December 22, 2022 E-news: 50 Companies with Fairfax County Presence Rank Among the Best Managed in 2022 + Weekly Business News Digest

Fairfax County-based industry leaders Leidos (HQ in Reston), Northrop Grumman (HQ in Falls Church area), Capital One (HQ in Tysons) and Hilton (HQ in Tysons) have landed on the Wall Street Journal’s “250 Best-Managed Companies of 2022”.  Why have some of these top performers chosen Fairfax County as the location for their corporate headquarters?

“We are viewing Fairfax County and the Reston headquarters location as regions with a lot of growth, both on the technical side of our business, but also the corporate support side,” said Jim Reagan, Leidos’ now-retired executive vice president and chief financial officer, in an interview with FCEDA in 2021. “Reston boasts many amazing amenities, and it’s going to be close to the new Metro stop. We’re looking forward to this being a real magnet for new talent.”

In all, 50 companies with a presence in Fairfax County made the best-managed list this year. The ranking, developed by the Drucker Institute, measures corporate effectiveness by examining performance in five areas: customer satisfaction, employee engagement and development, innovation, social responsibility and financial strength. The ranking is based on an analysis of 34 data inputs provided by 14 third-party sources, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Click here for more information on why companies choose Fairfax County. 

Reston-based Warriors Ethos Helps Veterans Launch Civilian Careers

(Photo courtesy of John Hoover Photography)

More than 300 guests attended the Warriors Ethos 7th annual Gala at The National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly on December 7. Reston-based Warrior Ethos’ mission is to provide assistance in career planning, professional development, and placement of service members, veterans, their spouses, and caregivers throughout their transition. Forty companies and 50 individuals sponsored the Gala, with the top sponsors including Reston-based Hypori, Reston-based Intelligent Waves, Coforma, and PGL. In addition, Work in Northern Virginia, the talent website powered by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, was a sponsor of the event.

“Warriors Ethos is a 501(c) (3) established in 2013. Our founder, Jared Shepard, Veteran Small Business Owner of Intelligent Waves and Hypori, noticed that Special Operation soldiers were experiencing quite a few challenges in their transition from service, and some were wounded,” said Vonzell Mattocks, Executive Director, Warriors Ethos. “His vision became our mission at Warriors Ethos. Our goal is to support the transition of service members and their spouses with unique one-on-one mentoring, coaching, and engagement in their desired career.”

Click here to read the full interview with Mattocks.

Fairfax County Economy Development Authority (FCEDA) is a Virginia Values Veterans (V3) certified organization and actively collaborates with public, private and nonprofit partners, such as Warriors Ethos, to assist transitioning military, veterans, and military spouses across the globe to transition their career and find opportunities in Northern Virginia.

Looking to Start a Business in 2023? Join Experts to Learn How on Jan. 10

If starting a business is on top of your list for 2023, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) is ready to assist you! Ashley Chen, founder and CEO of Fairfax County-based ActioNet will be the featured guest speaker during FCEDA’s next Entrepreneurship 101 (E-101) workshop scheduled for January 10, 2023, in Tysons.

Click here to register for the free workshop. This in-person event will be held at the FCEDA headquarters at 8300 Boone Blvd., Tysons. 

During this interactive workshop, you will hear from Chen about her entrepreneurial journey of founding and growing ActioNet, an IT integrator that supports operational needs across the Federal Government and private sector. You will also hear from a panel of experts on registering your business, permitting requirements, business feasibility and business plan basics, business certifications, financing options and government resources. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with the presenters and FCEDA staff.

The E-101 workshops are presented by FCEDA, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), the Community Business Partnership (CBP), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Fairfax County Department of Economic Initiatives (DEI). 

Weekly Business News Digest

Supporting food security in Zambia: USAID announced last week during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. a partnership with Reston-based Bechtel to support infrastructure development critical to food security in Zambia that can be scaled across Africa. A public-private partnership approach will increase efficiency, align with the USAID and African governments’ development strategies, speed up solutions, transition to local ownership, and ensure return on moderate investment with scalable impact. USAID business partners will explore ways to implement similar programs across the continent and across sectors that need support and development. Bechtel’s Manager of Corporate Relations, Stu Jones, said: “Public-private partnerships maximize sustainable impacts in addressing critical infrastructure development challenges in Africa. We are proud of bechtel.org’s partnerships with USAID and other businesses in Zambia and across the continent – our efforts will save lives, improve the future of the continent, and ensure sustainable outcomes.” National Law Review carried the release.

