ListenPort comprises of a dedicated team of professionals from various industries, who understand the importance of listening and acting upon feedback from consumers. Brought together by a common need to possess and provide others an effective means to engage in conversations that matter to a business, ListenPort laid roots in North Virginia in 2013 to achieve this goal.
How We’re Helping Companies Listen to Their Customers’ Feedback LOUD and Clear.
ListenPort is a proven business intelligence tool that combines both customer relationship management(CRM) and online reputation management(ORM) functionality to effectively deliver real-time consumer feedback directly to management, because timing is everything to a business. With the knowledge that customers are the lifeblood of any business, can companies really afford not to pay full attention to the feedback that truly matters?
Many companies fail to realise that damage control is not the right way to contain a negative review, when instead measures should be taken beforehand to prevent the negative publicity generated from an unhappy individual.
With ListenPort, a customer can easily reach out to the right person in any organization and engage in both valuable and reductive dialogue. What potentially could have been a social media publicity disaster for the company, is now turned into a extremely valuable opportunity to rectify any issues and gain a positive review instead. The results of the company’s timely intervention would lead to a online review left by the customer, which can be published at the management’s discretion at a simple click on the dashboard.
Companies also benefit from ListenPort’s functionality to improve and build stronger rapport and communication with their employees. The tracking functions have also been proven to be very handy for businesses that operate in multiple locations. By using the tracking system’s data, an organization can pinpoint and identify the cause of negative reviews in any of their locations, and work on ways to efficiently rectify such situations.
ListenPort’s value is bolstered by simplicity and functionality. A clean user interface in the easy-to-use dashboard, guarantees that even the most non technically inclined staff in any organization will be able to operate it successfully. The dashboard, which is accessible from any desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone, creates a convenient central location where the needs of customers and patients can be heard and disseminated to the right people to quickly take charge and take action.
Our platform is now utilized in close to a dozen countries by businesses of all sizes, from brand new start-ups to multinational corporations.
In the healthcare field in particular, ListenPort is regarded as a lifesaver to medical care providers. It is an exceptional and reliable tool in aiding medical facilities operationalize real-time, mobile-enabled, patient-feedback delivery solutions through both inpatient and outpatient communication systems. ListenPort helps these medical care providers optimize their staff presence to deal with any communications brought forth by patients in a timely fashion, lowering the number of filed complaints or waiting times for a figure of authority to respond on an urgent issue.
Businesses that rely heavily on positive reviews for future earnings, or those that face understaffing issues or poor management quickly realized that this platform was just the thing they needed to improve their service standards and manage their online reputations effectively at the same time. Those businesses revelled in the fact that not only was the platform effectively producing positive results, it was also relatively simple to manage and use as well.
Since then, ListenPort has improved upon the original platform and garnered the trust and support from hundreds of registered businesses in various industries who are currently using the portal. The ListenPort family is constantly finding new and innovative ways to provide businesses an effective means to listen, solve and improve while giving consumers access to management level staff to voice their opinions and be heard.
ListenPort is extremely effective in businesses with high physical daily crowd volumes. With over 300 existing businesses using ListenPort everyday, we are committed to bring the best positive results to your business by helping you take care of your customers and their feedback.
The main ideal industries that have benefited immensely and seen positive growth through the use of our product includes, but is not limited to the following sectors:
- Healthcare & Wellness
- Property Management
- Employee Engagement
Need to determine if ListenPort is suitable for your trade or business? Contact us now, for an obligation free discussion with our customer representatives to help you determine how best ListenPort can be integrated into your business today, or click here to sign up for free.
Whereas wine may be Virginia’s history, craft beer is its future. The recent years have ushered in a new era in Loudoun County, one where a frosty pint is brewed from wholesome ingredients and served at the neighborhood brewpub. The craft brewing community encompasses more than just a happy-hour joint. It’s not your standard hops or malts. Each pour is a glass brimming full of community, heritage and relationships.
Matt Hagerman, founder of Lost Rhino Brewing Company, began his journey into brewing at Old Dominion Brewing Company. After spending several years in the beer industry on both coasts, he raised enough funds and took up residence in Ashburn, VA. There, he was able to store the brewing equipment that he purchased from Old Dominion before their closing.
