Share This Issue on Your Social Media
LinkedIn Share This Email
Stay Connected With Chair Wheeler
Twitter  Facebook  Instagram  Youtube  

Issue 147

Friday, January 13, 2023

Prince William County

Dear Neighbors,

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of delivering my fourth State of the County address at the Board meeting. It was wonderful to speak about so many of the County's recent successes. Since it would be virtually impossible to share them all, The Wheeler Report issues are a great source of information all year long.

I truly believe our County is a great place to live and do business. Just look at the Economic News section below for a few examples! Looking forward to 2023, there is so much to be excited about as we build upon past accomplishments and explore new opportunities. 

In Service,

Chair Ann Wheeler

Chair's Calendar

Tuesday, January 10, Chair Wheeler delivered her 2023 State of the County address during the BOCS meeting. This tradition allows us to reflect on our recent successes as we look forward to 2023. A Special Issue of The Wheeler Report provides a video of the address, key comments, and a link to full text.

New Town Leadership

Saturday, January 7, Chair Wheeler attended the Town of Dumfries swearing in ceremony for its newly elected Town Council. The seven-member Council, which includes Mayor Derrick Wood (with Chair Wheeler in right photo), are elected at-large and serve for a term of four years. As the governing body of the town, it is responsible for creating policies, setting tax rates, approving the annual budget, and enacting ordinances to carry out those policies. The day-to-day operations are carried out by the Town Manager. This is known as the Council-Manager form of Government.

The Town of Dumfries

Dumfries history began as early as 1690 when Richard Gibson erected a gristmill on Quantico Creek. The Town of Dumfries was formally established on 60 acres of land at the head of the harbor of Quantico Creek, provided by John Graham. He named the town after his birthplace, Dumfriesshire, Scotland.

Dumfries received its charter on May 11, 1749, from the Virginia General Assembly, making it the oldest continuously chartered town in Virginia. Once the second leading port in Colonial America, it rivaled New York, Philadelphia, and Boston and was a thriving port for more than 15 years. From 1760 to 1822, PWC's third courthouse was located in Dumfries.

Today, Dumfries is 1.63 square miles in size and, per the 2020 Census, has 5,687 residents. The town and its surrounding area, unincorporated Dumfries, is home to several attractions and events, including the Weems-Botts Museum. Located within the town, the museum is named after Parson Weems, George Washington’s first biographer and author of the cherry tree story, and Benjamin Botts, Aaron Burr’s youngest defense attorney during his 1807 treason trial.

Virginia General Assembly Meeting

Saturday, January 7, Chair Wheeler opened the 2023 PWC Virginia Delegation Pre-Legislative Session Forum, welcoming the Virginia General Assembly Delegates and Senators representing the residents of PWC. During the forum, they shared their legislative agendas and priorities, as well as listened to comments from the community. The 45-day legislative session in Richmond convened on January 11. You can find your Virginia General Assembly Delegate and Senator by entering your address here.

Talk and Tour

Wednesday, January 11, Chair Wheeler visited the Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) campus in Manassas. In addition to touring the Shelter, Administration Building, and the Hunger Resource Center, Chair Wheeler met with several members of NVFS leadership team. Pictured below are Stephanie Berkowitz, President and CEO (far left), Malinda Langford, Senior VP, Programs (second from left), Glenda Blake, VP, Programs (left of Chair Wheeler), Steve Alloy, Board Chair (right of Chair Wheeler), and Dr. Sam Hill, Board Member (far right).

Northern Virginia Family Services

NVFS provides the essential building blocks for financial, emotional and physical well-being, for the Northern Virginia community. NVFS services range from the early childhood development, foster care and adoption, immigration legal services, mental health, workforce development, and more. assisting with the most basic of human needs, to helping families and individuals find paths to stability.

Every year, NVFS empowers more than 35,000 individuals to achieve self-sufficiency. Monthly it provides nearly 600 PWC families with emergency food assistance, nutrition information, and strategies for buying healthy food on a budget. In 2015 NVFS was honored with a Helios HR Apollo Award, as the Washington, D.C., area nonprofit organization that most outstandingly promoted employee development as part of their culture. Learn more about the many ways you can get involved and support NVRS.

Economic Development

Wednesday, January 11, Chair Wheeler attended a Future of the Region Reception at the Old Hickory Golf Club in Woodbridge. At the event, PWC Department of Economic Development Executive Director Christina Winn (right in photo), the City of Manassas Economic Development Director Patrick J. Small, CEcD, and City of Manassas Park Economic Development Coordinator A. LaMar Hoy shared 2022 successes what to expect in 2023.

See Economic News section below for some exciting recent economic development announcements.


Wednesday, January 11, Chair Wheeler attended the graduation ceremony for PWC Fire and Rescue System Volunteer Recruit Class 23003. “The Firehawks” 13 recruits completed six months of rigorous academic and physical training at the System’s Public Safety Training Center.


