Tysons, VA

The owner of Tysons Ballroom — who happens to be a former “Dancing With The Stars” contestant — became an author in 2020 with the release of his new kids’ book.

Garry Gekhman, who started dancing at age 6, published “Little Yura Loves to Dance” on Tuesday (Jan. 7) in hopes of inspiring a younger generation to pursue their passion for dance, according to a press release.

Earlier today (Jan. 9), he debuted his book with a reading for kids at the Falls Church-McLean Children’s Center, a non-profit preschool.

As a recipient of support from the local Rotary Club, which Gekhman is a member of, he said the children’s center seemed like the perfect location for the reading.

At various times throughout the morning, two classes of roughly 20 preschoolers gathered for storytime and a dance class taught by Gekhman and Suusar Ganbold, Tysons Ballroom’s manager. They learned the basics of dancing — including direction and poise — while interacting with their peers.

Gekhman also shared with the kids parts of a Youtube video adapted from his book.

The book’s storyline guides kids through the life of the main character Yura, the name people called Gekhman in Russia before he moved to the U.S.

Growing up, Gekhman said he struggled with his weight and felt like he didn’t fit in with his peers. Through dance, he managed to find his identity and overcome previous struggles and then decided to share his story with kids who might be dealing with the same issues.

“If you are passionate about something, you’ll achieve it,” Gekhman told Tysons Reporter. “It doesn’t matter how you look.”

Gekhman’s advice to young people: “Follow your passion, think big and start small.”

Gekhman moved to Virginia in 2007 and is now an award-winning dancer who has performed at the White House. He currently teaches Latin dance at his studio (8032 Leesburg Pike, Suite 201). Occasionally, he will also judge various competitions and help co-organize the Yuletide Ball Championships in D.C.

People interested in purchasing his book can find it online for $15.95.

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The Wine Outlet in the Town of Vienna wants people to know more about the fires in Australia.

The store plans to host a free wine tasting tomorrow (Friday, Jan. 10) to talk about the widespread fires in Australia.

People will be able to taste Australian red wines, Anthony Quinn, the event organizer and store manager, told Tysons Reporter.

“It’s a small contribution we’re making,” Quinn said about the event, adding that he hopes people will consider donating to help combat the fires.

The event is set to take place at 4 p.m. The store is located at 114 Church Street NW.

“I’m excited about this,” Quinn told Tysons Reporter. “This is going to be fun.”

He said he hopes to hold more events in the future to raise awareness about the fire.

“It’s about being tied in with the community and being aware of things,” Quinn said.

Photo via The Vienna Wine Outlet/Facebook

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Fire Truck Getting Festive in Falls Church — “The annual tradition returns as the Falls Church Volunteer Fire Department decorates the reserve engine and escorts Santa Claus through the streets of the greater Falls Church area. Santamobile begins this Sunday, Dec. 15 and will run through Monday, Dec. 23.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Tysons Company Taking on Terrestrial Transmissions — “In the past few months, Tysons, Va.-based Omnispace has made some of its most significant announcements since a $30 million Series A raise in 2017… Omnispace announced earlier this month a permit from the Mexican government to build a terrestrial communications network that will mesh with satellite networks.” [American Inno]

Local Students Show Off Cooking Skills — “Culinary Arts 1 and 2 students from Marshall Academy had the opportunity to shadow the executive culinary team and director of hospitality at the McLean DoubleTree Hotel, where they worked with staff members to prepare lunch. Working in teams with staff members, they prepared grilled chicken with a demi-glace sauce, baked tilapia, mixed vegetables, rice pilaf, and dinner rolls.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Real Estate Company Eyeing One Tysons East — “Akridge is also considering taking the speculative approach with One Tysons East, a 270,161-square-foot office planned for a 1.3-acre site at 1690 Old Meadow Road, Akridge President Matt Klein said in an interview.” [Washington Business Journal]

Photo via Falls Church Volunteer Fire Department/Facebook

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A company that specializes in artificial intelligence, software engineering and weapons platforms recently announced that its new home is in The Boro in Tysons.

Alion Science and Technology lists its new address as 8350 Broad Street, Suite 1400 on its website.

“Alion’s new corporate headquarters reflects the cutting edge innovation and technology solutions that we are providing to our defense and intelligence customers every day,” Alion’s CEO Steve Schorer, said in a press release.

The company previously said it was located at 1750 Tysons Blvd — a building next to Tysons Galleria.

“We look forward to welcoming our customers and our employees to our new corporate location,” Schorer said.

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Tysons-area companies made up nearly half of Fairfax County’s list this year of top workplaces for commuters.

Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors recognized 17 companies on Tuesday (Dec. 3) who have taken steps to become more commuter-friendly.

The eight companies in the Tysons area include:

Three companies in Reston, three in Herndon, two in Fairfax and one in Alexandria also made the “Best Workplaces for Commuters” list.

Fairfax County offers a program through the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) provides employers with information about ridesharing and other transportation alternatives for workers, according to a press release.

“We are excited to celebrate the first 100 Fairfax County employers leading the nation in providing high-level commuter benefit programs to their employees,” Marcus Moore, FCDOT’s lead employer outreach specialist with the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, said in a press release. “Employers offering commuting alternatives receive value through enhanced recruitment and retention of staff, decreased parking expenses as well the ability to limit employee absenteeism. It’s a win-win for the employers, the employees and Fairfax County.”

