on Economic Development
Capital Revitalization Corporation Board of Directors
C. Johns Confirmation Resolution 2003"
Good afternoon Chairman Brazil and members of the Committee on
Economic Development. My name is Marie C. Johns, President of Verizon
Washington, DC and I am pleased to be here today to provide testimony on
my nomination by Mayor Anthony A. Williams to the Board of the National
Capital Revitalization Corporation (NCR).
Let me first say that as a District resident of Ward 3 and as someone who
has worked in the District for over 15 years, I am very excited about
having the opportunity to serve on the Board of NCRC as it moves forward
with its critical mission of spurring economic development in the District
As the President of Verizon Washington, DC, I am passionate about
the opportunities I have for leveraging the Company's resources and
building partnerships with government, business, and not-for-profit
entities to stimulate economic development activities. Creating these
opportunities for economic growth and development has led to increased
investment in communities, greater telecommunication competition in the
market, increased opportunities for local and small businesses, job
creation, and greater customer choice and shareholder value. This is
consistent with NCRC's goal of leveraging District resources to attract business investment that leads to a return for both
the investor and the District alike.
Additionally, I have served in leadership positions in organizations where
strengthening the District's capacity for economic development were among
our top priorities. These organizations include: DC Chamber of Commerce,
Greater Washington Board of Trade, Washington DC Technology Council,
Federal City Council, DC Marketing Center, and the Capital Gateway Estates
Hope VI Steering Committee.
These experiences, I trust, will assure the Economic Development Committee
and the other members of the Council that I have the background and
leadership skills needed to meet the expectations of the Mayor, the
Council, and the citizens of the District of Columbia while serving on the
Board of NCRC. NCRC: I am looking forward to working with the Board
and NCRC's President, Ted Carter. NCRC has recently made healthy strides
towards spurring the District's economy and the revitalization of key
priority development areas such as: Georgia Avenue, East of the Anacostia
River, Columbia Heights, and the Southwest Waterfront. However, there is
still much progress to be made. The objectives of NCRC need to be clear
and realistic and there should be an aggressive public policy agenda that
is results-oriented and that is consistent with NCRC's mission.
Additionally, up to this point, NCRC seems to have been largely focused on
real estate development, which is important. However, I am particularly
interested in NCRC developing the capacity to address the other areas of
its mission, which include retaining, attracting and expanding businesses in the priority development areas and
creatively stimulating economic development and job creation. These
functions are critical if NCRC is to fully serve the needs of the District
and its citizens.
Though I know NCRC will face its challenges, I am excited and confident
that those challenges can be met if the Corporation has direction and is
focused on utilizing its resources to attract private investment in
communities that are in need of revitalization - and that provide the best
return for the investor and the citizens of the District.
In conclusion, I thank you for the opportunity to testify and I look
forward to working with you and the other members of the Council to make
NCRC a success and a model for other jurisdictions to follow.
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NOMINATION OF MARIE JOHNS
NATIONAL CAPITAL REVITALIZATION CORPORATION
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
THURSDAY, JUNE 12, 2003
GOOD AFTERNOON, MR. BRAZIL AND MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE. I AM BARBARA
LANG, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. I
AM PLEASED TO BE HERE TODAY IN SUPPORT OF THE NOMINATION OF MARIE JOHNS TO
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL REVITALIZATION CORPORATION.