Thursday, January 11, Chair Wheeler attended a ceremony celebrating Debbie Jones' 32 years of service to the Prince William region and recent retirement as Prince William Chamber President and CEO. Named one of Prince William Living's five Influential Women of the Year in 2021 (County News issue 62), Ms. Jones began her Chamber career in 1990 as the communications coordinator. She has served as President & CEO since July 2014 and has led this business member organization through a period of significant transition, growth, and success. A George Mason graduate, Ms. Jones reflected upon her career here.

Prince William Chamber of Commerce

A non-profit organization, the Prince William Chamber of Commerce serves to advance positive business growth and development of PWC, the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. The over 1,150 member businesses and organizations employ more than 70,000 people in our community. The Chamber's Committees and Councils include Education and Workforce, Health and Wellness, Not-for-Profits, Technology and Security, Veterans, Government Contracting, Hispanic Business, and Women's Leadership. You can find some of the Chamber's events on its Main Calendar and Community Calendar.

Regional Meetings

This past week Chair Wheeler participated in the:

Next Meeting

Tuesday, January 17

2:00 pm

For Public Comment Time options visit SpeakUp! Prince WilliamRemote speakers must sign-up by 5:00 pm on Monday, January 16. In-person speakers can sign up at the meeting.

View the Agenda
Register to Speak Remotely

At the Tuesday, January 10, Meeting

The Board:

Special Recognition

Elijah Johnson (center holding plaque) was given a special thank you and presented with a plaque from County Executive Christopher Shorter (right of Elijah) for his service as Acting County Executive for 2022.

"A heartfelt appreciation for your commitment, your dedication, and exceptional leadership in serving Prince William County as Acting County Executive January 1 through December 31, 2022."

Plaque Inscription

Education Presentation

Additionally, the Board heard a presentation from Northern Virginia Community College's (NOVA) Dr. Richmond Hill, Provost Woodbridge Campus, and Dr. Molly Lynch, Provost Manassas Campus. The presentation noted that PWC Public School's High School Dual program with NOVA enrollment grew more than 20% between Fall 2021 and Fall 2022. Additionally, in the Fall of 2022, the program offered an effective scholarship of over $3 million for PWC families.

County News

In Observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

The following will be closed on Monday, January 16:

  • PWC Government Offices
  • PWC Public Libraries
  • PWC Public Schools and Offices
  • PWC Courts

The Library Branches also closed Saturday, January 14, are Dale City, Dumfries, Independent Hill, Lake Ridge, and Nokesville.

Open on Monday, January 16:

January 16 marks the 28th anniversary of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday and Service Act, signed into law by President Bill Clinton. Observed each year on the third Monday in January, MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service and encourages all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. Learn more in issue 99.

You can read about the journey to the first official Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration in 1986, how Stevie Wonder's song "Happy Birthday" played a part, and a moving excerpt from Dr. King's 1964 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in issue 48.

Preservation Grant Awarded

The Library of Virginia Circuit Court Records Preservation (CCRP) program has awarded PWC Circuit Court Clerk, Jacqueline Smith, Esq, a $53,859.50 grant for local records preservation. The PWC Circuit Court Public Service Center has records dated from the early 1700’s to present. All documents on file are available for public research and copies may be made (except for adoption, juvenile and sealed records). Find information and resources about researching historical records here.

Circuit Court Records Preservation

Since 1990, the CCRP has awarded over 2,000 grants totaling more than $34 million. This year, the program awarded $4.7 million to 99 localities to assist the clerks’ offices with their preservation efforts. 

A collaborative program between the Library of Virginia and the Virginia Court Clerks Association, it is funded through a $3.50 portion of the clerk’s recordation fee.

Help for the Winter Blues

With daylight getting shorter, many suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or “SAD.” The Prince William Public Libraries has nearly 20 SAD lamps, a specialized light device that, unlike most sources of indoor artificial light, mimic sunlight, which can trigger the body to release serotonin. The lamps can be checked out for three-week periods, renewed, put on hold, and come with instructions for use.

PWC Public Libraries offer so much more for you this season! Just check out its Winter 2022-2023 Explore online magazine. Some of the offerings you'll find are special events, story time, and book clubs. There are crafts and activities, including STEM and Legos®, as well as innovative Makerspaces (County News issue 90) at the Bull Run Regional Library and Central Community Library.

Volunteer Training Opportunity

Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) is accepting applications for the Master Financial Education Volunteer (MFEV) This training teaches adult education strategies and financial education skills. Classes will be Mondays and Wednesdays from February 22 through March 29, 2023, 7:00 am to 9:00 p.m. The first and last sessions will be in person, and all others virtual. Learn more and how to apply here.

