Interviews, People, She/He Loves DC, The Features

She Loves DC: Andrea Rodgers

Photo Courtesy of Andrea Rodgers // Pictured: Andy Cohen (left), Andrea Rodgers (center), Wolf Biltzer (right).

Photo Courtesy of Andrea Rodgers / Pictured: Andy Cohen (left), Rodgers (center), Wolf Biltzer (right).

She/He Loves DC is a series highlighting the people who love this city just as much as we do.

Andrea Rodgers is an inspired and busy woman. After tragedy struck on September 11, 2001, Rodgers became heavily involved in the DC charity circuit in order to give back to her community as best as she could. She joined the Junior League of Washington in 2003 and came in 2nd in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man & Woman of the Year fundraising competition in 2004 — and those are just a couple of items that have kept her busy the past few years.

When she’s not lending a hand on a host committee or at a gala, Rodgers serves on several alumni groups near and dear to her heart as well as acting as President and CEO of a non-profit, Courage for Kids. Somewhere in between all of her activities, she still finds the time to act as the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of her blog Miss A, which covers a variety of topics referencing charity and style in 21 major U.S. cities.

What is it about DC that makes it home to you? 

The relationships that I have made over the past 15 years in the DC area are what make DC feel like home to me. Having grown up in a small town in North Carolina, I love the small town feel of Washington — running into people I know unexpectedly, discovering that my acquaintances know each other and no skyscrapers.

I enjoy all the green spaces we have in Washington and how quick and easy it is to get to a great park for a walk or run, to hike along the Potomac on the Billy Goat Trail, or to book a tennis court at Haines Point or Rock Creek. I love seeing the beautiful Potomac and the opportunity to go boating with friends. It’s no surprise that it helps make our fair city one of the healthiest in the country! I was born in the Netherlands – my mother is Dutch and my father is American ­– so I traveled often to Europe growing up. This being my background, I love the international aspect and sophistication of Washington. We have people here from every country in the world.

Walking around the city I enjoy overhearing someone speaking a foreign language. If it’s Dutch, I always surprise the foreign traveler by starting a conversation in my native language. We are blessed with so much in terms of art and culture in DC through the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian and other theaters and museums. As someone who double-majored in Economics and Politics at Wake Forest University, I love being so close to all the political action. Continue reading

Interviews, People, She/He Loves DC, The Features

She Loves DC: Kristine Thomas

Photo Courtesy of Kristine Thomas (Pictured: center)

Photo Courtesy of Kristine Thomas (Pictured: center)

She/He Loves DC is a series highlighting the people who love this city just as much as we do.

Kristine Thomas is a goal-oriented woman. Her goal is to live as eco-friendly of a life as possible all while encouraging others in her own community to do the same. And now — as a happily married mother of one living in hometown of Washington, DC — she’s doing exactly that.

Thomas was born and raised in the District before moving to New York City where she graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology. While there, Thomas gained the skills necessary to survive in the world of fashion by working jobs in public relations and event planning. The next chapter of her life moved her west to San Francisco where she embraced a green lifestyle while continuing her career in marketing and advertising.

Currently, Thomas is back in DC and has been quite active in the community since her return. In November 2011, she found inspiration in motherhood and started Dewdrop — a fashion events and fashion-forward clothing swap company. Thomas started Dewdrop in honor of her love for fashion and style but also because she’s a mom now. “I have to be creative with how I shop. Hence, the company was born,” she said.

“Not only is swapping smart shopping but is also a good way to preserve the environment for future generations.”

What is it about DC that makes it home to you? 

I grew up here so it’s home in a sense that I could still go to my parents’ house for dinner and that I still have friends from my childhood years I hang out with. I love how DC has changed so much. What makes it home to me now is that it has more of a stylish, urban vibe to it. Having lived in New York and San Francisco, I’m glad to see boutiques and restaurants pop up like I would see in those cities.

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Interviews, People, She/He Loves DC, The Features

She Loves DC: Jennifer Vinson

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Vinson

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Vinson

She/He Loves DC is a series highlighting the people who love this city as much as we do.

Jennifer Vinson loves music. She loves watching street performers in Dupont Circle. She loves supporting up-and-coming artists on the local level here in her hometown whether it’s at The Dunes, The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, Comet Ping Pong, or elsewhere. She loves promoting live performances she’s passionate about. But most of all, she loves getting to genuinely know the people who make the music she loves listening to.

Her passion for music (and the people behind making it) led her toward creating content for DC Setlist  (a site that, ” […] exists to discover and discuss all things MUSIC in DC and around the world. So get in the mix, join the conversation & help us build a community around the DC music scene & beyond!”) and into a life working with some of DC’s finest venues including The Hamilton Live and currently The Howard Theatre.

What is it about DC that makes it home to you? 

Well I was born here.  I’m third generation Washingtonian.  My mother, my grandmother and I all went to the same all girls high school, Holy Cross Academy. Old friends & family are what make it home to me.

