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Send announcements to The Loudoun Connection, 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102, e-mail to loudoun@connectionnewspapers.com or fax to 703-917-0991. Deadline is Friday, two weeks before the event. Photos/artwork encouraged. For more information, call Jennifer Lesinski at 703-917-6454.

The Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum welcomes Bluemont resident Tia Maggio to the staff as the coordinator of volunteers and visitor services. Before coming to the museum, Maggio served as a library assistant at the Middleburg Public Library for the Department of Library

Services.

Maggio is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and the Pratt Institute in New York. Maggio is a member of the

Loudoun Arts Council and the Loudoun Art Advisory Committee. She shows her work in galleries across the state.

The Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum is operated by the Loudoun County Department of Parks, Recreation & Community Services and supported by its not-for-profit advisory board Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum Inc.

Located off Route 7 and Route 28 in Sterling, the museum

specializes in classes and exhibits that meet the Standards of Learning for Virginia.

Randolph A. Sutliff, Daniel P. Lyon and Lawrence J. McClafferty from the Leesburg office of McCandlish & Lillard have been recognized by Virginia Business Magazine among Virginia's "Legal Elite." They are among nine attorneys from the firm to be awarded this distinction.

Virginia Business determines the "Legal Elite" designation from a survey conducted with the Virginia Bar Association, which polls thousands of Virginia lawyers to determine whom they consider the very best in 12 practice categories. The sixth edition of the list is published in the magazine's December edition.

Sutliff, who is president of McCandlish & Lillard, was named among the best in the category of Business Law. He holds both a master's degree in Taxation Law and a J.D. from Georgetown University. Sutliff has served as general counsel for the National Capital Area Council Boy Scouts of America and currently is president of the Dulles Area Transportation Alliance and General Counsel for the Claude Moore Foundation.

Lyon, who is a principal with McCandlish & Lillard, was named among the best in the category of Labor and Employment Law. He serves clients in the area of information technology. Lyon worked as a CPA for KPMG Peat Marwick before becoming a lawyer. He obtained his J.D, with distinction from the George Mason University School of Law in 1992. He is serving his second term as chairman of the Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Lyon lives in Ashburn with his wife and two sons.

McClafferty, who is a principal with McCandlish & Lillard, was named among the best in the category of Young Lawyer. McClafferty concentrates his practice in the area of civil litigation. He also devotes a significant portion of his practice to guardianships, conservatorships and other elder law issues. McClafferty received his undergraduate degree from Boston College in 1990 and his J.D. from Washington & Lee University in 1994. He was born and raised in Washington, D.C., and lives in Ashburn with his wife and three daughters.

Dale R. Castellow has been hired as Loudoun County's Director of Transportation Services. Castellow, who has nearly 20 years of experience in local government transportation planning, will begin his service with Loudoun

County in mid-January.

Since 1990, he has served as transportation planning coordinator for the City of Virginia Beach. Before joining the City of Virginia Beach, Castellow served as a senior planner with the County of Roanoke and as an associate planner with the City of West Palm Beach, Fla.

In Loudoun County, he will oversee matters pertaining to the county's transportation system, including transit and road development with pedestrian and bicycle accommodations, implementation of traffic improvements and planning and management of county transit services.

Castellow, 48, is a native of Virginia Beach. He earned a bachelor's degree in government and criminal justice from Old Dominion University, and a master's degree in urban and regional planning from Virginia Tech. He and his wife have two children.

The Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, a benefactor of the Loudoun Literacy Council for more than five years, has presented a special grant for $10,000 to the Loudoun Literacy Council in response to the $10,000 pledge made to the council by an anonymous donor. The foundation's trustees read about the council's December Donations Doubled Challenge and agreed in a special out-of-cycle vote to match the pledge. With the anonymous pledge, the grant from the foundation and donations from businesses and individuals, the council will have raised at least $23,500 in December, which adds at least three month's worth of budget to the council's operating fund. The council will begin a new tutor training session, Jan. 21, for the February-May spring tutoring session.

Randy Collins, president and CEO of the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce will be leaving his position in January 2006.

Hired by the board of directors in 1995, Collins led the chamber during the rapid business and residential growth in Loudoun and the chamber is now ranked as the largest Chamber of Commerce in Northern Virginia. Collins will continue in his position until Jan. 31. The search for a new chamber president and CEO will begin shortly.

The Songwriters' Association of Washington (SAW) announced the winners of its 22nd Mid-Atlantic Song Contest sponsored by BMI, Oasis CD Manufacturing, Omega Recording Studios, TAXI, Sonicbids, Mary Cliff's Traditions and Songwriter's Market at a gala awards party Nov. 20. Locally, Jacob Hope of Leesburg, won silver in the rock/alternative category for "Pure Speculation;" Rob Flowers and Chris Rossbach, both of Ashburn, were named finalists in the rock/alternative category for "Tell Me;" and Flowers also was awarded finalist status in the same category for "This Bag in Not a Toy." Hope also received honorable mention in the same category for "It Happens to the Rest of Us."

The contest featured 10 categories with prizes ranging from $1,000 cash to compact disc mastering by Omega Studios, memberships in TAXI, and the latest edition Songwriter's Market books. In addition, gold and silver winners are included on the Winners' compilation CD, which is distributed within the music industry.

On Tuesday, Dec. 27, Loudoun County employee, Terry Fairfax, celebrated his 30th anniversary with the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services. A graduate of Loudoun Valley High School, Fairfax began his recreation career in 1975 as a basketball instructor for the Loudoun Valley Community Center located in Purcellville.

His lengthy service with the department includes more than 10 years as a leader and supervisor for the County After School Activities (CASA) program and more than 10 additional years as an instructor for the weekend basketball program. His commitment to teaching area children from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. every Saturday morning has earned him the trust and support of countless parents over the years.

For the past five years, Fairfax has served as the physical education instructor for the community center's preschool-age children. As part of his PE program, Fairfax hosts a popular field day for children and their parents each year.

Fairfax is an avid basketball devotee and player. He has won close to 80 local and regional championships over the years, including a national one-on-one competition. He resides in Purcellville where he was born and raised.

The Loudoun Arts Council's annual ArtShare program awarded grant monies to seven area arts organizations. Recipients of this yearÕs awards are: Master Singers of Virginia, Loudoun Symphony, Loudoun Academy of the Arts, Loudoun Ballet, Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers, The Round Hill Arts Center and the Loudoun Community Band. The total granted was $9,600.

Through ArtShare, the Loudoun Arts Council contributes to nonprofit arts organizations that operate in the Loudoun community. To receive a grant, organizations must demonstrate strong artistic quality, noteworthy accomplishments and sound management practices. As part of its mission to advocate for the arts, the Loudoun Arts Council assisted organizations with their applications this year by offering a pre-review process, which provided suggestions for creating stronger applications.