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Chamber Honors Star Members

Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber presents Potomac Star Business Awards.

Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce honored four of its member organizations Tuesday, April 10 with its Potomac Star Business Award and named a past president/chairman as its 2007 Chamber Corporate Citizen of the Year. It was all part of the organization's annual Business Expo & Awards event, which took place at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Richmond Highway.

This year's top individual honor went to Daniel F. Rinzel, a partner in the law firm of Redmon, Peyton & Brasewell. The award recognizes a Chamber member each year who "embodies the qualities of corporate citizenship."

An attorney, Rinzel has served as a trial attorney, section chief and deputy assistant attorney general with the U.S. Justice Department prior to private practice. In that capacity he supervised and conducted grand jury investigations as well as trials and appeals nationwide involving both criminal and civil matters, according to the award presentation.

Rinzel also served for 10 years as chief counsel and staff director of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, U.S. Senate. There he supervised investigations into such diverse matters as health care fraud, domestic and offshore money laundering, international drug trafficking, organized crime, embassy security and child pornography.

Academically, Rinzel has served as an adjunct faculty member at the Columbia School of Law at Catholic University, as a lecturer at Harvard Law School, the University of Wisconsin Law School, the FBI National Academy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Graduate School.

His roles with the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce have included serving as president of the Board of Directors, chairman and, now, as general counsel. In the latter position, he helped found the Mount Vernon-Lee Education Partnership, a non-profit organization that dispenses the Chamber's high school scholarships.

Rinzel also serves as president of the Mount Vernon Civic Association and as one of three co-chairs of the Mount Vernon Council of Civic Associations.

He had to be in court on Tuesday, so Rinzel was not present to accept the award. It was presented to Chamber Board member Kristen King-Holland by Chamber President Walter Clarke.

RECIPIENTS OF THE CHAMBER'S 2007 Star Business Awards were:

* Fort Belvoir Federal Credit Union, which has branches on Fort Belvoir, Woodbridge and Mount Vernon Plaza, was recognized for its support of not only military service personnel and their families but also "many non-profit organizations in both Prince William and Fairfax counties." Among those support services are meals for elderly and homeless individuals and teaching children financial skills through the establishment of two credit unions in elementary schools.

* Mount Vernon Estate, described in the presentation as "the crown jewel of the historic sites in Southeast Fairfax County." In making the award, Walter Clarke, Chamber vice president, said: "This past year has been a year of exceptional growth" at Mount Vernon with the opening of the new visitors' center and museums. "At Mount Vernon, we are reminded that Washington, in addition to being a war hero and statesman, was also an astute businessman," Clarke said.

* Hilltop Golf Club was recognized for its growth as a business enterprise as well as its programs which benefit the community at large such as the annual charity golf outing to benefit United Community Ministries and Good Shepherd Housing.

* The Mount Vernon Voice received accolades for being "committed to the community since its founding in 2002." Clarke said, "It co-founded the ‘Taste of River Farm’ event which has raised thousands of dollars for the Chamber's scholarship fund."

Prior to the awards ceremony, a two-hour exposition featuring displays by 17 Chamber businesses and services provided an opportunity for member networking, according to Chamber Executive Director Holly Hicks Dougherty. Sponsors of the event were City Finance Corporation, Fort Belvoir Federal Credit Union, Provident Bank, and Weichert, Realtors at Mount Vernon.