The mission of Refuel Irvington is to both be profitable and inspire guests long beyond their visit through thoughtful, human scale, living and social spaces. Refuel Irvington seeks to meet this dual goal by converting a formerly polluted “brownfield” site and transforming it into a vibrant community asset.
Albert C. Pollard, Jr. is non-profit consultant with a specialization of energy regulation in Virginia and wholesale markets in the PJM region. As a consultant, he draws on his experience as an entrepreneur, a former Virginia State Legislator and the former Director of the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club.
He has long been captivated by the way the physical design of a space can impact the thoughts and feelings of those who occupy it. This, combined with a belief that our over consumption makes us less happy as Americans (along with already owning a few short-term rentals), inspired him to be the general contractor and build Refuel Irvington.
While the inspiration and design criteria for a walkable, car free and human scale micro hotel was his alone, Pollard is careful to give credit to all the talented people along the way that helped build Refuel. No one plumber, carpenter or mason completes an entire project but, of particular note is his father, Albert Pollard Sr, who acted in the capacity as the architect and consulting engineer.
In his spare time, Albert is dad to three wonderful and equally overbooked young adults and helps fix the irrigation system on the small market farm of his significant other, Carolyn Quinn. He believes putting water in bourbon is a sign of personal weakness.
Lara Mills Brown is an Ashland native who moved to Irvington in 2000 shortly after college. Never intending to stay long, that all changed when she met her soul mate, David Brown. She and David married in 2003, enjoyed a growing family and entertaining their friends from Richmond and beyond.
Life was great if not a tad hectic: Lara was working as a School Counselor for Lancaster County and David owned Brown’s Marine.
But in 2016, life got even better when Lara and David moved into their “forever home” on Mad Calf Lane overlooking Carter’s Creek. Just like she knew David was the one at first sight, Lara knew Mad Calf was the “it” house for them. Mad Calf came with an independent cottage which offered an opportunity for Lara to start testing the waters in the vacation rental business.
She left her professional career to spend more time with her children and launched Mad Calf Cottage, LLC in 2017. Mad Calf Cottage was a great success and, in the first year, Lara became Super Host and Premier Partner with Airbnb and VRBO.
Lara has always loved hosting guests and providing them with fresh experiences and working with Refuel Irvington is a natural extension of this passion.
Lara is excited to be Refuel’s Host and looks forward to launching retreats, workshops, native experiences, and partnering with local businesses so all of the guests can have as memorable a stay in Irvington as she has had – if not a tad shorter.