Board of Supervisors - Providence District Alert:
Caroline Hockenberry has been a devoted resident of Providence District for over three decades and a loving mother of three. Caroline's journey of demonstrating her commitment to the community began when her son with Down Syndrome joined a program at James Lee Community Center for young people with disabilities. Inspired by the staff's compassion and inclusivity, she started working at the community center in 2014. For eight years, Caroline ran afterschool programs and summer camps for youth and teens, providing a nurturing environment for their growth. With her vision for empowerment, Caroline collaborated with the Fairfax Food Council's Urban Agriculture Workgroup to create a community garden at James Lee. This initiative not only offered gardening experience and education to participants but also produced fresh food for the community. During the pandemic, she began working with the Capital Area Food Bank and turned James Lee into a food distribution site, supplying hundreds of families with essential food items every week.
In October 2021, Caroline's contributions led to her appointment as the Providence District Representative to the Community Action Advisory Board. In this role, she actively advised the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on issues concerning limited-income individuals, striving to bring about meaningful change. In April 2022, Caroline's passion for sustainable practices and community engagement led her to join the Fairfax County Park Authority as the Farmers Market Coordinator for the 10 county farmers markets. Caroline's commitment to sustainability was further evident through securing funding from the Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination. With this support, she introduced food scrap collection, canvas market bags, countertop compost bins, and washable produce bags, reducing plastic waste and promoting eco-friendly practices at the markets. Her efforts to improve access to fresh produce for all members of the community materialized with the addition of the Wakefield Farmers Market, which now accepts SNAP/EBT benefits.
Caroline's unwavering dedication to her community and the many positive changes she’s made has left a wonderful mark on Fairfax County. Thank you, Caroline, for your commitment to our community!
In 1972, Ken Quincy and his family made the Providence District their home. Ken has dedicated much of his time over the years to his community. Ken taught English as a second language (ESOL) at Pimmit Hills in adult education and participated in the AARP tax aide program. Since 1998, he's been the President of the Dunn Loring Woods Civic Association. Ken joined the Park Authority Board in 2007 as the Providence District representative and is currently chairing the Budget Committee and the Planning and Development Committee. Additionally, he serves as a liaison to the Fairfax County School Board. He's a strong advocate for green spaces, open space preservation, and the development of outdoor recreational amenities in Fairfax County. Ken's commitment to his community shines through in every role he takes on. Thank you, Ken, for all you do for our community and for your dedication and unwavering commitment to Providence!
Marcela Lievano Martinez
Marcela Lievano Martinez is a Providence District resident who arrived in Fairfax County in 1996. She devotes her time to public service especially on health promotion and education. Marcela completed her high school degree at Falls Church High School and received a degree in Communications at George Mason University (GMU). She returned to GMU to complete a master's degree in Global Affairs with a concentration in Global Health.
While her career has transitioned from community health communication to global health, her dedication and passion remains the same: to be helpful. As a director of programs for the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), she worked to help decrease rates of underage drinking and drunk driving prevention and is now working on border security and foreign assistance for the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).
Marcela cares deeply about promoting vaccine confidence, healthy behaviors, access to health care, human rights, and positive police reform. She served as an appointed representative for the Providence District to the Advisory Social Services Board. She and her family enjoy participating in school activities and taking walks in NOVA parks. Thank you, Marcela, for your dedication to health and our community both locally and globally!
Bessie Smith worked for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) in the Public Safety Division for 30 years and retired in November 2014. Shortly after her retirement, the Providence Community Center opened (January 2015) and Bessie began volunteering. She has been a great asset to the center, helping with the front desk, assisting senior program activities, center trips, and has been a friendly and familiar face to those who visit. Bessie's upbeat personality and contagious smile greets those who walk in the door, making sure that everyone feels welcomed and is informed. Bessie has made a significant impact on our community and has left an imprint on so many. Thank you, Bessie, for your dedication and unwavering commitment to Providence!
Elisa Meara is Founder and President of Native Plant Landscape Design Corp., a garden design firm focusing exclusively on the design and installation of sustainable, environmentally friendly gardens using native plants. Under Elisa’s leadership, the company has become a major force in garden design and environmental protection in Fairfax County.
The recipient of several prestigious environmental awards, Elisa has been at the forefront of efforts in the county to protect pollinators and to protect the Chesapeake Bay watershed through the installation of gardens that help avoid harmful storm water run-off. She has been a frequent speaker at area garden clubs.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Elisa became a U.S. citizen more than 20 years ago. Her two adult children were born in our area, and Elisa has lived in Providence District since returning from Europe 11 years ago. Elisa is a graduate of the Inchbald School of Design in London; she also lived in the Azores islands of Portugal and in Rome, Italy.
Selected by Supervisor Palchik, Elisa represents Providence District on the Fairfax County Environmental Quality Advisory Commission. Elisa is proud to serve on the commission – she sees it as an opportunity to help protect the beautiful environment of our region.
Thank you, Elisa, for all that you do in our community, and Fairfax County at large!
Dr. Melvin Murphy
Dr. Melvin Murphy, a U.S Marine Corps veteran, is a 30-year resident of Fairfax, who has demonstrated his commitment, loyalty, and service to Fairfax County. Dr. Murphy is the Providence District Appointee to the Small Business Commission, and recently, he was appointed as the chair of the Small Business Commission. “To be considered one who can make a significant contribution is indeed flattering. I will continue the work of my predecessor, Marvin Powell, who served this commission honorably.” Dr. Murphy has also held positions on the Fairfax County Consumer Protection Commission, and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and the Consumer Services Board. Dr. Murphy has dedicated much of his time giving back to his community. Thank you, Dr. Murphy, for all you do for our community and for your dedication and unwavering commitment to Providence!
