WTOP Regional Business Insights

The Greater Washington Board of Trade values its partnerships in the region. That’s why since 2021 we have partnerred with WTOP, the premier radio station in the region favored by C-suite executives, as part of sponsored content initiatives in the region. This collaboration offers Board of Trade members a platform to showcase their endeavors, presenting a distinctive and valuable opportunity for our social organization members to amplify their mission within the business community. For more information, please contact George Longwell, Senior Vice President of Engagement, at [email protected].

Jim Kline, Executive Director, DC Public Education Fund

For 16 years, the D.C. Public Education Fund has accelerated student outcomes within D.C. public schools by raising over $200 million for innovative solutions, making CPS one of the fastest improving urban districts in the nation. We prioritize student centered approaches to ensure every student has the support and resources they need to thrive.

The DC Ed Fund connects philanthropy with DCPS’ boldest and most cutting-edge ideas. We’ve raised over $180M in private dollars to innovate the way kids learn, how and what teachers teach, and what’s ultimately possible for an urban public school district. Learn more here: https://dcedfund.org/about/

Cheryl Hamilton Freed, President & CEO, Blue Ridge Hospice

Blue Ridge Care is at the forefront of reimagining health care for the aging. We’ve been serving the community for 40 years, providing hospice and end of life care as the leading high quality care provider in Northern Virginia, we are building new systems of care to optimize the health and well-being of our aging neighbors. Blue Ridge care means caring, light.

Blue Ridge Hospice has been providing high-quality services and end of life care with warmth and compassion to the Winchester, Virginia and surrounding areas for 40 years. Learn more about the company here: https://brhospice.org/about-us/our-history/

Jessica Heppen, President, American Institutes for Research (AIR)

The American Institutes for Research® (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance to solve some of the most urgent challenges in the U.S. and around the world. AIR’s mission is to generate and use rigorous evidence that contributes to a better, more equitable world.

AIR works with government agencies, businesses, organizations, institutions, and communities across the U.S. and around the world to develop and use evidence to improve outcomes. Learn more about AIR’s expertise, initiatives, and capabilities at www.air.org.

Jimmie Williams, President & CEO, Washington Literacy Center

The Washington Literacy Center has been helping DC residents with the greatest barriers and fewest resources learn to read since 1963. For more than 100,000 of DC’s adults, low literacy skills are a barrier to just about everything – completing their education, getting and keeping a decent job, and staying out of poverty.

The Washington Literacy Center teaches basic skills – word attack (sounding things out), fluency, and comprehension to adults who read below a fifth grade level. To get involved or read more about their mission, visit www.washlit.org

Jonathan Horowitch, President & CEO, Easterseals DC MD VA

Easterseals DC MD VA enriches lives and expands opportunities for all children and adults in our communities, including people with disabilities and military backgrounds. As the Easterseals affiliate serving Washington, DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia, it works through public-private partnerships to provide community-based services in the most efficient manner possible.

Easterseals DC MD VA is leading the way to full equity, inclusion, and access through direct and life-changing disability and community services.

Learn more about how these innovative and comprehensive programs impact our region at www.easterseals.com/DCMDVA

Jim Cowen, Executive Director, Collaborative for Student Success

The Collaborative for Student Success is a non-profit organization dedicated to lifting up and defending strong practices and policies driving improved outcomes for all students. Through capacity-building efforts with in-state organizations and collaboration with national partners to promote fact-based public discourse and amplify strong K-12 policies and practices ensuring all students are prepared for success in schools, college, and their careers.

Learn more about how this organization amplifies what works best for students, teachers, and families and how they impact the education system at www.forstudentsuccess.org

Tonia Wellons, President & CEO, Greater Washington Community Foundation

The Greater Washington Community Foundation ignites the power of philanthropy, leads for community impact, and responds to critical community needs. For five decades, The Community Foundation has connected caring donors with nonprofits creating lasting change in D.C., Montgomery County, Northern Virginia, and Prince George’s County.

As the region’s largest local funder, they have invested more than $1.5 billion since 1973 to build racially equitable, just, and thriving communities where everyone prospers. Now, the strategic focus is to close our region’s racial wealth gap so that people of all races, places, and identities reach their full potential. Learn more ways to support our region at www.thecommunityfoundation.org.

Jermaine Johnson, Regional President, Greater Washington and Virginia, PNC, 2023 Board Chair

With a longstanding history of supporting the community, PNC is committed to providing powerful financial expertise to help clients meet their financial goals. As the is the fifth largest bank in the Greater Washington region, they employ more than 2,200 people, including 900 in its retail segment, and operate 166 branches in D.C. and its surrounding suburbs.

