What makes Downtown Arlington so special? One word: community. Our eclectic and ever-evolving district is made up of entrepreneurs, students, families, volunteers, art patrons, restaurateurs … and we’re just getting started.
In our new “Sixty Seconds” feature, we’ll pull up a virtual chair and chat with members of the Downtown Arlington Management Corporation Board of Directors, a group that’s been instrumental to envisioning, encouraging and driving Downtown’s burgeoning vitality.
Today, meet Valerie Landry.
DAMC role: Chair of the Board of Directors, Downtown Arlington Management Corporation
Day job: General Manager, The Sanford House Inn & Spa
DA: What’s your favorite Arlington tradition and why?
VL: Fourth of July. From the parade to the fireworks, I love the patriotism and the way the Arlington community unites together to celebrate the wonderful freedoms we all share.
DA: Which Arlington schools did you attend and what’s one or more of your claims to fame?
VL: I’ve got this covered! I attended Sherrod Elementary, Nichols Junior High, Lamar High School and UT Arlington for my MBA.
In elementary school, I was a puppeteer! My group and I went around to primary schools and daycare facilities and performed puppet shows for the kids.
In 6th grade, I received the Rotary Award, then later, I ended up serving as president of the Club that gave me this award.
I played Varsity tennis all four years at Lamar HS and walked on to the team at Hofstra University. I was also first chair oboe in the Wind Symphony Band and Full Orchestra all four years. Fun fact: oboes don’t march, and everyone in band is required to be part of the marching band. I ended up pretending to play the coronet, so I was a decoy in the brass section!
DA: If you could invite four people to a dinner party (non-family, living or deceased), who would they be?
VL: Nathan Lane, Robin Williams, Tim Gunn, and Ellen DeGeneres.
DA: Where is your favorite place in Downtown Arlington to meet friends?
VL: Restaurant506, Sugar Bee Sweets and Legal Draft.
DA: If money was no object, what is one thing you’d do to further the revitalization of Downtown Arlington?
VL: I would add more retail: some cool, unique shops with art and handmade jewelry, beautiful clothing and custom furniture. To have shopping options that complement the cultural arts and dining options would be amazing, and it would give people even more reasons to stay longer in Downtown Arlington.
DA: What advice would you give someone who just moved to Arlington?
VL: Get involved! You will get out of the city what you put into it. The sooner you choose what organizations you want to be involved with, the sooner you will start making life-long friends!
About the Downtown Arlington Management Corporation
The Downtown Arlington Management Corporation is a private, non-profit community development organization whose purpose is to forge alliances between property owners, business interests, residents and the City of Arlington to improve and enhance the economic vitality and overall environment of Downtown Arlington and the overlapping Arlington Cultural District. For more information, visit downtownarlington.org.