2020 PHRA Board Candidate Statements
My name is Chris Cook and I have lived in Falls Church with my wife, Krista, since 1997. We began as renters at PHRA in 2002, one year after our first child was born. We became shareholders shortly thereafter and have now been members of PHRA for 18 years. We have three children; Lauren (19), Haleigh (16), and Logan (12) who have all been active members of the swim team since their early years. By default, my wife and I are both heavily involved with the swim team. I serve as the head referee for most meets, and my wife has been in charge of team uniforms and spirit wear for the past 8 years or so. In addition, during my last board tenure, I served as the liason to the swim team and was part of the committee that hired the current head coach, Patrick Morris.
I have been elected to the PHRA board on two separate occasions. My first experience on the board was back when Dave Yensen was president. During that time, we were the board that established the “master plan” for the association to improve the grounds and the surrounding areas. This master plan included a timeline for adding the raised deck behind the baby pool, updat- ing all the chain link fencing on the interior of the pool to cedar rails and fencing, renovating the pool house bathrooms and guard room, and constructing the pavilion with built in grills. During my second term, I was chosen to be the board member who over- saw the construction of the pavilion project and was in charge of the day-to-day communication with Sierra Homes, who built the pavilion area and installed the majority of the improvements that we have all grown to love at PHRA. My board experience also included voting to remove boundaries from Poplar Heights in an effort to eliminate the appearance of being an exclusionary club.
I am now running for the board for a third time, as I feel we need to get back to making decisions and spending our reserves in ways that all members agree on and benefit from. I feel strongly that the membership should have a voice in how their money is spent and what is done to the property they are shareholders of. I also believe the board needs to be more transparent to the membership and lay everything out to the association’s shareholders, regardless of whether you support the tennis program, the swim team, or are just a recreational pool user.
I am the Eastern Regional President for KBS and was born and raised in northern Virginia, in fact my mom’s family were mem- bers at Poplar Heights. My family have been members since 2003 and became shareholders a few years later. I have served on numerous business and association boards as well as country club boards. My wife, Marybeth, has been the swim team representative for the last few years and I have been treasurer of the swim team for the last 5 seasons. In addition, we have 2 daughters that swim for Poplar Heights, Caroline 17 and Campbell 13. Poplar Heights is a wonderful family-friendly recreational facility and needs to remain such as our county continues to grow.
As you can see, Poplar Heights is a big part of my family’s life, we are proud to be members, swimmers, and shareholders and I would be honored to serve on your Board as your representative. Thank you.
Dear Poplar families- my name is Elizabeth and I would like to serve you on the PHRA board this coming term! My family and I are recently returned from serving our country overseas and I’d like to give back to the community, which has been so welcom- ing of us. Although the PHRA experience was different this summer because of the pandemic, it was still a joy to be able to swim, play tennis, and walk the grounds. To help preserve and improve the value of PHRA, I would draw on previous volunteer experience, including with PH Crush, and my professional experience and skills such as cost/benefit analysis; project, grant, and financial management; diplomacy; and negotiations. Thank you in advance for your consideration.
I have served on the PHRA Board for six years, and my family and I have been shareholders since 2014. As well as my impor- tant contributions to ongoing discussions and concerns facing the board, I have responsibly overseen regular maintenance and necessary upgrades. Additionally, for this past year, I have served as the Assistant Treasurer.
The Board worked tirelessly this past spring through summer to open the pool and tennis courts and to keep them open to our members. Because of the pandemic, some pools in the area did not open this summer. Poplar Heights is an awesome facility and I hope we can continue to improve it and keep the small community feel that it has as the area around it continues to grow.
I would be honored to continue serving on your Board.
My family has enjoyed being members of PHRA for almost 40 years. My perspective comes from raising my children as mem- bers experiencing the benefits PHRA provides to every age, from toddlers through teenagers, as well as their parents. As a young couple new to the area we valued PHRA as a place to make friends and establish relationships. Our children grew up taking swim and tennis lessons, participating as members of the swim team, and attending activities such as float nights and pep rallies. We have now come full circle and look forward to bringing our young grandchildren to PHRA.
My goals while on the Board are to balance the interests of all members and age groups and to provide high quality programs and facilities while maintaining our beautiful, verdant setting. I will work for a clean and well-maintained pool/baby pool, tennis courts, and grounds.
Member input is important, and I would like to survey our membership to determine their priorities as we move forward and plan for accomplishing these goals in a fiscally responsible manner. I will work to ensure that the membership is well-informed and included in all important decisions so that everyone can feel that their voice is heard and respected.
I appreciate your thoughtful consideration.
I first joined Poplar Heights as a renter in 2008 and became a shareholder in 2011. My family (wife and two teenage daughters) have enjoyed the pool and an occasional tennis match ever since. I am an engineer and have served on several volunteer positions including as the long-time president of the neighboring Westwood Park Civic Association and on two PTA boards. This year has been very challenging and it was disappointing not being able to use the pool as often as we would all like. But I believe we can come up with solutions that would allow more people to use and enjoy the pool if COVID is also an issue for us next summer. Thank you.
