News & Press: Capital Guide Online

Capital Guide Online February 2020

Wednesday, February 26, 2020  



February, 2020

In this issue...

  • Message from the President
  • NGTGA Conference 2020 on February 5 - 7
  • Docent Tour of Exhibit at African American Museum on February 10
  • Business Meeting at National Portrait Gallery on February 11
  • Technology Tools for Tour Guides on February 13 -14
  • International Spy Museum Updates on February 18 and 28
  • Book Group Meeting on February 24
  • CMG Briefing – American Battle Monuments Commission on February 26
  • Motorcoach Workshop on February 27
  • Story Circle on February 29
  • Mentor Program
  • Welcome New Members

Message from the President

Our Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony, Education Seminar, and Social Hour were a great success. We had many volunteers who helped make the day possible, and it was all-hands-on-deck for Board members.

I was overjoyed by all our members who attended the day’s events – 144 in total. My sincere appreciation to everyone who volunteered and to everyone who attended. Special thanks to the best meeting organizer ever, 2nd Vice President Maria Limarzi and our amazing Education Co-Chairs Pat Abler and Chris Bauer. If you missed the Annual Meeting, a summary can be found on our website under “Latest News” – “2018 – 2019 President’s Report.”

Looking ahead, we have a new 2020 – 2021 Board term with most of the 2018 – 2019 Board members. Officially, the 2020 – 2021 Board of Directors has been installed.

From the 2018 – 2019 Board, we thank Bill Adams, who served on the Board for six years (four years as Treasurer and two as Administration and Professional Conduct Chair); Karen Miller who served for five years (three years on Web Strategies and two years as Affiliate Representative); and Jamie Johnson who served for two years on the Board as Membership Co-Chair and actively served on many ad hoc committees for several years.

For the 2020 – 2021 Board, we welcomed Anna Geer of Capitol Services, Inc. (CSI) as our Affiliate Representative and Debra Wiley as our Membership Co-Chair. In addition, we switched hats for Russ Norfleet as he will now be our Administration and Professional Conduct Chair.

At the Annual Meeting, I asked that you consider volunteering to serve on a committee in an off-board capacity. All that is required is that you help our committees with their work. Remember that we are all volunteers, and we could all use some help. One strategy in our strategic plan is to add members to committees so they function as real committees with members other than the current two co-chairs. However, of immediate urgency is the need for a Communications Committee Co-Chair, which is a Board position. If you are interested, please contact Kelvin Carter.

Jackie Frend

Guild President

Ford's Theatre Program on February 3

Event:Ford’s Theatre, Museum, and Center for Education and Learning

Date:Monday, February 3

Time:5 – 7 p.m.

Place:Ford’s Theatre, Museum, and Center for Education, 511 10th Street, NW

Come to this free special-access after-hours event to the basement museum, historic theatre, and the Aftermath Exhibits in the Center for Education and Leadership. Learn tips and tricks to navigate and interpret the historic site with your group, how to work within our tricky daily schedule, and learn about our other offerings and programming for next season. Ford’s Theatre Rangers, group sales, education, and visitor services staff will answer questions and share stories that are sure to engage your group on their next visit. Join us in the lobby after exploring the site for light refreshments, conversation, and a raffle. Register online. For more information contact Matt Dewberry.

NFTGA Conference in Charleston on February 5 - 7

Event:National Federation of Tour Guides Assn. Conference 2020

Date:Wednesday, February 5 – Friday, February 7

Time:3:00 p.m. (February 5) to 1:00 p.m. (February 7)

Place:Charleston, South Carolina

Registration for this National Federation of Tour Guide Association’s conference is open. The program includes such events as “Taste of the Town: A Guide for Culinary Tourism” and a lecture and lunch at Middleton Plantation. Noting that cuisines and cultures are intertwined, Charleston Culinary Tours owner Guilds Hollowell and general manager Charley Smith, along with John Laverne, the owner of Bulldog Tours, will share their experiences, the history of food and beverage, culinary tourism, and how this niche market is influencing the world of travel and how you can be a part of it. For more information and to register and make reservations, google NFTGA or visit their website. Guild members are also asked to register on the Guild’s website to let other Guild members know who is attending in order to make travel plans and hotel accommodations. For more information contact Ellen Malasky, president of NFTGA and a member of the Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC.