Meet Helen Catchings, a passionate registered nurse, who started a business where she could provide quality home health care for those in need over 30 years ago. She energetically developed a plan which resulted in the founding of Caring Nurses Advocate for Patients (CNAP), which has been in service for 30 years in the state of Virginia. Helen has worked at the INOVA Urgent Care Center in Vienna, Fairfax Hospital, and later at the Home Care Agency. After working in these centers, her passion turned into spending quality time with her patients. She did this by providing quality home care and finding services, a few being physicians, dentists, and ministers that could come to her home bound patients. In addition, she recruited volunteers to help with maintenance and up-keeping their homes. She believes she was put on this earth to serve others, and has demonstrated that calling in her work. Giving back is who she is
CNAP has provided quality health care as well as employment for many women over the past 30 years. In 1991, CNAP started out with 6 nurses and has since employed 45 employees. It is the oldest existing Black owned and operated home care agency in VA and is still run by the same founding owner. In 2001, Helen opened a CNA training school, allowing her to train her own staff, many of which have been with her since the beginning. Helen realizes that the pandemic has caused a lot of stress, heartache and strain for many families leaving people in difficult situations. In effort to help, Helen will be offering a virtual (Zoom) Personal Care Attendant training course beginning in April 2021 to teach home care skills to those who are care givers, caring for themselves and/or who wish to be employed as a home care provider with a PCA certificate. The class will be taught on Zoom, studied at home, and practiced in a two-hour face to face session with Helen, which will adhere to CDC guidelines, social distance specifications, masks, and will limit to two people at a time with the instructor. The registration fee is $75, which covers the cost of the course. If you are interested in taking this course, please call CNAP at 571-432-0230 for more information.
The Providence District is home to many passionate individuals who are always willing to lend a helping hand for the betterment of the community. As a way to celebrate these outstanding individuals, we will be featuring them and their work in our monthly Providence Spotlight. This month, we are shining the spotlight on our 2021 Providence Community Champion, Judith Schneider-Fletcher.
Due to COVID-19, food insecurity is on the rise and families have relied on Food for Others three times more to feed their households. Judith organized the Miller Heights food drive and made a positive impact on our most vulnerable population in the County. She brought her community together and donated over a thousand pounds of food to Food for Others. With her dedication, she has inspired and encouraged her neighbors to be involved in tackling the food insecurity within the Providence District.
Judith is the kind of woman who does it all. As the President of the Miller Heights Neighborhood Association, she makes sure her neighbors are always heard and prioritizes the neighborhood’s best interest. She has stepped up in a time of need and brought her community together to tackle this pressing issue. Her unwavering dedication to serving the community is admirable and continues to inspire those around her.
Eli Edwards, a Scout in BSA Troop 987, worked towards receiving his Hornaday Badge by leading a project that consisted of pulling invasive plants, primarily, pachysandra, from a section of the Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail off Miller Heights Road in Oakton. The BSA Hornaday Badge is a prestigious award created by conservationist Dr. William T. Hornaday that requires a scout to lead a conservation project, complete several merit badges, and meet rank requirements.
With support from Hornaday advisor Sara Holtz and sponsor Fairfax County Park Authority’s Invasive Management Area (IMA) program, he was able to get the job done. The goal was to replace the pachysandra with native plants and trees. During this project there were 164 volunteers who removed 124 bags of invasive plants from the parkland and 170 native plants were planted. Volunteers planted a wide variety of new plants to replace the invasive plants. Eli set the goal of removing the entire area of invasive plants to stop the plants from spreading, to prevent seeds from entering the watershed, to minimize erosion, and to grant native plants space to grow and spread. Native plants increase biodiversity by providing habitat and food to a variety of wildlife, insects, and birds that the surrounding community can enjoy viewing.
Eli is a determined and hardworking individual who has significantly given back to his community. Thanks to his dedication, the Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail is a step closer to being free of invasive plants.
Phylicia L. Woods, JD, MSW is an active member of the Providence community. She represents the Providence District as a Vice Chair on the Fairfax County Commission for Women (CFW). The CFW is charged with supporting and promoting policies and initiatives to promote gender equality, eliminate violence against women, and honor women and girls in Fairfax County. In her work as Vice Chair, Ms. Woods works to advance the mission of the CFW by being an advocate for women and girls, and increasing diversity and equity in the Fairfax Community.
Ms. Woods is the Executive Director of the Cancer Policy Institute (CPI) at the Cancer Support Community, focusing on legislative, regulatory, policy, and research priorities that are important to cancer patients, survivors, and those impacted by cancer. Prior to this role, she was the Director of Federal Relations at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) where she worked on policy initiatives related to cancer prevention and early detection, and affordable health care for people living with cancer, survivors and at risk of cancer.
Kelly Schlageter is a Providence District resident who has spent years serving and advocating in the local community. She works as Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer at Client Network Services, Inc. (CNSI), a Tysons company that provides Medicaid management information systems to states. Kelly was one of The Washington Business Journal’s 2021 Business of Pride honorees.
Kelly is the co-founder and executive sponsor of CNSI’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, and founded their Lean-In Circle groups, creating an opportunity for women to build organic relationships where mentoring could happen more readily. She believes that creating an environment where people can feel safe, where they are valued and where they feel like they can live their truth is extremely important. She also leads CNSI's Corporate Social Responsibility program. The Tysons-headquartered company has worked with schools, food banks, and healthcare workers in the Providence District.
Kelly has served as PTA President and has volunteered with the National LGBTQ Task Force, Equality Virginia, PFLAG and the Human Rights Campaign.
Kelly has also volunteered with Food for Neighbors Red Bag Program for food collection and distribution. Her wife, Paula, leads this program at Luther Jackson MS and Falls Church HS.
*Photo from: www.FoodForNeighbors.org