PNC and the Board of Trade are working together to identify solutions to workforce challenges, infrastructure issues, education, housing shortages , and complex legislative structures to support the business community. Learn more about how PNC supports the community at www.pnc.com.

Rebecca Hill, Chief of External Affairs, St. Coletta of Greater Washington

St. Coletta of Greater Washington’s mission is to empower children and adults with intellectual disabilities to discover their full potential as well as be recognized and accepted as valuable contributors to the world around them. Their state-of-the-art school and adult programs serve people from all over the Washington metro area.

Learn more about the value and tailored programming of St. Coletta and how your organization can get involved at www.stcoletta.org.

Denis Dunn, President, AT&T – DC, Delaware and Maryland

The FirstNet mission is to deploy, operate, maintain, and improve the first high-speed, nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety. This reliable, highly secure, interoperable, and innovative public safety communications platform will bring 21st century tools to public safety agencies and first responders, allowing them to get more information quickly and helping them to make faster and better decisions.

Learn more about this critical infrastructure at www.firstnet.com.

Lesli Creedon, President & CEO, Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic

A wish experience can be a game-changer for a child with a critical illness. Wishes are more than just a nice thing. And they are far more than gifts, or singular events in time. Wishes impact everyone involved—wish kids, volunteers, donors, sponsors, medical professionals and communities. And still others might realize all they have to offer the world through volunteer work or philanthropy.  Discover more or get involved at www.wish.org.

Ryan Tauriainen, Executive Director, Teach for America

Teach For America is a diverse network of leaders who confront educational inequity by teaching for at least two years and then working with unwavering commitment from every sector of society to create a nation free from this injustice.

As educators, advocates, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and community members, Teach for America fights for the aspirations of students and families. Learn more at www.teachforamerica.org.

Majors Mark A. and Rhea Dawn Woodcock, Area Commanders of The Salvation Army National Capital Area Command

The Salvation Army serves families and people in crisis living throughout the National Capital Area of DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. Whether it is a hot meal, help paying a bill, or a more long-term obstacle, their team is ready to serve anyone in need. The Salvation Army serves all without discrimination. 

Learn more about how The Salvation Army is changing lives in your community by visiting www.salvationarmynca.org.

Larysa Kautz, President & CEO, Melwood

Melwood supports children, youth, and adults with disabilities to work and play where and how they choose. Melwood provides employment, job training, life skill improvement, supportive and recreational services to more than 2,000 people with disabilities each year.

“Our integrated workforce comprised of more than 800 people with disabilities and more than 400 typically abled workers serves as a national model for a successfully integrated workforce. Our staff and workers are consistent local and national award winners for performance excellence in service contract management and operations.”

To learn more about Melwood and the services they provide, visit www.melwood.org

Aired to date:

Blue Jenkins, President, Washington Gas

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Washington Gas provides safe, reliable natural gas service to more than 1.2 million customers in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. The company has been providing energy to residential, commercial and industrial customers for 170 years. Clean-burning natural gas is the fuel of choice for more than nine out of 10 new home buyers in the D.C. metro area.

Learn more about the company at www.washingtongas.com.

Kate Rooper, Chapter President & CEO, Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area Chapter

The Alzheimer’s Association leads the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. As part of a nationwide network of chapters, the Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area Chapter provides help and hope to people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and their families and caregivers in the District of Columbia, five counties in suburban and Southern Maryland and eleven counties in Northern Virginia.

For more information visit www.alz.org/nca

Tony Jones, Regional Communications Manager, American Red Cross National Capital & Greater Chesapeake Region

In addition to collecting lifesaving blood, the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross works 24/7/365 to ensure those with disaster-caused needs in Alexandria City, Arlington County, the District of Columbia, Fairfax City, Fairfax County and Falls Church City have access to lifesaving support and resources. Most often, NCA Chapter volunteers provide essential resources following home fire-related emergencies—over 400 incidents in just the past 12 months.  

Learn more at www.redcross.org/local/dc-va-md-de

Michael Curtin Jr., Chief Executive Officer, DC Central Kitchen

DC Central Kitchen is an iconic nonprofit and social enterprise that combats hunger and poverty through job training and job creation. We provide hands-on culinary job training for individuals facing high barriers to employment while creating living wage jobs and bringing nutritious, dignified food where it is most needed. DC Central Kitchen’s social ventures include serving scratch-cooked farm-to-school meals in DC schools, delivering fresh, affordable produce to corner stores in neighborhoods without supermarkets, and operating a fast-casual cafe.