Tour of World War I Exhibit at African American Museum Feb. 10

Event:Docent Tour at Museum of African American History and Culture

Date:Monday, February 10

Time:9 a.m.

Place:Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Registration is now open for a docent tour of a new exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, "We Return Fighting: The African American Experience in World War 1." The tour will take place at 9 am, before the museum opens for the day.

The exhibit deals with the African American experience in WW1 and its aftermath. Register online. For further information contact Pat Abler.


Business Meeting on February 11

EVENT: Guild Business Meeting
Date: Tuesday, February 11
Time: 9:30 a.m. registration, 10 a.m. meeting
Place: Smithsonian Museum of American Art, National Portrait Gallery

The meeting at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art/ National Portrait Gallery begins prior to the building opening to the public at 11:30 am, so all attendees need to use the National Portrait Gallery entrance at 8th and G Streets. No food or drink is allowed in the auditorium during the meeting, so drink your morning coffee before entering. The program will include a representative from the Reagan Building who will explain the new voucher system for the food court in 2020.

The closest Metro stops are Gallery Place-Chinatown at 9th and G Streets exit on the Red/Yellow/Green lines and Metro Center at 11th and G Streets exit on the Blue/Orange/Silver lines. Metered neighborhood street parking is available starting at 9:30 a.m. For further information and to register check the Guild website.

Maria Limarzi, 2nd Vice President

Training Events Co-sponsored by the Guild

Event:Technology Tools for Tour Guides

Date:Thursday, February 13 – Friday, February 14

Time:2 p.m. - 6 pm on Feb 13; 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Feb 14


The Guild and TripSchool are partnering to offer specialized technology training which will cover note taking and organization, photo editing and social media, DVD burning of YouTube videos, custom mapmaking and route tracking phone and tablet apps and much more that make tour guiding easier and smarter. Bring your own laptop, tablet, and smartphone to class. The cost of the program is $189. To register and pay, visit their website. For more information contact Christen Eliason, Training Committee co-chair.

2020 Update by the International Spy Museum

EVENT:2020 Update by the International Spy Museum
Date: Tuesday, February 18 and Thursday, February 28
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Place: International Spy Museum,700 L'Enfant Plaza

These sessions are designed to let you interact with the museum exhibits, as well as get the in's and out's of the museum from Lori Scott, winner of the Guild 2019 Tourism Industry Contribution Award. The sessions are free but limited to 18 each day. Check availability and sign up on the Guild website for this free 2020 update and self-guided tour. For further information contact Brenda Turner, Training Committee co-chair.

Book Group Meeting on February 24

Event:Book Group Meeting

Date: Monday, February 24

Time:11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Place:DC Public Library, Tenley-Friendship Branch,4450 Wisconsin Avenue, NW

This month we will be discussing The American Story, Conversations with Master Historians by David Rubenstein. The author has lively dialogues with historians such as David McCullough about John Adams and Jon Meacham about Thomas Jefferson. Come and enjoy the discussion. Register online. For more information contact David Shaw.

CMG Event: American Battle Monuments Commission on Feb 26

EVENT:American Battle Monuments Commission
Date: Wednesday, February 26
Time: 10 a.m. to noon
Place: 2300 Clarendon Boulevard, Suite 500, Arlington, Virginia(above the Courthouse Metro stop on the Orange line)

The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) is the small but important federal agency tasked with maintaining US military cemeteries overseas, including the cemetery in Normandy, France. We will be briefed on the history and the operations of the ABMC, as well as the major role it played in the development and creation of the World War II Memorial. Certified Master Guides and CMG candidates may register online. For more information contact Shannon Mikush.

