Tidbits – January 2023

Newport News Tourism was among 24 winners selected in the Virginia/D.C. area for a Readers’ Choice Award, presented annually by ConventionSouth magazine. This is the second time that Newport News Tourism has received the honor, the first being in 2017. Newport News Tourism was featured as an award recipient in the December 2022 Awards Issue of ConventionSouth magazine.

Chris Pray
Tina Chrismon

Chris Pray, REALTOR®, and Tina Chrismon, associate broker, have joined Abbitt Realty. Pray, a life-long Peninsula resident, has more than 25 years of real estate experience and will specialize in residential sales. Chrismon, also a life-long resident specializing in residential sales, has more than 35 years of real estate experience, with a background that includes helping military families find homes.

Ahmed M. Khalil has joined Kaufman & Canoles, P.C. in its Newport News office litigation practice group. Prior to joining the firm, Khalil interned at the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney office. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia and his J.D. degree from the University of California School of Law. 

Top selling and listing agent of Coldwell Banker Traditions for the month of October was Lelani Clayton.

Lisa Marie Samaha, DDS, has been awarded certification by the American Board of Laser Surgery for her expertise in infant and pediatric tongue ties and lip ties.

Winners of the 13th ZOOM IN on Newport News photo contest, sponsored by Newport News Tourism, have been selected. The theme for this year’s contest was “H2O in Newport News.” Kenneth Putland of Chesapeake won the $500 grand prize for his entry, “James River Sunset,” left, taken at the Hilton Pier in Historic Hilton Village. 

Honorable mention was won by Lauren Forero of Newport News for her submission, “Lee Hall Sunset,” right, taken at Lee Hall Reservoir. Forero will receive $100 and free admission passes for four to all Newport News attractions. A total of 79 people submitted 160 photographs to the contest. Judges for the contest were Michael Poplawski, director of Newport News Department of Parks and Recreation; James Dean, tourism relations manager with Virginia Tourism Corp.; and Bree Bever, web and social marketing coordinator with the Newport News Department of Communications, tourism division. 

Caitlin Lane has joined the Salvation Army of the Virginia Peninsula as a staff accountant. With more than eight years in the financial field, Lane specializes in accounting software, accuracy and organizational apps.

Virginia Living Museum hosted its 11th annual Oyster Roast in November to support conservation, education and animal welfare at the Museum. The event was a Certified Virginia Green Event and was awarded the Virginia Green Travel Alliance’s “Green Event of the Year” in 2021, honoring the Museum’s outstanding commitment to environmental sustainability. It was also voted Best of the 757 Gold for Outdoor Festivals four consecutive years by Coastal Virginia Magazine. More than 38 bushels of Virginia oyster shells were collected during the event and shipped to the VCU Rice Rivers Center in Richmond, to be stored, then placed in seeding tanks. After seeding, each shell may contain 10 to15 spat, which would result in approximately 300,000 oysters being returned to the Chesapeake Bay. The festival was presented by Dominion Energy. Supporting sponsors included Abbitt Realty, CES Consulting LLC, CA Barrs, Hidenwood and Hiden Place Apartments, Empower Information Systems, Phillips Energy, M. Price Distributing Company, Sam Rust Seafood, Smithfield Gourmet Cafe & Bakery, Mathews Lions Club, Jeff’s Flowers Of Course! and St. George Brewing Company.

Chaz Fiscella
Lisa Seay
Jamie Coldsnow
Luther Elmore
Kimi Dornan
Michael Nachman-Adelson

Top October agents for CENTURY 21 Nachman Realty’s Peninsula office were Chaz Fiscella, top listing agent; Lisa Seay, top selling agent; Jamie Coldsnow, top closing agent; and Luther Elmore, top producing agent. Top November agents for the office were Jamie Coldsnow, top listing agent; Kimi Dornan, top selling and top producing agent; Lisa Seay, top closing agent; and Michael Nachman-Adelson, top referring agent. 

The Liz Moore & Associates Peninsula office held its second annual Military Appreciation event in November at Oozlefinch Beers and Blending on Fort Monroe in Hampton. Agents invited their military clients to thank them for their service to our country. Shown here are (left to right): Sharon Crowder, agent with Liz Moore & Associates; Rosetta Mitchell, US Navy, Honorary Chief Petty Officer (Retired) and Quida Daniels, US Air Force, SMSgt (Retired). Donna Moyer is managing broker of the Peninsula office.

Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg hosted a media event in November on site for its newest 3D printed home construction project in Newport News. Two Habitat homes will be built at 645 and 651 41st Street, in the southeastern end of Newport News. The event was attended by Janet V. Green, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg; Zachary Mannheimer, founder and CEO from Alquist 3D; and the homebuyers. The organization dedicated the first-ever 3D printed Habitat home in the nation in December 2021 to a Williamsburg family; that home was also printed by Alquist. Using 3D printing technology, a cost-efficient, sustainable option that relies on concrete to print the walls of the homes, saves up to 15 percent per square foot in construction costs. Green (right) speaks with the future homeowners.