I have 2 young children (10 and 13) and a wonderful wife that live within walking distance to Poplar Heights and we look forward to our summers of basketball, tennis, swimming and being with friends at the club. As a 10-year member and a motivated and common representative of many members, I am running for this position because I want to help guide PHRA into the next de- cade with the interests of all members in mind. The years ahead bring new challenges and while our club serves the perfect niche for our area, I believe that some of the leadership has lost touch with the ever-evolving member base. More than ever, we have young families joining and they will be our future success for the club. The main challenge we should be focused on now is how we reopen the pool in a time of COVID. I want to ensure that we prepare to allow more than 8 families per hour and possibly get to 50% or more capacity safely. I think we should increase activities such as upgrading the playground and adding games like cornhole and ladder golf on the unused land inside the fence. Finally, I support our tennis club and the relationship with CORE tennis. I hope we can work to have an even stronger relationship in years to come. I look forward to representing the membership by serving on the board should I gain your votes.
I’m a member of the board that has faced the COVID challenge. The first responsibility of our Association is the safety
of our members. We have taken the necessary steps at the pool and courts to protect health while enabling swimming and ten- nis to continue. Going forward, we need to look for ways to improve member experience while mindful of government COVID guidelines until the virus is tamed.
We need to look for ways to improve our revenue stream. An expanded, post-virus snack bar operation could be one source. Another would be rigorous enforcement of guest pass fees. In 2019 guest passes to the swimming pool brought in over $12,000. Guests using the tennis courts paid nothing. Zilch. Fair play demands that all guests pay their fair share.
I advocate closing this hole in our finances.
Our association needs to manage its financial reserves carefully so that we have money for long-term renewal projects at the pool, playground, and courts, and on our land. We’ve recently redone tennis court fencing and water supply piping at the pool, and other needs beckon, including repairs to our clubhouse.
I’ve been a member long enough to see our daughter “graduate” from the swim team and for our grandsons to be future re- cruits to the pool and courts. I’ve also gotten to know our 10-acre Eden well, having helped find a good surveyor and correct encroachments into our property. While driving in permanent markers along our boundary lines, I’ve learned a lot about vines and thorn bushes! Thank you for your consideration of my candidacy.
Our family moved to the PHRA neighborhood in 1998. We were renters for a year, and became shareholders the following year when a membership became available. Our three daughters all swam with and eventually coached for the swim team. All three played tennis through the tennis program, and our youngest also competed with the PH tennis team. They also spent countless hours at the basketball hoop and volleyball court. As a now-empty-nester, I finally have time to offer to give back to the PHRA community. Our PHRA community is lucky to have its inside-the-Beltway location, tucked away from ever-increasing develop- ment, and I feel we need to work to protect our Association site from further development, commercialization and the bane
of traffic congestion which so burdens our community. The current neighborhood status protects our Association community from the need for expanded parking and added congestion to busy Shreve Road and neighborhood streets. Moreover, open- ing membership to non-neighborhood residents from the greater Northern Virginia/DC region unjustly denies membership and access to our PHRA facilities for children of families recently moving to the PHRA neighborhoods. I would like to serve to help PHRA continue to provide community children and families the wonderful activities our own children remember with such fond- ness. Thank you for your consideration.
I have been a member of Poplar Heights for 25 years. Both my children, Sarah and Matthew, were on the swim team.
They also competed on the Poplar Heights tennis team. My husband and I enjoy the pool and also enjoy the tennis courts. I am running for the board to ensure that the integrity of both the swim and tennis programs are kept intact because they are both important to PHRA.
My family has been an active member of Poplar Heights for 15 years. We have participated in both the swim and tennis pro- grams and continue to do so. We enjoy the neighborly atmosphere and social aspect of the association. These are uncertain times, the Board must have financial discipline and focus. If elected, as a CPA and a financial executive, I will infuse the Board with a breadth of experience, diligence and ensure transparency for the membership.
My wife and I have been members of PHRA for over 15 years now and our son has been part of the swim team for the last 8 years. I previously have served on the board for several terms as VP and oversaw the completion of many upgrades including the new fence around the baby pool and deep end, new partitions exiting the restrooms and construction of the tennis pavilion. I would like to use my previous experience in managing PHRA operations to return to the board and represent the interests of ALL current shareholders. I believe in full financial transparency and accountability as it relates to how PHRA money is spent and would support making that information public to shareholders on the website. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.
(No Statement provided)
I’m a father of two young children that has lived and worked in the area for over 17 years. As a technology and operations con- sultant I’m confident my experience, knowledge, and understanding of how technology can enable organizations, positions me well to be a board member and advocate for our community. As a board member I would find safe and appropriate ways to bring in more revenue for the pool such as selling a wider variety of snack food, working with CORE tennis to sell lessons to non members, and selling August only memberships to people on the waitlist. I feel it is important to harbor a safe environ- ment for our families by having the pool and tennis grounds sprayed for Mosquitos. And I would like to build a safer or improve upon the current playground. I would look into opening the pool earlier in the morning in August and adding adult swim on the weekends when the swim team is not using the pool. To foster a stronger sense of community I would like to improve commu- nications to shareholders and members by introducing a facebook page for PHRA and switching to email or online voting for shareholder communication and voting. As a father to two young children I would like to continue to make the pool and tennis experience fun for all ages.
Hello, my name is Allison Viola and I am a candidate for the Poplar Heights Board of Directors. My children are current mem- bers of the swim team and have been part of the team for over six years. They have had wonderful experiences during that time period from making friends to learning how to compete as part of a team, and these memories will last a lifetime. Our family represents the second generation of Violas that have been members of the pool since the early 1970s and have even partici- pated on the swim team with fellow members of today. We volunteer our time to the pool and team through acting as a Team Representative to supporting the Data Coordinator during both A-meets and B-meets throughout the season. As engaged and supporting members of the club, I hope you will consider voting for me as a member of the Board.