Associations in the News


Alexandria Chamber of Commerce
On September 18, the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Member-Guest event at the Chart House Restaurant. At this well attended event, twenty-two new members who joined from the end of July to the 18th of September were welcomed and given their Chamber pins. Our numbers are up, said Janelle Schmidt, Director of Member Services, we are expecting to have 100 new members by the first of the New Year. The increase in memberships has been attributed to the realization on the part of potential members that this is a good way for businesses to collaborate and to get their name out there. according to Schmidt.

Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association (ACVA)
On September 17, the ACVA hosted 225 meeting and event planners at the Carlyle Club for a pampering evening from Alexandria spas, salons and beauty boutiques. The event was designed to showcase these services to meeting and event planners that make decisions about where their organization and association meetings are held.

September 25 was the ACVA Annual Membership Meeting and Reception at the Crown Plaza Hotel Old Town. According to AVCA Chair John Varghese, this has been an unprecedented {growth} year for our tourism industry. He added that the secret to our success this past year would be the collaboration between the business community and the residents of Alexandria. Councilman Ludwig Gaines advised those listening, dont underestimate the value of the tourism dollars. In 2007, Alexandria visitors contributed $20 million to the Citys tax base. Stephanie Brown, President and CEO of ACVA gave a year in review and set the foundation for the future of the ACVA.

Association of Meeting Professionals (AMPS)
On Tuesday, September 16, the Association of Meeting Professionals celebrated their 26th anniversary at the Crown Plaza Hotel Old Town. Rosselle Foley, CMP, (National Association of Chemical Distributors) immediate past chair, handed over the reins to Hank Roeder (National Travel Association).  Membership is up, she said. We are ahead in membership renewals by about 75 people. The association, which began in Alexandria with a small group of meeting planners, is still active in the community. A request was made to attend the Carpenters Shelter 20 year anniversary event.  AMPs volunteers prepare and serve dinner to Carpenters Shelter residents every fifth Thursday of the month.

Del Ray Business Association
Maria Wasowski, DRBA President, announced that on September 29, 16 hanging banners will be hung on Mt. Vernon Avenue.  The banners, affixed to light poles, will help define the Del Ray area said Wasowski. The banners will read; Del Ray, Where Main Street Still Exists.  Board members and membership committee chairs, Nora Partlow and Christina Richardson, are excited by the addition of the banners. We have been working to increase DRBA membership, said Partlow. She said that the association now is at an all time high of 105 member companies. The new banners that set off Del Ray are a symbol of the work we are doing as a business association to increase our visibility, Richardson said.

West End Business Association (WEBA)
On September 25 at Tempo Restaurant, members of WEBA met to discuss how to survive in an economic downturn. Guest speaker, Bill Reagan, Executive Director of the Alexandria Small Business Development Center, told WEBA President Charniele Herring and association members that times of uncertainty are also times of opportunity. He added, It is a time for careful reflection, analysis and for trying new approaches. Reagan advised the group that the SBDC services are provided to Alexandria businesses without cost and that businesses who want assistance in these tight economic times are encouraged to call on the SBDC.