We launched Virtues Matter with a commitment to build a better world. It started in 2005 when we attended a 3-day personal development retreat . It resulted in life-changing decisions to pursue careers for social change. Dara envisioned a better future for education, Dave the environment.
Within months, Dara learned about The Virtues Project and decided to make it her life's work, first volunteering as Direction of Education, becoming a Master Facilitator and eventually founding board chair. Dave co-founded a company building solutions that make communities more resilient and sustainable including an internationally recognized green business incubator and education center.
In 2019, we decided to work together full-time to positively change as many lives as possible. Our hope is to bring an entrepreneurial mindset to bringing others joy, meaning and purpose.
We bring years of experience enthusiasm, creativity and a commitment of love and integrity to our work. Come join us!
Chief Enthusiast Officer
Dara is a passionate educator, speaker, author, coach and consultant. She is the author of The Heart of Education: Bringing Joy, Meaning and Purpose Back to Teaching and Learning. Dara is living her passion and purpose as she uplifts people around the globe in her roles as an ASCD Whole Child Faculty Member, Certified Jack Canfield Success Principles Trainer, Virtues Project Master Facilitator, Restorative Practices/Restorative Justice Trainer for IIRP.edu, Expert Consultant to Character.org, Coach for The Positive Schools Center at the University of Maryland’s School of Social Work and Course Facilitator for the Social-Emotional Learning and Character Development Program at Rutgers University.
Honored as Disney's 2005 Outstanding Elementary Teacher of the Year, Educator of the Year for the National Association for Self Esteem in 2009 and Maryland's 2015 Mother of the Year, she is one of 10 teachers featured in the book, One on One with American's Most Inspiring Teachers.
In addition to 16 years as a classroom teacher, five years as an instructional technology specialist and three years as an instructional coach, Dara spent seven years as the Director of Education for The Virtues Project, five years as Director of Education for The "V" Channel and three years as the founding Board Chair for the Virtues Project International Association. Dara was the expert consultant with the USDE’s Web-based Education Commission where she helped write The Power of The Internet for Learning, and co-creator of the Early Childhood Technology Literacy Project, which was nominated by Steve Jobs of Apple Computer and won the Computerworld Smithsonian Award in Education and Academia in 2000.
Dara has a B.S. in Elementary Education and a M.Ed. in Education, Media, Design and Technology. She has a Graduate Certificate in Restorative Practices and is Nationally Board Certified in Early Childhood Education.
Chief Everything Else Officer
Dave is a social entrepreneur, community builder, thought leader and international speaker on a range of topics including sustainable communities, entrepreneurship and leadership development.
Dave previously was Director of Green America’s Center for Sustainability Solutions which helped develop sustainable supply chains and drive systems change in multiple sectors including sustainable food & agriculture, fair labor and responsible finance.
Dave is perhaps best known for his groundbreaking work as co-founder of Livability Project and founding director of Bethesda Green, a nationally recognized 'best practice' community hub and green business incubator designed to promote sustainable living practices, build a green economy and reduce our collective impact in Bethesda, Maryland. From 2002-2005, Dave was Consul, UK Trade & Investment at the British Embassy, helping U.S. companies expand operations in the U.K. and British companies export to the U.S.
Dave is an editor, contributor and 2017 Schulze Publication Award recipient for the Entrepreneur and Innovation Exchange (EIX), a non-profit that links research and practice to improve the performance and wellbeing of entrepreneurs. In 2009, Dave was named one of “The 25 CEOs You Need to Know” by The Gazette of Politics and Business and “Innovator of the Year” by The Daily Record. In 2010, the Montgomery County Council named him one of “40 Environmentalists in 40 Years”. Dave holds an M.B.A. from the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland.