2024 Governing Board Election Candidates

County of Fairfax, Virginia
The McLean Community Center
1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean, Va. 22101

Media Contact: Sabrina Anwah
Director of Communications
703-790-0123/TTY: 711

Friday, March 22, 2024

Fifteen Dranesville Small District 1A residents have qualified to run for seats on the McLean Community Center’s 2024-2025 Governing Board
Four Adult, Two Teen Positions Available

McLean, Va. — McLean Community Center (MCC) has certified 15 residents of Dranesville Small District 1A to run for seats on the MCC Governing Board. Ten adults and five teens will compete to become members of the volunteer board that provides oversight of MCC through policy guidance, strategic planning and financial stewardship. MCC programs and facilities include the Robert Ames Alden Theatre (The Alden) and the Old Firehouse Center. MCC is located at 1234 Ingleside Ave.

Only residents of Dranesville Small District 1A are eligible to vote during the election. Residents may vote during Absentee Voting from Wednesday, March 27, through Monday, May 13. Absentee Voting ends at 5 p.m. on Monday, May 13, and all absentee ballots must be received at MCC by the deadline to be counted. Residents may request ballots in person at MCC, online at mcleancenter.org, by phone at 703-744-9348, by email at  elections@mcleancenter.org.

In-Person voting for Governing Board members will be conducted in the voting tent from 4-8 p.m. at T.G.I.F. Carnival Rides on Friday, May 17, and from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on McLean Day, Saturday, May 18 at Lewinsville Park. The park is located at 1659 Chain Bridge Rd.

Four adult positions and two youth positions are open this year. The adult candidates who receive the three-highest vote counts will serve three-year (3) terms. The adult candidate who receives the fourth-highest vote count will serve a one-year, unexpired term. Youth candidates, one from the McLean High School boundary area and one from the Langley High School boundary area, will serve one-year (1) terms. Youth candidates do not have to attend these schools to serve on the board.

Adult Candidate Personal Statements:

Tarek Atia

I am a longtime McLean resident seeking to use my passion for the arts to benefit my community. If elected, I will collaborate with fellow board members to advance MCC’s critical mission. Throughout my career, I have leveraged my diverse experience as a journalist, entrepreneur and teacher to drive cultural engagement at home and overseas, most recently as director of a major arts and culture center at the American University in Cairo. An alumnus of Churchill, Cooper, Langley and UVA, and father of two adult sons, I am currently writing a book called “Ten Days in America’s Next Great City.”

Jonathan “Slade” Broom
I moved to McLean in 2013 with my wife, Katie. Our three children perform at the Alden Theatre and enjoy the Old Firehouse and the MCC summer camps. I volunteer in our community, primarily coaching McLean Little League. I bring two decades of public service experience. I have honed skills in international negotiations, managing large federal budgets and delivering aid in emergency situations. At CFPB, I protect consumers from financial harm, improve processes and manage organizational change. As a board member, I will focus on expanding family-focused and sensory-friendly events, listening and finding collaborative solutions and providing responsible financial management.

Matt Colsia
As a dedicated member of the MCC Governing Board, I've championed accessibility, modernization, and fiscal responsibility. With 26 years of Army service and deep involvement in our schools and community organizations, I bring a unique perspective and unwavering commitment to service. My vision is to foster a thriving, inclusive community center that enriches the lives of residents. I'm excited to shape MCC's 50th anniversary celebration and beyond, ensuring it remains a beacon of learning, growth, and unity. With your support, I will continue to lead with integrity, advocate for your needs, and tirelessly work towards a stronger, more vibrant community.

Mike Drabyk
My name is Mike Drabyk. As a McLean resident for more than 25 years, I have watched my family grow and thrive. The benefits of being here include the McLean Community Center, the Old Firehouse and events like McLean Day. My family and I have an annual tradition where I play the carnival games at McLean Day for prizes for my wife and family. I want to do my part so others can continue enjoying this local experience as well. I ask for your vote for the McLean Community Center Board. Thank you.

Doug Jeffery
I moved to Northern Virginia in 1997. I attended Chantilly High School and later the University of Virginia. In 2019, my wife and I decided to make McLean our home. Since then, we welcomed our first daughter, now nearly 2, and are expecting our second this spring. I have worked for a large financial services firm in Tysons Corner for 16 years and am a CFA Charterholder. As a father and finance professional, I will make sure that the MCC produces an inclusive and family-friendly environment and that it uses its resources prudently. I am excited to serve our community!

Ronald Keesing
As a 20-year resident, I feel fortunate to live in McLean. I’ve raised two daughters who received world-class educations here. Our family has spent countless hours enjoying local performances, events, classes, parks and the library. I believe the quality of life we’ve enjoyed is only possible through decades of responsible, non-partisan, inclusive leadership. Now, I’d like to give back, continuing that tradition while serving on the MCC Governing Board. I believe I have much to offer, particularly through my expertise in technology and ethics. I’m excited to continue MCC’s important work bringing arts, events and education to our diverse community.

