was the perfect combination of beautiful locations and a cooperative and helpful infrastructure that made shooting our Wawa commercial a wonderful experience,” commented Angela Edwards, Producer for Twin Productions.

This is not the first film crew to choose Manassas in the last several months. Six other production companies have filmed in the City in just a short period of time. The City of Manassas’ new brand touts the City as having an historic heart and a modern beat. These film crews are a perfect example of the new brand.

Filming the City’s Modern Beat was Sharpe Entertainment as they used Stonewall Park to film an episode of “90-Day Fiancé.” Ideology Productions shot a commercial for American Public University also in Stonewall Park.

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Illustrating the City’s Historic Heart was Flight 33 Productions who worked at Liberia Plantation to film an episode of “Codes and Conspiracies” for the American Heroes Channel. Also along the Historic Heart theme was Boundless Productions from the BBC filming a segment of “Great American Railroad Journeys” outside the City’s Train Depot.

As a more “Modern Beat” type of filming, Fox 5 selected the City of Manassas for one of its summer Zip Trips. City staff worked with Fox 5 producers to showcase the City and all it has to offer, ranging from restaurants, to shops to the wonderful community.

A grad student filming his thesis project in the City incorporated both the Historic Heart and the Modern Beat of the City of Manassas. He used a portion of Main Street to shoot a retro movie with 1950’s subject matter.

The Virginia Tourism Corporation website cites a study by the Virginia Commonwealth University Center for Public policy which found that more than 8,000 people in Virginia are involved in this industry, which brought more than $500 million in economic impact to Virginia in 2004.

While that data is a bit old, it gives a general perspective on the importance of the film industry to the Commonwealth and, by extension, localities. Film crews spend money with local businesses – shops, restaurants and small businesses all benefit. The crew that filmed for WaWa had more than 60 people on location throughout the day. So not only does all of the filming in Manassas contribute to extending the City’s brand, it really has a positive economic impact as well. Look for the

The City will continue its efforts to work with this important industry in the future.

This post is written by the City of Manassas to showcase businesses and economic development in the city in a paid content partnership with Potomac Local.

Announcing the new 55+ Active Adult Membership at the Manassas Park Community Center

The Manassas Park Community Center is very excited to announce our new Active Adult membership.

This membership is exclusively designed for individuals 55-64 years old and is only $15/month with 6 and 12 month options. The membership includes access to the gymnasium, pool, and wellness centers as well as all land and water group exercise classes, one fitness orientation, one fitness assessment, and two 30 minute personal training sessions.

This exciting new membership was created based on member feedback and proven demand over the last couple years. Until now our only Active Adult membership option was our Senior Passport membership which is only $30/year. However, this membership is only available for individuals 65 years and older.

As the senior programming became increasingly popular requests to expand our membership offerings also grew. The result was the creation of the new Active Adult membership.

Trying to stay fit? The Active Adult membership includes a number of wellness based classes!

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Senior Strength and Stretch offers a challenging workout that is low impact, but still meets your fitness needs.

Mixed gentle yoga focuses on your core and improves balance with easy-going, gentle yoga poses.

Aquasize is a water based exercise class that offers muscle toning in a low impact environment.

One of our most popular programs is Pickleball which is described as a combination of tennis and badminton.

Looking to learn something new or meet new people? Going Global is an opportunity to experience the diversity within our communities where you can learn about a variety of cultures through photos, stories, and food.

Piano/keyboard lessons offer a chance to explore your musical side whether you’re a beginner or a novice.

If you’re crafty, Social Knitting and Crafting for a Cause are two programs where you can learn to knit or crochet while creating projects for yourself or others to donate. The monthly senior potluck allows you to reconnect with friends in a casual environment.

Easy Gourmet is a hands-on cooking class where you learn to make quick and easy fourfive ingredient recipes.

Road Trip 66 State-to-State is a program where you can experience the diversity of our own country – think of it as a domestic Going Global! All of these programs and more are included in the new Active Adult membership!

Come meet our Senior Recreation Specialist, Bethiah Shuemaker, who has been at the forefront of creating all new senior programs for spring!

We hope to see you soon here at the Manassas Park Community Center!

