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Comings & Goings

Iraq vet lands new post; Movahedi teaching law in Spain



Babek Movahedi, gay news, Washington Blade

Babek Movahedi, gay news, Washington Blade

From left, Allison Jaslow, Babek Movahedi and Anthony Shop.

The Comings and Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at [email protected].

Congratulations are in order to Allison Jaslow, who has just been named director of Political and Intergovernmental Affairs for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization representing post-9/11 veterans and their families. Jaslow has joined the team to support IAVA’s growing D.C.-based policy operations. Jaslow is a former Army captain who served two combat deployments in Iraq.

According to IAVA founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff, “Allison is a proven leader with a wealth of diverse political experience inside and outside the Beltway. Allison’s command of the political spectrum on Capitol Hill and the campaign trail, and first-hand knowledge of veteran’s issues will be a tremendous asset to our growing, dynamic policy team.”

Jaslow’s new job will have her working to support the development of IAVA’s annual policy agenda and advocacy campaigns. She will lead IAVA’s engagement with other Veterans Service Organizations, government agencies and advocacy organizations. Jaslow has a diversity of experience, including stints on political campaigns across the country, in the White House and on both sides of Capitol Hill. She recently served as chief of staff and campaign manager for Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) and had also served as press secretary for Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), where she was involved in the veteran leader’s efforts to protect the legacy of the post-9/11 GI Bill.

On her appointment, Jaslow said, “I’m proud to be one of the one percent of Americans who can relate to those who saw combat after 9/11 and even prouder to have the opportunity to join an incredible organization that gives our entire generation of veterans a voice. IAVA’s advocacy has made an indelible impact on the lives of countless veterans and military families, and I’m thrilled to play a part in keeping us in the center of important public debates.”

Jaslow graduated from the University of Central Missouri, where she was a proud member of the Fighting Mules ROTC Battalion. She also serves on the Board of Trustees at Wentworth Military Academy and College.

Congratulations also to Babak Movahedi, a former D.C. and Miami resident now living in Barcelona, Spain. Babak is now a professor of Law and Business at ESERP Business School in Barcelona teaching MBA students. He is also working with Democrats Abroad to enroll as many Americans as possible in the Democratic Party. Democrats Abroad is given state-level recognition by the Democratic National Committee. He is a vice president of Democrats Abroad/Barcelona.

Most in the District know Movahedi from his time here as owner of MOVA on P Street, N.W. He also had two outlets of MOVA in Miami for a number of years. The one in South Beach was the ‘place to be’ for the gay community for many years. During his time in Miami, he was a Special Master/Magistrate for the City of Miami Beach and served as one of three Judicial Officers for the City of Miami Beach.

Another who should be congratulated is Anthony Shop, who is now an adjunct lecturer in the George Washington University School of Business where he received his MBA. Shop is a co-founder of the digital marketing agency Social Driver with his husband Thomas. A former journalist and press secretary, Shop is the first new media professional to be elected to the prestigious National Press Club’s Board of Governors. He founded the Club’s popular “Get It Online” digital media series, which has hosted luminaries from CNN, NASA and the White House to discuss media trends. His views on digital media have been featured by the BBC, CBS and USA Today, and he has been featured as a keynote speaker at conferences across the globe, from Singapore and London to New York and Miami.



Virginia Beach high school students stage walkouts to support transgender rights

City’s school board approved policy to out trans students to parents



Transgender flags (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.)

Students at five Virginia Beach high schools on Friday staged walkouts in support of transgender rights.

The walkout is in response to the Virginia Beach School Board potentially approving policy 5-31, which the Pride Liberation Project says will require schools to out trans students to their parents.

Students have been organizing walkouts across the state since Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin earlier this year announced new guidelines for trans and nonbinary students.

“Students like me aren’t going to be able to talk to our teachers if we’re constantly worried about our school officials calling home to forcibly out us,” AJ, a trans Kellam High School Student, told the Pride Liberation Project.

