Officers in the Democratic Business Council of Northern Virginia include the President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer and Immediate Past President. All officer positions have two-year terms, with the President-Elect automatically elevating to President at the end of a given term. All DemBiz members are eligible to run for officer positions, which are elected every two years. All officer positions are voluntary.

Chris King, President

Chris King is the President of King Commercial LLC, a real estate valuation company focused on commercial properties in Southwest Virginia and Northern Virginia. His property-level expertise includes multifamily, office, industrial, retail, mixed-use, self-storage and raw land assets. From 2015 to 2018, Chris worked in the Capital Markets mortgage banking group at Walker & Dunlop in Bethesda, MD, and previously spent seven years at Integra Realty Resources, where he appraised nearly 350 commercial properties throughout the Washington, DC, metro area.

Prior to moving to Northern Virginia in 2005, Chris spent eight years as a reporter/anchor at KEYT-TV, the ABC affiliate in Santa Barbara, CA. He won multiple Emmys and has extensive broadcast experience in news, weather, sports, entertainment and hosting.

Chris is a graduate of The University of California at Berkeley and holds the MAI Designation from the Appraisal Institute. He is a Certified General Real Estate Appraiser in VA, MD and DC, and currently sits on the Virginia Real Estate Appraiser Board. He served as President-Elect of the Democratic Business Council of Northern Virginia from 2018-2019.

RJ Narang, President-Elect

RJ Narang is the President and CEO of Renegade Technology Systems, Inc., headquartered in McLean, VA. The company provides information technology services, such as cybersecurity and enterprise architecture, to agencies within the federal government.

RJ also serves as a board member for the Health Systems Agency of Northern Virginia, as well as the Virginia Community College System State Board. In addition, he is a member and supporter of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee and the local Dranesville District Democratic Committee. In the past he has volunteered for Jim Moran and the Democratic National Committee. On the philanthropic side, he volunteers his time and financial support for RIF, or Reading Is Fundamental, a non-for-profit organization dedicated to Children’s literacy.

RJ is a graduate of American University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts/Criminal Justice in 2002 and Master of Public Administration in 2018.

Beverly Merchant, Treasurer

Beverly Merchant is a McEnearney Commercial associate broker and has spent more than 30 years in commercial real estate as a consultant and principal specializing in investment and financing across all real estate asset classes. She represents tenants seeking retail, office and industrial space—owner-occupants and investors as well as sellers and landlords.

Since 2004, Beverly has also provided advisory services to real estate companies through Davies Real Estate Investment Services, LLC.  Consulting clients include Atlantic Realty Companies, CIM Group and WREP, LLC. Prior to Davies REIS she was a commercial mortgage lender with MetLife Real Estate Investment’s Washington office. She also established and ran the acquisitions group for Guardian Realty and worked in the financial services group of Cushman & Wakefield in Florida.  She was instrumental in closing more than $750 million in transactions for properties ranging from mixed use development in Washington, DC to a 500-unit apartment complex in Columbia, MD.

Beverly has an MBA from the University of Miami and is a graduate of the University of Maryland. She is the past president of two Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) chapters as well as a founding member of CREW Network. Currently, she serves as Secretary for the Board of Rebuilding Together- Arlington, Fairfax, Falls Church had has served multiple terms as the Treasurer of the Democratic Business Council of Northern Virginia.

Alisa Valudes Whyte, Secretary

Alisa Valudes Whyte is the CEO and Senior Partner of Merritt Group. She joined Merritt Group in 1997 and helped to shape and grow the agency since its founding. She builds marketing, creative, PR and demand generation campaigns on a national scale for clients in technology, healthcare and government – from venture-funded startups to established market leaders. Her clients have included Microsoft, Samsung, Booz Allen Hamilton, Monster, LexisNexis, Deloitte, Check Point Software Technologies, Corvis, Workfront, Avizia, Yodlee, Heritage Provider Network, GoHealth Urgent Care, Abiomed, MedGenome, HealthTap, U.S. Pharmacopeia, and others.

Alisa is a champion of Merritt Group’s culture, recognized as a “Great Place to Work” by both Washingtonian Magazine and Washington Business Journal. In 2019, she was honored with a Silver Award for Female Executive of the Year in the annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business. In 2015, she was named a finalist for DC Inno’s “50 on Fire” and, in 2016, a finalist in Women In Technology’s (WIT) Annual Leadership Awards. Prior to joining Merritt Group, Alisa worked at Ruder Finn in Washington, D.C., where she conducted media relations and public affairs for a wide range of clients including Citibank Mid-Atlantic and the law firm of Shaw Pittman. She also worked at the international architectural firm of Leo A. Daly as part of the marketing team.

Alisa serves on the Board of Directors of Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC), Neighborhood Health, and Democratic Business Council of Northern Virginia. She graduated with a BA from Dickinson College and spent a semester studying Economic Policy at American University.

Laurie MacNamara, Immediate Past President

Laurie MacNamara is a Principal and Director with Booz Allen Hamilton and serves on the senior executive leadership team of Booz Allen’s Financial Services practice. Laurie’s career focus has been to build a strong quantitative analysis and information technology background; she has worked in technology and analytical areas, including IT portfolio management, capital planning, cost modeling, and business case development as well as the management of largescale IT application development programs and projects.

Currently Laurie leads business development and client delivery at several key financial regulators for Booz Allen, including the U.S. Treasury Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Prior to joining private industry, she was appointed as a Presidential Management Fellow and completed leadership training through the prestigious Fellow program.

A 28-year resident of Alexandria, VA, Laurie serves on the City Council-appointed Budget and Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee and on the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce’s Government Relations Committee focused on economic development, planning, transportation, and workforce development issues. Previously Laurie served on the City Council-chartered Business Tax Reform Task Force where she developed specific tax policy recommendations. Laurie also serves on the board of directors of several national- and local-level nonprofits, including First Night Alexandria. She is a former president of the Del Ray Citizens Association.

Laurie holds a B.A., summa cum laude, in political science and Spanish from Muhlenberg College, and an M.A. in Law and Diplomacy in international economics and finance from the Fletcher School, Tufts University.

Staff Leadership