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Prominent Mount Vernon Businessman Jeff Todd Dies in Car Accident

Todd was a passenger in a car accident in North Carolina.

Prominent Mount Vernon businessman, philanthropist and community leader Jeffrey M. Todd died just after midnight Sunday morning in a car accident in Currituck County, N.C., 40.3 miles north of Kitty Hawk, according to North Carolina State Police. The area is near beaches popular during the summer.

A passenger in the car, Jeff Todd was traveling southbound on North Carolina state Highway 168. The driver swerved to avoid hitting another car. The car then left the roadway and flipped over in a cornfield. Todd was ejected from the vehicle, state police said. Alcohol was not a factor in the accident, police said. Information about any other injuries was not readily available.

Todd leaves behind his family: Wife Becky, teenage daughter Kimberly and Hannah, a student at Washington Mill Elementary School. Todd also had a brother, James, of Dumfries and a sister, Judi Todd Darnell of Alexandria.

Todd had recently served as chairman of the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce and served on the board of several non-profit organizations. The recipient of the 2010 Chamber Citizen Award, Todd was honored in December at the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce Holiday Business Awards Celebration.

Todd was head of Todd Restaurants, Inc., a franchisee of three local Roy Rogers Family Restaurants in the Mount Vernon and Lee areas, with locations in Belle View, Manchester Lakes and Woodlawn. The company was started by his father Jim Todd, a longtime executive with Marriott, who died last August. 

Jeff Todd said in an interview with Patch in December that it was the most matter-of-fact thing in the world to give back to the community that gave so much to his family.

"The community has supported us over the last 24-and-a-half years and we just think it is our civic duty to support the community back," Todd said at the time.

Todd said as a kid, he was a "restaurant brat," meaning he and his family moved a lot to accommodate his father's job with Marriott.  After graduating from high school in Williamsburg, he studied at the University of Connecticut.

While he may have sampled a lot of different cities and regions growing up, Todd made Northern Virginia his home for the last 25 years.

Todd was chairman of the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce and served on the board of several non-profit organizations including the Mount Vernon-Lee Education PartnershipGood Shepherd Housing and Family Services and United Community Ministries.

Each year, Todd's Roy Rogers Restaurants provide free meals to volunteers for the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce Annual U.S. 1 Highway Cleanup.

Last year, Todd was honored with the Corporate Citizen Award by United Community Ministries for his efforts to support the needy in the Mount Vernon community.

Todd was a dedicated supporter of Mount Vernon High School athletics, sponsoring the Roy Rogers Bowl annually, announcing basketball games, participating in the Mount Vernon Men of Vision and Purpose Program (The MVP Program) supporting at-risk students, and helping other school programs.

When Todd was first approached about taking the reins at the Chamber, he told Patch he begged them to find someone else.

"I'm just a burger guy, I don't view myself any different than the guy making chicken in the back," Todd said.

He told Patch the experience was very humbling and he worried a lot about doing a good job.

"In my head I really just want to be perfect and every single day I'm usually disappointed, but that doesn't stop me from trying," Todd said.

Todd said he liked living in Mount Vernon because of its hometown feel, but he also made the point that there is a lot of need in Mount Vernon.  He said once he wrapped up his stint at the Chamber, he wanted to work on recruiting community volunteers.

Todd was a member of Good Shepherd Catholic Church, 8710 Mount Vernon Highway.

Patch will post details of upcoming services as news becomes available.

Mary V. Thompson August 02, 2011 at 09:31 PM
I was a regular for many years at the Belleview Roy Rogers, when I lived right across the street. The Todd family made it a very welcoming place and it became a home away from home for many people. The kid-friendly atmosphere (I can't tell you how many times I've seen the Lion King video, while I ate dinner there), the thank you notes from visiting classes, the elementary school family nights, and the donation boxes for hospice at the cash registers always gave the place a special atmosphere, not something that can be said of most fast-food establishments. Thank you, Mr. Todd, for creating something special, for giving back to this community, and for giving a work-obsessed single a place to do evening and weekend work in a place that felt was alive with families, so I didn't feel so alone. May you rest in peace now and your family take comfort in all the good you did.
Mike Hill August 03, 2011 at 03:00 AM
Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. We were deeply saddened to hear of Jeff's death. It is something that you will never get over, but keep God by your side for answers, and he will teach you how to deal with death. God bless you. Mike and Claudia Hill (Johnny Macs and Tubbys)
Beth Lawton August 03, 2011 at 02:26 PM
From Rick Genuario: As my family was laying my mother to rest in Arlington Cemetery on Monday, I learned of the terrible news of Jeff's death. It made a sad day that much more difficult. I cannot think of a better example of a person living his faith through his business and community involvement. I have known Jeff and his family for many years through the Mt. Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce, Good Shepherd Catholic Church, community organizations and Mt. Vernon Country Club. Jeff was so humble and often self-deprecating in deflecting attention from his contributions to his community. He often would tell me that I inspired him and he wanted to be "just like Rick Genuario". I, in turn, would make a point of receiving the weekly bulletin or mass pamphlet at Sunday 9 o'clock mass from Jeff, telling him that I felt more holy if they came from him. Jokes aside, all of us knew how Jeff inspired everyone he met. Our faith teaches us to be charitable, and he was. I pray that despite their intense grief, in time his family will be comforted in knowing what a great man he was. With Sincere Respect, Rick Genuario
Aida Saada August 04, 2011 at 12:52 AM
On Behalf of my mother Aida Saada who worked for Jeff for over 15 years and my self, who worked for Mr. Todd for several years, we would like to offer our prayers to his wife and family. My mother and I are very sad about his sudden loss. We having nothing but happy memories of a great man and friend who helped our family when my mother needed help. May the Lord provide the peace and comfort to his family during this time.
Jennifer Diallo August 04, 2011 at 02:13 PM
I am truly saddened to hear of Jeff Todd's death. I have nothing but good things to say about him and remember him for. He was an awesome business owner, and did so much for the community. You will truly be missed Jeff. My prayers are with you family.

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