Leadership That Serves Our Pets and Their People: Sam Wolbert Alumni Story

October 11, 2023

Sam Wolbert (LA ’19) didn’t waste any time waiting to jump into Leadership Arlington. Within a week of beginning as the President & CEO of the Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA), he was in touch with the Leadership Center for Excellence (LCE) to explore applying to the program. He was enthusiastic about connecting with…

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Uncharted Territory: Leadership and People First When a Pandemic Hits

April 5, 2023

Siarra Foster (Ignite ’20) was the General Manager of Bowlero Arlington in Crystal City when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, shutting down the country and causing shockwaves through the hospitality industry. Siarra was expected to lead her location in a way that no one in Bowlero, or any other part of the industry had ever had…

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Pursuing Purpose Over Passion: Edson Bravo Alumni Story

December 20, 2022

For more than 25 years, Edson Bravo (LA ’22) has led and supported Arlington’s teenagers through his work with Arlington County’s Parks & Recreation Department. As the Teen Programmer, he makes sure that local students have exciting and fulfilling opportunities to grow, safe places to be after school, and a community to support them. Edson…

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A Passion for Education and Leadership: Bill Fogarty Alumni Story

October 10, 2022

Civic engagement is a passion for Bill Fogarty (LA ’11), and he isn’t one to turn down an opportunity to make an impact. While many people in the local community know Bill for his 35-year legal career as a shareholder at Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh or his numerous community leadership roles, they might not…

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Creating A Legacy Through Mentorship: Mary Ellen Payne Alumni Story

February 8, 2022

Mary Ellen Payne’s (LA ‘11) personal and professional life has always been dedicated to mentorship and service. Although she is now retired after a successful career as an executive at Verizon, Mary Ellen has never stopped her work to serve community needs or to grow the next generation of leaders. If you talk to Mary…

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Lifting Up Voices to be Heard: Elizabeth Jones Valderrama Alumni Story

December 12, 2021

Elizabeth Jones Valderrama has called Arlington home since she moved here from Costa Rica at nine years old.  Today Elizabeth is the Executive Director at Offender Aid and Restoration (OAR) of Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church, Virginia. OAR is a community-based nonprofit organization working with individuals of all genders returning to the community from incarceration…

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