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Interviews, She/He Loves DC, The Features

She Loves DC: Pamela Sorensen

Pam Sorensen (@pamelaspunch) and Geoff Livingston (@geoffliving)
courtesy of Geoff Livingston

She/He Loves DC is a series highlighting the people who love this city as much as we do.

Pamela Sorensen, much like our team of writers, is passionate about this city. So passionate in fact that she founded her own website – Pamela’s Punch – which, according to the site, has become a leading source of information for the “who, what, when, and where” of DC’s social, professional, and philanthropic scene.

What is it about DC that makes it home to you?

I’ve been here since 1990 and never have I left to move to any other city as an adult. Since I’ve held various positions that required me to drive all over the DMV for years, I feel like I know the area like the back of my hand … it’s changed so much, but for the good. The spirit of a wholesome southern, large village appeals to me and at the same time, it’s sophisticated, educated, welcoming and comfortable. Even though I have my “haunts,” exploring new neighborhoods and meeting new circles keeps it fresh.

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Interviews, People, The Features

She Loves DC Sports: Pam Chvotkin

Pictured: Ted Leonsis and Pam Chovtkin. Photo courtesy of Pam Chovtkin.

Pam Chvotkin loves sports. She loves taking pictures of live games. She loves talking or writing about a team and their efforts. There’s a glimmer in her eye when she watches a team progress, not only as a reporter, but as an on-looker.

After graduating from the University of Tennessee and spending some time in Knoxville, Tenn., Chvotkin moved and now currently resides in the greater-DC area.

For the moment, Chvotkin is freelancing for ESPN while serving as an active member of the DC sports media for several sports organizations. She also keeps a blog called Break In The Action.

Chvotkin took a few minutes to sit down and tell We Love DC what it is that gets here so enthusiastic about Washington sports. The following interview speaks to that.

Rachel: What is it about sports that got you thinking “Maybe I could write about this stuff” – was there a moment you just realized it was something you had a passion for?

Pam Chvotkin: I live in a family with sports fanatics, a father in sports broadcasting and two older brothers that were deeply involved with sports in high school, college, and professionally. At a very young age, it became a passion of mine as well, and followed suit. At some point, probably in middle school, I realized that I had something to contribute and I had a voice. Interestingly enough, people listened.

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Interviews, People, Scribblings, The Features

She Loves DC: Rachel Machacek


I met Rachel a while back at a media preview at a local restaurant. At this point, many moons later, I don’t even remember which one, but we became fast friends and I began my raging obsession with this wonderful woman. Rachel writes about restaurants for Washington Flyer, but as we got to know each other, our conversations would always go back to one thing: boys. We’d talk about her love life, she’d give me solid, calm advice on mine, and I quickly learned she was writing a book on her experience dating.

I even got a sneak peek at the manuscript, and so when she finally got a publish date for her book, The Science of Single: One Woman’s Grand Experiment in Modern Dating, Creating Chemistry, and Finding Love, I was thrilled. So now that the release date of her book is TOMORROW, I thought I’d finally share one of my favorite people with you all. Continue reading

The District, The Features

She Loves DC: Kaya Henderson – Interim Chancellor, DCPS

Kaya Henderson, Interim Chancellor of DCPS
Photo courtesy of DCPS

Yesterday afternoon, we had the chance to sit down with DCPS Interim Superintendent Kaya Henderson to talk about her new position within the school system, what she loves about DC, and what her goals are as the new interim superintendent of the city schools.

You graduated from Georgetown, you have a bachelors in foreign service, in diplomacy if you will, when did you decide that Education was what you were looking for?

Kaya: When I went to Georgetown, I thought like most folks in the school of foreign service, I wanted to change the world. The world being a big place, I had traveled a ton when I was growing up and I was fascinated by what was going on in lots of other places in the world.  In the course of my four years, as my friends were headed off to farflung places to help other people, it became pretty clear to me that there was something weird about going to Latin America or Africa or Asia to help other people, I felt there were significant needs here.

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Food and Drink, Interviews, Life in the Capital, Penn Quarter, People, The Features

She Loves DC: Jill Zimorski

jill and wine

Jill rushes up to greet me wearing a bright green cardigan and a cute black Ann Taylor dress. (I know, because I have it in pink!) She’s not what you expect in someone whose credentials boast “Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers” and “has completed the Advanced Certificate Course offered through the Wine Spirits and Education Trust.” Jill just looks like she could be any of my girlfriends, but with a totally rockin’ day job – beverage director for Café Atlantico, the popular Penn Quarter eat place that hides Minibar. She’s been with Jose Andres since 2006, and seen Cafe Atlantico through quite a bit. We sat down to talk about my favorite subject – DC, paired with my other favorite subject – food and wine. (Heavy on the wine, given Jill’s passion!)

Me: Name the best part of DC in your opinion?
Jill: I think it would have to be the endless variety of people who you can meet, and what you can do here. My list of things I want to do is long, and some of it you can do on your own and other things with friends. Continue reading