Chapel Springs produces unique Christmas CD, offers free concert in Stafford

Christmas music is so popular that many radio stations start playing holiday tunes before Thanksgiving. So giving away free CDs of Christmas music is a perfect way to invite people to celebrate Christmas at Chapel Springs Church, which has campuses in Bristow and Stafford.

Matchless King is the title of the newly-released CD written and produced by Chapel Springs Worship Pastor Josh Wesley and several key members of the church’s worship team. The CD takes a different approach from most Christmas CDs, though, because it tells the story not just of Jesus Christ’s birth, but God’s plan to redeem mankind through Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Matchless King features five songs including several that were written specifically for this project, and new arrangements of other classic Christmas songs.

“We wanted to think outside the box” in designing tools to invite the community to worship at Chapel Springs, said Bristow resident and Chapel Springs worship leader Aaron West, who has been a member of the worship team for about 15 years. Pastor Josh suggested creating a Christmas CD, and as the team worked through the details it realized that a CD would be a great invitational tool and would be ideal as the focus for the church’s Christmas celebration this year, West said.

“The idea was to deliver the gospel through the CD, and give the narrative from creation to the death of Christ, which is unusual for a Christmas CD,” said West, who has some experience in music production, but earned his first producing credit on this project.

The CD will be distributed throughout the community for free, and also can be downloaded for free at chapelsprings.org

Music from the recording will be featured at several upcoming Chapel Springs Christmas concerts. The first concert will take place Sunday, December 13 at 6 p.m. at Chapel Spring’s Stafford campus, which meets at Shirley Heim Middle School, 320 Telegraph Road in Stafford, VA 22554.

Kaleb Weaver and Michaelah Faith, who lead worship every Sunday at Chapel Springs-Stafford, also played a vital role on the project – helping to write and arrange songs. Faith, Weaver and Wesley also are featured as soloists on the CD.

“Matchless King is about taking the church outside the four walls. We have a lot of gifted and talented people in the church, but if we contain that talent within the building, we’re not fulfilling what God wants us to do with what he has given us,” Weaver said.

 

This post is written by Chapel Springs Church as part of a paid content partnership between Potomac Local and Chapel Springs Church.

Six area shopping centers giving away $500 to $1,000 this holiday season

Six Prince William County shopping centers are giving you the chance to win big this holiday season.

Bristow Center, Davis Ford Crossing, Dillingham Square and Smoketown Plaza are taking part in their annual Holiday Shopping Spree, a promotion that has one lucky winner at each center walking away with $500 worth of gift certificates to the specific center and a $1,000 donation to their favorite local school.

At Bull Run Plaza, the winner receives $1,000 worth of gift certificates to spend at the center, as well as a $1,000 donation to the winner’s favorite local school.

At Dominion Valley Market Square, five winners will each receive $100 worth of gift certificates to center.

Entry forms are available in the shopping centers’ stores and online.

 

DillinghamSquareDonatesToAntietam Elementary
To enter the Bristow
Center’s Holiday Shopping Spree, click here: http://bit.ly/BristowCenterHoliday2015. Bristow is located at the intersection of Nokesville and Linton Hall roads, features Harris Teeter and CVS/pharmacy.

Enter Bull Run Plaza’s Holiday Shopping Spree here: http://bit.ly/BullRunPlazaHoliday2015. Bull Run is located at the intersection of Route 234 and Sudley Manor Drive in Manassas, and includes Dick’s Sporting Goods, Shoppers Food & Pharmacy, Office Depot and Chili’s.

Click here to enter Davis Ford Crossing’s Holiday Shopping Spree: http://bit.ly/DavisFordCrossingHoliday2015. Davis Ford Crossing is at the intersection of Liberia Road and Prince William Parkway in Manassas. The center features L.A. Fitness, Petco and Staples.

Enter Dillingham Square’s Holiday Shopping Spree here: http://bit.ly/DillinghamSquareHoliday2015. Dillingham Square is at the intersection of Old Bridge Road and Dillingham Square in Lake Ridge. The center includes Food Lion, Gold’s Gym and Brittany’s.

Enter the Dominion Valley Market Square’s Holiday Shopping Spree here: http://bit.ly/DominionValleyHoliday2015. Anchored by Giant Food, Dominion Valley Market Square is located at the intersection of James Madison Highway (Route 15) and Dominion Valley Drive in Haymarket. 