Ruth Deibler, left, Neport News Green Foundation board president, and Michelle Schopp, chair of the Green Foundation resource committee, attended the non-profit’s semi-annual Picnic at the Pond event at Chatham Trail in support of green spaces in Newport News.

Taylor DeRossett, left, and Anne Moeller from Tidewater Physicians Multispecialty Group (TPMG) wrap up the 3rd Annual TPMG Food Drive. A total of 1,000 pounds of food and $1,700 was collected from their facilities across the greater Peninsula equating to 6,350 healthy meals to families in need.

Peninsula Community Foundation (PCF) was among the nonprofits selected for the 2022 Coastal Virginia Giving Back Awards. Community partners, donors and nonprofits honored included Alzheimer’s Association–Southeastern Virginia Chapter, Blankets for Homeless, ForKids, Girls on the Run Hampton Roads, Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg, Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute, Norfolk Botanical Garden, PCF Virginia, Tidewater Friends of Foster Care, Tidewater Jewish Foundation, Toby’s Dream and VOLUNTEER Hampton Roads. Michael Monteith is PCF’s executive director and Tammy Flynn is director of philanthropy.

SOLitude Lake Management has acquired Clarke Aquatic Services, Inc. (CAS), a business unit of The Clarke Group, headquartered in St. Charles, IL. CAS provides aquatic management services to customers in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Virginia. Through this acquisition, SOLitude welcomes nearly 50 new aquatic service professionals to its organization and expands its operations to 59 offices across 41 states. The two companies find common ground in their mission to help communities and businesses achieve clean, safe and beautiful lakes, advance new industry technologies and support healthy experiences around the water.

Museum founder Harry Wason, left, cut the ribbon of a new Virginia Living Museum (VLM) exhibit, the Conservation Command Center, in December. The exhibit focuses on local and global environmental challenges and engages guests to become involved in conservation efforts. Built in-house by staff who train and educate guests, students and volunteers, the exhibit includes a seahorse nursery, interactive sand table, community science station, energy use calculator, and a disturbing “trash tank.” The new gallery is generously supported by Harry and Judy Wason, the Rona Mound and Erwin B. Drucker Charitable Trust, the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation, Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation and the Brundage Family. Shown with Watson at the ribbon-cutting ceremony are (from left) Rebecca Kleinhample, VLM executive director; Dr. Ashby Kilgore, VLM board president; Judy Ford; and Crystal Bright, external affairs manager, Dominion Energy, a contributing sponsor to the exhibit and VLM.

Members of the Rotary Clubs of Warwick at City Center and Virginia Peninsula joined together in October to enhance the Four Oaks Day Service Center. The Center helps people transition out of homelessness into employment, stable housing and independence. The Center was awarded a Rotary District 7600 Grant for Nature Nurtures and Technology Teaches, a collaborative effort with the two local clubs. The Community Garden at Four Oaks is being built by Rotarians who assist with weeding, planting, mulching and working with Center patrons to beautify the courtyard space. The clubs are collaborating in January to support the Center’s computer lab with technology and basic computer literacy and resume building skill sessions.
Pictured are local Rotary club members, who are volunteers working to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self.

The Rotary Club of Warwick at City Center initiated a new project in collaboration with Warwick High School (WHS) to honor the heroes of the Newport News community, both present and past. Flags for Heroes was an idea that club president, Amber Lempke, a Navy veteran, brought to the club, where members of the club and community sponsored flags to be flown in front of Warwick High School over Veterans Day. The club facilitated sponsorship of 45 flags, assembled and installed by club members and high school students in the WHS Interact Club. In November, the club held a ceremony in front of the high school where the names of active-duty military, veterans, teachers, police officers, first responders and others considered “heroes” were read aloud as scouts from Yorktown Troop 94 placed the flags into the ground. The flags were flown for three weeks in front of the school to honor and remember local heroes. Pictured, left to right, are Priscilla Bele, Jennifer Daknis, WHS principal Dr. Kellie Mason, Jim Probsdorfer, Davetta Rinehart, Gee Horton, Allen Kemp, Leslie Borwick, Turkan Tillotson, Mike Tillotson, Rotary president Amber Lempke, Robbie Person, Leigh Mitchell, Roberta Thayer-Smith, Anne Wozniak and Judi Hines.

In November, club members participated in a food packaging event at Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, assembling several hundred boxes of food to be delivered to families with emergent needs. In addition, Amber Lempke, club president, presented Karen Joyner, chief executive officer, with a donation from funds raised during the club’s annual Bacon Bash fundraiser. Pictured, left to right, are Calvin Young; Jim Probsdorfer; Leslie Borwick; Mike Tillotson; Anne Wozniak; Sharon Martin; Carol Chamberlain; Karen Joyner, Virginia Peninsula Foodbank’s CEO; Erlinda Gleason; Amber Lempke, Rotary president; Judi Hines; Sydney Williams; Kimberly Abney-Burnette; Ella Abney; Lauren Devitt; Allen Kemp; Azzara Oston; and Chris Walton.