“I literally have the Old Dominion brew house,” Hagerman said. In keeping their community loyalty strong, Lost Rhino has yet to expand outside of Virginia and D.C. with distribution. Eventually, he plans to open a Lost Rhino brewpub in the Brambleton Center in Ashburn, VA. Hagerman credits the success of the Loudoun craft beer market to Virginia’s wine trail, noting that people familiar with the wine industry have the right mindset and appreciation of the craft beverage artistry.
Old Ox Brewery’s Chris Burn attributes craft beer’s recent popularity to the legislation that allowed breweries to serve beer out of their tasting rooms without serving food. “It provides an immediate revenue stream that helps you get on your feet,” he says. Burns, who owns Old Ox Brewery with his wife Kristin and his father and mother, started as a home brewer. Named after Old Ox Road, Burns said that the name spoke to their family’s beer philosophy and their desire for it to be a point of connection in the community. “It’s fun to watch people come in and connect with each other,” adds Burns. Sten Sellier started as a home brewer, too, before opening Beltway Brewing Company. Looking to take his beers to the next level, Sellier couldn’t find a production facility that would let him brew. Instead, he built a company that would only brew for others. “We’re a craft beer incubator,” Sellier joked. Currently brewing for 14 clients, Beltway Brewing Company has helped foster beers to fruition from local breweries, as well as ones from Florida, Alabama and Ohio. Their state-of-the-art production facility handles other breweries’ beers from brew to bottle.
Unanimously, all brew masters stated that attention to detail was key to a good craft brew. At Beltway Brewing Company, quality control is taken seriously and their vigorous testing for recipe adherence, yeast levels and spoilage speak to their commitment to details.
“It’s way too important to risk sending bad beer out there,” Sellier said. “This isn’t home brew, and it has to last longer than a couple weeks.”
The growth and development of the craft beer culture has attracted not only the attention of local breweries choosing to open in Loudoun, but also larger breweries looking to expand. Victory Brewing Company, based out of Pennsylvania, chose Leesburg as the location for their first brewpub outside of their home state. Victory Brewing Company opened its doors in 1996 with best friends Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet at the helm. They remain intrinsically involved in the operation of the facility. When it came time to choose where to open their next location, Covaleski said the Loudoun area felt like home to them. No stranger to Northern Virginia, Barchet served as brewmaster at Old Dominion before moving on to found Victory.
“[Loudoun] has a well-travelled, intelligent community that also respects a little bit of rural lifestyle,” Covaleski said. “We feel we’ll be able to integrate with the community well.”
Victory’s Leesburg brewpub, scheduled to open in 2016, will span three floors at Courthouse Square, featuring a restaurant, outdoor dining and an attached brewery. It will produce brews specific and unique to the Leesburg location, according to Amy DePaoli, Marketing Director for Victory.
The surge in the craft beer industry in Loudoun is only gaining momentum. From the hopheads to the lager-lovers, Loudoun has enough variety to satisfy any beer drinker. “There’s always something different and unique that people want to try,” DePaoli noted. “Craft beer really is an art.”
PHOTOGRAPHY BY TRACI MEDLOCK
A Life in Balance
Shaza Andersen is the CEO and founder of WashingtonFirst Bank, which she started in 2004. Her bank recently opened its 17th branch, located in McLean, Virginia. Andersen has been named one of the Top 25 Women to Watch by American Banker and a Top Banker by SmartCEO. She has made several Washington Business Insider lists, including their Power 100, Women Who Mean Business and Most Admired CEOs. Andersen lives with her husband of almost 24 years, Marc, and their two children, Katie, 18, and Danny, 14.
NV: YOU STUDIED EUROPEAN AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES AT GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY. HOW DID YOU GET INTO BANKING?
SA: I’d always known that I wanted to learn management and be in some sort of management-training program. Companies came to interview students at George Mason and most that had formal management training programs were banks. I applied to four banks, and I got four offers, and I picked one—Crestar Bank. They’re now SunTrust.
NV: HOW DID YOU WORK YOUR WAY UP?