To enter Smoketown Plaza’s Holiday Shopping Spree, click here: http://bit.ly/SmoketownHoliday2015. Smoketown Plaza is at the intersection of Smoketown Road and Minnieville Road in Woodbridge. The center includes Lowe’s Home Center, Glory Days Grill and Dunkin’ Donuts.

Dillingham Square and Smoketown entry forms are due no later than 10 a.m. on December 9. All Bristow, Bull Run Plaza and Davis Ford Crossing entry forms are due by 10 a.m. on December 10. Dominion Valley entry forms are due no later than 10 a.m. on December 11.

News
70th Annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade welcomes Ed Asner as the Grand Marshal

 

So many holiday events this weekend: 

The Christmas season gets underway this weekend on our area with the following events: 

Manassas Christmas Tree Lighting — Friday 5:30 p.m. 

The Christmas Tree in Downtown Manassas will be illuminated at 6:30 p.m. The festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. when Santa Claus arrives at the Manassas Train Depot. There will be holiday music at 6 p.m. 

Attendees can take free hayrides around Downtown, and skate at Harris Pavilion.

70th Annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade — Saturday 10 a.m. 

The Greater Manassas Christmas Parade is honored to announce our 2015 Grand Marshal, Ed Asner! Mr. Asner comes to us with a prolific resume and may be best known for his role as Lou Grant on the Mary Tyler Moore Show and later on a spin off titled Lou Grant.

The younger generation might best recognize him as the voice of the older man in the 2009 Pixar film Up or as Santa Claus in the 2003 movie Elf. Mr. Asner is known to be a versatile, committed, eloquent and talented actor and has received seven Emmy Awards – the most any man has ever received.

The Greater Manassas Christmas Parade has been a hallmark event for 70 years providing entertainment for families and friends in the Greater Manassas community and beyond! It sets the mood for the holiday season!

The parade features over 100 marching units, numerous floats, high-flying balloons, several dancing groups-in all totaling over 2,000 participants each year! Come watch this year’s theme ‘Lights…Camera…Christmas!’ For more information, visit gmchristmasparade.org.

41st Annual Dumfries Christmas Parade — Saturday noon 

Join residents from Dumfries and eastern Prince William County for the 41st Annual Dumfries Christmas Parade at noon on Saturday. The parade route takes marchers and floats down Main Street (Route 1) past Town Hall. The Dumfries-Triangle Volunteer Fire Deparment, Dumfries-Triangle Rescue Squad, as well as several churches and businesses participate in the parade each year.

A tree lighting will follow the parade at 5 p.m. at Town Hall.

Lunch with Santa — Saturday 12:30 p.m. 

Come have lunch with the man in the big red suit at 12:30 p.m. in the Old Manassas Courthouse.

Monza / Carmellos collects gently used coats for gift cards

Monza of Historic Manassas will be collecting gently used coats to donate to SERVE in exchange for a $10 Monza or Carmello’s gift card and free hot chocolate and coffee on Sat., Dec. 5 during the Greater Manassas Christmas Parade. Coat donations will be accepted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Monza at 9405 Battle Street in Downtown Manassas, Va., as well as throughout December to support SERVE of Manassas, Va.

They’ll also be accepting new toys for children of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children of Manassas, Va.) in exchange for a $10 Monza/Carmello’s gift card during December. For more information, go to eatmonza.com. One gift card will be given per coat and/or per new toy.

“We all feel the drop in temperature, and for those in need, sometimes one warm coat is hard to come by which is why we wanted to help collect as many coats as possible for the our local SERVE program,” said Alice Pires, owner of Monza and Carmello’s in Historic Manassas, Va. “We’re excited to collect toys for the kids of CASA, let’s try to make sure no one is forgotten this holiday,” said Pires.

Traffic
Ahead for bus riders: OmniRide Delays Thursday, schedule changes Monday

If you’re riding OmniRide tomorrow, get ready for some delays due to the lighting of the National Christmas Tree. 

