Day: November 1, 2013

Personality Profile

Alan Etter – Man About Town

Do you know someone who moves through life with ease in transitioning from one career to another ?  Someone who has varied interests and excels at all of them?  Someone who is musically gifted and loves entertaining?  Someone who lives full time on a boat?  If not, then you need to meet Alan Etter, news anchor for WTOP Radio in Washington, DC.   It was during his high school years in Richlands, Virginia that Alan discovered his love of and talent for music.  Buying a Sears guitar and a Mel Bay music book with money he earned from mowing lawns he taught himself to play.  His plan was to become a professional musician. And it appeared that he was on target in the early 1980’s when he joined a four-man band that toured as the opening act for ZZ Top, Jefferson Starship and the Allman Brothers among others.  As probably many mothers of musicians think, Alan’s mother doubted the suitability of her son making a living in a traveling band.  Even though the band was successful and Alan loved the music, he eventually accepted the counsel of his mother and moved to Richmond to attend Virginia Commonwealth University.   Alan’s ability to undertake multiple tasks and excel in each became apparent during college as he completed his four-year journalism degree in two and a half years, while volunteering as a firefighter for Henrico County and working full time as a news reporter and anchor for WRVA Radio in Richmond.  College years set the stage for his transition to Washington, DC in 1990 where he has made his mark in the community working in public information with the District of Columbia Fire Department, public relations for the former Greater Southeast Hospital, vice president for public relations at the University of the…

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Business Profile

“Banking is not rocket science, but true customer service is an art form.”

Banking might seem like rocket science to some, but I couldn’t agree more with Ted Johnson, Senior Vice President at John Marshall Bank, that true customer service is an art form.  Ted was just one of the members of the executive team I was fortunate enough to learn about and feature in this month’s business profile.  Ted Johnson, Pam DeCandio, Charlie Collum, and Erik Dorn are who I would like to introduce to you as Alexandria’s premier banking dream team.  This group, who has over 108 combined years of banking experience under their belt, is preparing for the grand opening of their Alexandria branch located at 700 South Washington Street in Old Town Alexandria, this November. After getting to know the work philosophy of this group I can honestly say that I will be changing from my big-name bank to one where service excellence and customer experience is number one on the list.  (And one where they don’t charge you for using your own money, and then forget to send you your new debit card.  Can you tell I am bitter about that one?)  If you are like me, and are sick of being sold the hot deal of the month when you are seeking real banking support, then read on because there is an alternative. In preparation for the ribbon cutting ceremony at the Alexandria branch opening, I wanted to take some time to help you get to know who you will be working with, assuming you decide that you are ready to make the switch from the automated phone service to real customer service.  Every member of this group has a unique story and work philosophy that they bring to the table.  They also have a great deal in common.  Namely, they love what they do, working with…

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Notes from the Publisher

Publisher Notes – November 2013

After a relatively pleasant and perfect summer, the fall weather came on strong at the end of October.  As I am writing this at press time, the temps are suppose to rise back into the middle 60’s next week.  It will still be nice weather to take a Road Trip to Front Royal, Virginia.  This time of year always brings change.  Our friends, Caroline and Bill Ross, have finally fulfilled their dream and have opened River Bend Bistro in Hollin Hall.  We wish them every success.  The recently renovated Old Town Theater, after a brief downtime for reorganization, will once again be lighting up the stage in mid month. Check out Lori Welch’s Single Space column as she moves into the realm of being engaged.  John Marshall Bank will soon be opening their first office in Alexandria and you can read about their philosophy in Liz Jones’ Business Profile column.  Meet Personality Profile Alan Etter and get a taste of living on the water. After Gettysburg, the Union and Confederate armies are back in Virginia along the Rappahannock River.  Doug Coleman reveals the action in both Virginia and Tennessee in Civil Discourse. Neil Williamson introduces us to Weston Farm Vineyard in this months Grapevine. November brings us Thanksgiving and there are many things that we can be thankful for. We hope you celebrate with loved ones near and far. Let’s not forget to honor our Veteran’s on their day this month as well. Happy Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving to you all!