I HAVE KNOWN MARIE JOHNS FOR OVER FIFTEEN YEARS AND HAVE PERSONALLY OBSERVED HER LEADERSHIP SKILLS,
BUSINESS ACUMEN AND COMMITMENT TO THIS CITY. SHE HAS DEDICATED HER ENERGIES TO PROVIDING EDUCATIONAL
OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE DISTRICT'S SCHOOL CHILDREN AND EXPANDING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SYSTEMS WHICH PROMOTE OPPORTUNITIES FOR
SHE WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN SECURING A GRANT TO IMPLEMENT THE SCHOOL TO
CAREERS REFORM INITIATIVE FOR DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SCHOOLS. THIS PROGRAM
IS A PIPELINE THAT PREPARES THE FUTURE WORKFORCE AND IS A BEACON OF HER
DESIRE TO PROMOTE ECONOMIC STABILITY IN OUR NEIGHBORHOODS. AS A RESULT OF
HER LEADERSHIP ON THE SCHOOL TO CAREERS PROGRAM, SHE SPEARHEADED A VERIZON
SPONSORED PROGRAM CALLED SEEDS - STUDENTS EDUCATED FOR ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT SUCCESS - THAT TRAINS OUT OF SCHOOL YOUTH FOR JOBS IN
IT IS MY UNDERSTANDING THAT NCRC HAS A BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM DESIGNED TO PROVIDE FINANCIAL
AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE SERVICES FOR BUSINESSES. DURING HER TENURE AS CHAIR, THE CHAMBER IMPLEMENTED
SEVERAL NEW INITIATIVES THAT ADVANCED THE INTERESTS AND PROSPERITY OF THE LOCAL BUSINESS COMMUNITY. THE
NEW TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED DC VISITORS CENTER WAS OPENED IN THE RONALD REAGAN BUILDING. ANOTHER
SIGNIFICANT PROJECT COMPLETED DURING MRS. JOHNS' TENURE WAS THE CREATION OF THE DC MARKETING CENTER,
A COOPERATIVE VENTURE BETWEEN THE CHAMBER, OTHER BUSINESS GROUPS AND THE CITY GOVERNMENT. THE
MARKETING CENTER WAS ESTABLISHED TO HELP ASSESS THE BUSINESS NEEDS OF
LOCAL COMPANIES IN ORDER TO KEEP THEM FROM RELOCATING TO THE SUBURBS AND
DEVELOP THE MARKETING AND ECONOMIC DATA TO HELP BUSINESSES DECIDE TO MOVE
TO OR EXPAND THEIR MARKETS TO WASHINGTON.
MRS. JOHNS' EXPERTISE WILL BE VALUABLE TO NCRC AS IT FOCUSES MORE
ATTENTION ON BUSINESS EXPANSION IN PRIORITY DEVELOPMENT AREAS OF THE CITY.
SHE WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN THE PLANNING PROCESS FOR THE GEORGIA AVENUE
BUSINESS RESOURCE CENTER AND LAST YEAR THE CENTER OPENED THE VERIZON SMALL
BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY LEARNING CENTER. THIS COMPUTER LAB AND RESOURCE
LIBRARY PROVIDES ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGY AND DATA CRITICAL TO THE GROWTH AND
EXPANSION OF LOCAL SMALL BUSINESSES.
DEVELOPMENT AND LAND USE ARE KEY
ELEMENTS OF THE CHAMBER'S 2003 POLICY AGENDA. I BELIEVE THAT THE DC BUSINESS COMMUNITY HAS A
CHAMPION FOR THESE ISSUES IN MRS. JOHNS. THERE CAN BE NO DOUBT ABOUT HER RELENTLESS INTEREST IN DEVELOPING
BUSINESS VENTURES THAT PROMOTE LOCAL, SMALL AND DISADVANTAGED BUSINESSES. HER LEADERSHIP SKILLS WILL
BE AN ASSET AS THE NCRC PURSUES ITS GOAL OF DEVELOPING PROJECTS TO CREATE JOBS, ATTRACT BUSINESSES AND
IMPROVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR CITIZENS AND BUSINESSES -
PARTICULARLY IN THE CITY'S UNDERSERVED NEIGHBORHOODS.