This is the official word sent out to bus riders from the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission: 

This is a reminder that the National Tree Lighting Ceremony is scheduled for the evening of Thursday, December 3, on the Ellipse near the White House. In anticipation of the extreme traffic congestion, PRTC will activate the Emergency Service Plan for the AFTERNOON/EVENING commute on December 3.

Beginning at 2 p.m., OmniRide buses will only pick up from the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station for eastern Prince Willi am County passengers and Tysons Corner Metro Station for Manassas, Gainesville and Linton Hall passengers. Midday trips meeting at the Pentagon at 12:34 p.m. will operate at the normal times along the regular routes. All other afternoon/evening trips will depart from the Metro stations. All regular drop-off stops will be served. Services from the Metro stations will continue until 7:30 p.m. except for Prince William and Manassas Metro Direct buses, which will continue operating until their last published departure time.

Bus fares will be $3.85 cash or $3.10 on your SmarTrip card.

It’s also time for PRTC’s Fall Service Change. The commuter bus operator says to expect changes to some schedules: 

Timetable changes will be made to the following schedules. Routes not listed below will not change.

OmniRide:

-Dale City – Pentagon/Crystal City – Timetable changes.

-Dale City – Navy Yard – Timetable changes.

-Lake Ridge – Pentagon/Crystal City – Timetable changes.

Montclair – Timetable changes.

-Manassas — The route will no longer serve Williamson Boulevard. Additionally, three more AM Manassas OmniRide trips will become express trips, originating at the Portsmouth Commuter Lot. This is in addition to the three express trips on the current AM schedule.

OmniLink:

Woodbridge/Lake Ridge – Timepoint changes from Prince William & Hoffman to Prince William & Hillendale; timetable changes.

-Dale City – The first three weekday inbound trips will begin at Dale Blvd. & Orangewood instead of the Chinn Center. Alternate service from Chinn Center is available on Woodbridge A OmniLink. Timepoints change from Mapledale Plaza to Dale & Orangewood/Dale &Trident.

-Dumfries – First three AM weekday trips and first AM Saturday trip will begin at the Lofts instead of the 7-11 on Fuller Heights Road.

Route 1 OmniLink – Timepoint changes from Dumfries Shopping Center to Fraley & Williamstown.

-Manassas – Timetable changes.

Manassas Park – Timetable changes.

Metro Direct:

-Manassas Metro Direct – Timetable changes.

-Linton Hall Me tro Direct – Timetable changes.

Cross County Connector – Timetable changes.

OmniRide commuter buses provide transit services for those traveling from Prince William County and Manassas to points in Northern Virginia and Washington. OmniLink local buses provide transit services for those traveling inside Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park.

Aurora Flight Sciences launches world’s first 3D-printed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

A 3D printed drone

Ten years ago it might have been hard for many people to imagine being able to send a digital file to a printer and producing a three-dimensional object. However, this advanced technology is becoming more widely used in many different industries and is inspiring innovations like 3D-printed cars that can drive and medical devices that can save lives.

Today, Manassas-based Aurora Flight Sciences is taking this technology one step further. The company unveiled the world’s largest and fastest 3D-printed, unmanned aircraft at the Dubai Airshow in November. This high-speed, jet-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flies faster than 150 miles per hour.

Aurora partnered with Stratasys Ltd., a 3D printing and additive manufacturing company, to design and produce an aircraft using 3D-printed, lightweight plastics and metal. This UAV was developed in half the time it typically takes using traditional manufacturing methods.

By using 3D printers, Aurora’s aerospace engineers can build customized products quicker and produce them more cost effectively, which creates new opportunities for the company. For example, the U.S. Air Force recently announced an initiative called “Affordable, Attritable Aircraft” to significantly reduce aircraft procurement costs. The development of lower-cost, 3D-printed UAVs will make it more “affordable” for the military to lose a drone in combat situations.

“Part of the Air Force’s challenge is to separate manufacturing costs from production rate and quantity,” says Dan Campbell, Aerospace Research Engineer at Aurora Flight Sciences. “3D printing is a major enabler of meeting their needs.”

Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, uses a “materials printer” to produce a three-dimensional object from a computer model. The printer builds the object by placing layers of a material on top of each other. Aurora and Stratasys mostly used a strong thermoplastic that is resistant to heat and chemicals to build their UAV. The materials that they chose significantly reduce the aircraft’s weight but still meet the Federal Aviation Administration’s requirements for flame, smoke, and toxicity. The UAV has a 9-foot wingspan and only weighs 33 pounds.