Lisa Mariam
It has been an honor to serve on the McLean Community Center Board for the last three years. I helped guide MCC through strategic planning and chaired the 50th Anniversary Committee. I look forward to continuing to support McLean traditions and exploring new opportunities to engage residents of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. With over 20 years of experience in nonprofit programs and administration, I bring a broad community perspective to represent the residents of our special tax district. I’ll prioritize increasing awareness of MCC, being responsive to community needs and interests and bringing people together to strengthen our ommunity.

Michael Monroe
It would be an honor to serve McLean and I was thrilled to be asked to do so. I live, work and raise my three children here in the Langley pyramid. My finance experience over the past 20 years and relationships in multiple industries, including Hollywood, can help drive amazing activity and efficiency at MCC. I’m a graduate of Leadership Fairfax and the Political Leaders Program through UVA Sorenson, have a master’s in real estate from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s from James Madison University. I’m a life member of Sharon Lodge #327. I’d appreciate your vote.

Peter Pin
It is my pleasure to submit my application for candidate for the MCC Governing Board. As a resident of McLean for 24 years and Northern Virginia for 40, I have a deep commitment to the wellbeing of our community. Having served for over 30 years as a leader in the business community, I hope to bring my spirit of innovation and collaboration along with my skills in leadership and communications to create and advance a wonderful agenda for the community. I thank those that have been here before me and look forward to serving you.

Peggy Richardson
My name is Peggy Richardson, and I would be honored to serve on McLean Community Center’s Governing Board. I’ve lived in the area for over 20 years and have always enjoyed being an active member of my community. Having served on several different volunteer boards such as the Women’s Civic Alliance and the Arlington Community Foundation, I’m confident that my 25-plus years of experience spearheading fundraising campaigns and coordinating philanthropic events would directly benefit MCC and its constituency. As a board member, I would ensure that the programs represent the needs and wants of all the McLean community.

Youth Candidate Personal Statements:

Langley High School Boundary Area Candidates

Anastasiia Dudnik-Dubiniak
I am Anastasiia Dudnik-Dubiniak, a freshman at Langley High, and I am running for the MCC Board. My candidacy is rooted in genuine desire to enhance McLean’s liveliness, vibrance and responsiveness to the diverse needs of its residents. I aim to create a lively and welcoming community, uniting us all by organizing inclusive and engaging events, such as cultural festivals, movie nights, outdoor activities, parties, fundraising events and promoting teen nonprofit startups. With my fresh perspective and dedication, I intend to amplify the voices of teens, fostering a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere for McLean youths.

Sonya Thott
My name is Sonya Thott and I’m a junior at Langley High School. My ambition to incorporate cultural diversity and inclusivity within our community is the core of my campaign. I have showcased my culture via dance and music by performing at Capital One Hall and I am also very involved in my school by being an officer in Langley’s student government, where I help organize school events, learn how to be an efficient leader and listen to students’ opinions. With these experiences, I hope to enhance MCC’s inclusivity statement further and support the betterment of the community for all.

Luke Understein
I am running for board member because I want to make a difference in our community and promote MCC’s outreach, growth and innovation as a cultural resource for residents of McLean. I am familiar with the interests of young people in McLean, and I will bring the perspectives of my peers to aid the decisions of the board. I will also make strong contributions to the committees I serve, because I have good communication and organizational skills and I am very detail oriented. So, I am asking for your vote to represent the Langley district.

McLean High School Boundary Area Candidates

Aanya Jain
Hello, I’m Aanya Jain and I’m running for MCC Governing Board. I was born in McLean and MCC has played a pivotal role in my active involvement within my community. I was exposed to summer activities and plays sponsored by MCC (and let’s not forget McLean Day)! I realized the importance of community engagement and advocacy and am part of Raising Student Voices and Debate clubs, which strengthened my skills in diplomacy, advocacy and teamwork! By serving on MCC’s Board, I’ll strive to promote the magnificent programs MCC offers to those of all backgrounds and will represent my fellow Highlanders!

Aaron Stark
My name is Aaron Stark. I'm a junior and the president of the class of 2025 at McLean High School. I've had extensive experience working alongside the MCC and other McLean-based service programs, including the MCC's Youth Ambassador Program and the Safe Community Coalition's Youth Advisory Council. I've spent nearly all my life growing up in the area, so I figured it was about time to start giving back. As a member of the Governing Board, I would work to add resources and activities for older teens. Vote Aaron Stark for the MCC Governing Board!

Write-in candidates are allowed. Write-in candidates must receive at least 10 votes from 10 residents of the Center’s tax district in order to have their votes counted.

Absentee Voting. A resident may request a ballot package online (mcleancenter.org), by phone (703-744-9348, TTY: 711) or email (elections@mcleancenter.org), or may pick one up at MCC (1234 Ingleside Ave.) Completed absentee voting affidavits and ballots must be received by 5 p.m. on Monday, May 13.

For more information on the MCC Governing Board Elections, call MCC at 703-790-0123/TTY: 711 or visit: mcleancenter.org.

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The McLean Community Center, an agency of Fairfax County Government, is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all programs, services and activities. We will provide reasonable accommodations upon request. To request special accommodations, call the Center seven working days in advance of the event.

To request this information in an alternate format, call 711.