Miss A Columnist

Crishana Loritsch is a licensed property manager by day and a budding fashionista 24/7. A fourth generation native Washingtonian, she loves all things DC and credits her upbringing with making her into what she feels is a classic 21st century Renaissance woman.

Her love of the arts, music, fashion and all things girly began at an early age. Family legend has it that she only agreed to walk at the age of 22 months after her uncle promised to buy her a new dress. She walked the very next day and will walk a mile gladly to find the latest beauty and fashion must haves at a fantastic price. Her fondest memories growing up involve shopping with her Mom at Woodward and Lothrop (Woodies to us DC natives) and visiting every museum and art gallery that her legs and her Metro card could carry her. A few of her favorite DC destinations are The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The National Zoo, and The Phillips Collection. Living in the DC area and being in the property management field can be stressful, so Crishana is always on the lookout to take advantage of every opportunity to invest in her sanity, whether it's taking in a concert, seeing a ballet, or getting a massage and facial.

Crishana also makes sure to give back to her industry and local community. She co-chairs the Outreach Committee of the Washington Metropolitan Chapter of Community Association Institute (WMCCAI) and also serves on its Editorial Committee as one of its featured writers of their publication, Quorum magazine. She was honored as the WMCCAI 2011 Volunteer of the Year as well as being named one of its 2011 Rising Stars. Additionally, she participates in 5K/10K races all over the Washington DC metro area which benefit such charitable organizations at Ringing In Hope, Habitat for Humanity Loudoun County, Ashburn Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, and The American Red Cross.

Recap: 5th Annual Carnival In The Capital Fundraiser For Roots Of Development

The 5th Annual Carnival in the Capital descended upon the award winning Shakespeare Theatre in Washington D.C. in festive celebration of Caribbean pride as members of the Washington Metropolitan area Haitian community, dignitaries, local leaders, supporters and activists gathered in support of Roots of Development, a 501 c (3) charitable organization dedicated to long-term and sustainable development for communities on the island of La Gonave, Haiti.

Crishana Loritsch, Miss A and His Excellency Paul G. Altidor, Ambassador to Haiti

Crishana Loritsch, writer for Miss A and His Excellency Paul G. Altidor, Ambassador to Haiti (Photo Credit: C. Loritsch)

Mrs. Haiti International 2013 Nedjy Jean Charles

Mrs. Haiti International 2013 Nedjy Jean Charles (Photo Credit: C. Loritsch)

Sponsors for the event included Diageo, Seven Hills Foundation, Whole Foods Market, Boulder Shares, CNC Software Inc, Telemundo, Ernst Valery Investments, SA+A Development, Milk & Honey Market, The Chesapeake Baltimore, Rice and individual sponsors, Dr. Tricia Desvarieux, Montgomery Erwin, Dr. and Mrs. Bob Manning and Joseph M. Perta. Attendees dined on traditional Haitian fare including salt cod, herring salad, spicy slaw, rice and beans, plantains, as well as delectably sweet beignets and bread pudding. Caribbean cocktails flowed all evening thanks to the generosity of Diageo. New York-based Haitian Rara band, DJA RARA kept bodies moving all night long to their infectious melodies and thumping beats.

Darcy Batherson, Monty Erwin

Darcy Batherson, left with Monty Erwin, Roots of Development Board member (Photo Credit: C. Loritsch)

Members of DJA RARA Band

Members of DJA RARA Band (Photo Credit: C. Loritsch)

His Excellency Ambassador Paul G. Altidor with Carnival Dancers, Sharell Austin- left and Lyz Denizard- right

His Excellency Ambassador Paul G. Altidor with Carnival Dancers, Sharell Austin- left and Lyz Denizard- right (Photo Credit: C. Loritsch)

Co-Founder and Executive Director, Roots for Development

Chad Bissonnette, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Roots for Development and CNN’s Sunny Hostin (Photo Credit: C. Loritsch)

CNN’s Sunny Hostin greeted the audience and thanked all of the event sponsors for lending their support for such a fantastic event. Sara Guderyahn, president of the Board of Directors for Roots of Development, introduced one of the organization’s supporters, Ernst Valery of SA+A Development and Ernst Valery Investments, to present the Max Pulgar-Vidal Award to His Excellency Paul G. Altidor, Ambassador to the Republic of Haiti, for his tireless efforts in the rebuilding in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake which devastated the island nation.

During his remarks, His Excellency Ambassador Altidor humbly accepted the award on behalf of his staff at the embassy, as he said it was all of their hard work that made it possible for him to accept this recognition. He also stated that it was his purpose to reshape the image of the Haitian embassy and the country of Haiti and it is due in large part to the support and work of organizations like Roots for Development that makes his goal attainable. He further said, “We share a common philosophy of Haitians being at the forefront of the redevelopment of Haiti.”

Ernst and Dana Valery

Ernst Valery, SA+A Development and Ernst Valery Investments and his wife Dana Valery, Milk and Honey Grocery and Market (Photo Credit: C. Loritsch)

To end the awards presentation of the evening,  Co-founder and Executive Director Chad Bissonnette reiterated the mission of Roots of Development: “Development without dependence.” It is the prevailing mantra behind everything that is done at the organization and the passion which fuels Bissonnette’s commitment to sustainable philanthropy that empowers the people of Haiti to support themselves and not be dependent upon others. During his remarks, he emphasized the organization is not interested in short term fixes, but long term solutions designed to help Haiti become the people they want to become. He was careful to point out the Roots for Development does not have staff on the ground in Haiti as they want to the communities themselves to be in control of their own destiny, to be on the forefront of development in their communities. As stated on their website, “The communities we work with choose, build, manage and  maintain their own projects. They decide their own future.” Bissonnette ended his remarks by inviting everyone to eat, drink, dance and have a good time.

DJA RARA took to the floor and got everyone into a party mood.  The party mood spilled out onto the streets as nearby dinner guests got to take part in an impromptu Carnival parade route as the band and dozens of supporters formed a roving Congo line that was a sight to behold.  What a fantastic way to end the evening; celebrating the life, music and culture of the Haitian community. Carnival in the Capital represents the best of both worlds when it comes to DC parties: good times for an even greater cause.

Mrs. Haiti International 2013 Nedjy Jean Charles center with Sharell Austin, left and Lyz Denizard, right

Mrs. Haiti International 2013 Nedjy Jean Charles center with Sharell Austin, left and Lyz Denizard, right (Photo Credit: C. Loritsch)

Crishana Loritsch, Miss A and Mrs Haiti International 2013, Nedjy Jean Charles

Crishana Loritsch, writer for Miss A and Mrs Haiti International 2013, Nedjy Jean Charles (Photo Credit: C. Loritsch)

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