Plein has served on several local and regional boards including the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance and the Northern Virginia Chapter of NAIOP, and is a past president of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association. He is currently president of the Dulles South Alliance, an association of business and resident leaders dedicated to providing an open forum to the public on the future development opportunities in the Dulles South region, and is on the Advisory Board for George Mason University's Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship. He is past-chair of the Building and Development Committee for the recently constructed Capital Caring’s ‘Adler Center for Caring’, a state-of-the-art inpatient hospice and palliative care center.
An involved citizen in the community in which he lives, Plein recognizes the great responsibility of giving back and supports many non-profits and charitable groups through a devotion of financial resources and time. From his mentorship of young leaders in commercial real estate through the George Mason Center for Real Estate and Entrepreneurship program and NAIOP Northern Virginia’s Developing Leaders, to his operational guidance and mentoring advocacy with Asian American and other minority students (AASuccess), Plein is dedicated to helping advance the social, personal and professional fulfillment of our young citizens.
Much of his time is devoted to the White House Farm Foundation, a nonprofit educational foundation that he established after his purchase of the 270 acre historic White House property in Luray, Virginia in 2005. Through the Foundation, he hopes to enrich individuals with the knowledge of and involvement in our natural ecological systems, sustainable agriculture, holistic community planning, conservation, and respect for local history and culture.
Plein owns and operates 650 acres of agricultural land in crops and livestock. Throughout his professional career and personal life, he has maintained a deep set interest in the environment and ecological systems, particularly as it pertains to finding a balance between human habitat needs and preserving our natural habitats.
Equinox's most recently approved project--Villages of Piedmont at Leopold's Preserve (VOPLP)--broke ground in October 2013. It has been touted by many Prince William County officials as a model for preservation-oriented land planning. VOPLP, which is located in Haymarket, Virginia, will complete the balance of an existing community with the addition of 393 new single family homes and townhomes in a unique cluster design. One of the most compelling aspects of the project is the impressive open-space commitment--the permanent conservation of more than 380 acres known as Leopold's Preserve. Named after the famous conservationist, Aldo Leopold, Leopold's Preserve will be preserved through a conservation easement as natural open space and open to the public for passive recreation. Within the open space there will be over 5 miles of natural surface walking trails, observation areas, wildflower meadows, and interpretive signs that will showcase the environmental and historic features of the property and the surrounding area.
In 2013, Plein and his White House Farm received the Better Models for Development award from the Valley Conservation Council for his work in restoring the White House Farm's brick farm house, barn, and outbuildings.
In 2008 his work in helping to write and pass legislation in the Commonwealth that protects and promotes the planting of native vegetation in our suburban and urban areas, earned him the Friends of Trees award from the Fairfax County Tree Commission.