Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
E-mail this article
Leave a Comment
Print this Article

Shirley Clark, a well-known business leader in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., with more than 30 years of business, private and nonprofit experience, has been named CEO and executive director of The Women’s Center of Northern Virginia. A former member of the Vienna center’s Board of Directors, Clark has been interim executive director since December.

She has revitalized the organization in those seven months by expanding its outreach to the community, with a new, intense focus on teens and the issues they find most challenging to maintaining good mental health.

“We’ve been joined by a great champion of The Women’s Center,” said Sally Turner, chairwoman of the Board of Directors. “Shirley’s dedication to our mission to provide families with more and better access to mental health services has been tireless.”

The Teen Resiliency Project, offering new workshops that teach life skills to teens and promote personal effectiveness and resilience, “is a great example of [Shirley’s] commitment to the whole family,” Turner added.

Clark, of Oakton, founded the Choose 2 Lead Women’s Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering women to create more sustainable community and workplace environments. While there, she co-authored two studies funded by the Department of Labor: “Win-Win Workplace Strategies: The Study of Improved Quality of Life,” and “Are We Losing the Best and Brightest?: Highly Skilled Women Leaving the Traditional Workplace.”

The Women’s Center also announced its appointment of Meg Artley as director of Development and Communications. She most recently served as vice president of development for First Book, a national nonprofit promoting literacy.

Artley received an undergraduate degree in arts and humanities from Mount Vernon College and a master’s degree in liberal studies from Georgetown University. She also is a registered yoga teacher.

The Women’s Center of Northern Virginia has provided mental health counseling, support and education for 40 years to help people in the metropolitan region lead stable lives.

Area women to benefit from ‘fashion support’

LiLi The First, a clothing and accessories boutique in Vienna, is teaming up with The Women’s Center to offer “fashion support” to the community.

Lightly used fashion items can be donated to the boutique for its “Fashion Support” rack. Profits from their sale will go to the center for education, training, mediation, financial planning and more.

“As a business owner, I feel honored and obligated to support women in the community I am serving,” said store owner Ifat Pridan.

The launch, with appetizers from the Culinaria Cooking School in Vienna and a silent auction, takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 14 at the boutique at 101 Pleasant St. NW. For details, visit or

Mental health advocate in national limelight

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will honor Patrick Hendry, a mental health advocate, with a consumer-peer leadership award Aug. 13 at the Voice Awards in Los Angeles.

The Voice Awards recognize individuals who share their personal stories of recovery and work to reduce discrimination and misperceptions associated with people with mental or substance use disorders. The program also celebrates television and film writers and producers who have helped change viewer perceptions of people with behavioral health conditions.

Hendry, of Herndon, is considered a leading expert on organizational development, management and sustainability for peer organizations, self-directed care, recovery-based trainings and peer-run programs.

His diagnosis of bipolar disorder led to significant personal loss, homelessness and hospitalization. Nevertheless, from 2009 to 2011 he directed the National Consumer Supporter Technical Assistance Center, one of five SAMHSA-funded national technical assistance centers. He now serves as senior director of consumer advocacy for Mental Health America.

Earlier Hendry worked as a mental health advocate in Florida, co-founding the first peer-run organization to contract directly with the state for provision of services. He helped rebuild the Florida Self-Directed Care program, affording people a choice in their clinical service providers.

New members join Arts Council board

The Arts Council of Fairfax County welcomes four new members to its Board of Directors: Richard Goldberg, the Hon. Katherine Hanley, Michael Majestic and Grace Han Wolf.

“These new members bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in finance, local government and business,” said Linda Sullivan, president and CEO of the Arts Council of Fairfax County.

Goldberg has been executive vice president and chief financial officer of SIGAL Corp. since 1999 and has professional affiliations throughout the region.

Hanley was secretary of the commonwealth under Gov. Tim Kaine, chairman of the county Board of Supervisors from 1995 to 2003, and president and CEO of the Greater Reston Arts Center.

Majestic of JBGR Retail studied fine arts, earned a degree in sculpture, and brings an appreciation of art and sophisticated design to the acquisition and development of retail and mixed-use properties in the D.C. metropolitan area.

Wolf is a Town Council member for the Town of Herndon and newly appointed commissioner with the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

Leaving the board are Jason Brooks, Connie Epperlein, Estella Holliday, Richard Kamenitzer, the Hon. John Mason and Allen Roberts.

The Arts Council is the voice of the arts, dedicated to fostering dynamic and diverse local arts. For a full list of Arts Council board members, visit

Community Foundation awards STEM grants

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia in Oakton has awarded a total of $50,000 to seven schools and nonprofit organizations through its Innovation Fund, created to nurture inventiveness, creativity and new design.

This is the second grant cycle of the fund, which gave grants of $5,000 and $10,000 for innovative approaches to science, technology, engineering and math education.

“Innovation is not only the key to economic development and growth, but it also is the key to transformational social changes in underserved, underrepresented and disadvantaged communities both here in the U.S. and across the world,” said donor Siddhartha Chowdhary, founder and CEO of Herndon-based Credence Management Solutions, in announcing this year’s grantees.

The $10,000 grantees are:

• Children’s Science Center, for the Museum without Walls program at The Lab at Fair Oaks Mall.

• Fairfax County Public Schools, for the BEST (Building Excitement for Science and Technology) student-led program, which will create STEMkits for schools throughout Northern Virginia.

• Girls Excelling in Math and Science, for educational programs through GEMS Club and Girl Makers of NoVA STEM for girls who attend Terraset Elementary School.

The $5,000 grantees are:

• ReSET, for recruitment, placement and training of volunteers in the STEM Learning and Career Mentoring Program.

• The House, for the Student Leadership Center’s CyberAcademy, which will help students gain skills and knowledge in cybersecurity.

• Alexandria Seaport Foundation, for the STEM on the Potomac program, which benefits hundreds of at-risk and urban Northern Virginia youth.

Family Alliance Network in Loudoun County also received $5,000.