SA: I decided to learn how to manage branches. I worked my way up the ladder at Crestar. I was with them for about six years and then got recruited to Century National Bank, a one-branch bank in DC. I was there nine years and I became the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President. I helped take them from one branch to eleven branches, and from $80 million in assets to about $420 million in assets. We sold that bank to United Bank. That’s when I started thinking about starting WashingtonFirst.
SA: I had a lot of energy to continue all the great stuff we had started at Century National Bank. It was basically a continuation of the work we had already started. We knew the customers. We knew how to build the new bank. We knew how to service our customers. We opened our doors in April 2004 as WashingtonFirst Bank and really hit the ground running. As the founder and CEO, I’ve taken it from $0 to $1.4 billion in assets.
NV: IS THERE A SECRET TO YOUR SUCCESS?
SA: I’m a big planner. Any idea is a great idea, but without a plan, how do you take it from an idea to implementing it? You have to have a plan of how to get from A to B to C. Without it, you might get there, but it’s going to be a lot harder. So, it’s hiring the right people. It’s getting the right board organized. It’s getting the right advisory board. It’s getting people in the community to be your ambassadors and do business with you.
NV: HOW DID YOUR BANK WEATHER THE RECESSION?
SA: We didn’t do anything very risky. Part of it has also been that we’re in a good market. But from a banking standpoint, we didn’t do the 110% mortgages and the riskier loans. I think that ended up paying off for us, because as the market crashed, our portfolio stayed solid.
NV: TELL US ABOUT THE WASHINGTONFIRST YOUTH FOUNDATION.
SA: We started it in 2010. We’ve been able to raise money and help a lot of children’s organizations like Youth for Tomorrow and Children’s Hospital. We’re getting ready to have an event for the cancer ward at Inova Children’s Hospital. Being part of a community means giving back. I believe that if we can help one child, it’s better than helping none.
NV: YOU HAVE TWO CHILDREN OF YOUR OWN: KATIE, 18, AND DANNY, 14. HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK AND FAMILY LIFE?
SA: It’s not a balance. My family always comes first. I think that planning and organization is the key to life. Not just in business but in your personal life as well. You end up being able to multitask. My kids grew up with parents who work. And they have learned what it takes to work, achieve, and be able to finish what you start. I think that there are lots of things you can give your kids, and one of them is to be a good role model.
NV: AS THE CEO OF A BANK, DO YOU EVER FEEL LIKE YOU ARE A WOMAN LIVING IN A MAN’S WORLD?
SA: Banking is definitely a man’s world. There are fewer women in senior roles. I think I’m used to it. When I sit in a room and I’m the only woman, I think I can hold my own. Part of it is the experience and part of it is in knowing what I’m talking about. Having been in banking for so long, I can sit down and discuss any subject with knowledge.
NV: WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OUTSIDE OF WORK?
SA: I like to travel and I like to travel to warm places. We have a place in Palm Beach that we try to get to a lot. And we definitely like to experience new places. I like to read, to shop.
I feel really blessed and lucky to have a job that I love, a team that’s really been great here at the bank and to have a great and supportive husband and great kids.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY TRACI BROOKS
Two small words — Hub. Dot. Separately they don’t mean much, but put together they’re electric. Hub Dot is the latest British invasion to make it across the pond. Chances are, if you have a friend or relative in Europe they already know about this women’s networking organization.
Hub Dot launched in the United States the fall of 2014. Houston and Portland were the first cities to host events. Born from the mind of Londoner Simona Barbieri, a native of Italy, Hub Dot was created to provide an environment where women could meet and make meaningful connections. Over 200 women attended the first Hub Dot DC meeting, hosted by Anthropologie at the Reston Town Center in Reston, Virginia.
Upon arrival the attendees, or “Dotties,” as they’re affectionately termed, are greeted by a group of smiling faces and tempted with shopping as they’re tasked with grouping themselves by the dot they feel most closely identifies them. It’s all about the dots, ladies! Each colored dot sticker represents the purpose of an individual’s attendance.
THE MEANING OF DOTS:
RED: I am established (in my career/ business/motherhood).
YELLOW: I have an idea, can anyone help?
GREEN (the most frequently chosen dot): I’m here to be inspired.
