Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fairfax County Citizen Corps Chairman Selected For IBM's Corporate Service Corps

IBM's Corporate Service Corps Heading to Six Emerging Countries to Spark Socio-Economic Growth While Developing Global Leaders
First 100 IBMers Selected for "Corporate Peace Corps"

ARMONK, NY - 26 Mar 2008: One hundred IBM (NYSE: IBM) employees from thirty-three countries have been selected to participate in the company's new Corporate Service Corps program, part of the Global Citizen's Portfolio initiative announced by CEO Sam Palmisano, to develop leadership skills while addressing socio-economic challenges in emerging markets.

Twelve teams of employees will be sent to Romania, Turkey, Vietnam, the Philippines, Ghana, and Tanzania in 2008 to work on projects that intersect economic development and information technology. The assignments were selected to use the skills IBM employees possess.

More than 5,000 high-potential employees applied to the program and only 100 employees were selected, making this one of the most competitive employee programs ever created by the company. IBM will select another 100 before the end of year and has committed to enabling 600 of its emerging leaders to participate over the next three years.

"It's a corporate version of the Peace Corps," said Stanley S. Litow, vice-president of corporate citizenship and corporate affairs, IBM. "What we as a company get is leaders with a broader range of skills that can function in a global context. What the individual participant gets is a unique set of leadership opportunities and development experiences. And what communities get are IBM's best problem solving skills. It's a triple benefit."

The program is part of IBM's Global Citizen's Portfolio announced last summer, a suite of investments and programs to help IBM employees enhance their skills and expertise in order to become global leaders, professionals and empowered citizens in the 21st century workforce. It includes matching accounts for lifelong learning and enhanced transition services to create second career opportunities.

After a competitive bid process involving 32 global non-governmental organizations (NGOs) focused on volunteer placement of private sector professionals, IBM teamed with three: Citizens Development Corps based in Washington, D.C., Canada-based Digital Opportunity Trust, and Australian Business Volunteers. The NGO partners are a key part of the program's success, helping to identify the right projects and local organizations where IBM's emerging leaders, and the skills they currently possess, can have the most impact.

"The difference that I've seen with this corporate program is that it's more than sending a handful of employees every year to a country. It's making a real commitment to send hundreds of employees, year over year, to the same country. I think that you have an ability to make much more of an impact with such focus," said Michael Levett, president, Citizens Development Corps. "In addition, the IBM volunteers will learn an enormous amount about how business is done in these countries and the cultural aspects, they also will learn a lot about themselves and how to challenge themselves."

Following is a list of countries and highlights of each mission:

- Timisoara and Sibiu, Romania: identify small and medium enterprises with high growth potential requiring business training to tap into regional and global trade networks.

- Izmir, in the Aegean region of Western Turkey: help local chambers ofcommerce and city councils to promote economic, social and democratic development.

- Kumasi, Ghana: improve business processes and provide training for a network of small and medium enterprises trying to scale up their business models.

- Arusha, Tanzania: assist a global microfinance organization with market research and strategic plan development for expanding operations and services to entrepreneurs seeking microloans and business training services.

- Cagayan de Oro and Davao City, Philippines: create management information systems to track progress of loan and grant beneficiaries from the Philippine Development Assistance Program.

- Danang City, Vietnam: support the rapid development of small and medium enterprises with the Danang Chamber of Commerce through the creation of training programs in information technology management.

Prior to departure, the IBM teams will engage in three months of preparatory work to learn about local customs, culture, language, project goals and the socioeconomic and political realities of their destination countries. After their country service, employees will share their experience in their home communities and with the company.

IBM employees will be grouped in teams of eight representing different countries and business units. An important design point for the program is to provide high performance employees the chance to build networks with people they might never interact with. This will also enable employees to bring different perspectives and expertise to solving problems, as well as encourage interaction with people from different cultural backgrounds and traditions. In today's globally integrated economy the most successful leaders will be global citizens, able to understand and effectively collaborate with people from a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives.

"I embrace challenges and want to learn new ideas, methods, and perspectives that I cannot imagine at the moment," said one of the program's participants, Roz Docktor, a Government Programs executive based in Washington, D.C., a former Peace Corps volunteer. "It is scratching the surface of some previous unknown and figuring out how to apply that knowledge back at IBM that will make me, this program and IBM successful. I plan not only to find ways to apply the things I learn to grow in my career, but also to find ways to share what I learn with my colleagues at IBM to help them grow, and hopefully, help us all serve our clients better."

Qing Xia Zhang, a client manager based in China, also is hopeful this project will not only broaden her business viewpoint, but also make a difference in the Philippines where she will be among eight IBMers addressing how rural small and medium businesses will tap into regional and global markets.

"Going out to the global community and volunteering to help others has been always deep in my heart," she said. "During 10 years of service at IBM, I gathered a lot of skills in sales, communication and leadership within the China market. Now, I would like to take on another challenge in helping different communities solve difficult business issues while also improving my skills as I begin to collaborate within a new culture."

For more information about IBM, please visit

IBM has also hosted audio interviews with the three non-governmental organizations the company has teamed up with to identify the projects and areas of the world where IBM skills can best be applied. To learn more, listen to the interviews found on with the following:

-- Deirdre White, VP and COO of Citizens Development Corps
-- Janet Longmore, President of Digital Opportunities Trust
-- Michael Lynch, CEO of Australian Business Volunteers

Reprinted from (

Andrew Levy (, Fairfax County Citizen Corps Chairman has been selected for this program.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Volunteer Fairfax - VMLT Welcomes New Coordinator

Volunteer Fairfax's New Emergency Response Program Coordinator - Marcelo Ferreira

Volunteer Fairfax is pleased to announce that Marcelo Ferreira has joined the staff as the new Emergency Response Program Coordinator.

