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COO Larry Butler will retire in the summer after more than 40 years with Reston Association (courtesy RA)

Reston Association‘s COO Larry Butler is officially retiring after more than 40 years with the organization.

His retirement comes after a lengthy career with RA that began when he took a position as a seasonal employee in the spring of 1982.

“Most memorable for me are the life-long friends I have made with the staff and many in the community with whom I have worked,” Butler said.  “For the next chapter of my life, I look forward to many adventures including hiking, biking, fishing and spending more time with my family and friends — preferably in the woods somewhere.”

In a press release, RA said Butler was instrumental in starting RA’s lakes and watershed management programs. He also spent several years on the North American Lake Management Society’s board of directors and served as the organization’s president.

Although he left Reston Association in the mid-1990s to work for the Ashburn Village Community Association, he returned to serve as RA’s director of parks and recreation.

He also helped with fundraising efforts for the Nature House, converted the Southgate Pool into a county-operated community center, and helped with the installation of the Browns Chapel Little League Field.

Butler’s colleagues lauded him for his contributions to the organization.

“He has truly been Mr. RA. The familiar face of the organization for decades bringing continuity and stability even during some rocky times,” RA President Sarah Selvaraj-D’Souza said. “The RA Board is forever grateful to Larry for his leadership, historical knowledge, and most of all his service and commitment to Reston and all Restonians. He will truly be missed.”

RA CEO Mike Cummins called Butler’s impact on the community “profound.”

“He has served in nearly every capacity in our organization and has led our operations and various services in leadership capacities throughout his career here,” Cummins said. “The community owes him much, and the staff is blessed to have had a chance to work with him.”

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Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross (courtesy Office of Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross)

Longtime Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross will not run for reelection next year.

The 27-year Board of Supervisors veteran announced this morning that she will officially retire when her term is up on Dec. 31, 2023, meaning Gross will remain in office for another full year.

“This was a difficult decision, but it’s the right time,” Gross said. “…There’s still a year left. I will be here and continuing to do the same things I’ve been doing the last 27 years, but it is time.”

Gross told FFXnow last week that she would announce her plans for the 2023 elections one way or another this month.

First elected in 1995 to represent the Mason District, which encompasses Annandale, Seven Corners, Bailey’s Crossroads, and Lincolnia down to I-95 in Springfield, Gross won her seventh and final term in 2019 with nearly 64% of the vote.

She’s been a long-time advocate of expanding public transportation, affordable housing, and diversity in the county.

Even back in 1999, when she was running for her first reelection bid, she defended the increasing diversity and changing demographics in Fairfax County.

“I am troubled by the amount of animosity by some in the community about ‘those people,'” Gross told The Washington Post 23 years ago. “One of the things I hear at civic association meetings is a concern that folks who are moving in don’t have the same appreciation as those who are moving out. I’m not sure that’s the case.”

Gross has also served as the vice chairman of the board since 2009.

Early in her career, she worked on the staff of Idaho Sen. Frank Church, who very nearly won the Democratic presidential nomination in 1976.

Board Chair Jeff McKay praised Gross for being a “leader” and leaving a lasting legacy.

I know that you’ve thought about this long and hard. You’ve been an outstanding and continue to be an outstanding vice chair to me as chairman and leader for the county, and as I said, there will be a lot of time for us to reflect on this in the months ahead, but I think the simplest thing to do today is just to share with you how grateful I am for everything you’ve done for the county and for the residents of Mason District and how proud I am of the legacy that you’ve built for others and the leadership attributes that you brought to the table in an always reasonable, well-organized, respectful, well-thought-out way, and so, very, very grateful for that.

Gross got a bit emotional when announcing her decision to retire, particularly after McKay’s comments.

“I practiced this in front of a mirror, and I wasn’t going to cry. I wasn’t going to get emotional. At some point, you get emotional,” she said.

Gross isn’t the only long-time supervisor to announce they won’t be seeking re-election in 2023. This past summer, Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust said he would be stepping down at the end of his term as well.

Gross’s full announcement of her retirement is below. Read More

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