Learn more at www.dccentralkitchen.org

Carolyn Carpenter, President, National Capital Region, Johns Hopkins Health System National Capital Region

The mission of Johns Hopkins Medicine is to improve the health of the community and the world by setting the standard of excellence in medical education, research and clinical care.

Diverse and inclusive, Johns Hopkins Medicine:

  • Educates medical students, scientists, health care professionals and the public
  • Conducts biomedical research
  • Provides patient-centered medicine to prevent, diagnose and treat human illness.

Learn more at www.hopkinsmedicine.org.

Piper Phillips Caswell, President & CEO, PHILLIPS Programs for Children & Families

PHILLIPS Programs serves the needs of individuals with emotional and behavioral problems and their families through education, family support services, community education and advocacy. Since 1967, PHILLIPS has provided a place where children left behind in traditional settings can get the support and education they need to become successful, responsible adults. Our children’s lives have been colored by a variety of personal and environmental circumstances, so we tailor our approach to address each child’s unique situation. We give our students and their families every advantage: PHILLIPS provides a fresh start, helping children develop critical life skills so they too can enjoy respect, acceptance and personal achievement. At PHILLIPS, we believe any child can overcome adversity, and we help them to prove it everyday. Learn more at www.phillipsprograms.org.

Monsignor John Enzler, President & CEO Catholic Charities of Washington, DC

Catholic Charities assists individuals and families in need, especially those who are most vulnerable. They believe in helping people develop the skills and strength to move from crisis or isolation to stability and growth. The focus is on prevention, when possible, intervention when needed and advocacy when resources or opportunities are either inadequate or unfair. Catholic Charities are strengthened through partnerships with other providers, government agencies, foundations, businesses, individuals, schools, and churches, especially our Catholic parishes. Catholic Charities collaborates with these resources and other community assets to offer programs that are effective and fiscally sound. For more information visit www.catholiccharitiesdc.org.

Radha Muthiah, President & CEO, Capital Area Food Bank

The Capital Area Food Bank is the anchor of the hunger relief infrastructure in our region, providing food to hundreds of area non-profits in communities across D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. But they don’t stop there, because they know that creating long term solutions to hunger requires more than meals. It requires education, training, and opportunity. In short, it demands ideas that address the big picture. That’s why the Capital Area Food Bank approaches the problem in multiple ways: providing food for today and addressing the root causes of hunger by partnering with organizations that provide critical services like job training programs and health care. Learn more at www.capitalareafoodbank.org.

Maury Peiperl, Dean, George Mason University School of Business

Succeeding in today’s marketplace requires continuous upskilling and innovation. At the George Mason University School of Business, they understand this better than most. A place of opportunity for the Washington Region and beyond, their strong tradition of creative business partnerships helps fuel our regional economy and creates opportunities for all. Get to know the school that reflects our community today, and the workforce of tomorrow. Learn more at business.gmu.edu.

Harold Pettigrew, CEO, Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif)

Supporting small business resilience has never been more important. The Washington Area Community Investment Fund advances equity and economic opportunity by getting money, insights, and connections into the hands of underserved entrepreneurs. In the last two years, we deployed more than $30 million and supported more than 20,000 local jobs. Learn more at www.wacif.org.

Kimberly Bullock Gatling, Partner and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Fox Rothschild LLP

Prioritizing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has become non-negotiable in today’s business world. In fact, businesses that fail to recognize its importance risk losing ground to their competitors as clients, employees and investors demand accountability. Kim explains the important role these efforts play in corporate responsibility initiatives in the latest episode of the firm’s ESG Essentials: What You Need to Know Now podcast.

Carrie Stoltzfus, Executive Director, Food & Friends

Food & Friends is built on a simple premise – anyone can get sick and everyone can help! They provide home delivered medically tailored meals and nutrition therapy to our neighbors living with serious and chronic illnesses. They also provide meals for their dependents and caregivers, free of charge. They believe that those managing a serious illness should have the nourishment they need to improve their health. Read Carrie’s blog on Five Reasons Why Bringing Your Team to Volunteer at Food & Friends is a Smart Investment and visit www.foodandfriends.org.

