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April 2, 2014

Faces of Fauquier: “First impressions” part of her job

Photo/Cassandra Brown
Cindy D’Ambro has developed long-term friendships since moving to Warrenton in 1986.
I like having neighbors and living in a subdivision. I like living in the center of the county. You see people in the aisles of the grocery store, and they don’t mind chatting a bit. You can’t go anywhere without seeing folks you know. It’s nice!
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
She loves her job as a receptionist at the Fauquier campus of Lord Fairfax Community College.

As the “director of first impressions,” Cindy D’Ambro greets visitors, students, faculty and staff with a smile as they walk through the door.

“I have the most wonderful job,” Ms. D’Ambro said. “I tell people where to go all day and they say thank you and smile!”

As one who enjoys community involvement, she previously substitute taught at Taylor Middle School for 15 years.

A 28-year resident of Warrenton, she describes the town as a community where your neighbors become some of your closest friends.

“I remember when the only place to eat was Ben & Mary’s Steakhouse. Now, we have so many restaurants and drug stores. Pretty much everything I need is right here — my friends, family and work,” she said.

• Age
I own 60.

• Home
Warrenton

• Work
Front desk receptionist at the Fauquier campus of Lord Fairfax Community College Fauquier County for 9-½ years. When I first started working here, it was called “director of first impressions.” I substitute taught at Taylor Middle School for 15 years (1989 to 2004) and I was a stay-at-home mother for 20 years.

• Why you do the job?
I have the most wonderful job. I tell people where to go all day and they say thank you and smile! When both of my children grew up, I wanted to find some work. I took a computer class at LFCC when I was 50 years old and eventually got a job here. The people are wonderful here. I’m three stoplights from home. I love being out in the community.

• Family
Son, Joe, 35, works at San Diego City College and coaches basketball.
Daughter, Katie, 31, teaches at Grace Miller Elementary School, and her husband, Jeremy Anderson, works at Airlie. Grandson, Jackson, 3.

• Education
Bachelor’s degree in American studies from George Mason University, mid 1970s. Graduated from Fairfax High School.

• Civic and/or church involvement
Member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church and Warrenton Moose Lodge 1695.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
Twenty-eight years, since 1986. I still have most of the same neighbors on my street.

• Why do you live here?
This is home. My friends are here and my daughter teaches here. I met my friends through the kids when they played sports. Those are the people I still hang out with. The people are friendly here.

• How do you describe this county?
I think there is a difference between Fauquier County and Warrenton. I like having neighbors and living in a subdivision. I like living in the center of the county. You see people in the aisles of the grocery store, and they don’t mind chatting a bit. You can’t go anywhere without seeing folks know. It’s nice!

• What would you change about Fauquier?
I wouldn’t change anything. I’ve seen the changes. I remember when the only place to eat was Ben & Mary’s Steakhouse. Now we have so many restaurants and drug stores. Pretty much everything I need is right here — my friends, family and work.

• What do you do for fun?
Anything fun and spontaneous with friends. I like to travel, go to vineyards and go to Lake Land’Or (in Caroline County). I love beach reading; give me a good story.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
When I’m in an exercising mood, I like to go to Rady Park in Warrenton and walk. I really liked Earthly Paradise on Main Street when it was still in business.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
I think there was a time when all single-family homes were on one acre. I hope it will not become more developed, but it’s a very desirable place to live.

• Favorite TV show?
“Downton Abbey,” “Breaking Bad,” “Glee” and “Leverage.”

• Favorite movie?
“The Quiet Man” and “McLintock”

• Favorite book?
Any book by James Patterson or Iris Johansen. Beach books.

• Favorite vacation spot?
Duck in the Outer Banks.

• Favorite food?
Pasta and prime rib.

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
“Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.” It’s a quote I really like.

“Never put anything in writing that you don’t want anyone to see.” My son’s principal at P.B. Smith Elementary School said that.

• Who’s your hero and why?
John Thompson and Bobbi Thayer who were physical education teachers at Taylor Middle School and retired after working there for 35 years. I’ve never met anyone as dedicated to kids. They are wonderful people.

• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?
I would buy a place on the beach in the Outer Banks.

>> Suggest a “Faces of Fauquier” profile subject

Do you know someone who lives in Fauquier County you would like to see in Faces of Fauquier? E-mail Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Editor Lou Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Previous Faces of Fauquier:

• Ginger Hilleary leads local literacy organization.

• Farmers with groundhog problems call Rod Kirkpatrick.


• Horses “retire” to work with Jeanne Blackwell.

• Remington cattle farmer Doug Linton loves his home and work.

• Sports central to Robert Glascock’s life’s work.

• For Richard Mast, company ownership started with his summer work as a teenager.

• Bernice Simpson knows northern Fauquier back roads and the people who live along them.

• Eddie Payne has logged 38 years as a volunteer firefighter in Marshall.


• Stephanie Layton turns her lifelong passion for dance into her livelihood.


• Shawn LaRue matches children and adoptive families.


• Biker and psychology major Clif Stroud makes music in a big way.

• Becky Crouch greets lots of visitors.

• She helped blaze trail to equality for black teachers.


• Family and food come first for Marshall pizzeria employee.

• Rural “closeness” of Fauquier appeals to Kansas native

• A “spoke” in the wheel of preservation.

• His job dovetails with passion for hunting

• Veteran educator sees the potential in every child.

• His passions: Fixing cars and helping people


• Habitat ReStore volunteer appreciates Fauquier’s diversity.


• Dad’s example led to new career at Fauquier Hospital.

• He lives and works in a beautiful place.

• The Goldvein firehouse ranks as his favorite place.


• Pretty things everywhere she looks.

• Through scouting, he encourages girls to explore.

• One day, he might run the company.


• FISH volunteer likes to help others.

• She sees the community’s generosity.

• Cop patrols while most people sleep.


• Pastor a constant in Calverton.


• She keeps the courthouse spotless.


• He loves working working outdoors at the park.


• She sees “everyone” at Carousel

• Library assistant works in a “fun place"

• Hat lady sets up shop in Old Town Warrenton

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