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District of Columbia

Pepco, Exelon announce $2.7 million in funding for four minority-owned businesses

‘It’s good business sense to bring more people to the table’



Pepco and Exelon held a press conference Friday to announce four recipients of $2.7 million in investments. (Photo courtesy Exelon)

Pepco and Exelon announced a $2.7 million investment in four minority-owned businesses on Friday.

“Today’s been a long time coming,” said Pepco Vice President of Governmental and External Affairs Valencia McClure.

Pepco’s parent company, Exelon, launched the Racial Equity Capital Fund (RECF) in 2022 to expand capital access to diverse businesses. This latest $2.7 million investment is just a portion of RECF’s $36 million in funding.

At the announcement, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser spoke about the other ways Pepco and Exelon have “put their money where their mouth is” through their partnership with the D.C. Infrastructure Academy. She reported that all 22 of the residents that graduated from the program last week have a job offer from Pepco.

“We know that is not just a job, but a career,” she said to the crowd’s applause. “We know that working together, we can invest in D.C. residents, provide opportunity, and ensure that our D.C. businesses are a part of D.C.’s growing prosperity.”

The four minority businesses that received funding were Gemini Energy Solutions, Public Sector Solutions Group, CJR Development Partners, and Escalate.

“It’s good business sense to bring more people to the table,” said fund recipient Nicole Cober, CJR Development’s Principle Managing Partner.

Gemini Energy Solutions, which is Black owned, received $1 million, the most of the four companies. Its mission is to equitably scale energy efficiency to marginalized communities. For the founder and CEO Anthony Kinslow II, this investment means that he is able to get paid and advance the work of his organization.

“We are now able to accelerate the work in our software and technology development,” he said. “What we were going to do in two years, we are now going to do in six months.”

For Escalate, a workforce development platform focused on frontline worker retention, the funding means that it will be able to double the pay for frontline workers.

Public Sector Solutions Group CEO Darryl Wiggins emphasized that this investment was not just ‘charity’ work, but mission-driven work.

“The principle and the intent is greater than the money we receive,” he said. Public Sector Solutions is Black owned.

Public Sector Solutions Group received a $600,000 debt investment; CJR Development, a minority and woman-owned small business, received a $600,000 debt investment; and Escalate, a majority Black and woman-owned company, received a $500,000 equity investment.

Exelon launched the RECF in partnership with RockCreek, one of the world’s largest diverse-owned global investment firms, in 2022. The RECF expands capital access to diverse businesses so they can create more jobs, grow their companies and reinvest in their neighborhoods and communities, according to a statement from Exelon.

New RECF applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Interested businesses may apply online or contact RockCreek at [email protected] for more information.

(Photo courtesy Exelon)
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Comings & Goings

Armstrong recognized with Lifetime Achievement Award



Lynden C. Armstrong

The Comings & Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at: [email protected].

Congratulations to Lynden C. Armstrong on his Lifetime Achievement award from the Congressional Management Foundation in recognition of his exemplary public service in Congress. 

Upon receiving the award Armstrong said, “This recognition is not just a personal achievement, but a testament to the unwavering dedication and hard work of colleagues and mentors who have been with me on this journey. I’ve dedicated my entire career to public service within the Senate, where recognition isn’t the primary motivation for our work, making this recognition even more humbling.” He is currently Deputy Assistant Senate Sergeant at Arms and Chief Information Officer.  

Armstrong started his career with Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.), where he rose to Deputy Chief of Staff in his more than 13-year stint. In 2004, during his tenure with Domenici, amid a debate on the Federal Marriage Amendment, Armstrong became a co-founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Allies Senate Staff (GLASS) Caucus. In 2014, he moved to the Sergeant at Arms CIO organization, where he established a new department within the CIO that was crafted to engage Senate offices in comprehending and harnessing technologies provided by the SAA. 

Lynden has previously served as Chief Clerk on the U.S. Senate, Committee on Rules and Administration, and with the U.S. Senate, Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, as Deputy Inaugural Coordinator, 2012–2013.  In that role among other responsibilities, he served as civilian liaison to the National Special Security Event Executive Steering Committee and subcommittees, including the Capitol, USCP, Crowd Management, Public Relations, Transportation, and credentialing, and as liaison to the Joint Task Force – National Capital Region. 

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