Board of Directors

President

Mary Ann Burstein

Mary Ann Burstein, a dedicated real estate agent who has proudly served the Alexandria, VA area. Her expert guidance and knowledge of the housing market are invaluable to her loyal clients, whether they are buying or selling million-dollar estate homes or condos on the square.
A Licensed REALTOR® in Virginia, Mary Ann has proudly lived in the Northern Virginia area for nearly three decades. She is an active member of her Alexandria community.
Mary Ann is a member of NVAR (National Virginia Association of REALTORS®), VR (Virginia REALTORS®), NAR (National Association of REALTORS®) and a Major Investor of RPAC (REALTORS® Political Action Committee).
Vice President

James Lewis

James lives and works in Alexandria. He moved to the City 10 years ago because it was a diverse, vibrant and dynamic community where neighbors know and care about each other. Alexandria has been an ideal home for James because the City attracts civic-minded people who embrace progressive values and support policies that reflect those ideals.

He graduated from William & Mary and went on to earn a Masters in Strategic Studies at the U.S. Army War College. After college, he worked with underprivileged youth, leading them in conservation projects to improve city parks. He is a former Capitol Hill staffer with experience crafting progressive legislation.  Now, he works in health care advocacy, fighting to reduce the cost of prescription drugs.

James has been active in Democratic politics for years. He’s served as an Alexandria Democratic Committee Precinct Captain for Lyles Crouch (South Old Town) and was President of the Virginia Young Democrats during the 2017 elections. During that cycle, he helped Democrats win all statewide offices and make tremendous gains in the House of Delegates. He’s also been a leader in the national party, managing policy and issue advocacy for the Young Democrats of America.

Director

Paul Friedman

Paul Friedman is Founder/Executive Director of Safer Country, a gun violence prevention 501(c)(3) organization.

Paul has served six years on Alexandria’s Budget & Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee (BFAAC) and six years on the Board of Agenda: Alexandria.

Prior to Safer Country, Paul served as Executive Director of the Virginia Tech Victims (VTV) Family Outreach Foundation, during which time he worked with the City of Alexandria and Virginia Tech’s local graduate schools to create a tree grove in Chinquapin Park to honor the victims and survivors of the April 16, 2007 massacre.

Paul is a graduate of New York Law School and Brandeis University.

Director

Marco Cooper

Marco M. Cooper is a native of Washington D.C. and has over 30 years of federal government experience as a Senior Budget Analyst/Financial Specialist. Marco holds a B.S. degree in business management from Bowie State University.

Marco became an independent business owner in 2012 with ACN Global Essential Services Marketing Company.  ACN serves the nation with residential/business essential services such as: Mobile, Identity Theft Protection, Energy/Gas, 5G Internet, Home Security, Health Share, Merchant Services, ADP Payroll Services, and more.  In addition, he serves as a Business Consultant with FLP Global, a facilities management company.

In addition, Marco is a community leader, having served as a Treasurer with the Board of Directors in Prince George’s County, MD.  He also coached for over 25 years with private Catholic high school football teams.  Marco joined WEBA in 2021 to build strong relationships with the Alexandria community and make long-lasting connections.

Director

Allen Brooks

In his role as Chief Creative Officer, Allen Brooks leads a diverse team of creatives and engineers. He oversees marketing, media, and people. Since he joined Building Momentum in 2017, he has been instrumental in growing the team from four employees to over 20 and revenue has grown from less than $1 Million to over $5 Million in just three years. He is responsible for the creative vision behind The Garden, the company’s event space that has become a meeting place and beloved community hub in the DC Metro region.

Recently chosen as one of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce’s 40 Under 40, Allen is involved in a number of civic-focused organizations including the ALX Chamber, the Board of Eisenhower Partnership, and the Eisenhower West/ Landmark Van Dorn Implementation Advisory Group. He also is on the Advisory Council for the District Makers Collective and has been actively involved in the public school systems organizing field trips with the goal to introduce students to careers in STEM, as well as working towards developing a training program for teachers in Alexandria Public School System.

Allen Brooks graduated from Christopher Newport University with a  BA in Theater, Arts, and Film Studies.

Director

Ariel Goldstein

After 41 years as a New York Life Insurance agent, using Life Insurance, Investments, Retirement Products, and Long Term Care Insurance, we help provide financial security and peace of mind for individuals, their families, business owners, and their employees.

Director

Mark F. Werblood

Mark F. Werblood, is a 40-year resident of the West End of Alexandria and a Law Partner at Tesler and Werblood. Mark concentrates on Wills, Trusts, Taxation, Small Business, and related litigation. A graduate of New York University, JD, and LLM, Mark strongly believes in being engaged in and giving back to the Community.

