Germán is the Founder, President and CEO of Friends of the Occoquan. Germán graduated with a Civil Engineering degree from John Hopkins University and is a registered Professional Engineer. He served in the US Army as Sp-4 Artillery Surveyor, received an Honorable Discharge and Army Good Conduct Medal. He is a member founder sponsor of the National Museum of the US Army. He worked for the Army Corps of Engineers, had his Architectural/Civil Engineerring firm, and retired from the DOD. He has been member of several community organization: Hispanic Organization of Professionals and Execurives, DC Mayor's Task Force for Construction Problems, Virginia Hispanic Committee, External Vice-president of the Dale City City Homeowner Association. He is the author of "The Oumuamua Factor," and is a devoted environmentalist promoting water preservation and conservation. He is US Citizen born in Colombia.
Renate Vanegas, Cofounder & Chair of Directors
Renate Vanegas is the Director and Cofounder of Friends of the Occoquan. She is also a published author of two nonfiction and two fiction-based books, and the producer and writer of several history segments for Fairfax Public Access TV. She is a retired editor for American Management Systems. a former Key leader in the Boys Scouts of America and president of an International Woman's Club. She is a passionate environmentalist who believes in recycling and the conservation of our natural resources. Renate enjoys gardening and observing wildlife.
Germán A (Cito ) Vanegas, Cofounder
Cito is one of the Cofounders of Friends of the Occoquan and the President and CEO of NOWCC.. He graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, followed by the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation in 1993. He later earned a Master in Business Administration (MBA) degree from George Mason University. He resides in Arlington. VA with his wife and two children.
Sonia Monson, Executive Director & Project Manager
Sonia received a B.S. degree in Elementary Education from Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA. She was an elementary school teacher for 11 years with Fairfax County and then the City of Norfolk. She is a mother of three boys, a dance instructor, certified hypnotist, avid gardener and a beekeeper. Sonia spent many years in the City of Norfolk and during that time volunteered at local community gardens, and worked alongside groups solving environmental issues, supporting the arts and global peace. She now resides in Prince William County.
Board of Directors
Atsuko Biernot resides in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and History. Work experience includes: Director for Research & Education at the Virginia Beach Maritime Historical Museum; History Instructor at Old Dominion University; Research Analysist Household International; and Executive Assistant at Mitsubishi Chemical American. She is a Certified Massage Therapist, and Master Gardener. Atsuko is a guide/coordinator at one of the City of Norfolk’s longest standing community gardens- The Park Place Peace Garden.
Sharon Bishop is a long time resident of Virginia Beach, Virginia. For the past years she has worked for Cherry Hill Photo where her job title included marketing, sales, event management, and focusing, securing and building successful teams, for seasonal events in retail settings. Sharon loves gardening, decorating, and spending time by the ocean. She also enjoys floral and interior design, and is the mother of one daughter and two sons.
Alex Correa is a long term resident of Woodbridge, Virginia and an active member of the community. For the past 20 years he has owned and operated Alex Automotives Inc, a successful auto repair shop in Woodbridge. He resides in Springfield, Virginia with his wife and four children.
Reza has over 25+ years of senior level operational and financial leadership experience with nonprofits and accounting firms. Reza worked for sixteen years as a University Instructor for George Mason University and the University of Phoenix. Reza served as the Chief Operating Officer at NOWCC from 1996 – 2004 and as the Manager of Finance and Administration for the SEE Program at AARP. Reza has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Master’s in Business Administration in Finance.