Sunday, September 23, 2007

Who is ADAM (Part II)

Over the weekend, the Growler and others received yet another postcard from the mysterious ADAM (Alexandrians Delivering Smart Growth Around Metro Stations), which reminded residents about tomorrow's meeting at 7:00 PM at Jefferson-Houston School.

The mailing also advised us to "Keep good change on track!" and that "Change is good--especially when done in a smart way."

If readers remember, the Growler disclosed back in July that one of the individuals connected to ADAM was Agnes Artemel, a development consultant and wife of Engin Artemel, the City's former Planning & Zoning Director.

A second postcard was dropped in August, while the Growler was on vacation, and the group also launched a Website.

With this third postcard, the Growler decided to probe a little further and find out who was behind the Web site. Although ADAM states it is a membership group, no members or a board of directors are listed on the Web site.

The domain was registered for ADAM by Tugboat PR, a local public relations firm whose president is John Irvine. (The domain was also registered by Tugboat.)

Mr. Irvine is a member of the board of directors of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce. He's also a 2006 graduate of the Chamber's elite Leadership Alexandria program, described as "a unique program that brings together a network of diverse community leaders who are committed to improving the quality of life in Alexandria." Mr. Irvine is now a member of Leadership Alexandria's steering committee.

In 2006 Tugboat PR was selected to provide public relations services to promote Alexandria First Night, the City's non-alcoholic New Year's Eve celebration. The 2007 chairman of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce board of directors is Rick Dorman of Catalyst Group, who is listed as staff for First Night Alexandria.

The PR firm provides "strategic counseling, media relations and creative communications" and also notes on its Web site that along with associations and computer firms, its clients include construction companies.