Georgetown Biz Group Honors 2012 Achievers, Affirms 2013 Officers

The Georgetown Business Association held its Annual Meeting and Holiday Soiree at Dumbarton House Dec. 12, affirming its 2013 officers and board and honoring individuals and businesses.

The 2013 GBA officers are Riyad Said, president (Wells Fargo); Janine Schoonover, vice president (JSW Group); Karen Ohri, treasurer (Georgetown Floorcovering); Molly Quigley, secretary (Clyde’s Restaurant Group).

Outgoing GBA president Rokas Beresniovas reviewed 2012’s work: revised bylaws, partnerships with Georgetown-based businesses and a wider marketing effort. Along with new events like the candidates’ forum and the Financial Policy Institute seminar, Beresniovas said that the customary senior advisory luncheon will be relaunched in spring 2013 with some changes. The new GBA president Riyad Said thanked Beresniovas and said his last name was easier to pronounce. GBA vice president Janie Schoonover spoke of GBA’s ability to lobby the government as well as zoning and parking.

Schoonover also led a moment of silence with the audience to remember Curtin Winsor, chair of the Bank of Georgetown, who died suddenly Dec. 11.

Proud to be thanking the crowd was one of the communitarians of the year, Terry Bell of Salon Ilo, whose latest charitable effort was a Dec. 5 Kitty Kelley booksigning, a fundraiser for the D.C. Public Library Foundation and Friends of the Georgetown Public Library.

Business person of the year Zubair Popal, whose Malmaison at 34th and K Streets will open in January, recalled his journey from Afghanistan to the D.C. area and noted that his children went to Georgetown University and George Washington University. Popal assured that his new restaurant would exude “traditional Afghan hospitality.”

Said called Linda Greenan’s lifetime achievement award a “half-life award,” as he expected she had a lot more to do beyond her last GBA board meeting.

Georgetown resident, Iraq War veteran and a bronze star recipient, Army Major David Alexander, was introduced by GBA board member Ed Solomon, who is also an advisory neighborhood commissioner. The major’s father, Sam Alexander, was also in attendance. The Alexander family has owned several local properties, one of which on P Street was rented by a young John F. Kennedy, a representative in Congress at the time.

Ward 2 Councilman Jack Evans proclaimed D.C. the “most dynamic city in America” and welcomed At-large Councilman Vincent Orange to close the meeting. Orange thanked his Georgetown voters and said, “The Evans-Orange team is back.”

The following recipients were honored at the ceremony:

= 2012 Joe Pozell Public Safety Award was presented to Officer Antonial Atkins and Officer Kathryn Fitzgerald, both of the Metropolitan Police Department’s 2nd District.

= 2012 The Art Schultz Communitarian Award was presented to Salon Ilo owner Terry Bell and to Rose Park community activist David Abrams.

= 2012 Business Person of the Year was presented to owner of Cafe Bonaparte, Napoleon and the new Malmaison in Georgetown, Zubair Popal.

= 2012 Business of the Year was presented to the historic George Town Club.

= 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to recently retired Georgetown University Associate Vice President for External Relations, Linda Greenan.

The soiree, sponsored by Fox Ventures, SugarPlum Tents, Atlantic Valet and Dumbarton House, featured a specialty cocktail menu, ample and heavy hors d’ oeuvres and a night of dancing after the award ceremony. Many members and visitors stuck around chatting and complemented the food, drinks and music — as well as the cool vibe of the evening.


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