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'Lord and Lady Fairfax' honorees contribute in many diverse ways

Annual recognition program began nearly 40 years ago
Patrick Smaldore (center) on Oct. 3 received the 2023 Lord Fairfax award for Dranesville District during a ceremony at the Fairfax County Government Center. Pictured with him are Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay (D), Dranesville District supervisor chief of staff Jane Edmondson, Celebrate Fairfax chairman Debbie Kilpatrick and Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville).

Twenty local notables who have contributed to the community for years received their due Oct. 3 as Fairfax County supervisors honored them as Lords and Ladies Fairfax.

County supervisors began the tradition in 1984. Celebrate Fairfax provided support for this year’s event, held at the Fairfax County Government Center.

Here are this year’s honorees, listed by the supervisor who nominated them.

• Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay (D) nominated Lucy Capaldi and Dr. Eric Goplerud. Capaldi spent more than 12 years as a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) with Fairfax CASA.

The goal of Capaldi’s optimism and focus has been to “make a difference in the lives of children who, by whatever circumstances, find themselves in unsafe or abusive situations,” her nomination note read.

Goplerud, who founded Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions, long has worked with interfaith organizations regarding energy efficiency, conservation and resiliency.

• Supervisor James Walkinshaw (D-Braddock) nominated Shari Zamarra and John Rephlo. Zamarra is involved with multiple groups, including the Community Action Advisory Board, Braddock District Land Use Committee and Family Life Education Curriculum Advisory Committee for Fairfax County Public Schools.

“She is passionate about recycling and is dedicated to helping youth and families, especially immigrants and those from Guatemala, inspired by her adopted grandson,” her nomination read.

Rephlo, a U.S. Air Force veteran, also served on that land-use committee and has spent many years in leadership positions with the Boy Scouts of America and been active with the West Springfield Civic Association.

Regarding his land-use activities, Rephlo’s leadership “helped ensure the best interests of the residents are included in the decision-making process,” read his nomination.

• Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville) nominated two familiar faces: retiring Del. Kathleen Murphy (D-McLean-Great Falls) and Patrick Smaldore. Murphy has represented the 34th House District for the past nine years and has advocated for firearms-safety legislation and on behalf of female veterans. Murphy’s “strong leadership in the General Assembly will be missed,” her nomination read.

Smaldore, a U.S. Navy veteran and retired federal employee, has served on the McLean Citizens Association’s Board of Directors since 2011. He has graduated from the county’s police and fire-and-rescue academies and advocated for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training program. Smaldore “brings a keen mind, enthusiasm, patience and reasoned judgment in everything he undertakes for residents of McLean and Fairfax County,” according to his nomination.

• Supervisor Rodney Lusk (D-Franconia) nominated Sharron Dreyer and Dr. Byron Garner. Dreyer served for 16 years as director of senior and specialized housing with the Fairfax County Department of Housing, was an adjunct professor at Northern Virginia Community College and served on the Virginia Housing Study Commission.

A U.S. Navy veteran, Garner works as a defense attorney in the District of Columbia and has published journal articles on American patriotism, veteran identity and black veterans’ experiences.

• Supervisor Walter Alcorn (D-Hunter Mill) selected Roberta Gosling and Andy Sigle. Gosling, who owns a business-consulting company, serves on the George Mason College of Humanities and Social Sciences Board and is board chairman of Cornerstones.

Sigle has served as Reston Association board president, chairman of the Southgate Community Center Advisory Board, board member of the Reston Museum and master of ceremonies for the Cardboard Boat Regatta.

• Supervisor Penelope Gross (D-Mason) chose Alis Wang and Lassine Doumbia. Wang represents Mason District on the Fairfax County Human Services Council, is a member of the Mason District Land Use Committee and was Mason District’s representative on the Redistricting Advisory Committee.

Doumbia, who was raised in Mali in North Africa, is primary volunteer and host for the summertime Cultural Heritage Concerts at Ossian Hall Park in Annandale.

• Supervisor Daniel Storck (D-Mount Vernon) picked Shirley Short and Ron Fitzsimmons. A retired Fairfax County firefighter, Short in 2015 helped lead the inaugural Ides of Bark Dog Festival and later organized the Taste of Mount Vernon.

“Shirley’s dedication to our community helps the Mount Vernon District and its residents,” her nomination note read. “Her willingness to jump in at all times and her can-do attitude [make] a difference for all of us.”

Fitzsimmons co-created Alice’s Kids to help children in need anonymously by providing gift cards to teachers and counselors who have identified the children’s needs.

• Supervisor Dalia Palchik (D-Providence) nominated Nada Bashir and retired Fairfax County Department of Transportation Director Tom Biesiadny.

Bashir, a Sudan native, has held a variety of positions in Fairfax County’s government and school system and worked with numerous nonprofits as well.

Biesiadny, who retired this year after a 35-year career with the county, helped bring to fruition many road, transit, bicycle, sidewalk and intersection upgrades. He was part of the team that established Virginia Railway Express and helped facilitate the extension of Metrorail’s Blue Line to the new Franconia-Springfield Station.

• Supervisor Patrick Herrity (R-Springfield) chose Cathy Turner and Rob Hahne. Turner has served for a decade as president of the Saratoga Homeowners’ Association.

Hahne is executive director of the nonprofit Northern Virginia Travel Baseball League and founded Kyle’s Kamp, which has raised more than $2.3 million for pediatric-cancer research and care at Children’s National Hospital.

• Supervisor Kathy Smith (D-Sully) selected Cathy Martins Muha and Prince Howard. Muha is Sully District representative and co-chair of the Fairfax Area Commission on Aging. Howard has served on Fairfax County committees concerning public safety, equity and opportunity and represents Sully District on the Fairfax County Small Business Commission.