Thank you to former Virginia Delegate David Ramadan for answering a few of our questions! David is the Co-Founder, XLP Consulting, which offers consultation and expertise in Business Development, Business Management, Government Affairs, Legal, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications.
Where were born and raised and, if it was someplace else, when and why did you come to Loudoun?
I was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, amid a devastating civil war. At the age of thirteen, I lived through the American Embassy bombing and then the U.S. Marines bombing. I started asking questions at the American prep school I attended; the answers came in the form of a U.S. Constitution copy. I read it, fell in love with the idea called America. In 1989, at the age of 19 with $2,000 in my pocket and a dream, I landed in Virginia looking for a new life. I lived initially in Fairfax and Arlington for few years and then moved to Loudoun.
When did you launch your first business and how did you get into your current line of work?
After 15 years in retail management, I quit a six figure job and declined a promotion that would have required me to leave Northern Virginia and move to the Midwest. I started my boutique consulting firm and set out on a journey that began with management consulting, then on to international franchising, and ended up with a business consulting/government relations practice.
The business grew in the natural direction of my interests and background. As far as I remember, my father, a practicing attorney at the time in Lebanon, owned and operated a retail clothing business –I started working there as a teenager. Upon immigrating to the US, I studied political science at George Mason University and earned a BA in Government then a Masters in International Trade and Transactions. During and after college, I became very involved in local and national politics. Thus, entrepreneurship and relationship-making, whether in the business world or in government halls, became natural to me.
Have you had any special mentors or inspirations that influenced your career?
My father. Ronald Regan. The free market. And the U.S. Constitution.
What is the best part of your job and why?
People. As an entrepreneur, a consultant, and a government relations professional, I build relationships day in and day out. Relationships mostly start for a defined business purpose but mostly end up being lifelong friendships.
What is it like owning/running a business in Loudoun?
With proximity to Washington DC, with access to top universities in the nation, with a high number of cutting-edge technology companies, and a very favorable business environment, Loudoun is an excellent locality for any size business –but more so for small and medium-sized enterprises. In addition to its large talent pool and business-to-business opportunities, Loudoun is the richest county in the country with an average household income of more than $140,000, thus a high disposable income by its residents.
What does Arab American History Month mean to you?
President John F. Kennedy’s famous words, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country,” embody what every immigrant who was chasing the American dream feal towards these always great United States of America. Kennedy was quoting from which my fellow Lebanese/Arab American immigrant, Gibran Khalil Gibran had written thirty-six years earlier in his book The New Frontier: “Are you a politician asking what your country can do for you or a zealous one asking what you can do for your country?”
The designation of April as Arab-American Heritage Month is a recognition of the contribution of Arab-Americans to the USA. Arab-Americans, like all immigrants, are woven into the fabric of America. Arab-American academics, scientists, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and laborers have contributed to every aspect of America’s greatness –dating back to discovering the western world whereby Christopher Columbus cartographer, was a Phoenician from what is now Lebanon.
What are some of your favorite things to do when you are not working?
Reading. Hunting. Riding Harleys. I am currently pursuing a doctoral degree at Vanderbilt University; thus, I am mostly studying and working on my research when I am not working.
Check out the XLP Consulting website here.