Marcelo earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Deleware in August 2006, and has since interned for Habitat for Humanity in Charlotte, N.C., and the American Red Cross in Wilmington, Del.

Marcelo has lived and traveled around the world and is a good fit to work with Fairfax County's diverse population. In his spare time, he enjoys playing and teaching ice hockey.

To reach Marcelo, contact him at or call 703-246-3553.

The Volunteer Mobilization Leadership Team (VMLT) consists of citizens interested in providing volunteer support following a local or regional disaster such as a flood, blizzard, hurricane, epidemic or terrorist act.

Nonprofits and government agencies will be called upon to help with the recovery effort. Volunteers will be needed to help in various ways throughout the county. Special skills are a bonus but not a requirement. Volunteers may answer county hotline phones, work here in the Volunteer Fairfax office, distribute food and water, serve as a project coordinator, work with case management agencies, or remove debris.

The Volunteer Mobilization Leadership Team are not first responders. They are volunteers who have made themselves available to be called on in the event they are needed in our county’s recovery effort.

For additional information about the Volunteer Fairfax Volunteer Mobilization Leadership team, visit their website:

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fairfax County Participates in Tornado Preparedness Day

Today, Tuesday, March 18 is Tornado Preparedness Day, co-sponsored by the Virginia Department Of Emergency Management and the National Weather Service.

As part of the awareness day, a statewide tornado drill will be held at 9:45 a.m. that will provide an opportunity to practice tornado safety plans and prepare schools and businesses to protect students, employees and others if a tornado warning is issued.

The test alert for the drill will be broadcast over NOAA weather radio and the Emergency Alert System. Governor Timothy M. Kaine has also proclaimed today as "Tornado Preparedness Day" in Virginia.

If storms or tornadoes are in your area, stay informed by listening to radio television or a NOAA Weather Radio for the latest tornado watches (which means that tornadoes are possible and you should stay tuned to the radio or television news) and warnings (which means that a tornado has been sighted and you should take shelter immediately).

For more information about tornado preparedness, visit or call the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management at 703-324-2362, TTY 711.

Additional information is available on the Virginia Department of Emergency Management Web site at

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Red Cross and Citizen Corps Council Team Up To Offer Free Mass Care and Shelter Operations Training

The American Red Cross of the National Capital Area and the Fairfax County Citizen Corps Council would like you to attend Mass Care Overview and Shelter Operations training that will be held:

Date: Saturday, April 5, 2008
Time: 9:00am - 5:00pm (8:30am Registration/Sign-in)
Location: American Red Cross of the National Capital Area
2nd Floor Boardroom
8550 Arlington Blvd., Fairfax, VA 22031

It’s FREE training.

Please email, Meirina Hutabarat, or call 240.485.3022 if you are interested in attending this course. We need your name, your address and day-time phone number.

Mass Care Overview


The purpose of this basic level Disaster Services training is to provide an overview of the activities performed by the Mass Care group in support of a disaster relief operation.

Learning Objectives

After completing this course, participants will be able to—
• Describe the role of Mass Care workers on Red Cross disaster relief operations and services they provide.
• Explain how Mass Care workers deliver quality service to clients.
• Match their interests, abilities, and skills with those needed in each Mass Care group activity.
• Develop a plan of action for involvement in Mass Care activities at the local Red Cross chapter.

Shelter Operations


The purpose of this basic level Disaster Services course is to prepare employees and volunteers of the Red Cross and other agencies to manage shelter operations effectively and sensitively as a team while meeting the needs of people displaced as a result of a disaster.

Learning Objectives

After completing this course, participants will be able to–
• Describe the procedures for opening, operating and closing shelters.
• Explain ways to demonstrate quality service.
• Organize available human resources as a shelter operations team.
• Identify resources available to assist shelter workers.
• Organize the physical facility and material resources to meet the needs of the people in the shelter.

Friday, March 7, 2008

National Capital Region - Regional Disaster Coordination Center

The American Red Cross National Capital Region Disaster Coordination Center (RDCC) is now up and operational!

This State of the Art Disaster Coordination Center (Located at ARC-NCA Headquarters) 8550 Arlington Blvd., Fairfax, Virginia

Now recruiting volunteers to serve as

Disaster Duty Officers (DDO)

Dr. Terry's goal is to have the RDCC operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (4-to-8 hour duty tours - all shifts are available).

Gain very valuable experience and help the Red Cross in a new way!

While you are on duty (during stand-by mode) you will have the opportunity to take the FEMA Emergency Management Institute, Independent Studies Program Classes. The RDCC is building a library of FEMA documentation to aid you in these studies.

Call Joe Sciuto at 703-626-4258 to set-up a tour of the RDCC and to explore this exciting new opportunity.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Give Up? March is...

Thanks to all that guessed that March is Red Cross Month. For additional information visit

Take a few moments to discover the many services, training courses, and other programs the American Red Cross offers in your community.

The American Red Cross is one of the affiliate members of the Citizen Corps Council.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

What Month Is It? Besides March...

Yes, we all know that is it March. But March into what? March into action? We know that September is National Preparedness Month... but do people know what related emergency awareness is in March?