Hosted by Ballston BID CEO, Tina Leone, the BallstonConnect Podcast focuses on the hyper-local. Each episode features exclusive interviews with Arlington’s brightest personalities. New episodes will be released monthly, each one with an emphasis on a different facet of life in Ballston.
Empowering Latino Youth : Emma Violand-Sanchez, The Dream Project
Emma Violand-Sánchez was Arlington’s first Latina teacher, Arlington County School Board’s first Latina member, and a staunch advocate for support and resources for the latino community in Arlington and beyond. In 2011, she founded the Dream Project, a non-profit organization providing immigrant and refugee students with mentorship, advocacy, scholarships and assistance enrolling into and graduating from Virginia universities and colleges.
NOVA Hispanic Chamber of Commerce: Susana Marino
September 15th marks the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month, and the perfect opportunity to speak with Susana Marino, Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and one of our region’s most influential businesswomen. As CEO of the Northern Virginia Hispanic Chamber, Susana has educated and empowered hundreds of small business owners and entrepreneurs in Northern Virginia.
HUNGRY: Shy Pahlevani
Each year we see more Ballston businesses recognized for their incredible growth and influence. Today, we’re thrilled to share one of Inc Magazine’s Top 500, recognizing the top-growing companies in the United States. Shy Pahlevani is Founder and President of HUNGRY, a national platform for top chef-made food production, delivery services, and so much more!
Cookology Culinary School: Maria Kopsidas
Ballston is home to over 80 bars, restaurants, and eateries: which means a ton of great food options and varieties… and ALSO a ton of talent in the kitchen. On today’s podcast, we’re speaking with someone who can help us all get better in the kitchen. Maria Kopsidas is the creator and owner of Cookology, a recreational culinary school located in Ballston Quarter where we can all get a little more comfortable making a delicious meal.
Low-Brow Art, Food, & Drink: Shane Pomajambo, WHINO
Shane Pomajambo, owner of WHINO in Ballston Quarter, is a Former New Yorker and has been an active and transformative member of the Washington region’s art scene for the past 15 years. Now, with WHINO in Ballston, he’s combining his passion for art with his appreciation for entertainment around exceptional food and drink.
How did his upbringing influence how he views art? What can guests expect to experience from WHINO? And how does Ballston continue to attract such creative minds?
Local Celebrity: Memphis Gold, Blues Musician
Memphis Gold’s journey has lasted over half a century - spanning four full-length albums, nine international tours, and the covers of almost every leading blues magazine. You can find him at our first Cars & Coffee, 7/26/21.
How did he first get his start - and how did he parlay it into such an impactful international career? What’s it like to share the stage with James Brown, Brett Michaels, and The Temptations? And why did he dedicate himself and his time to helping both veterans and the homeless?