Master Finacial Education Volunteer Program

The MFEV program focuses on helping families build financial capacity through classes on topics such as managing money, planning for home ownership, getting out of debit, retirement planning, and preventing identity theft. The program also provides one-on-one mentoring.

Economic News

Startup Program Reopened

The IGNITE Startup Grant application window reopened Tuesday, January 11, with a $1 million dollar fund offered to high-growth companies looking to expand or locate in PWC. The program is leveraging ARPA funds to provide greater opportunities during pivotal years for scaling startups and high-growth businesses. The competitive program offers grants at $25K, $50K, and $100K levels, depending on the applicant’s qualifications. The application window will close December 1, 2023, or when funds are depleted. Learn more and submit your application here.

The award-winning (County News issue 134) entrepreneurial program was created and piloted with CARES Act funds from December 2020 to March 2022. The initial IGNITE grant recipients represent cutting-edge ideas and products in healthcare, biosciences, virtual reality technology, and cybersecurity. Read about eight of the recipients here and recent updates on five of the recipients here.

“High-growth companies can drive innovation and moreover, increase new jobs and employment in our community. The pilot program was extremely successful with more than 100 applications. An evaluation of the initial winning companies found they will add an estimated 223 jobs and an estimated $12.8 million in capital investment in Prince William County.” 

Ann Wheeler

Chair At-Large Board of County Supervisors

New Business Report

In October 2022, twenty-eight small business owners received a certificate of occupancy/written authorization to ‘Open for Business’ from the PWC Department of Development Services’ Small Business Project Management (SBPM) program. From January 2022 through October 2022, a total of 323 businesses received a certificate of occupancy/written authorization. A BOCS funded initiative to enhance the level of services for small business owners, startups, and entrepreneurs, the SBPM was launched in October 2018.

Gee-Whiz Numbers

  • On average, a business opens in PWC every day.
  • Since 2018, the PWC Department of Development Services' Small Business Project Management Program has served more than 1,713 small business owners. 

Executive Director Elected President

The Virginia Economic Developers Association (VEDA) elected Christina Winn, its 2023 President. As Executive Director of the PWC Department of Economic Development, Ms. Winn has positioned PWC as a leader in the Washington metropolitan area in key target industries, such as life sciences and biotech; distribution and logistics; and government contracting. Recently, the department won two Excellence Awards from the International Economic Development Council (County News issue 134) and Ms. Winn was one of the Washington Business Journal's Women Who Mean Business.

County Happenings

Important Skill Lessons

Monday, January 16, registration opens for PWC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism swim lessons at the Chinn Aquatics and Fitness Center and Sharron Baucom Dale City Recreation Center. Open to ages 5 months and older, offerings include parent and child, infant swim, preschool, adult beginner (ages 13+), adult advanced, swim team prep, synchronized swimming, and more. Classes are 30 to 40 minutes long, two days a week, for four weeks, starting the week of January 30. Class fee is $78, and registration will be here.

Looking for Ways to get Outside

Saturday, January 21, 8:30 am to 10:00 am, PWC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism is hosting Waterfowl at the Wetlands. Walk the beautiful Veterans Memorial Park in Woodbridge with Master Naturalist Candice Lowther in search of waterfowl in their winter habitat. Loons, Geese, Mallards and Merganser are some of the feathered friends you may see. Open to ages 5 months and older, event fee is $10. Reserve your spot here and don't forget your camera and binoculars!

History Lecture

Thursday, January 26, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm, the PWC Office of Historic Preservation Lecture Series is hosting Prince William County’s 'Boy Major,' Joseph Latimer at the Old Manassas Courthouse. A Brentsville native, Latimer, was a 19-year-old artillery major when he received a mortal wound at the Battle of Gettysburg. Find out how this young man rose to prominence and rank during the Civil War from Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide William Griffith. Suggested donation is $5.

In 2015, PWC Historical Commission erected a Historical Marker commemorating Latimer in Brentsville.  

County Kudos

PWC Resident Wins (Again!)

Congratulations to Denielle Velasquez for winning the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments regional America Recycles Day “I Recycle” (BOCS issue 138) online pledge contest. 

This is the ninth time in ten years, a PWC entrant has won an “I Recycle” pledge contest prize! County resident and committed recycler Denielle Velasquez won a $300 REI e-gift certificate. She took the pledge online and pledge to” buy more products with recycled content.” 

Helpful Links


How to Get Vaccinated (including boosters):

How to get tested:


Ann B. Wheeler was elected Chair At-Large of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors during the 2019 General Election and assumed office on January 1, 2020. Prince William County is located 25 miles south of Washington, D.C., and is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s second-most populous county with approximately 482,000 residents. 
Careers in PWC Government
Subscribe to The Wheeler Report
Visit Our Website