Anna is a storyteller. It’s what drew her to journalism. She is an Emmy winning News Producer and owns Alejo Media. She and her team have turned their passion into a mission to learn your company’s story, and craft a unique video that fits you. As owner of Alejo Media she works to make your vision become a reality. She co-hosts the podcast “2 Girls Talking” with her PR partner, Ashley Bernardi. They talk about all aspects of life with a host of guests around the world.
Mary Ann Burstein
Iris Lopez has been in the banking industry for 19 years, the last seven of which have been with Sandy Spring Bank. She is responsible for the management and growth of the Alexandria Branch in Old Town. Her skills include Commercial ending, Customer Service, Banking, Commercial Banking, and Loans.
As president and CEO of Intelligent Evolution, Inc., a full-service information technology company in Alexandria, Virginia, George Valenzuela oversees all aspects of the company’s marketing, sales, management and operations. Intelligent Evolution specializes on the areas of design and development of websites, search engine optimization, custom software solutions, database management, VOIP services and social media. Intelligent Evolution’s clientele ranges from trade and professional associations, the federal government, and private businesses.
Abel is a Vice President and Relationship Manager with M&T Bank in Business and Professional Banking, with over twelve years of experience. As a relationship manager, he works with local business owners to provide relationship-focused banking solutions unique to each client, industry, and growth goals, including making key connections among the individuals and organizations in his trusted network. Businesses thrive in active communities, and therefore Abel emphasizes long-term relationships and community involvement.
Lunch & Learns
Jennifer Ayers oversees the day-to-day operations of ALIVE!, a 501c3 organization dedicated to improving the lives of Alexandrian’s in need. This includes working with 45 congregations, city agencies, nonprofits, and other community-based organizations, supervising program functions and staff. Jennifer has two kids and a dog and has resided in Alexandria for nearly 20 years. She Volunteer for many activities including the PTA, Church, and the Alexandria Small Business Development Center.
A non-practicing lawyer, Paul Friedman is founder/Executive Director of Safer Country, a gun violence prevention non-profit. In 2020, he was the elected Alternate Delegate to the DNC from VA’s 8th CD for Biden for President. Prior to Safer Country, Paul served as Executive Director of the Virginia Tech Victims (VTV) Family Outreach Foundation, during which time he worked with the City of Alexandria and Virginia Tech’s local graduate schools to create a tree grove in Chinquapin Park to honor the victims and survivors of the April 16, 2007 massacre.
For a full bio, visit safercountry.org.
Anna Kaviani is the President/Owner of Allegra Marking Print Mail in Springfield, VA, Since 2004. She is actively involved with local Chambers and nonprofits in Springfield, Alexandria, and Arlington communities. She is a member Rotary Club of Alexandria Central. Anna has also volunteered with FCPS’s Career Transition program since 2017, training high school students in Graphics Design, layout, print processes, and production. Anna holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Stony Brook University. She started her career at Allegis Group in 1986 as a staff engineer by 2002, and she held a variety of positions from Sales to Director of Operations and V.P of scientific group.
As President and operator of ECCA Payroll company, Joel is a long-time resident of Alexandria’s West End. He has substantial business knowledge and is involved in many networking opportunities.
Ralph has over 21 years of combined work experience within Higher Education and state/local government. As a nationally certified business services professional, he is an expert at providing workforce development solutions to business community. He enjoys providing consultation services that help
businesses train and grow their workforce.
In addition, he enjoys providing career advisement and training services to adult job seekers, increasing their marketability to employers. Ralph possess a master’s in human
resource management, a master’s in communications training & Development and a bachelor’s degree in communications.
Dr. Cynthia Coy-Blackwell, Founder and CEO of Uncaged Solutions, LLC, believes that everyone has purpose and untapped potential. The key lies in understanding how the way you think. Your thoughts have the power to keep you caged in the self-limiting beliefs about who you are and where you are in the different areas of your life. We help entrepreneurs break free from the cage of self-limiting beliefs to catapult their success. Cynthia loves to add value and teach leaders how to lead better by transforming the way they think. John C. Maxwell says, “know yourself to grow yourself” and this perfectly sums up the ultimate accomplishment for each person she serves.
After 41 years as a New York Life Insurance agent, using Life Insurance, Investments, Retirement Products, and Long Term Care Insurance, we help provide financial security and peace of mind for individuals, their families, business owners, and their employees.
Ann brings real world experience to the promotional product industry as demonstrated by her 30+ years of living and breathing all facets of marketing. Her beginnings as an award-winning graphic designer for United Way of America provided the foundation for her creativity today. Ann’s unique leadership skills are the reason for her success as the manager of a print shop consisting of 5 male union employees where her insights were published in In-plant Magazine. Years later, she was awarded an Addy for her contribution to an ad campaign for Washington Gas. While at CACI, she won a Wing Award for proposal designs which generated over $200 million in revenue. In a twist of fate, she is credited with starting CACI’s company store. Perhaps you might say that Ann is in sales. But if she hears you, she will tell you that she is not an order taker, nor has she ever made a cold call. And she owes that to networking as much as possible and building long-lasting relationships. Ann was honored to serve on our the BNI Executive Team for 8 years. She is an award-winning member of a local Toastmasters club, a member of WEBA (West End Business Association), Arlington Chamber of Commerce, BNI Cameron Breakfast and Women on Course. Ann loves the beach, gardening, reading, entertaining friends, and spending time with husband Ron (now cancer-free for 7 years) and playing with their 2-year old pup, Punkin.
Nominations are being sought for the WEBA’s 2020 Board of Directors. Requirements include attendance at the monthly Board meetings on the second Tuesday of each month. This is the perfect way to learn and have a voice in matters of importance in the West End. It is also a great way to gain visibility for your business. Nominate yourself or another by emailing WEBA.
“I love to take advantage of the opportunities to get involved and meet other like-minded business owners. Through the WEBA, I meet tons of impressive business people, making a difference in the West End of Alexandria. “
“I love the community of WEBA. Even through this pandemic I still feel connected to fellow business owners. And WEBA is doing our best to keep members informed on city regulations to keep businesses open and successful. ”
“As a community-based organization, we rely on the strong networks and connections we have in the business community. We not only serve the people living and working in the West End as a nonprofit, we need reliable relationships and business partners. Being part of WEBA gives us another strong link to our community and helps us stay current.”