Motorcoach Workshop on February 27

Event:Motorcoach Workshop

Date: Thursday, February 27

Time:9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Place:Union Station – meet in the Food Court near Johnny Rockets

This event is open to all guide levels and is the Guild’s semi-annual workshop to raise your logistical skills while practicing commentary, all in the comfort of the motorcoach, the ultimate classroom of Washington. We will have a new order of logistics for you to conquer, as well as the most visited of Washington landmarks. This workshop is also a requirement to move from Guild Guide to Guild Certified Guide, as well as acting as a refresher for everyone. We are also including a box lunch so we can keep going (cost $25). Register online. For more information contact Christen Eliason.

Story Circle on February 29

EVENT:Story Circle
Date: Saturday, February 29
Time: 1:20 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Place: Lafayette Square (meet at Andrew Jackson’s statue)

Please join us for another storytelling adventure! You should develop a one- to three-minute story to present about Lafayette Square or the White House. Register online. For more information contact Christen Eliason.

Mentors Needed for New Members

The Guild’s Mentor Program is in need of mentors to be paired with new members. Many of you have had mentors as a “go-to” for questions and now is an opportunity to pay it forward.

Also, there are members who are on the current Mentors roster that may wish to be deleted. This is an opportunity to ask to be removed. If you’d like to be added or deleted so that the roster can be updated, please contact co-coordinators Bill Harris or Brien McNamara.

Welcome New Members

Dawn Bryant
Dawn is a 2019 ITMI graduate who has been delivering historic walking tours of Old Town Alexandria for seven months. She worked as a camp counselor for four summers with 7-12-year-olds and has taught home school.

Lisa Coleman
Lisa earned an International Tour Management Certification in 2012 through the International Guide Academy. She currently works as a group travel consultant and has been a program leader/tour director since 2013. She volunteers in Norfolk area theatre programs, does voice work, and is licensed in New York City.

Lisa Giles
Lisa is an ITMI graduate who has been guiding student tours in both Washington, DC and New York City. She worked as a 7th grade social studies teacher for 15 years. She also has extensive experience in tour planning and event/meeting planning.

Maria Guthrie
Maria is a 2019 International Guide Academy graduate. Maria came to DC as a teacher chaperone in 2014 and became a program leader in 2017 for student tours. Before starting her career as a tour guide, she successfully organized and helped plan her school's field trips.

Caroline Mooser
Caroline is former teacher and October 2019 ITMI graduate. She has experience as a tour director/student escort to Cuba. Additionally, she volunteers with an organization that provides mobile showers for the use by the homeless.

Scott Smiley
Scott is a recent ITMI graduate is and has lived in the DC area for 51 years. Prior to starting his guiding career, he served in a variety of high-level positions in finance for 23 years. He also has worked in the event/meeting planning field.

Contact Information

Jackie Frend (President)

Corky Rainey (1st V.P.)
Maria Limarzi (2nd V. P.)
W. Bart Smith (Treasurer)
Mary Thorne (Secretary)
Anna Geer (Affiliate Rep)
John Days (Guild Guide Rep)

Russ Norfleet (Admin & Ethics)
Shannon Mikush (Certified Master Guide)
Jim Carr (Certified Master Guide)
Kelvin Carter (Communications)
Ellen Malasky (Gov’t & Tourism)
Maribeth Oakes (Gov't & Tourism)
Chris Bauer (Education)
Pat Abler (Education)
Debra Wiley (Membership)
Barbara Longnecker (Membership)
Christen Eliason (Training)
Sandra Moore (Training)

Claudia Henderson Smith (Capital Guide editor)
Shirley Timashev (Capital Guide publisher)
Bill Harris (Mentor/ Mentee program)
Brien McNamara (Mentor/ Mentee program)
Heidi Watson (Guild Assessment administrator)
Bette Runck (Guild Assessment administrator)
Zee Mostofi (Foreign Language testing)
Mary Beth Lane (Cathedral Training coordinator)
Ruth Roberts (Community Outreach)
Tony Spadafora (writer)
JP Nguyen (Facebook moderator)
Kaitlin Calogera (Twitter moderator)
Jeff Ghannam (Twitter moderator)

Tammy Belden (Guild Administrator and Assistant Treasurer)

The Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington D.C.

For over 30 years our certified guides have been providing professionally guided tours of Washington, DC landmarks and attractions.