“Whether by air, water, or on land, lightweight vehicles use less fuel. This enables companies to lower operational costs as well as to reduce environmental impact,” says Scott Sevcik, Aerospace & Defense Senior Business Manager for Stratasys. “Using only the exact material needed for production is expected to reduce acquisition cost by eliminating waste and reducing scrap and recycling costs.”

Aurora Flight Sciences and Stratasys began working together through the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory program. For four years, the two companies have been collaborating on developing novel materials and design methods for manufacturing small aircraft using 3D printing.

Having already achieved similar success with unmanned aircraft developed under Department of Defense-funded programs, the Aurora and Stratasys team is excited to publicly demonstrate their achievements. The internally funded UAV showcased at the Dubai Airshow was developed specifically to demonstrate their technology and show the world what can be done with 3D printing and aerospace engineering.

Aurora Flight Sciences, which was founded in 1989, has its headquarters in the City of Manassas and is a long-standing member of the business community. This leading developer and manufacturer of UAVs and aerospace vehicles has won industry recognition and awards for its cutting-edge technology.

Aurora is one of the top ten employers in the City with 188 staff members who are active volunteers with civic organizations and STEM education programs. Since 2003, Aurora has been giving back to the community by supporting the Team America Rocketry Challenge, a national student rocket design contest, through sponsorship and mentoring of local middle and high school teams.

The company has grown considerably over the years and has expanded several times to include production plants in West Virginia and Mississippi; a research and development center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where it collaborates with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); and a new office in California’s Silicon Valley at Mountain View.

This post is written by the City of Manassas to showcase businesses and economic development in the city in a paid content partnership with Potomac Local.

Parades, pancakes, ornaments, & Santa pet photos: Don’t miss holiday fun at the Manassas Park Community Center

 

‘Tis the Season at the Manassas Park Community Center!

There’s just something about the holiday season that makes it one of my favorite times of the year. Maybe it’s because this is the season for spreading happiness, togetherness, and well-wishes to everybody you meet. To help you get into the spirit of the season the Manassas Park Community Center has lots of special events lined up!

The festivities kick off on Thursday, December 3 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. where you and your family can decorate dough ornaments for only $3 a person. You can literally create a lifelong memory to include on your Christmas tree or to keep at your desk all year round.

As a baking enthusiast, nothing brings me more holiday cheer than gingerbread houses! You and your family can decorate your own gingerbread houses Thursday, December 10 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. for just $5 per participant. We’ll supply everything but feel free to bring your own special candy to make your houses extra unique.

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Our popular 10th Annual Light Parade is on Saturday, December 12 starting at 5:45 p.m. There’s a new route this year! It will start at the General’s Ridge Golf Course and follow Manassas Drive to the Manassas Park Community Center. There’s still time to have your vehicle be a part of the parade. Contact Tony Thomas at t.thomas@manassasparkva.gov for more details.

Santa will be visiting the Manassas Park Community Center for a pancake breakfast on Saturday, December 19 from 9 to 11 a.m. It’s only $5 per person for Breakfast with Santa and kids 2 years old and under can join us for free. Make sure to bring your wishlist!

Your pups can meet Santa on December 19 as well! From 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. bring your dogs to take pictures with Santa during our Santa Paws special event! It’s only $5 per dog and you’ll get a high quality digital photo to keep for years to come.

In addition to all of our special events, our monthly promotion gets in on the holiday action! Get 12% off an annual Basic or All-Access membership or 12% off any rental you book during the month of December! For more details on memberships and rentals you can visit our website at www.ManassasParkCommunityCenter.com or call the front desk at 703-335-8872.

We hope to see you soon here at the Manassas Park Community Center!

Sentara to host info meeting for Junior Volunteer program


Information Session for the 201
6 Junior Volunteer Program

Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center Auxiliary will be conducting an information session about the Junior Volunteer program on Saturday December 12, 2015 at 10:00 am at the Hylton Education Center located inside the hospital’s garden level.

Every year in January, the Auxiliary opens its doors to new applicants. It is a competitive process into the program and once in, volunteering can be demanding if not well managed as many high school students are taxed with so many other commitments.

