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Small Business: Lessons Learned

Updated: Oct 9, 2022

I bring decades of business management experience with skillsets including budget analysis and project management to the council and all the residents of Takoma Park.

Connecting all the dots to help people travel.

At the age of twenty-two I founded Visa Advisors, a passport and visa expediting company located on Embassy Row. We secured documents for business executives who needed to travel abroad from the United States. From 1975-2004 we secured more than a quarter of a million documents. Our clients included Marriott, Save the Children, CARE, Tulane, Harvard, Waste Management, PSI (Population Services Intl) and more.

Financial Management

As a city councilperson, I promise to keep my finger on the financial pulse of the city through rigorous attention to the budget and the completion of city projects. As a three-time business owner, I know how important it is to watch the bottom line attentively and consistently, and to separate the wheat from the chaff.


Takoma Park has had to respond to COVID. My business was affected by the Gulf War, 9-11 and more. In order to survive, we had to reset priorities and reallocate funds to different areas quickly without federal assistance. Climate change and its disproportionate effects on our city's infrastructure and people will require critical and compassionate thinking.

Team Management:

I've had to let people go in hard times. I've had to let people go when they didn't have the best interests of the customers at heart. Although it's never easy to make such decisions, it is necessary.

That being said, some of the best employees I've had were RPCVs (Returned Peace Corps Volunteers), of which there are many in Takoma Park, who always have the best interests of the world at heart.

IT and Communications:

I stayed ahead of the game with technology. I used my aptitude for system analysis to computerize my business in 1985 before my competitors. This was before there was off-the-shelf software, much less apps. We had two-way radios from the start. As soon as possible, I equipped all of my couriers with mobile phones over thirty-four years ago so that we could track all passports at any point in the process.

Organization and outreach:

After publishing a three-hundred page book on visa requirements, I sold it as a subscription and then uploaded the information to an airline database (TWA), a multinational travel agency (Thomas Cook), a travel consortium, and AOL.


Above all, for our clients with little time before departure, to trust us with their valuable documents, I had to insist on a high level of integrity of my employees as well as modeling it myself. Just this year, a client from twenty years ago tracked me down and asked me to help him get a visa for Ghana. We succeeded.

I will prove that Takoma Park can trust me as well.

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