Mark’s previous nonprofit service includes 10 years on the Board of Directors of the Greater Falls Church Board of Directors and 6 years on the Board of Directors of PRS, Inc., a  Northern Virginia-based mental health and suicide prevention and mental health nonprofit. Mark is in the 8th year of service on the Board of Directors of Creative Cauldron, a small musical and learning theater.

Director

Rob Gazzola

Rob is the founder and lead Digital Strategist of Gazz Digital, a digital marketing agency located in Alexandria VA, serving business and non-profits both in the DMV and nationwide for over 20 years. His diverse experience covers developing and implementing digital marketing campaigns for many small and medium sized businesses throughout the US and Canada, as well as speaking marketing industry events and serving in leadership roles in several Northern Virginia business associations.

Rob is a native of Arlington, VA, having attended Gonzaga College High School, Bucknell University and Thunderbird: The Amercian Graduate School of International Management. When Rob isn’t strategizing with clients, speaking to or volunteering with local groups, you’ll likely find him on the tennis court or coaching soccer for his two children.

Director

Indre Zakaryte

Transitioning from a foundation of impeccable customer service in the hospitality sector to catalyzing strategic financial contributions as a Business Development Manager, Indre seamlessly integrates her diverse skill set into the dynamic realm of sustainable energy. Currently serving as a consultant with Sustainable You, Indre passionately channels her diverse experiences, propelling the sustainable energy movement forward and contributing significantly to a brighter, more eco-conscious future.  Collaborating closely with contractors across the DMV, she consistently sources optimal deals for their solar needs.

Indre’s guiding philosophy, encapsulated in Dr. Seuss’s words, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You,” reflects her authentic approach to life and work.

Beyond her professional journey, she dedicates her time to volunteer work at AFAC, embodying a profound dedication to community well-being.

Director

Lynn Jordan

Lynn became a resident of Alexandria in 1984.  She served as a Management Analyst at USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, the federal agency responsible for domestic nutrition assistance programs.  She also served on the Alexandria Commission for Women and the Friends of the Alexandria Commission for Women, and currently serves on Alexandria Celebrates Women.

Since retiring, she has volunteered for various non-profit organizations, including ALIVE, the City’s largest non-profit dedicated to fighting hunger and poverty.  Lynn is proud to be on WEBA’s Board as a representative of ALIVE, and the nonprofit community.

Director

BWS Johnson

The West End Business Association has been there for BWS Johnson and Blooms of Paradise from inception. Brooke was delighted to attend gatherings with members of every quadrant of the colour wheel. This business association was different. It didn’t just talk about diversity and inclusion: it lived it.

When Brooke founded Blooms of Paradise in 2018, it was essential that the flowers and botanical material employed in each artisanal arrangement reflect a recipient. Brooke is obsessed with capturing the mood of an event or honouring the roots of a relationship.

Brooke is a member of the Del Ray Artisans. Her 4D art may often be discovered there in addition to other galleries. These pieces are often riskier than their retail versions and give a second life to found objects or scavenged items.

Brooke is proof that even if you’re shy, you’re welcomed warmly at WEBA.

Director

Sada Dahouk

Sada A. Dahouk, was born in Fort Bragg, NC, grew up in a U.S. Army family, accompanying her father during overseas assignments in Oman and Germany, as well as across various U.S. states like Arizona, Georgia, New Jersey, and California. After completing high school in Lake Elsinore, CA, she pursued her education at California Baptist University, later relocating to Northern Virginia in 2019 to be closer to her grade school siblings, Amalia and Laith.

Passionate about community service, Sada actively volunteers for organizations throughout Alexandria such as Community Lodgings, Alexandria Tutoring Consortium, JA Finance Park, and The Alexandria Seaport Foundation.

Currently employed at Burke and Herbert Bank, the oldest bank in Virginia, Sada channels her professional influence to advocate for financial literacy and residential mortgages in support of future generations. She is certified as a Loan Originator, Nonprofit Education Board Member, Electrocardiograph Technician, and Notary Republic. She currently lives and works in Alexandria, VA.

“I love to take advantage of the opportunities to get involved and meet other like-minded business owners. Through the WEBA, I meet tons of impressive business people, making a difference in the West End of Alexandria. “

George Valenzuela

Intelligent Evolution, Inc.

“I love the community of WEBA. Even through this pandemic I still feel connected to fellow business owners. And WEBA is doing our best to keep members informed on city regulations to keep businesses open and successful. ”

Anna Davalos

Alejo Media

“As a community-based organization, we rely on the strong networks and connections we have in the business community.  We not only serve the people living and working in the West End as a nonprofit, we need reliable relationships and business partners.  Being part of WEBA gives us another strong link to our community and helps us stay current.”

Jennifer Ayers

Alive!

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