MR. CHAIRMAN, MRS. JOHNS IS COMMITTED TO HELPING MAKE DC A VIBRANT CENTER
OF COMMERCE FOR THE REGION. SHE BRINGS A WEALTH OF BUSINESS EXPERIENCE AND
LEADERSHIP SKILLS TO THIS APPOINTMENT. I WHOLEHEARTEDLY SUPPORT THIS
NOMINATION AND ASK THAT THE COMMITTEE APPROVE MARIE JOHNS AS A MEMBER OF
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL REVITALIZATION CORPORATION.
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Member Harold Brazil
Chairman, Committee on Economic Development
FROM: Michael Stevens, President
Washington, DC Marketing Center
June 12, 2003
RE: Nomination of Marie Johns to the NCRC Board of Directors
Good afternoon. My name is Michael Stevens and I am president of the
Washington, DC Marketing Center. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
that facilitates economic development in the District, and we partner with
numerous organizations to accomplish this mission. The NCRC is one such
agency we collaborate with in business attraction efforts, especially
retail attraction to the District's neighborhoods. NCRC has chosen to be a
strategic partner with the Center, so I am especially interested in
today's testimony regarding Marie Johns' nomination to their board of
I have been familiar with Ms. Johns ever since I began working in the
District three years ago. She has been a tireless supporter of economic
development in the District, and even provided our organization pro bono
office space until our current facilities were completed. Ms. Johns has
been a leader in the DC business community not only in her role at Verizon,
but also in the start up of new economic development entities like the DC
Tech Council. She has remained a stalwart supporter of and contributor to
the DC Chamber of Commerce, even after her term as chairman was over. Ms.
Johns understands economic development in the District, from the small
business perspective to the concerns of larger corporations.
Her nomination to the board of directors of NCRC is a logical and timely
one and the Center fully endorses that nomination. Ms. Johns brings the
characteristics and work experiences to the nomination that this type of
- She has a
unique understanding of the DC business environment
understands economic development, and that small business development is
essential to any local economy
- She embodies
commitment to the community through her company and volunteer service
She has supported local economic development agencies and programs through
Verizon and her volunteer work
- She brings business acumen, integrity and
commitment to the community in any assignment she undertakes
- She supports minority business development and the continuing
development of the District's workforce capabilities
Ms. Johns has been a respected member of the Washington, DC business
community for many
years, and would bring dedication and experience to the NCRC.
I would strongly recommend her nomination and appointment to the board of
directors of the National Capital Revitalization Corporation.
K STREET, NW · WASHINGTON, DC 20005 · TEL: 20238-7333 FAX: 202-638-6763
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Committee on Economic Development
June 12, 2003
Honorable Harold Brazil
Committee on Economic Development
My name is Juan Albert
and I am presently the President of the local Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
in Washington, DC, known as the Greater Washington Ibero American Chamber
of Commerce. According to the 2000 census there are some 50,000 Hispanics
living in Washington, DC, a 32% increase since 1990. Also within the
nation's capital there are some 5,000 Hispanic owned companies.
I am honored to be
here personally, to support the nomination of Ms. Marie Johns to the
National Capital Revitalization Corporation (NCRC) Board of Directors. I
have had both the pleasure and opportunity to work with Ms. Johns for the
last 5 years, when I first became President of the Ibero American Chamber
of Commerce in 1998.
As a Chamber of Commerce we value the work of the National Capital
Revitalization Corporation. I am very well aware of the mission of the
National Capital Revitalization Corporation (NCRC) and know that Ms. Johns
will be a strong proponent of the NCRC's economic revitalization and
development opportunities goals and objectives.
The Chamber and our Hispanic community recognize that there are pockets of
the District that continue to evolve with tremendous success. These
include areas of our downtown, our new convention center and locations
such as Gallery Place in Chinatown. However, we also recognize that there
are other pockets of the
city that have not yet achieved sufficient economic development. For these
reasons we need the strong leadership skills of Ms. Johns to assist us in
these efforts. These
areas include Mt. Pleasant, Columbia Heights and the Georgia Avenue
Corridor where some 10,000 + Hispanics currently reside with the numbers
continually increasing. Revitalizing these areas to include support for
local businesses, increasing working capital, investment, and workforce
development should remain high priorities.