The annual “Best Workplaces for Commuters” lists stems from the county’s partnership with a membership program managed by the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida “to recognize employers who have excelled in implementing green commuter programs, including ride-sharing, transit benefits, biking and walking, teleworking, alternate work schedules and other strategies,” according to the county.

Photo via KETTLER/Facebook

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Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors approved funding to help the Town of Vienna find economic development solutions.

The Town of Vienna approached the county earlier this year about splitting the cost of an economic development strategy and market study totaling $100,000.

The town set aside its $50,000 half when it approved its fiscal year 2020 budget.

Recently, the town has taken steps recently to work towards boosting its economic development and address vacancies plaguing Maple Avenue.

The town created its first-ever economic development manager position in the summer and hired a business development manager in Arlington County for the role in November.

The town had a 15% vacancy rate with 138 vacant spaces — 68 of which are on Maple Avenue, Scott Sizer from the Department of Economic Initiatives told the Board of Supervisors during a Budget Committee in September.

The new strategy and study — which could take up to a year to complete — are meant to revitalize Maple Avenue, find more efficient use of resources to address the vacancies, discover how to aid business recruitment and create place-making strategies, Sizer said.

“The proposed project is an opportunity to support [the] revitalization of the Town’s Maple Avenue corridor and improve property tax revenues for the county and town,” according to county documents, noting that the new economic development manager will oversee the studies and implement the recommendations.

The board approved the $50,000 yesterday (Tuesday). The funds are coming from the Economic Opportunity Reserve.

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Today is Cyber Monday — a growing shopping day for people looking to score deals during the holiday season.

While Black Friday still draws shoppers to malls, the online retail focus of Cyber Monday offers a convenient option for shoppers. Meanwhile, Small Business Saturday encourages people to shop locally.

Of the holiday shopping days, let Tysons Reporter know which one you took the most advantage of.

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Vienna Consulting Firm Acquired — “RyanSharkey LLP, an accounting and consulting firm in Vienna, will become part of Charlotte, North Carolina-based Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP (DHG) as of Dec. 1.” [Virginia Business]

W&OD Trail Face Lift in Falls Church — “The scenic Washington & Old Dominion Trail that courses through the City of Falls Church is undergoing a serious facelift, with a host of benefits expected to boost the city’s transportation infrastructure and the region’s environment when the project is completed by the fall of 2020.” [Falls Church News-Press]

FCPS Scores High on Environmental Ranking — “Fairfax County Public Schools has earned “Platinum” status in the Virginia School Board Association’s “Green Schools Challenge” for 2019.” [Inside NoVa]

Tysons Office Sold For $80 Million — “A six-story Tysons office building has sold for $80.5 million, roughly three times what it sold for just four years ago… Northridge Capital and partner KAMCO Investment Co., a Kuwaiti-based investment firm, has acquired 1550 Westbranch Drive.” [Washington Business Journal]

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The Town of Vienna has hired a business development manager in Arlington County to help revitalize local businesses.

The town recently announced that Natalie Monkou, an Annadale resident, will be the town’s first-ever economic development manager.

Monkou worked in Arlington County for four years, serving as a liaison between the county and three business improvement districts, according to a press release. She also worked as the special assistant to Prince George’s County’s deputy chief of economic development.

“There is so much change happening in Vienna and around the region right now,” Monkou said in the town’s press release. “Because the area is transforming, it’s definitely an opportunity to think strategically and creatively about what economic development and viability will mean for our community and how we can remain competitive and be inclusive and strong.”

Monkou plans to hold a “listening tour,” where she will visit local businesses, according to the press release.

“I plan to get feedback from as many community stakeholder groups as possible,” she said.

Town Manager Mercury Payton said that Monkou stood out because of her economic development experience in Prince George’s and Arlington counties.

Payton’s first goal for the new role is to connect with more businesses so that the town can better learn how to help them more, according to the press release. Secondly, Payton wants Monkou to collaborate with Fairfax County’s economic development office.

“This is an exciting time for the Town,” Payton said. “Having a strong person in this new and critical function may be a catalyst to achieving levels of success that the Town hasn’t yet experienced.”

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Several companies in Tysons made job site Monster’s list of the best places for veterans to work, ahead of Veterans Day (Nov. 11).

Monster recently published the list in collaboration with Military.com, ranking 10 companies across the United States as the “2019 Best Companies for Veterans.”

DynCorp International, a global government services provider for flight operations support, training and mentoring, topped the list. DynCorp is headquarters at 1700 Old Meadow Road near the McLean Metro station.

“The company recognizes the leadership and life experiences that veterans bring to the workforce; therefore, they accept military training for civilian credentials and acknowledge the importance these skills bring to the success of their business model,” the ranking says.

Logistics Management Institute — or LMI — nabbed the fifth spot on the list. The consulting firm is dedicated to improving government management and has a location at 7940 Jones Branch Drive in the Tysons Central neighborhood.

Falls Church-based IntelliDyne got the ninth spot. IntelliDyne focuses on information technology consulting services and moved to its current spot at 3110 Fairview Park Drive in June 2018 to expand.

Outside of the Tysons area, several companies in Northern Virginia made the list as well, including CACI in Arlington and Intelligent Waves, LLC in Reston.

Monster and Military.com worked with a panel of veteran hiring experts to identify the list, describing the employers as “demonstrating an extraordinary commitment to veteran hiring and retention,” according to a press release.

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