People Notes

People Notes

<i>Send announcements to The Reston Connection, 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102, e-mail to or fax to 703-917-0991. Deadline is two weeks before the event. Photos/artwork encouraged. Call Jean Card at 703-917-6437, with questions.</i>

The Virginia Association of Adult Continuing Education announces <b>Del. Kenneth R. "Ken" Plum </b>(D-36) has been presented the association's Distinguished Service Award. Plum served nearly 30 years as the director of adult education for Fairfax County Public Schools before his retirement in 1996. The award recognizes vision, leadership and advocacy for adult education.

Plum built the adult-education program in Fairfax County, which is one of the largest public school adult-education programs in the country. Innovations he introduced in the program were copied nationally.

The award was presented by Robert MacGillivray, a staff member of the state Department of Education representing VAACE. The award was presented during the graduation ceremony for the adult high school, external diploma and GED testing program at Woodson High School. Plum was instrumental in starting and expanding all of these alternatives that adults can use to finish high school. Recently the state Board of Education reappointed Plum to its Advisory Council on Adult Education. Plum is a charter member of the Advisory Council and of the Virginia Literacy Foundation.

Northern Virginia Family Service announces <b>Allan Ratner</b> as the new chair of the agency's Board of Directors. In June, Ratner was unanimously appointed to succeed outgoing chair <b>Dorothy Moga</b>. Ratner recently retired as vice president and deputy general counsel of Freddie Mac after 21 years at the company, which included recent experience supporting the Freddie Mac board. He has been a member of NVFS’ Board of Directors for more than six years and has served in a variety of capacities, including on the advocacy, strategic planning and executive committees. Most recently he served two years as vice chair of the board.

As board chair, Ratner is looking forward to meeting more of NVFS’ stakeholders — the dedicated staff of the agency, the clients it serves and its funding sources, including governments, foundations, corporations and individuals. He wants to work with other members of the board and executive management of the agency to ensure that NVFS has the infrastructure — people, technology, policies and procedures — to support existing programs and any future growth.

A native of New York, Ratner has been a resident of Northern Virginia for 30 years. He graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo and New York University School of Law. He and his wife, Barbara, have been married for more than 34 years. They have two sons, ages 28 and 25. Barbara Ratner also has been involved with NVFS, working on the auction committee for the gala the last three years.

Established in 1924, Northern Virginia Family Service is a private, nonprofit community service resource dedicated to helping individuals and families find new paths to self-reliance and brighter futures. Each year, NVFS helps more than 27,000 people find affordable housing and health care for their children, earn a living wage and much more. Visit

<b>Kathleen Brophy</b>, daughter of Arthur and Sharon Brophy of Reston, was recently honored by the Charleston Regional Business Journal as one of the annual “Forty under 40” special business achievers under the age of 40. Brophy, 30, is the senior director of corporate relations for the American Heart Association in Charleston, S.C. She is responsible for raising more than $1 million each year in the mission to save Americans from heart disease and stroke. In her position, she recruits corporate and individual support to fund cardiovascular research. In 2005, Brophy and her staff increased gala revenues by 22 percent. Originally from Reston, Brophy moved to Charleston in 1997. She received her bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in communication studies from the College of Charleston in 1997. She is also an active volunteer with the Charitable Society of Charleston.