Ladies Night At Cooper’s Hawk

The Astyra Ladies
The women of Astyra love to wine and dine, especially together! 
We all met at Cooper’s Hawk last week for an evening to unwind with the same people we work alongside daily. The night began with indulging in a wine tasting before being sat down by the waitress for a savory meal.
“This just reiterated that Astyra is like a family and I love that,” Ashley, our newest Astyra lady, said.
This was Shaila’s first ladies night also and she said getting to know who she works with outside of the office is a nice feeling.
Although we aren’t quite sure when this tradition started, we plan to continue having ladies nights!

Galentine’s Day

Astyra ladies enjoying lunch at TASTE
Astyra ladies love to spend time together and we all know Valentine’s Day is not complete without a quality meal with the girls. Eight of us decided to bond over a new-to-us lunch spot called TASTE.
TASTE first opened in Virginia Beach as a wine & cheese shop in 1973. Since then, it has grown to offer a variety of foods and desserts at its nine Virginia locations!
At lunch, we munched on various salads, sandwiches and chips while talking about our plans for the future.

Hello Baby Enzo!

Scott, Baby Enzo, Cloud and Melissa

Vice President of Operations, Melissa and her husband, Scott, welcomed their first-born, Enzo this month. He weighed seven pounds and seven ounces at birth.

Enzo enjoys tummy time and looking around. He loves the company of his family, including Cloud the Schnauzer, but his most favorite thing of all is his pacifier!

August 2018 Is The Month Of Giving!

Carmen posing with eggs
Vivia, Melissa, Carmen, Tianna, Ken and Taylor
Jody, Melissa, Tianna, Brenna and Carmen
Carmen at the YMCA Bright Beginnings Program
Cutting bagels, organizing donations and greeting everybody with a smile was the job of six Astyra employees on an early Tuesday morning.
At Shepherd’s Way Relief CenterAstyra helped prepare and serve breakfast to 133 people in need.  Sigmund Collins founded the center in 2012 to provide relief from the afflictions of poverty in the Richmond area.
That morning, the kitchen manager Richard Lepper, showed up at 6:30 to make seven pounds of grits and about 25 dozen eggs. At 8:30 a.m., Astyra volunteers arrived not knowing what to expect but excited to work and help out in the community.
On one side of the kitchen, Carmen handed out hard-boiled eggs while Tianna passed out a variety of bagels. Our CEO, Ken, got an intense arm workout from scooping the crowd’s favorite: cheesy grits drenched in butter.
Just past the serving table, Melissa sweetened everybody’s day by giving them sugar packets for their coffee. Vivia helped flavor the bagels by providing jelly, cream cheese and butter. Lastly, Taylor was in charge of ensuring everybody had the utensils they needed to enjoy their hot meal.
Astyra also had an office drive the month before that led to three large bags of clothes, jewelry, shoes and a box full of canned foods and toiletries being donated to Shepherd’s Way Relief Center.
Later in the month, six Astyra employees participated in another staff volunteering day at Bon Secours’ Evelyn D. Reinhart Guest House.
The Reinhart House is a place for patients’ families to stay as opposed to driving far distances to and from the hospital. As a way to support the families, the lodge allows volunteers to come and cook a meal for the residents.
Astyra has been a long-time volunteer for the Reinhart House, which made it easy to prepare for the day. The Astyra volunteers made vegetable breakfast casserole muffins, home fries, bacon and biscuits.
Melissa multi-tasked between supervising and frying the home fries. Carmen and Jody focused on cutting the onions and tomatoes while Tianna whisked the eggs. Brenna was on bacon duty ensuring they were just the right amount of crispy. Our CEO, Ken, baked the biscuits to a golden brown.
The breakfast turned out to be a hit!

“The breakfast flew out of here – loved by everyone,” said Elisabeth Rigsby, house assistant.

Carmen was a superstar this month!

In addition to attending our volunteering days, she also volunteered with the YMCA’s Bright Beginnings program to take a child back-to-school shopping just like Victor did earlier this month!

“As a 1st time participant in the YMCA Bright Beginnings program, being able to help kids feel good about themselves in school and beyond was rewarding. It reminded me of how incredibly blessed I am, and that encourages me to want to give back even more,” Carmen said.

She plans on helping out with this program again next summer!

ChildSavers’ Newest Astyra Board Member

Our Vice President of Operations, Melissa Silver, has been appointed to the ChildSavers Board of Directors.

Astyra has been a supporter of the organization for many years and has hosted events, including AstyraFEST, to raise donations to support ChildSavers.

ChildSavers’ mission is to address the mental health and developmental needs of children, mainly those who have experienced trauma. Martha Patteson Branch founded the nonprofit organization in 1924 in memory of one of Richmond’s first pediatricians Dr. McGuire Newton.

Melissa looks forward to helping lead ChildSavers to achieving greater success!

Congrats 2018 Grad!

Our Director of Operations, Melissa Silver, is Astyra’s most recent Leadership Metro Richmond (LMR) graduate from the Leadership Quest program.

 “I am very honored to have gone through this program and have the opportunity to meet so many wonderful Richmond leaders,” Melissa said reflecting on the experience.

On this ten-month journey, a diverse group of leaders are brought together to receive formal leadership workshops and improve upon their ability to make a lasting impact in the Greater Richmond area.

The program creates an environment for encouraging bold conversations about issues facing our region and helps to broaden perspectives among the group. Part of the program includes a group immersion project that tackles a particular regional issue. Melissa’s group researched and presented on Criminal Justice.

Congratulations Melissa!

Women Who Mean Business 2016

Melissa, Brittany, Carmen and Brenna at the event
Women from large and small organizations had the opportunity to network for a day, at the 6th Annual Women Who Mean Business Summit, hosted by the Metropolitan Business League on September 30, 2016. 
It was an inspiring and interesting day for the Astyra ladies!
Brittany Brown said: “This year’s summit was another successful MBL event! It is always good to see women coming together, whether it is to network or celebrate each other’s accomplishments. This event allows us to do both, and I love that!”
Click here to learn more about the MBL. 

Melissa’s Big Day!

Pictured above are Astyra employees at Lake Anna, VA
Astyra’s Director of Operations, Melissa Silver got married last year!
Astyra staff members celebrated with her in September at a party held at Lake Anna, VA, but the couple flew back to Melissa’s home country, South Africa for the actual ceremony.
Melissa and Scott were married in a small ceremony in the Western Cape on October 24, 2015.
The couple enjoyed the special time together in South Africa with both of their immediate families present for the big day! 
Melissa and Scott tie the knot!