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AROUND TOWN/Charlotte Hall Crowned 'Queen of Alexandria'

Gale Curcio
By Gale Curcio
Posted on Oct 13,2010
Filed Under News , Community,

Photo by Dale Photo<br /> <br />Winners of Chamber awards.
Photo by Dale Photo
Winners of Chamber awards.

ALEXANDRIA, VA. - She came, she saw, she conquered. After 19 years, Charlotte Hall has embraced Alexandria as her hometown and Alexandria has embraced her.

Hall, vice president of the Potomac Riverboat Company in Old Town, moved to Alexandria from Richmond. She was the director of development and public relations for the Maymont Foundation and created the Maymont Flower and Garden Show.

Photo by Dale Photo<br /> <br />Guests don their sunglasses.
Photo by Dale Photo
Guests don their sunglasses.

Hall was recently honored at the 2010 Alexandria Chamber of Commerce Business Awards Dinner as Business Leader of the Year.

A packed room filled the lobby of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Building and the event also honored several local companies.

Karen Hughes, the President & CEO of the Campagna Center, accepted the Association/Non-Profit of the Year award. It was a bittersweet moment as Hughes had recently announced that she was resigned her position at the Campagna Center and returning to her hometown of Dallas, Texas.

The Campagna Center was founded in 1945 and enjoys strong leadership and commitment from a dedicated Board of Directors and volunteer pool.

Small Business of the Year was awarded to Aida Spa, opened last year by Aida Fekir. She enjoys introducing newcomers to Old Town and brings in clients from Baltimore, MD and Stafford, VA.

Large Business of the Year went to New Target. Owner Laura Machanic called the award a “wonderful surprise” and thanked her “wonderful team.”

Photo by Dale Photo<br /> <br />Tina Leone and Charlotte Hall.
Photo by Dale Photo
Tina Leone and Charlotte Hall.

“I grew up with the chamber,” recalled Machanic. “My father was a chairman and the Chamber was a part of our life.”

fibre space received Alexandria Business of the Year. Owner Danielle Romanetti acknowledged how much the Small Business Center helped to get her business going. Mike Anderson, who emceed the awards presentation, quipped that he never thought a yarn company could be so successful. Romanetti believes that their success is a result of the community that they provide for local knitters and crocheters.
Bike and Roll received the Eco-Business of the Year. They provide bike rentals and attribute their success to people being more conscientious with the go-green movement and health wellness.

Willem Pollack, founder and owner of the Potomac Riverboat Company, Mark Jinks, Deputy City Manager, City of Alexandria, and Mike Anderson, owner, Mango Mike’s Cool Caribbean Café, had plenty to say about Hall.

Pollack wanted to make it clear that while everybody thinks that Hall is the owner of the Potomac Riverboat Company, HE is really the owner. He listed Hall’s numerous contributions to the City of Alexandria and said that “she has done a great job for the boat company and Alexandria.”

Jinks sees a lot of Vola Lawson in that “She is nice to everybody until she doesn’t like them and then there is hell to pay.”

He said that Hall “can see issues from all sides and is ever-persistent.”

Anderson regaled the crowd with tales of missing crab cakes and then showed some slides of Hall, including her old car and a poster of Hall placed in various Alexandria sites.

Hall accepted the award graciously and thanked Tina Leone and her staff for a “wonderful party.”

For additional information on Alexandria Chamber programs, visit

Photo by Dale Photo<br /><br />Mike Anderson.<br />
Photo by Dale Photo
Mike Anderson.

Photo by Dale Photo<br /> <br />Willem Pollack.
Photo by Dale Photo
Willem Pollack.

Photo by Dale Photo<br /> <br />Aida Fekir accepts her award for Small Business of the Year.
Photo by Dale Photo
Aida Fekir accepts her award for Small
Business of the Year.

Photo by Dale Photo<br /> <br />Laura Machanic accepts her award for Large Business of the Year.
Photo by Dale Photo
Laura Machanic accepts her award for Large
Business of the Year.

Photo by Dale Photo<br /> <br />Guests enjoy the reception at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Building.
Photo by Dale Photo
Guests enjoy the reception at the U.S. Patent
and Trademark Building.

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