And while a recent Brookings Institute study cited the Washington, DC
metro area "has the highest percentage of foreign-born residents who
speak English and the lowest immigrant poverty rate among the top 10 U.S.
metropolitan areas with the largest international populations", we
are well aware of the fact that there are still many immigrants, including
Hispanics who do not fit this category. Language barriers, the need for
health benefits, and the lack of working capital for
businesses are just some of the major problems affecting many
As President of the 5th
largest employer in the District and earnings of an estimated $700
million, Ms. Johns has demonstrated strong leadership and fiscal
responsibility in overseeing the daily operations of Verizon. As a
resident of the nation's capital, Ms. Johns is a firm believer on the
strength of our important and diverse community.
Education and youth are
two strong passions of Ms. Johns. Investment in these areas lead to the
most important part of economic development, human capital. For example,
Verizon played a major role in obtaining a $10 million grant for the DC
Public Schools to implement a school to careers reform initiative. From
this initiative, Ms. Johns, through Verizon, created a program called
Students Educated for Economic Development Success, know as SEEDS. As a
means of reducing the digital divide, this program assists primarily our
minority youth in identifying potential career opportunities in the field
of information technology.
Ms. Johns also led an
effort to install cabling to provide high speed internet connections in
every District public school as well as providing training to District
teachers and library personnel.
Ms. Johns is an activist totally engaged in bringing together government
entities, educational institutions, business organizations and non-profits
to work more closely together. Her interest in the health arena is
demonstrated by her appointment to the Health Services Reform Commission
which oversees health care delivery for uninsured residents in the
Verizon, through the strong leadership of Ms. Johns has been a long time
friend and strong supporter of the Hispanic community in the nation's
capital. Whether it be through
education, youth training, job creation and business development, Ms.
Johns remains a strong supporter for Hispanics in all of these areas.
During the past 20
years, Verizon has assisted the Hispanic business community and the Ibero
American Chamber in a number of different ways, both financially and with
inkind support. Verizon has continually been very active in supporting
several procurement fairs, training and seminars. Most recently, In 2002,
Verizon assisted us with funding that was channeled to support our Latino
youth entrepreneur program. Some 25 youth received assistance. The goals
of our youth are to become entrepreneurs in our city. In addition, Verizon
offered assistance with a Latina economic empowerment project. A total of
50 Latinas received training with the support of Verizon. Both of these
projects goals were to create job opportunities for Latinos in the
As you are aware, most of the Hispanic community in the District live in
the Mt. Pleasant, Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights and areas of Georgia
Avenue. Ms. Johns has led a Verizon campaign in assisting Hispanic based
organizations in these areas directed at supporting our Hispanic immigrant
Ms. Johns is a true
professional. I have had the opportunity to observe her at many events
throughout the city. She is a listener. She is a communicator. She is a
Ms. Johns is actively
involved in a number of organizations in Washington, DC. She is a trustee
of Howard University, a Director of the DC Chamber of Commerce, a member
of the International Women's Forum and the Economic Club of Washington.
I am also very happy to report that Ms. John's recently accepted to become
the Chair for our Steering Committee involving a Department of Commerce
minority procurement funded program that was awarded to the Ibero American
Chamber and 3 other minority organizations.
Most minority businesses
in our targeted areas face the same barriers as are found elsewhere. They
lack access to markets, capital and bonding. They also are often not in
the "deal-flow" of business ownership opportunities. Nor, do
many minority companies enjoy a nurturing, business development
environment, or receive adequate mentoring or technical assistance.
Despite Ms. John's busy schedule, she chose to Chair this important
initiative which goal is to find programs to overcome these barriers and
expand procurement opportunities between minority companies and the
government and private sectors.
In closing, I
congratulate Ms. Johns for being nominated to the Board of the NCRC. Ms.
Johns has our full support and know the NCRC will be well represented by