CAG’s Dynamic Duo: Tara Sakraida Parker and Susan Dabbar

The Citizens Association of Georgetown will meet virtually tomorrow night.

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Susan Dabbar and Tara Sakraida Parker of the Citizens Association of Georgetown. Photo by Jilanne Doom.

Anyone walking or driving through Georgetown in the past few weeks has come upon the cluttered flurry of renovation projects and sidewalk rebricking and roadway work. During this pandemic, Georgetown, it seems, is in the midst of a rebuilding campaign.

So, too, is Georgetown’s oldest civic group, the Citizens Association of Georgetown, with roots going back to 1878 and goals of “livability, beauty and historic character,” along with public safety. The organization elected a new president, a new vice president and a new board over the summer.

Tara Sakraida Parker now leads CAG with her veep Susan Dabbar. Their mantra is: “Fall in love with Georgetown all over again.”

“We’re setting a vision of inclusion and growth, and executing our goals requires an all-hands-on-deck call to action,” Parker says. “We want everyone to love where they live.”

The CAG board includes veterans like Stephanie Bothwell, Karen Cruse and Karin Wheeler, as well as past presidents Cheryl Gray, Pamla Moore and Jennifer Romm.

Following Leslie Maysak’s recent retirement, CAG selected Christine Nguyen as its new executive director and Will Stewart as business manager.

Its Oct. 20 virtual meeting, at 6:30 p.m., will focus on Georgetown retail, with comments from the Georgetown Business Improvement District, also featuring Georgetown advisory neighborhood commission candidates. For details, visit cagtown.org.

Many at CAG agreed that the group “needed new energy,” according to Parker. And it looks like the Parker-Dabbar administration is ready to provide just that.

The two met four years ago at the George Town Club. A real estate lawyer in Colorado, Parker then served as director of gift planning and director of major gifts at UCLA. She has been with CAG for more than four years.

Dabbar worked in Newport News and later for Disney. She’s held jobs in many countries, including Russia, where she worked for Nestlé in Moscow. She calls herself “queen of the pivot” and now leads an education consulting business as CEO of AdmissionSmarts.

CAG held its first virtual annual meeting last month, launching a redesigned website it views as a community hub. The organization is looking to expand its membership and impact, after the pandemic shut down the town.

With thousands of resident members, CAG plans to take advantage of the opportunity to listen and solicit feedback. Parker says, “The more, the merrier. We are taking our cue from the members. What are their values?”

CAG’s major refresh needs doers, engagement and implementation — people to “bring ideas to fruition,” Parker says. “And a diversity of ideas.”

The group’s goals are many and include: “Rebranding and expansion efforts for community forums and social platforms to include new and targeted interest groups” and “Refresh our community programs to include a broad range of topics covering areas such as culture, art, history, architecture, as well as safety and current events.”

For now, along with Dabbar, Parker says, “CAG welcomes everyone … and fosters a sense of place where residents are not just neighbors but family. We have unlimited opportunity and are excited to see CAG grow in new ways, especially now.”

Georgetown residents should expect an announcement of even more big news from CAG before long.

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