Catherine Meloy, President and CEO, Goodwill of Greater Washington

Did you know the resale of your donations funds free job training and supportive services for people with disabilities and disadvantages in industries such as security, healthcare administration, hospitality, energy, and construction? Goodwill even operates a unique charter highschool for DC residents who want to return to school and earn their diploma. To learn more visit www.dcgoodwill.org

Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes, Director, DC Department of Employment Services

As Washington, D.C. continues its economic recovery from the pandemic, the Department of Employment Services (DOES) remains committed to partnering with District employers to meet workforce needs. DOES has programs to assist at every step of the hiring and training process. Learn more about how DOES can help business move forward in their blog.

Reggie Jones, DC Office Managing Partner, Fox Rothschild LLP

Navigating the recent executive order mandating vaccinations on federal contracts is challenging for federal agencies and contractors, especially if only part of your business is federal. Read Reggie’s blog on how to navigate the business risks associated with the federal contractor vaccine mandate.

No federal contractor wants to submit a certified claim to the government or appeal a contracting officers final decision, but sometimes it is inevitable. Whether to head to a Board of Contract Appeals or the Court of Federal Claims, and whether to engage in alternative dispute resolution are tough questions. Fox Rothschild helps your Company navigate that process. Read Reggie’s blog on effective contract management.

Dr. Jimmy Venza, Executive Director, Adventist HealthCare, The Lourie Center for Children’s Social & Emotional Wellness

Adventist HealthCare’s The Lourie Center for Children’s Social & Emotional Wellness is a private, non-profit agency with a mission to improve the social and emotional health of young children and their families through prevention, early intervention, education, research and training. Serving more than 4,000 children and families in the Washington metropolitan area, regardless of ability to pay, the Center is a pioneer and leader in the field of infant and child mental health.

Over the past decade, The Lourie Center has worked in partnership with research colleagues to complete four empirical studies showing the effectiveness of The Lourie Center core programs: Early Head Start, Therapeutic Preschool Program, Lourie Center School (special education elementary school), and Parent-Child Clinical Services Program. The Lourie Center is partnering with the Circle of Security-International and University of Maryland-College Park to pilot the Circle of Security-Classroom model in Prince George’s County Public Schools, which will help provide a safe and secure environment for students.

Learn more by visiting www.louriecenter.org.

Daniela Hurtado, Director of Programs, La Cocina VA

Our mission is to create opportunities for social and economic change through feeding, educating, and empowering the minds of the community.

We believe that by using the power of food, we can generate opportunities for social and economic change. Unemployment, obesity, diabetes, and food waste are problems that we can start to solve in sustainable ways by designing and implementing innovative programs to help disadvantaged members of minority groups. La Cocina VA is here to help. Learn more by visiting https://www.lacocinava.org/

Ruth Williams-Brinkley, Regional President, Mid-Atlantic States, Kaiser Permanente

Ruth Williams-Brinkley shares how they are helping to get people vaccinated against COVID-19 so that we can put this pandemic behind us in her spot for WTOP. She also offers advice on how business leaders can encourage their employees and community to get vaccinated.

Amy Javaid, Interim President & CEO, A Wider Circle

Amy Javaid, Interim President & CEO for A Wider Circle, explains how the organization has used integrated, holistic services to help our neighbors rise out of poverty for 20 years. Read the blog here.

Blue Jenkins, President, Washington Gas

Blue Jenkins discusses Washington Gas’s workforce development program, its Washington Gas Cares program, and it’s “climate business plan” in these WTOP segments:

Learn more about these programs: Creating Careers in the Community | Washington Gas Shares a Roadmap to DC’s Low Carbon Future | www.washingtongascares.com.

Rosie Allen-Herring, President & CEO, United Way of the National Capital Area

For nearly 50 years, United Way NCA has worked diligently to change the lives of people and families in the National Capital Area. United Way NCA improves lives of under-served individuals by focusing community resources on creating measurable and lasting impact. Uniting nearly 500 partner nonprofits, as well as corporate and community partners, United Way NCA is committed to creating a strong, vibrant community with excellent schools, good health, safe neighborhoods and jobs that pay a livable wage, making bold strides to achieve equity for all community members, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, income and ability.

To learn more or get involved, visit www.unitedwaynca.org

Robin Kelleher, President & CEO, Hope For The Warriors

Hope For The Warriors provides comprehensive support programs for service members, veterans, and military families that are focused on transition, health and wellness, peer engagement, and connections to community resources. Learn more about Robin Kelleher’s vision on our blog: Hope For The Warriors’ Holistic Approach to Aiding Veterans and Their Families.

For more information or to volunteer, visit www.hopeforthewarriors.org.

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