- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 13, 2006

Justin J. Exner is a man with a mortgage —and many excuses. The Northern Virginia mortgage broker is an avid golfer and author of “501 Excuses for a Bad Golf Shot” and “501 Excuses to Go Golfing.” He also is the new chairman of the Herndon Dulles Chamber of Commerce, soon to be known as the Dulles Regional Chamber.

The Herndon Dulles Chamber, founded in 1959, will be changing its name pending member and state approvals expected this month. The chamber has 850 members based in western Fairfax and eastern Loudoun counties.

The chamber promotes area commerce, provides job training and English-language instruction for workers, sponsors seminars for nonprofit groups and small businesses, and hosts an annual job fair for students.

“This chamber excels in involving everyone,” said Pat Williams, past president. “We have close to an 80 percent involvement rate of our members. Justin has a way of doing that. He put together the teams that rebranded the chamber.”

In his new role, Mr. Exner hopes to foster an environment that is friendly to business and the community.

“My prime focus in 2006 will be outreach — helping those in the Dulles regional area who are less fortunate than ourselves, who are in need of assistance,” he said.

Mr. Exner graduated in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in aviation business from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. He then worked in Milwaukee for Midwest Express, now Midwest Airlines, a job that took him to Columbus, Ohio, and Las Vegas before landing him in Cleveland. He received a master’s degree in business administration from Franklin University in 1998.

He took a job with United Airlines in 2000 and was transferred three years later to Washington Dulles International Airport. As a customer service manager, he oversaw United’s security, customs, immigration, counter and gate operations.

“I believe Justin’s business experience in one of the most demanding service industries in our area makes him an excellent choice to lead the chamber through its upcoming restructuring,” said Mike DeMarco, vice chairman of the chamber and senior vice president at Omniplex World Services.

In May 2005, when offered a job with First Financial Mortgage Service, LLC, Mr. Exner seized the chance to spend more time with his growing family. He was promoted to partner last month.

While working for an airline, “I got yelled at 100 times a day because people missed the plane,” said Mr. Exner. “Now I get thank-you cards.”

Mr. Exner, 36, lives in Haymarket with his wife, Dawn, and two sons, Ethan and Avery.

—Marie Tyler

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