Columbia Pike Partnership2024-01-19T12:46:36-05:00

The Columbia Pike Partnership is a coalition of businesses, residents, property owners, and the Arlington County Government dedicated to serving the 3.5-mile-long stretch of Columbia Pike from Arlington’s border with Fairfax County in the west to Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon in the east.

Our Mission

To foster a vibrant, safe, connected, and diverse Columbia Pike community. We exist to be the convening body representing the interests of all those who live, work and visit Columbia Pike.

Vision

An authentic, exciting, and accessible Columbia Pike community where social, ethnic, and economic diversity is celebrated.

Values

At our core, we value inclusiveness, connectivity, heritage, and prosperity.

  • Inclusiveness. We strive to make Columbia Pike a place for all people – one that people of all walks of life can enjoy and/or call home.
  • Connectivity. We work to convene and connect residents, visitors, businesses, and property owners with each other and with Arlington County to create a sense of community, provide a collective voice, and ensure we are all working together to achieve our goals.
  • Heritage. We celebrate and work to preserve Columbia Pike’s rich history and diversity.
  • Prosperity. Everything we do is to create equity and increase the quality of life of our community and build a better future for all.

The Columbia Pike Partnership was originally established in 1986 as the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO), to assist Arlington County with the development of the Columbia Pike Initiative: A Revitalization Plan.

Our Work

Placemaking

The Columbia Pike Partnership strives to create a sense of community through various placemaking programs and initiatives. We provide neighborhood amenities, such as the Columbia Pike Farmers Market and services through our Clean & Safe Program and have worked to develop a unified, visual identity through our Banner Program.

Our signature events also help to bring our community together. For the past 25 years, our annual Blues Festival has presented some of the biggest names in Blues in what Arlington Magazine calls “Arlington’s best block party.” Every June, thousands of residents and visitors gather at Columbia Pike and Walter Reed Drive to enjoy delicious food from local restaurants, live music, and exploring the various vendors that span the nearly 1-mile-long festival space.

Advocacy

The Columbia Pike Partnership works to ensure our community is supported and receiving the resources it needs to thrive and amplify the voice of the people when needs aren’t being met or concerns are raised. We advocate for updates to transportation options, maintenance of roadways and sidewalks, amendments to building regulations, and several other items that align with the community’s vision of creating a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly “Main Street.”

Business Engagement

Locally-owned and operated businesses are the backbone of the Columbia Pike community along with the property owners and developers that invest in the Pike’s future. We work to maintain relationships with these businesses to ensure that we can support those entities that support the Pike. Many of Columbia Pike’s lower income residents also work on the Pike and it is crucial that our legacy businesses and top employers remain in the area and have the resources they need to thrive. We also engage our local businesses and property owners through various programs and events.

Community Outreach

We strive to stay ahead of major news, upcoming projects, construction, business openings and closings, transportation issues, and so much more to keep the public informed of what is happening in your neighborhood with our weekly newsletter, our blog, and on our social media pages.

Our People

Columbia Pike Partnership Board of Directors

The Columbia Pike Partnership is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors made up of local civic representatives, business executives, and property owners. The Board meets regularly to discuss Columbia Pike’s revitalization progress, plan new initiatives and oversees staff efforts in organizing community events.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Chair: Diana Nakarmi
Vice-Chair: Shannon Bailey
Secretary: Nikki Macdonald
Treasurer:
Nina Chawla
Immediate Past Chair: Shannon Bailey
Appointees: Michael Garcia, Tad Lunger

PROPERTY OWNERS
Guy Gotts, E.G. Reinsch Companies
David Hilde, Jair Lynch Real Estate
Daniel Rogers, B.M. Smith
Charles Sims, APAH

BUSINESSES
Michael Garcia, State Farm
Kevin Sheffield, Arlington Federal Credit Union
Nikki Macdonald, Northwestern Mutual

AT LARGE
Nina Chawla, Sonina Properties
Tad Lunger, Impresa Legal Group
Diana Nakarmi, Pentagon MMA
Esayas Gebrehiwot, ECDC Enterprise Development Group
Paula Fynboh, Aspire Afterschool Learning

COMMUNITY REPRESENTATIVES
Vanessa Aguayo, Green Valley
Shannon Bailey,
Alcova Heights
Diane Duston,
Alcova Heights
John Snyder, Douglas Park
Alex Held, Arlington Mill

PLANNING COMMISSION REPRESENTATIVE
Daniel Weir, Arlington County Planning Commission

COUNTY LIAISON
Susan Soroko, Arlington Economic Development

Meetings

The Columbia Pike Partnership Board of Directors meets on the second Thursday of every other month at 11:30 am virtually. The Board does not typically meet in August or December.

Upcoming meetings:

TBD

Columbia Pike Partnership Team

The health and safety of our staff is our highest priority. As such, our staff is currently working remotely and all team members are reachable via web, email, and phone. Contact Us

Andrew Schneider
Andrew SchneiderExecutive Director
Andrew leads the Columbia Pike Partnership in Arlington, Virginia – a position he’s held since December 2023. As Executive Director, Andrew is responsible for leading the Partnership in its effort to foster community engagement, economic development, and equity for the residents, businesses, and other key stakeholders who live and work along the Pike.

Prior to leading the Columbia Pike Partnership, Andrew served as Arlington Thrive’s Executive Director from March 2016 until February 2023. At Thrive, he led the organization through rapid expansion and spearheaded Arlington’s eviction prevention efforts and the economic assistance response to the COVID-19 crisis. He served as Arlington Continuum of Care’s Chair for two years and helped found and was the first chair of the Arlington Interfaith Network. A prolific fundraiser, Mr. Schneider grew Thrive’s fundraising by over 125% since 2016 and worked with a major Thrive Donor to establish a nearly $1 million endowed fund in 2018.

