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VIENNA, Va. – As a kid, Dennis Godfrey never imagined himself being an orchardist. But that’s exactly what he is – that is when he’s not working as president/CEO of Navy Federal Financial Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Navy FCU. Godfrey, his wife Priscilla, and their three children live on 2.5 acres of land in rural western Virginia in the town of Philomont, population a couple of hundred – “The general store has a post office in the back and there’s also a community center. That’s the whole town,” he quips. When the Godfrey family first moved to Philomont from Washington, D.C., there was a vineyard on the property which they used to grow a variety of grapes they used to make sparkling white wine. After a while, they decided to plow the vineyards under. These days they focus their attention on their 100-tree orchard where they harvest apples, peaches and cherries from. “It’s a great break in the thought process,” says Godfrey. “You get outside and smell the fresh air, you’re always active as opposed to working at a desk. It all makes a good ying to the yang to my job at Navy Federal Financial Group.” Most of the apples grown on the Godfrey’s property are donated to The Gleaners, a not-for-profit group that’s invited to go onto farms after harvest and collect food for the homeless. The fight against homelessness is another cause Godfrey’s been involved with for about 15 years. He has been on the board and is the immediate past president of Community Family Life Services in Washington, D.C., a group Godfrey became acquainted with when he worked at Fannie Mae as director of secondary marketing and product development. Godfrey and his wife are also supporters of the performing arts and are active in a program that helps produce children’s theatre. Godfrey concedes it took his family and him a while to adjust to hearing cows and other animals outside their windows, instead of sirens and vehicular traffic, but the native of Camden, N.J. has never had any regrets about making the move to the rural life. -

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