OP3portunities Newsletter


The Office of Public Private Partnerships (OP3) has officially changed its name to the Department of Economic Initiatives (DEI) as of July 1, 2019.

As many of you know, following the March departure of OP3 Executive Director Patti Stevens, the County sought to create a new department that would incorporate staff from several offices who have supported work on economic success in Fairfax County.  OP3 was included in this reorganization given that much of their recent work has focused on innovation and economic success strategies.

The reorganized DEI will focus on:

  • the expansion and creation of economically successful and vibrant places, i.e., Tysons, Reston, and Mosaic
  • the retention and expansion of existing businesses, the creation of new businesses, and the attraction of existing businesses to Fairfax County
  • the implementation of redevelopment projects, i.e., the Massey Complex, Reston Town Center North, and Original Mt. Vernon High School
  • Coordinating and partnering with outside organizations and institutions, i.e., the Economic Development Authority, the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, George Mason University, and the Northern Virginia Technology Council, to ensure our efforts are well coordinated and in-line with the vision and goals of the Board of Supervisors
  • Coordinating and partnering with non-profits, philanthropic organizations, and businesses to facilitate and support County initiatives
  • The continued implementation of Fairfax First to ensure that County services are focused on speed, consistency, and predictability

Although the department title has changed, our commitment to community partnering remains strong.  Recruitment for a new Director is currently underway with a start date expected in late August/early September.  Vance Zavela will remain in his partnership developer role, Wendy Lemieux will continue to handle marketing and Theresa Benincasa will continue as the nonprofit and grant liaison. The Volunteer Management System (VMS) has moved to Human Resources and will continue to work closely with DEI on projects that further various County initiatives.

We look forward to our continued efforts in working together!  Please feel free to reach out to us at partnerships@fairfaxcounty.gov with any questions or comments.


Communities of Trust

STEM Opportunities for Youth

Autonomous Electric Vehicle Pilot

On June 29 Fairfax County, in partnership with Lerner Corp, Communities of Trust held Public Safety Family Day in the Morningside Apartments. The residents and community members were treated to games/food/face painting and a surprise visit from two of the Washington Nationals Presidents, while learning about various public safety programs offered in their area. This is the second event Baileys Crossroads area and is designed to foster Communities of Trust’s mission. 

COTC is a diverse citizenship group focused on building positive relationships between public safety agencies and communities to advance collaboration and outreach. It consists of more than 35 civic groups, individuals and public safety agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Voices of Vietnam.

Look for more events, like these, across the county in the coming year.


STEM Opportunities for Youth webpage is a series of pages on the Fairfaxcounty.gov webpage developed to make it easy to find STEM programs offered by County parks, libraries, community centers, as well as nonprofit organizations and local universities. It is a one stop shop for families looking to find a program, learn more about STEM or connect their child with an activity or program. Most programs require registration and about half the programs are free.  Businesses and organizations can use this site to better understand opportunities to partner or invest in the community. The site was developed by the Libraries, NCS and OP3 (now the Department of Economic Initiatives) in collaboration with Fairfax County Public Schools, George Mason University School of Engineering, Children’s Science Center, and Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab at Virginia Tech. It’s updated frequently with new events, organizations and resources. 


Fairfax County and Dominion energy are working together to launch an autonomous electric vehicle pilot program in Mosaic District of Fairfax County.  The goal of the pilot is to learn about the various aspects of deploying autonomous vehicles as part of a large public transportation system, with the eventual goal is to investigate alternatives to mitigate traffic and reduce carbon emissions. This was made possible by a Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation grant of $250,000 -  the first state-funded autonomous public transportation demonstration project in Virginia. Fairfax County will add $50,000 to the DRPT grant. Dominion will procure the vehicles and coordinate training for the operation and will also supply the power to keep the vehicle charged.  Fairfax County aims to be at the forefront of innovation by testing this smart technology for economic and environmental benefits, operational efficiencies and as a first and last mile travel option connecting people from Metrorail stations to employment, activity centers and residential communities.


Made in Fairfax Network

Disability Inclusion Conference

Amazon Charity of Choice

Fairfax County wants to support the growth and development of locally-made and “artisanal”/craft products – from textiles, hardware, woodworking, and metalworking to breweries and local food production – that can expand economic activity and create vibrant community places. To help achieve that goal, they are creating a group that can network, share ideas, and, together, raise the visibility goods and products created by local makers. Members of this group will receive periodic email updates on business development and County-wide marketing efforts including a directory of local businesses, as well as future collaborations and/or pop-up events, depending on interest.  There is no cost to participate in this group. Interested? Fill out the Made in Fairfax Network survey or email for more info.




The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and The Arc of Northern Virginia hosted a Disability Inclusion Conference on Saturday, June 29, 2019 at the Fairfax County Government Center. This event included over 350 attendees, 25 display tables, a panel discussion, and community breakout sessions on topics such as employment, housing, public safety, social opportunities, and business-to-business tips for creating inclusive retail spaces. A stunning keynote from Frank Stephens led off the day and was followed by community discussions how we can work together as One Fairfax  bridge the gap between the disability community and society to foster a more inclusive environment. Check out the video!




In early June Amazon announced that it donated $8 million to help increase access to additional housing units for families, veterans, and single adults experiencing chronic homelessness or in need of affordable housing. In addition to these initial gifts – $5 million to Plymouth Housing (Seattle) and $3 million to the Arlington Community Foundation – the company will match employee donations through September 30, 2019 to select charities that address housing and homelessness in both regions, including  local charities Carpenters Shelter, Community Lodgings, Cornerstones, FACETS, and Wesley Housing Development Corporation.






Office of Public Private Partnerships

Visit our website at www.fairfaxcountypartnerships.org
Please email Partnerships@fairfaxcounty.gov to sign up or be removed from our newsletter.