BLUE: I’m here to socialize and shop.
PURPLE: I want to tell you about my story, my work, my charity.
Simona, along with Hub Dot’s COO Aurelia Hull, hosted a pre-event luncheon for the DC team to get better acquainted with the Hub Dot approach. Simona spoke about how she came up with the dot concept at her kitchen table, referring to it as “dot alchemy.” In this low-pressure, ultra-friendly environment, women who may otherwise pass each other on the street now chat together, and thus connections are made. Some of these connections are life changing. The global relevancy of the Hub Dot movement is evident during lunch when Simona exclaimed, “Luxembourg’s event has begun!”
Each event features speakers, but these are not the “stand at a lectern and present your PowerPoint slides” type of speakers. These are real women sharing their stories in just one-minute timeframes. Our event had ten speakers, myself included. Speakers told of struggles with alcoholism, disease and its effects on a family, and about numerous charities that have been started. Getting to hear all of the different stories and learning about our similarities felt like it was connecting us all.
One of my favorite parts of the night was meeting women who have attended other Hub Dot events around the world. Two women, one from Barcelona and another from England (both speakers), were there to help us launch and each shared her story. Another woman attended an event in Europe and has since moved to Miami, so she attended our event in an effort to learn more about launching a Hub Dot Miami.
Winding my way through the gathering of women, I ran into a girlfriend expressing how much she was enjoying the night. She made the distinction that she considers herself an introvert, but that even she was opening up and having fun. The feeling that all are welcome permeated the evening.
As the night drew to a close, the local team leader, or “Ville Leader,” Kristen Staples wrapped up the evening. Shoppers shopped, hashtags were live-tweeted, Dotties mingled and connected. I trust that many special connections have begun as a result of real women stripping off their labels and sticking on their dots.
We’ve checked out the #hashtags and done all the work—now it’s time to check out the restaurants for yourselves. These hot spots have been racking up points on Instagram and are some of the most delish places to dine in Nova and DC.
Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken
According to our Instagram sources, this gorgeous lineup of donut, fried chicken and—gasp—fried chicken donut sandwiches is worth the drive out to DC. Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken is reported to have “the best doughnut in DC.” They also serve up farm fresh seasonal fruit and ingredients from local farmers. Search #astrodoughnuts on Instagram for great reviews.
Bangkok Golden Thai Restaurant
Instagrammers are raving about #bangkokgolden:
“Hands down, best Thai restaurant. Crispy duck!”
“My favorite Thai place in NOVA.”
“Accomplishing my food bucket list before heading back to school.”
Since 1999, Jack-Sao and family have been serving up Thai dishes that celebrate native home cooking. They’re known and applauded for their crispy catfish, Thai salad, and chicken larb. For more great dishes, check out #bangkokgolden on Instagram.
Tysons Corner, Virginia
Over the seared Ahi Tuna Salad, one instagrammer exclaimed to his date, “That looks so amazing!”
With locations in Tysons Corner, Fairfax, and Gaithersburg, Great American Restaurants’ beach-themed Coastal Flats offers a satisfying coastal menu. The smoked salmon filet and hickory grilled jumbo shrimp with Mediterranean orzo salad top their list of best sellers. Coastal Flats serves lunch and dinner, and also offers a gluten-sensitive menu. Check out the #coastalflats hashtag to read more rave reviews online.
Tysons Corner, Virginia
What instagrammers are saying about Founding Farmers:
“Do you see the size of the Bananas Foster Buttermilk Pancakes? Insane and delicious! Best ever.”
“A trip to DC can hardly be considered complete without at least one meal at #foundingfarmers.”
“Double posting, because this is just too good not to share.”
Founding Farmers serves up seasonal food that’s locally sourced, sustainably farmed, and has a minimal carbon footprint. One step in the door, and you’re greeted by the warmth celebrated by American farmers and the land they farm. Check out #foundingfarmers on Instagram for more reviews.
This much yumminess in one picture should be illegal.
Crowd-pleasing, GypsySoul. Buttermilk pancakes with pumpkin mousse—what could be more gratifying? Their menu offers a whole section devoted to macaroni and cheese dishes. Southern-inspired options like sage biscuits, jumbo lump crabcakes, and potato salad is what earned their chef, RJ Cooper, his James Beard Award for Best Chef: Mid- Atlantic.