The purpose of the information session is to provide an opportunity for parents and their high school age students to come and learn more about the program before investing in the application process.

Attendees are asked to park in the Visitor Parking lot located in the back of the hospital. The Information session will start promptly at 10a.m. and will last approximately one hour.

Junior Volunteer Information Session

2300 Opitz Blvd

Woodbridge, VA 22191

Hylton Education Center

12/6/2014

10:00-11:00 am

For additional information, please contact Phim Gilberry, (703) 523-1345 or visit our webpage.

 

3 ways to give local, taste local at Manassas Olive Oil Company this holiday season

Manassas Olive Oil wants you to give and taste local this year.

The shop in Historic Downtown Manassas has three unique gift items that are perfect for family, friends, and clients.

The first unique gift we offer are variety packs. They come with three paired olive oils and balsamic vinegars” said Cameron Thomson, manager at Manassas Olive Oil Company. “These are a great way to introduce people to good olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It gives you a nice variety of flavors as well as some of our more popular items.”

Because Manassas Olive Oil Company has so many options to choose from, they’re also a perfect gift for guests who are a little unsure of what to get their loved ones.

Manassas Olive Oil Company offers two variety packs: their Italian Collection and Manassas Collection. Included in the Italian Collection are Traditional Balsamic Vinegar, Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar, Fig Balsamic Vinegar, Garlic Infused Olive Oil, Basil Infused Olive Oil, and Tuscan Herb Infused Olive Oil.

In the Manassas Collection contains the Thomson family’s favorites and includes Traditional Balsamic Vinegar, Cranberry Pear Balsamic Vinegar, Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar, Leccino Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Blood Orange Fused Olive Oil, and Tuscan Herb Infused Olive Oil.

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Variety packs are also customizable per your personal preference. Each box is also uniquely packaged in a beautiful box, which are durable and hold up great during shipping. Variety packs are available for just $36.95.

Gift baskets at Manassas Olive Oil come in two different sizes. The largest pre-made gift basket comes with four bottles, two spouts, a dipping dish, and a sea salt.

It includes Traditional Balsamic Vinegar, Tuscan Herb Infused Olive Oil, Garlic Infused Olive Oil, and Fig Balsamic Vinegar. The smaller gift basket comes with two bottles, two pour spouts, and a dipping dish.

”Gift baskets are a great way to introduce people to olive oils balsamic vinegars because they feature our best-selling products, so they are definitely something people will love and use, said Thomson. .

You can also purchase gift baskets with different themes, such as winter, solid colors, and more colorful ones. These gift baskets are perfect for the holidays but are also a great gift all year round.

If you’re a business owner or a sales agent, gift baskets are great gifts to give to loyal clients.

Cameron said, “Since it’s the time of the year for rewarding clients, right now we have an order for several gift baskets from a company, so it’s proved to be another nice way to say thank you to anyone.”

The large gift baskets retail for $96 and the smaller gift baskets for $56. Manassas Olive Oil Company will customize gift baskets to suit your needs.

Customers can request to have products added, removed, or substituted in order to create something personal. They can even customize the type of basket and bows, And if the customer is wants a basket, but is unsure of what to add, the knowledgeable staff at Manassas Olive Oil will help.

“The third gift option is buying our products off-the-shelf,” said Cameron. “When purchasing, we wrap the bottles in colorful paper, but if our guest would like a different presentation, we carry a variety of one and two bottle gift bags in different themes.”

Manassas Olive Oil receives its bags from a company that specializes in wine packaging, so they are a better fit for the bottles that it carries.

“Olive oil and balsamic vinegar are gourmet products, which make wonderful gifts. Everyone loves to eat, so surprise your host, friends, and family with the gift of taste,” stated Thomson.

News
Police Chief: ‘We appear to have failed to notify ICE’

Two investigations centering on how police work with federal immigration and customs officials are ongoing in Prince William County.

One is a public probe ordered Saturday by the Board of County Supervisors to learn if county police are talking to federal immigration and customs officials, or ICE when officers come across anyone has criminal, or civil administrative — also called a deportation order — against them.

