Chantilly Why did you want to have a Chantilly Day?
After becoming the chairwoman for the Chantilly-Centreville Chamber Committee, I had to take a proactive role in the wellbeing of our community. Monthly meetings and networking did not seem to generate the energy and stimulation for a better community and economy. Businesses thrive in a community with a strong sense of place and identity that leads while attracting bigger challenges.
Centreville already had a day for the last 19 years. I witnessed the hard work that went into its preparation last October. I was extremely pleased about its emphasis and references to many historical sites during this day and for this event. Event Chairman Cheryl Repetti had done a marvelous job.
Chantilly required rebuilding its image and removing the stigma for being a fragmented and mostly industrial city. Creating a Chantilly Day with a higher purpose that is more than a community day was a necessity. Chantilly Day had to be an annual festival to showcase the best of our minds in motion.
Its tagline, “Remember Yesterday, Celebrate Today, Embrace Tomorrow,” captures every element that I wanted to be present in our daily lives and to be the focus of our festivity on Chantilly Day.
What is your goal for this event?
I believe Chantilly Day will create a sense of place and a culture filled with humanity and accountability. It will help to build an amazing and sustainable Chantilly. Although it will be a day of festivity and celebration, it is also a day to recognize the best in our businesses, education, arts and sciences. That will be the main focus of Chantilly Day.
We will strive to see innovations, inspire creative ideas, and witness high-caliber art performances and scientific fairs at every Chantilly Day. I hope Chantilly Day will be the engine to take us to a healthier and wealthier community, where businesses, education, arts, humanity and sciences thrive.
I hope that it will bring all of us together and remind us about our vision. It is the day to showcase our achievements that were better than the year before.
What do you hope this day will accomplish?
Chantilly Day will be the beginning of rebuilding Chantilly, physically and culturally. Chantilly will be a place to look up to and to keep up with. I also hope it will bring international recognition to our city.
I am also hoping that it will bring the attention needed to expedite building the Chantilly plazas which are part of my proposal to be implemented for rebuilding and creating an economically, culturally and environmentally sustainable Chantilly.
Chantilly plazas will be high-density, mixed-use developments. They will be pedestrian- and bike-friendly, connected to each other by carbon-free public transportation. Major performing arts and science centers which can attract international performers and visitors alike will be part of the development. We are also planning to create a large, public square to become the site for celebrating future Chantilly Days.
We have already started conceptualizing the first plaza and its connectivity with the other plazas through rail and RPT [personal rapid transit]. We are having a good momentum at this point. For other locations, I am considering to open it for an international competition.
What is Chantilly Day’s importance to the community?
It will change our image. I believe it already has. It will help us to have bigger dreams and be leaders. It is a day that we have to work toward every day to showcase what we have accomplished the year before in business, education, arts and sciences. Every year we owe ourselves to do better for the next year.
It will create an inspiring environment for our younger generation. In this global village, we need to be aware and deliberately prepared to be the best and do the best.
We encourage businesses and organizations to sponsor the Chamber and support Chantilly Day by participating in the parade and business expo. The only exclusion is that no political, religious or military organizations may sponsor a specific event in this festival. It is essential to keep Chantilly Day completely neutral.
What does it mean to you to see this event finally come to fruition?
It means a lot. As a chairwoman of our committee, a mother, an architect and planner who’s had her firm in Chantilly since 2007, the changes this day will bring will have a large impact on me, our businesses and my community. We are going to see a new Chantilly that is inspiring and is setting new goals and trends.
Improving the human condition, our habitat and environment is my passion and my career. What I have done is just a natural extension of who I am and my core values. For Chantilly Day to come together has made me excited beyond words. I am ecstatic to see this community strive to reach its pinnacle, and I believe this event is the right step in that direction.
I am grateful for the incredible, positive response I have received from the people of Chantilly, our Chamber, our supervisor and the mayor of Chantilly, France.
Why should people come to this event?
It is our city’s annual festival, and we have to support our city and help it to achieve our goals. Being proud of who we are as a community is very important. Working toward making it better is our duty and, simply, the right thing to do. Nurturing this event will be an ongoing task until it matures. We shall remain focused.
During the upcoming Chantilly Day, our schools are showcasing their achievements and their talents in arts and sciences. Businesses will be recognized for their contributions. There will be performances by a variety of Chantilly music and dance studios, and my firm, SF Design Group, has created an essay contest for the students in Chantilly.
I am extremely excited that the mayor of Chantilly, France, Eric Woerth, accepted my invitation to the first Chantilly Day. His representatives, Anne Peck from the town hall and Candice Nancel, president of American Friends of Chantilly, will be joining us.
They will provide information about their city and its tourist attractions. They are also bringing banners from their annual banner festival. There will be an exchange of banners between Chantilly High School and Chantilly, France. We are truly looking forward to creating a strong relationship and developing business, cultural and arts exchanges between our cities.
To sum it up, Chantilly Day is a day to promote humanity and accountability. Chantilly Day is to live with purpose and awareness, with respect and understanding of one another. Chantilly Day is to remain informed, to recognize our achievements in business, arts, education and sciences while working toward a brighter future.