Beef marrow, sea urchins, antler mustard, and ink toast are the more adventurous items on the menu. Lovers of other food eccentricities can find Asian-style lettuce wraps with crispy pig ears and fermented cucumbers, chicken-skin cracklings, as well as a stuffed pork head.
Here’s what instagrammers are saying:
“When you have a great night it needs to be shared.”
“Killer donuts with bourbon glazed pecans.”
Chef and owner Mike Isabella is not only an award-winning chef, but also serves up authentic Greek food sure to please Gus Portokalos himself—My Big Fat Greek Wedding, anyone?
What instagrammers are saying about Kapnos Taverna: “This is a must to order when you go to #kapnostaverna.”
“Crispy eggplant with blood orange and honey #nomnom.”
“This #baklava is as good as it gets.”
“One of our favorites tonight, marinated mussels with preserved lemon and pomegranate.”
Sugar Shack Donuts
Sugar Shack Donuts has truly mastered the art of donut-making. These yeast donuts are sprinkled, candy laden, and in every color of the rainbow!
With two locations in Richmond, one in Alexandria, and more to come in Fredericksburg, Midlothian, and Charlottesville, Sugar Shack Donuts is a donut connoisseurs destination. From their house-made raspberry glaze to bacon maple, apple fritter, and chicken donuts, Sugar Shack Donuts will not disappoint.
Here’s what Instagrammers are saying about #sugarshackdonuts:
“What a #sweet way to end the weekend.”
“The toffee one was so good I had to put the box in the truck to keep from eating another one!”
“These are grade A prime donuts.”
Homemade poptarts. ‘Nuff said.
Ted’s Bulletin is the great American family restaurant. With locations in Reston, Fairfax, Washington, and Gaithersburg, Mark and Ty Neal opened Ted’s Bulletin in honor of their father, Ted. After the struggles of the Great Depression, Ted celebrated the new availability of food, adopting an open-door policy with friends, family, and neighbors. Ted’s Bulletin honors the memory of Ted, and, just like at home, the kitchen always has a pot of tomato soup and grilled cheese ready. Instagram photos of Ted’s Bulletin’s homemade poptarts, spiked milkshakes, and comfort food galore are some of the most popular on Instagram. Check out #tedsbulletin to see for yourself.
What they’re saying on Instagram:
“People who love to eat are always the best people. ~ Julia Childs”
“Not. Another. Bite. Yum.”
“Great atmosphere for families!”
Summer is the ideal season for a quick getaway. The days are longer. The kids are out of school. The sun is shining bright. And if you’re looking for a few quick day trips, we’d suggest soaking up Northern Virginia’s expansive wine scene. Virginia is the fifth largest state for wine production in the country. In 2010, about 1.6 million people visited wineries in the Commonwealth, and you might want to consider being one of them this year. Even if you’re not an oenophile, wineries have a lot more to offer than just tasty drinks. You can pack a whole picnic and take in the beautiful landscape. Bring your family, a date, or just a few friends. You can even catch the big game on the screens at a few of these spots. And each one will give you a chance to check out a different part of Northern Virginia. No matter which one you choose, know that each spot offers wine, scenic views, and a perfect way to spend an afternoon.
The Winery at Bull Run
Visitors will enjoy a healthy dose of wine and history at this Manassas spot. Chances are you’ll fall in love with the meticulous landscaping, including trees that drape over the entrance—making it almost resemble the entrance of a southern plantation. Once you’ve parked in the gravel lot, head inside the warm and cozy tasting room, complete with a wood bar, tables, chairs, and soft lighting. Sidle up to the bar for a tasting, or buy some wine to enjoy either indoors or alfresco. Choose the indoor patio if you’d like to avoid the bugs, or you can even watch TV in the tasting room. But when the weather’s nice, you’ll have ample gorgeous greenery to admire outside. No matter what setting you choose, make a point of checking out the Civil War relics like belt buckles and bullets—the owner has collected them from throughout the region. As far as wine goes, I’d recommend the Delany. This sweet, smooth, and light white wine, named after the owner’s daughter, is sure to satisfy on a hot summer day.