The second is an internal investigation ordered by Prince William County Police Chief Stephan Hudson, who wants to know why some officers declined to properly notify ICE in about half of the cases involving illegal immigrants with a civil or administrative warrant for their arrest.

A WJLA story labeling Prince William as one of four “sanctuary cities” in the Washington, D.C. region for illegal immigrants prompted a swift reaction from At-large Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart. The Chairman in 2007 made national headlines when he pushed for some of the strictest measures in the nation when leading the Board to pass an ordinance that would require all county police officers to check the legal presence of anyone stopped or arrested.

In an email obtained by Potomac Local, Chief Hudson told county officials that only about half of the cases involving illegal immigrants were handled properly.

“I have some additional info I can share, but am still working to verify some facts with ICE. Basically, our officers appear to have made phone contact with ICE’s screening center in about half the cases when we got these hits. We appear to have failed to notify ICE in the remaining cases… I will conduct a formal internal investigation into this matter to determine how this apparent failure to notify (in at least some of the cases) has occurred, but that will take time.

-Prince William County Police Chief Stephan Hudson

Officers check the ID of anyone stopped by for a suspected offense. Information on that person is returned to them on a computer. And, if the person has a criminal warrant out of their arrest, police place the suspect in handcuffs.

If the suspect has a civil or administrative warrant against them, police do not have the authority to arrest that person, explained Stewart. Officials now want to know how many times Prince William officers have come encountered individuals with such warrants and did not notifiy ICE.

The Prince William County Police Department’s authority to check the legal status of immigrants ended in 2012 when the 287g program — a joint program with the feds that trained officers on how to check the legal status of those arrested went away. Officers at the county jail are still trained in checking the legal status of those arrested, and still do so today.

“We certainly disagree with Channel 7’s labeling of Prince William County as a “sanctuary county.” Law enforcement officials in Prince William County have a well-established history of cooperating with ICE. In all criminal custodial arrests, PWCPD officers inquire into the immigration status of the arrestee and document the response on arrest paperwork.

100% of all arrestees booked into the Prince William/Manassas Regional Adult Detention Center (Jail) are screened through the 287g program, and the Jail notifies ICE of those findings.

Furthermore, In the event our officers find a person to have a criminal “Previously Deported Felon” warrant from ICE, officers arrest that person and follow the same procedure at the jail.”

–Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok

Interacting with those who have administrative warrants is only a “small portion” of the department’s dealings with ICE, but that was the core focus of the WJLA story, added Perok.

The Board of Supervisors was beginning its search for a new police chief at the same time the police department’s 287g authority was coming to an end. Hudson was appointed Chief of Police in February 2013 after Charlie T. Deane, the department’s first second Chief of Police retired. It’s possible that someone could have dropped the ball during this changeover period, and at least some directives weren’t followed, said Stewart.

“There’s a lot that we don’t know yet, and we’re going to have to wait for the results of our audit,” added Stewart.

The county tasked private firm RSM with conducting the audit. The results could come before the end of the month.

Come for the Manassas Christmas parade, stay for lunch and learn why historic Santa wears red, white, and blue

On Saturday, December 5, Manassas will host its annual Christmas Parade in Downtown.

Why not make a day of it and come have lunch with Santa Claus at the Old Manassas Courthouse located at 9248 Lee Avenue in Manassas, at the corner of Lee and Grant avenues. He’ll be once again dusting off that old patriotic suit of red, white, and blue for his visit.

The suit, which resembles our nation’s flag was created by famed German Born cartoonist Thomas Nast and first appeared in Harper’s Weekly on January 3, 1863 and was used as a recruiting piece for the northern war effort during the Civil War.

Santa was illustrated giving Christmas gifts to soldiers outside Fredericksburg, and was meant to soften the blow suffered by the Federal Army under General Ambrose Burnside earlier in December of 1862.

The menu will consist of oven roasted turkey, honey baked ham, home-style mashed potatoes, baked macaroni and cheese, freshly cut bacon herbed green beans, fresh cranberry sauce, giant cookies, and freshly baked pumpkin pie.

Beverages will include spiced apple cider, freshly brewed coffee, and hot chocolate. After lunch, bring your camera for a picture with Santa and an opportunity to discuss your Christmas list with him.

