Advisory Council

Laurie Blackburn, Vice President, Investments at the Speck-Caudron Investment Group of Wells Fargo Advisors

Lyles Carr, Senior Vice President, The McCormick Group, Inc.

John Taylor Chapman, After School Specialist, Fairfax County Schools; Alexandria City Council 

Jennifer Ferrara, Vice President, Business Development, BB&T Bank

David Markley, Financial Advisor, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network

John Porter, Executive Director, ACT for Alexandria

Laurie Blackburn is First Vice President of Investments at the Speck-Caudron Investment Group of Wells Fargo Advisors.  She has over 19 years of experience focusing on financial, investment, and retirement planning for individuals and small businesses. She has achieved the designation of Certified Financial Planning Practitioner®. Ms. Blackburn also advises local foundations and endowments on the management of their investment assets.

Believing in the importance of serving the community in which one lives, Blackburn's activities have included positions on a number of Boards and associations through the years the inaugural class of Leadership Alexandria (2003-2004); Goodwin House Foundation Board, Washington Area Women's Foundation Finance Committee, Westminster Presbyterian Church Foundation Board, At Home in Alexandria Advisory Council, Alexandria Economic Development Partnership board, and United Community Ministries board.                                

A native Kansan, Blackburn received both her Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees at the University of Kansas. She practiced law for six years before transitioning into the financial services industry. Blackburn and her family live in the Mount Vernon

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Lyles Carr is currently the Senior Vice President of the McCormick Group. Carr represents The McCormick Group with business and civic organizations in the Washington, DC, region and nationally. Within the firm, he provides strategic guidance on projects to McCormick Group consultants and their clients.Carr continues his own active consulting practice as well. He selectively represents individuals in transition and offers client organizations expertise in a range of areas, including organizational business development, marketing strategies, and mergers and acquisitions. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Social & Scientific Systems, Inc. and as a member of the company's Leadership Development Committee.
Carr believes strongly in community service. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors or Advisory Councils of The Economic Club of Washington, The District of Columbia Workforce Investment Council, The Greater Washington Board of Trade, ACT for Alexandria, Community Wealth Ventures, Commonwealth Academy, Theatre Washington, and The Heart of America Foundation.
Numerous organizations have recognized Carr for his commitment to the Washington region. Among the honors are: Leadership Washington's Volunteer of the Year, Jubilee Support Alliance's Jim & Patty Rouse Award, the Golden Links and Leader of the Year Awards from The Greater Washington Board of Trade, and selection as a Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian magazine. He also received the Sister Eymard Gallagher Award for Community Service/Corporate Responsibility and was acknowledged as Outstanding Fundraising Volunteer by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Carr received a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Virginia. He is a tournament poker player and enjoys waterfowl hunting and saltwater fly fishing. Carr was elected to the board of directors on March 21, 2012. 

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John Taylor Chapman is a fourth generation Alexandria resident who is very involved in the Alexandria community. After a four-year stint in Minnesota, receiving his B.A. in Education, he is back in his hometown, working hard to stay busy all over the city.
Currently President of the NAACP-Alexandria Chapter, Chapman has also been President of the Alexandria Young Democrats, a National Committeeman for the Virginia Young Democrats, a commissioner on the Alexandria Youth Policy Commission, a member of the Alexandria Public School Board Budget Advisory Committee, a board member of the St. Stephen's and St. Agnes Alumni Association and a member of various city organizations including the Alexandria Democratic Committee, Northern Virginia Young Professionals and coaching for Alexandria Lacrosse Club.
Chapman has served as the campaign manager for Justin Wilson, Alexandria Councilmember. When he is not involved in these activities, he can be found at his day job as an After School Specialist for Fairfax County Public Schools, where he manages an after school program attracting over 200 students daily. Chapman is a member of the Alexandria City Council. He was elected to the board of directors in 2006.

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Jennifer Ferrara is currently Vice President-Business Deposit Officer of BB&T bank. Ferrara has 10+ years of experience in branch management at BB&T.
From 2003-2005 she managed two offices in Old Town Alexandria and was a monthly top producer in retail loans including home equities and first mortgages. 
Ferrara was a past board member and honoree board member for the Alexandria YMCA for over 10 years. 
Ferrara has a BA in Business from Marymount University. She lives in Alexandria with her husband and son and daughter. Ferrara was elected to the board of directors on March 21, 2012. 

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For the last nine years, David Markley has been a successful Financial Advisor with Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. Markley is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Certified in Long-Term Care (CLTC), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC).
Prior to Northwestern Mutual, Markley worked for the FBI for eleven years as a public affairs specialist where he acted as a liaison for the director’s public appearances, speeches and field office visits.
Markley earned his BS in Economics/Finance from Towson University and serves on the board of directors of ACT for Alexandria. Markley was elected to the board of directors on March 21, 2012. 

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Since August of 2009, John Porter has been the Executive Director of ACT for Alexandria and has been associated with ACT for Alexandria since its inception in 2004. He was instrumental in the creation of ACT for Alexandria and is a founding board member.
Porter previously spent his career as a school administrator in the Alexandria public school system. He is best known for his 27 years at T.C. Williams High School, spending the last 22 years as principal.
Porter also previously served as Assistant Superintendent for Planning and Operations for the Alexandria public school system, Principal of John Adams Middle School and Principal of William Ramsay Elementary school.
Porter holds a Masters in Educational Administration from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Porter was elected to the board of directors on March 21, 2012. 

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