15950 Lee Highway
Centreville, VA 20120
Paradise Springs Winery
Clifton’s Paradise Springs Winery is just what an urban winery should be. It’s located on a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it plot of land just off Clifton’s quaint, historic Main Street. But this is one spot you won’t want to drive past. Expect an after-work crowd here; I met a teacher on Friday when I visited in December. Enjoy your wine in the spacious, luxurious-looking tasting room that comes complete with a glass wall that allows visitors to see the wooden barrels where the wine is aged. Enjoy your vino inside the tasting room or out on the indoor patio; we’d recommend the alfresco option to really soak it up. Pair your vista with the impressive Viognier—the official state grape of Virginia. Be sure to take photos of the vineyard out front. The view alone will make you feel like you’re in the country and far removed from the hustle and bustle of Northern Virginia.
13219 Yates Ford Road
Clifton, VA 20124
Opened in 1997, Chrysalis is the oldest pick of these three wineries. This Middleburg spot is famous for showcasing the Norton grape. A native grape of America, Chrysalis’ owner has gone to great lengths to preserve this now rare vintage. As a result, Chrysalis may have the largest planting of this grape in the entire East Coast, and it’s worth a sip. Expect a rich, deep red with a flavor that’s almost spicy. Even if you don’t prefer reds, the winery also stocks Sarah’s Patio White—a light and crisp wine that will make a summer’s day seem even sweeter. Each of these wineries featured gorgeous scenery, but Chrysalis by far had the most sweeping views of Virginia’s Bull Run Mountains. And the winery’s new tasting room is gorgeous. This huge, ultra-modern space—slated to open in May—will eventually feature not only wine, but fresh-made sandwiches, cheeses, and bread, too. Visitors will love keeping it local. I could easily see myself sitting on the patio enjoying wine and sandwiches for hours during a long day. If you’d prefer, you can also check out the original, quaint tasting room before it closes. It’s about the size of a small house and also includes great views. If you’ve got the time and the appetite, we’d recommend going to the famed barbeque spot, The Pit Stop, located just a few minutes away in the neighboring town of Aldie.
23876 Champe Ford Road
Middleburg, VA 20117
No matter which winery you choose, we hope you take advantage of the good weather and enjoy refreshing wine in one of Northern Virginia’s emerging wineries. You’ll enjoy soaking up all each spot has to offer.
Nine of the 12 largest counties in Virginia reported employment declines from March 2009 to March 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. While some counties were at a loss, Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that Arlington County had the largest employment gain, up 1.6 percent—the third-fastest rate of growth among the nation’s 326 largest counties. In addition, the counties of Prince William and Loudon had job gains of 0.8 and 0.2 percent, respectively.
What about employment?
Nationally, employment fell 2.1 percent during this 12-month period, as 296 of the 326 large counties nationwide lost jobs. Among the 12 largest counties in Virginia, employment was highest in Fairfax County (563,100) in March 2010. No other county in the Commonwealth had employment above 200,000. Together, Virginia’s large counties accounted for 56.3 percent of total employment within the Commonwealth.
How did we do with wages?
The average weekly wage in Arlington County rose 3.6 percent from the first quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of 2010, the fastest increase among Virginia’s 12 largest counties and 14th fastest nationwide. Alexandria City had the second-highest rate of growth at 2.3 percent, followed by Fairfax County at 2.2 percent. Arlington County also had the highest average weekly wage among the 12 largest counties in the Commonwealth at $1,520, followed by the counties of Fairfax ($1,419) and Alexandria City ($1,223). Average weekly wages in 6 of Virginia’s 12 large counties were above the U.S. average of $889, placing them in the top fifth among the 326 largest counties in the United States in the first quarter of 2010. These six counties—Arlington, Fairfax, Alexandria City, Loudoun, Richmond City, and Henrico—all ranked in the top 60 nationwide of which 3 were in the top 20.
Who was on the bottom?
In two other large counties in the Commonwealth, Virginia Beach City and Chesapeake City, the average weekly wages placed in the bottom fifth of the national ranking at 290 and 266, respectively.