Then make an authentic 19th Century Christmas decoration to take home. Participants are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots.

The cost is $20 per person ages 11 and up, and $10 for children 10 and younger. Lunch will begin at 12:30 p.m. in the Upstairs Ball Room.

Elevator access is available to those who need it. For more information or to make a reservation please contact the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division at (703) 792-4754.

European Wax Center in Manassas makes guests look and feel beautiful

European Wax Center in Manassas

European Wax Center opened in June at Bull Run Plaza in Manassas.

Ron Whidby, the franchise owner of the location, said European Wax Center in Manassas offers its guests a unique experience that stands out from the competition, and they strive to make guests look and feel beautiful.

“We provide an upbeat, friendly atmosphere. Our guests enjoy a personalized experience from the time they enter our doors. Our guest service coordinators greet you as soon as you arrive. We offer a private room with your licensed professional, whom we call Wax Specialists or Skin Care Specialists,” said Whidby.european-wax-center-3

European Wax Center in Manassas uses its own exclusive wax, called Comfort Wax that is shipped from Paris. The wax is applied at a lukewarm temperature, and there are no strips needed to remove the wax because it is a hard wax, meaning the wax hardens and is removed without strips, quickly and effortlessly. It’s ideal for sensitive skin and is unlike the traditional soft wax, which can cause irritations to the skin. Other places may use a hard wax like European Wax Center, but Whidby says that it’s not the same.

“A lot of the Wax Specialists can’t believe how well our wax works compared to other hard waxes they’ve used in the past,” said Whidby. The high-quality of the wax and materials used at European Wax Center is enough for guests to make return visits. Men and women, from a variety of ages, often visit the center.

“For women, the number one service is the bikini wax,” Whidby said. “Men typically get a back or shoulder wax.”

european-wax-center-1

Unlike other spas, European Wax Center in Manassas only provides waxing services. “Our Wax Specialists focus on waxing all day long so they master the techniques needed to complete a service effectively and efficiently.  We are the experts in waxing, because that is all that we do. Most services are scheduled for 15 minutes, which allows many guests to come in for their waxing on a lunch break. They are in and out before their breaks are over,” said Whidby.

What else keeps guests coming back? It’s the luxury feel and setting of European Wax Center.

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“When they walk past the glass door and into their wax suite, it’s a setting unlike anything else,” said Whidby. Guests are greeted by their Wax Specialist who will guide them back to their wax suite. Along the way guests see beautiful brick archways as soon as they enter the hallway.

“It’s eye-catching and that’s when we get that ‘wow,'” said Whidby.

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All of the Wax Specialists who work with European Wax Center in Manassas are state licensed and have graduated from esthetic or cosmetology schools. They are also required to complete an in-house training that ensures each Wax Specialist is providing the same level of excellent service to guests.

“We do more than just wax or remove unwanted hair; we reveal the natural, beautiful skin that remains. We educate our guests on proper skin care before and after their waxing,” said Whidby.

The Wax Specialists educate guests about how to hydrate their skin to prevent drying, and which products from European Wax Center’s exclusive product line they can able use so they can have better results as they continue to wax.

As part of the overall service, Wax Specialists educate guests on their exclusive four-step process, which prepares the skin before and after service, to make the waxing experience as comfortable as possible.

European Wax Center believes in the services provided, that a free service is offered to all new guests. “As long as you are a Virginia resident, we give a complimentary wax to first-time guests of European Wax Center,” said Whidby.

“We want our guests to try the products and services we have to offer. Women can get a complimentary eyebrow, underarm, or bikini line wax, or can upgrade to a Brazilian bikini wax for half-off the regular price. Men can get a free eyebrow, ear, or nose wax for their first visit.”

Packages are also offered to discount the price of services.

“For some services we have our unlimited wax pass where you can come in as often as you’d like for one year for that service,” said Whidby.  These passes are only available for the eyebrow, underarm, and bikini waxes.

The pre-paid wax pass allows guests to buy nine of the same service, and get three free where guests can save up to twenty-five percent off of their services. These passes are available for all of the services offered and the visits never expire, so guests have the flexibility to use their visits according to their own schedule.

“So for our regular guests that know they’re coming frequently, there are ways for them to save instead of paying full price every time,” said Whidby.

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