Michael O’Brien (Chair)
Michael O’Brien joined the Economic Development Authority in 2015, and is serving his second term.
Michael is the founder and principal of MOB Advocacy, a nationally-scoped state and local government relations firm based in Fairfax, VA. Michael founded MOB Advocacy to assist startups, small businesses and nonprofit organizations address issues with state and local governments.
Michael moved to Fairfax City in 2011. He lives in the Country Club Hills neighborhood with his son Connor and his dog Goofy.
Kelly McLaughlan (Vice Chair)
Kelly McLaughlan is a native resident of Northern Virginia, graduating high school, college and building her professional career and businesses in this region. Raising four children with her husband in the Dulles region of Northern Virginia, they’ve been extremely well-connected and engaged in both the local and regional community, particularly with respect to challenges regarding STEM-centric education and the local economy.
This connection and experience with the EDAC, SBDC and regional economic development initiatives led them to the Mason Enterprise Center’s business incubator network, which became the perfect home (in Fairfax City) for a quickly-growing digital marketing and technology business she co-founded over 10 years ago – KME.Digital (previously KME Internet Marketing). Her company blends business marketing and Internet technologies in a cost-effective, personal services model – to help mostly local and regional businesses, nonprofits, startups and government agencies find and engage their audience or customers online. They have benefited tremendously from the resources and location of the MEC – including access to a steady and growing pool of very talented, enthusiastic student interns and workforce from nearby George Mason University. Kelly’s family and business offer now a great deal of experience and expertise to the Fairfax EDA, with respect to economic development strategies.
John Sabo (Secretary)
Commissioner John Sabo is a resident of Fairfax City since 1994 and has been active in local community and charitable organizations for many years. Commissioner Sabo is a business owner and has been in the commercial real estate industry for over 25 years concentrating on brokerage and development with clients ranging from privately-owned local firms to large public companies.
Mary Valenta (Treasurer)
Mary Valenta is CEO of On the Green, LLC (OTG), a consulting firm helping businesses with economic, environmental, and social growth through strategic, marketing, and financial planning. Commissioner Valenta founded Global Sustainability Aid as a non-profit organization supporting sustainability in impoverished communities. She sits on a number of corporate boards and was previously Chief Financial Officer of O’Neal Steel, Inc., Treasurer of Glenayre Technologies, and Manager of Financial Advisory Services at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Chris Todd is a 7th generation Washingtonian with more than 25 years of experience in the practice of architecture, land development, building development and construction. His resume encompasses single family and multi-family residential, retail, office and mixed-use projects as both a designer and a developer, with design services across the United States of approximately 500 million dollars and development projects throughout the Northeast totaling close to one billion dollars.
Craig Havenner has been a principal and President of the Christopher Companies since 1995.
Christopher Companies has developed a number of new home communities throughout the Northern Virginia area. In recent years the company has expanded its services to include general contracting, remodeling, light commercial construction and investor services. The company is currently active in the Mid-Atlantic Region from Caroline County, Va to Sussex County , Delaware.
Sean Mallon was appointed Associate Vice President for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at George Mason University in April 2016. In this capacity, he is responsible for leading Mason’s strategic vision as an economic and innovation engine for the National Capital region. Mr. Mallon oversees the Mason Enterprise Center (MEC) and the Office of Technology Transfer. He also works collaboratively with academic leadership and faculty to ensure an innovative, scalable approach to facilitate multidisciplinary collaboration for the development and delivery of entrepreneurial thinking and learning across the entire university.
Christopher Bruno was appointed Director of Economic Development for the City of Fairfax in May of 2016. In this capacity, Director Bruno serves as the City liaison to the Economic Development Authority and is responsible for coordinating the economic development priorities of the City’s leadership with the Authority’s strategic plan.
Director Bruno holds an undergraduate degree in history and a master’s degree in political science from Fordham University in New York. He obtained his juris doctor degree from New York Law School and is licensed to practice law in New York and New Jersey.