About Sheila

Sheila was elected to the Herndon Town Council in 2014, 2012 & 2010 and immediately set about focusing on economic development, fiscal responsibility, government transparency, and improving local amenities.
With her new colleagues, Sheila approved the new Fire Station,  a downtown master plan, worked closely with the County to plan for the new Metro station, passed the town’s first campaign finance disclosure requirements, created a Go Green initiative. When Sheila discovered that the town had public bike racks sitting in storage, she had them dusted off and installed around town.
Prior to her election, Sheila, was and remains a committed community advocate. She raised her two sons in Herndon and is a huge fan of the our local schools. Her community involvement is varied and extensive.


Checks can be made out to Friends of Sheila Olem
and mailed to 500 Bowers Lane, Herndon, VA 20170Sheila age 4Sheila (age 4)

How Sheila became involved in Herndon
Starting with land use issues six months after moving to Herndon in 1990, she found herself taking an active role in community and civic organizations. Her commitment to her community lead Sheila to organize her neighbors in Four Season’s from 1991 – 1998 on land use issues on Rock Hill Road adjacent to the CIT property. This involved working with the Reflection Lakes HOA, Fairfax County officials and the developers. Sheila and her neighbors were successful in getting a wider buffer between the existing homes and the new development.

After her late husband disappeared on a plane in Bolivia in 1994, I worked with the State Department for a year before she was able to obtain a Presumptive Certificate of Death. The Commonwealth of Virginia would not accept the certificate so she worked successfully with Virginia officials to change state legislation where two bills initiated by Sheila passed in 1996 allowing Virginia to recognize the State Department certificate. (His plane nor any of the 5 men have ever been recovered)
Over the past twenty-five years, she has served on numerous land use committees appointed by Dranesville District Supervisors, which include the Hunter Mill Task Force, 2005 and the Dulles Toll Road Task Force, 2000 – 01. In 2000 She was appointed to the Herndon Board of Zoning Appeals by the Town Council, serving until Dec 2007. Her commitment to the community includes volunteering with Herndon High Sports boosters; various non-profits, civic organizations and numerous community events such as Friday Night Live, NatureFest, the Herndon Festival, Herndon Garden and Homes tours, Runnymede Park clean up as well as Herndon Rotary projects and events. Chair of NatureFest 2008 & 2009. Received the Volunteer of the Year award from Friends of Runnymede Park in 2008 for my work on NatureFest. In 2010,  2012  & 2014 she was elected by the citizens of Herndon to serve on the Herndon Town Council.
Sheila has served on the Board of Directors for the following Herndon organizations: Council for the Arts of Herndon; Foundation for the Cultural Arts; Rotary Club of Herndon and Sister Cities International of the Herndon Area, Inc.
Served as President of the Federal Water Quality Association (FWQA), and continues to work on the FWQA scholarship committee.

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