About Us

The Bladensburg Road Main Street program was established in the Fall of 2019. We are part of the DC Main Street Program, run out of the Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD), and are one of DC's 26 commercial corridor Main Streets. 

We are run by a 501(c)3 non-profit, Friends of Rhode Island Avenue Northeast, which has also managed the Rhode Island Avenue Main Street program since 2014. We share a staff and often host community events together. 

Our boundaries run from Mount Olivet Road NE up to Eastern Avenue, extending several blocks off of Bladensburg road at major intersections such as Queens Chapel, New York Ave, T St NE, and others. 

Have questions about whether your business is on our Main Street? Interested in learning more? Contact the Bladensburg Road Main Street Program Manager at jessica@bladensburgroad.org or call our office at 202-808-9050. 

Read our 2021 Annual Report

See some of our biggest projects and events from 2021, our list of amazing volunteers, financial statements, and more. 

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Staff

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Michaela Blanchard
Interim Executive Director, Friends of Rhode Island Ave NE

Michaela has served on the Friends of Rhode Island Ave NE Board of Directors for six years, most recently as the Vice Chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. She has a background in marketing and commercial real estate, and owns her own marketing a business solutions agency. She is temporarily serving as the Interim Executive Director as appointed by the Board. 

Contact Michaela: ed@friendsofria.org

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Jessica Mailander
Program Manager, Bladensburg Road Main Street

Jessica started at Friends of Rhode Island Ave NE as the Event Coordinator in Spring 2018. She has been the Program Manager of the Bladensburg Road progam since its inception in 2019. Jessica has a background in economics and marketing, and has done small business consulting work for the last five years. Before working at the Main Street, she worked at the Department of Commerce. 

Contact Jessica: jessica@bladensburgroad.org

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Lauren Hughes
Program Manager, Rhode Island Ave NE Main Street

Lauren has been the Program Manager for Rhode Island Ave NE Main Street since 2018. She has a Masters degree in historic preservation and wrote her thesis on the Main Street model. She has done contract work on historic preservation for the National Park Service, and before that she XXXXX.

Contact Lauren: lauren@riamainstreet.org

Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Carlos Davis, Chair

VACANT, Vice Chair

Monica Leibovitz, Secretary

Jack Sterne, Teasurer

Full Friends of Rhode Island Ave NE Board of Directors

Carlos Davis, Chair

President of the Woodridge South Civic Association

Mr. Davis is Executive Vice President of MJ Synergy Group, LLC, providing architectural design; planning; programming; project management, construction management; inspection and facilities management services. A retired federal executive and life-long resident of Washington, DC, Mr. Davis, currently serves as President, Woodridge South Community Association Ward 5, board member Rhode Island Avenue Main Street; Deputy Board Chair of a non-profit organization She Still Smiles, LLC; and, President of SOLRAC Enterprises, LLC.

Mr. Davis served as Chairman, CIA Fine Arts Commission, expanding the Agency’s historical intelligence permanent exhibits, art and sculpture collections.  He conceived and directed the development of the book, Inside the CIA, The Architecture, Art and Atmosphere of America’s Premiere Intelligence Agency. Mr. Davis served two terms as Chairman of the CIA Black Executive Board and is Member Emeritus to the Advisory Board of Directors, International Spy Museum.  Mr. Davis achieved the ranks of the prestigious CIA Senior Intelligence Service.

Mr. Davis received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Howard University and a Master of Science in Engineering Management from the Catholic University of America. He completed graduate studies in Intelligence Assessment & Policy Forums from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; and holds Federal Executive Certification from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.  Mr. Davis has completed post graduate doctoral studies in Leadership and Organizational Development with the University of Phoenix.

 

VACANT, Vice Chair

Monica Leibovitz, Secretary

Monica Leibovitz is a Brookland resident with a 20 year career in advocacy, community development, and government.

She was the founding Director of Community Development for Cooper University Hospital in Camden, NJ, where she worked to develop three community parks, create a neighborhood special services district, and secure state and philanthropic funding for housing rehabilitation and community programs. Monica also served in various policy, research, and communications leadership roles for presidential, U.S. Senate and gubernatorial campaigns.   She is a graduate of Yale University.

In recent years, Monica has worked for the Downtown DC Business Improvement District, the Union Station Redevelopment Corporation, and The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Monica, her husband, and their two children live on Kearny Street NE.

Jack Sterne, Teasurer

Jack Sterne is the Co-Founder and President of Lumenant, an energy efficiency company which transforms buildings in the senior living industry.  He is an environmental lawyer and entrepreneur with 30 years of leadership experience in the energy and environment arena.  He has a J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School and a B.A. from the University of Virginia.  His wife Sunyatta Amen is the owner of award-winning teahouse Calabash Tea & Tonic, with locations in Brookland and Shaw.  Jack is an active outdoor nut, spending whatever free time he has fishing, snowboarding, surfing, biking, or hiking. 

Simon Sarver

Simon is a lifelong Washingtonian and a local realtor with TTR Sothebys. Outside of work, his two passions (helping his community and helping animals in need) are evidenced in his volunteer efforts, which include Friends of Rhode Island Ave NE, the Humane Rescue Alliance, and his neighborhood civic association (Woodridge South).

When he’s not working or volunteering, you can usually find him walking his dogs around the neighborhood, frequenting the NE bars and restaurants with his partner, Kathryn, cheering on the local sports teams or working on his garden.

Chloe Fedyna (bio coming soon)

Malik Edwards (bio coming soon)

Bladensburg Road Steering Committee

Carlos Davis

President of the Woodridge South Civic Association and resident of Ward 5

Mari Rodela

Co-owner of DC Brau Brewing and resident of Ward 5

Simon Sarver

Local real estate agent and former Vice President of the Woodridge South Civic Association

Cyril Crocker

Sales rep at Fast Signs DC and resident of Ward 5

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