Before taking the helm at Arlington Thrive, Mr. Schneider spent five years working for his alma mater, the College of William & Mary, managing the alumni engagement efforts for the College in the Washington, DC area with an emphasis on Business School alumni and helping secure alumni donations ranging from $1,000 to $5 million. Prior to that, Andrew spent time with The Washington Post, working in politics at the White House for Vice President Al Gore, and living and working overseas.

Active in his community, Andrew has run for office twice and has been an active participant in community affairs, including serving as President of his civic association and being named a member of the inaugural “Arlington 40 under 40” by Leadership Arlington in 2014. From 2009 to 2023, Andrew served on the Board of CRi (formerly Community Residences), where he served in a variety of roles, including Chair, Treasurer, Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, and Vice Chair and Chair of two separate CEO searches (2015 and 2023), he remains an active member of CRi’s Governance Committee.

In addition to his BA from William & Mary, Mr. Schneider received an MBA from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. He was the host of a weekly radio show, Arlington Voices, which aired on local radio from 2016 to 2020.

A native of the DC Metro region, Andrew lives in Arlington with his two children, Alan and Elizabeth, and two dogs, Trixie and Ginny.

Amy McWilliams
Amy McWilliamsDeputy Director
Amy McWilliams has worked with the Columbia Pike Partnership for twenty years in various capacities, including administration, event coordination, and advocacy. Since 2017, Amy has been the organization’s full-time Deputy Director, having served the organization on a part-time basis prior to 2017. She is the “institutional knowledge” of the Columbia Pike Partnership, having served 6 of the past Executive Directors, and is experienced in working with Arlington County. Amy is also a proud Union member of Actor’s Equity Association, and has appeared throughout the region’s stages for 25 years prior to taking the full-time position. She holds a BA in Political Science with a minor in Economics from Western New England College.
Stephen Gregory Smith
Stephen Gregory SmithProgram Director
Stephen Gregory Smith is a long-time resident of Arlington; for 21 years, Stephen has built an incredible professional experience in a variety of fields, from Landscape Design, Landscape Team Leader, Dog Daycare Manager, Film Series Curator, Actor, Director, Writer, and Podcast host, Stephen’s multifaceted experience brings a broader understanding of business management, culture, and diversity vital to the organization. Stephen joined the Columbia Pike Partnership in 2016 and has been an unstoppable force in creating and promoting events and spaces to connect our beloved community of businesses and residents. One of the major reasons that he joined the organization was its dedication to retaining the diversity of the corridor, along with its diverse businesses.
Alejandra Underwood
Alejandra UnderwoodBusiness Engagement Specialist
Alejandra is a dedicated, and passionate individual with an extensive professional track record assessing needs, improving efficiencies, and strengthening communities. Alejandra has over 10 years of outreach experience, training & technical assistance, and operation management roles in the non-profit, education, business, and government sectors. She’s passionate about connecting others to resources and is eager to use her experience and skills to help businesses.

A native of Honduras, Alejandra is a native Spanish speaker and has called the Columbia Pike corridor home since 2012. Alejandra is an active member of Arlington Medical Reserve Corps, The Crystal City Pentagon Rotary Club, and a graduate of Arlington Neighborhood College.

Andrea Avendano
Andrea AvendanoMarketing & Comms. Director
Andrea is a dedicated and results-driven advertising and marketing specialist with over ten years of experience, Andrea holds a Bachelor’s degree in Advertising and is very passionate about crafting innovative advertisements that not only are impactful to and for our partners and residents, but that create positive and profound changes in the community. She delivers data-driven marketing solutions through powerful, strategically targeted, and thoughtful campaigns via a variety of media platforms and is fluent in Spanish and English. Andrea is a resident of the Columbia Pike corridor in Fairfax County, and her understanding of the community adds an extra level of commitment to the organization’s mission. Andrea joined the Columbia Pike partnership in 2021.

Community Advisory Council

Ana Arias, Volunteer
Caitlin Brosseau, Resident
Chanda Choun, Resident & Activist
Tim Clark, Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse
Portia Clark, Green Valley
Hannah Dannenfelser, Resident & Activist
Henry Dunbar, Resident & Activist
Angie Fox, Resident & Activist
Emily Gage, Phoenix Bikes
Greg Greeley, Resident & Activist
Dahlia Hamza Constantine, Education Advocate
Adam Henderson, Pike Presidents Group
Anika Kwinana, Arlington for Justice
Charlie Meng, Arlington Food Assistance Center
Claudia Salazar, Café Sazón
Chris Slatt, Transportation Commission
Tracy Smith, Neighborhood College
JD Spain, NAACP Arlington
Scott Taylor, Black Heritage Museum of Arlington
Pinaki Vaidya, Virginia Hospital Center (VHC)
Nancy White, Arlington Free Clinic
Edie Wilson, Shirlington Civic Association
Jessica Yanez, Los Chamacos
Juan Zabala, Latino Economic Development Center
Bethany Zecher Sutton, Randolph PTA
Mitch Opalski, Resident & Synergy HomeCare
Scott Fink, Community Preservation Partners – East
Zakiya Worthey, K. Lamb LLC
Allyson Kennedy, Resident & National Science Foundation
Ben Childers, Resident & Activist
Alex Sakes, Penrose Neighborhood Association

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