Hiring spree: Herndon government contractor Serco plans to hire 120 new workers in 2023 and up to 200 total over the next two years after winning a five-year contract from the Naval Air Systems Command to support the Department of Defense’s F-35 program, the Washington Business Journal reported in an article for subscribers. Under terms of the delivery order contract, Serco will provide a broad range of functions for the F-35 Joint Program Office, a joint multinational program run by the Pentagon focused on building affordable, next-generation strike aircraft weapon systems for the U.S. military and its allies.

Making science fiction reality: Falls Church area-headquartered Northrop Grumman’s Space Solar Power Incremental Demonstrations and Research (SSPIDR) Project team is making that science fiction a reality with steady progress towards transmitting solar energy from space to anywhere on Earth. SSPIDR technology can be especially useful in forward operating and contested areas where warfighters need steady power to maintain mission operations. “Space solar power beaming has the potential to provide energy anywhere on Earth at any time, making consistent and reliable energy available to remote locations when its needed most,” said Tara Theret, SSPIDR program director, Northrop Grumman. “With this demonstration, we are one step closer to taking this technology out of the lab and putting it on orbit.” satnews has more.

To the Max: Westminster, Colo.-based Maxar Technologies, which maintains Chantilly and Herndon locations, agreed to be acquired by Advent International, a global private equity investor. The all-cash transaction worth approximately $6.4 billion is aimed at positioning Maxar to accelerate its investments into satellite technologies and data understanding to better support its customers in both the public and private sectors, ExecutiveGov reported. Commenting on Maxar’s definitive merger agreement with Advent, Dan Jablonsky, president and CEO of Maxar said. “Today’s announcement is an exceptional outcome for stockholders and is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team, the value Maxar has created and the reputation we have built in our industry.”

Aero acquisition: Melbourne, Florida-headquartered L3Harris Technologies, which has locations in Fairfax County and the Northern Virginia region, on Dec. 18 announced an agreement to acquire Aerojet Rocketdyne for $4.7 billion, SpaceNews reported. The deal is expected to close in 2023, pending regulatory approvals. Aerojet Rocketdyne, based in Sacramento, California, manufactures rocket engines and propulsion systems for space vehicles, ballistic missiles and military tactical weapons. The company generates approximately $2.3 billion in annual revenue. L3Harris is a global defense and aerospace firm with $17 billion in annual revenue. The acquisition of Aerojet would give L3Harris a greater footprint in civil space, strategic defense systems and precision munitions. “With this acquisition, we will use the combined talents of more than 50,000 employees to drive continuous process improvement, enhance business operations and elevate the performance of this crucial national asset,” said L3Harris CEO Christopher Kubasik.

Stay tuned: The Rocket Lab Electron rocket launch originally scheduled for December at NASA Wallops now won’t happen until at least January 2023. The launch, which will be Rocket Lab’s first in the U.S., was pushed back multiple times due to weather conditions through the Dec. 20 launch window. A January 2023 time and exact date for the next launch attempt have yet to be established. The mission, called Virginia is for Launch Lovers by Rocket Lab, would have been the company’s tenth Electron launch of the year, but also the first from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island, Virginia. The mission will place into orbit three radio-frequency surveillance satellites for HawkEye 360, a company based in Herndon. WAVY TV 10 and SpaceNews has more.

Overcoming climate change: Tysons-based Spire Global will launch six satellites on the SpaceX Transporter-6 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station no earlier than January 2023. The satellites will demonstrate advancements and new capabilities for Spire’s weather and aviation solutions. “Satellites and payloads are continuing to get smaller and more powerful,” said Jeroen Cappaert, Spire CTO and Co-founder. “We’re capitalizing on this rapid pace of innovation and miniaturization to continue to enhance our constellation with cutting-edge technology that drives new applications of satellite data. The applications we’re demonstrating for aviation tracking and precipitation data will play a crucial role in solving some of the greatest challenges we face on Earth, such as overcoming climate change with more accurate weather forecasting and bringing transparency to the supply chain.” The Wall Street Journal picked up the release.

Tech accelerator contract: VentureScope, a Tysons consulting and venture investment firm, scored a yearlong contract to operate a tech accelerator for the Air Force to help train service members in entrepreneurship skills and help them solve technical or other problems in ways the military branch could replicate from a single base to a global scale. The Tysons firm won a small-business innovation research (SBIR) program contract in August to help U.S. Air Force build up the Refinery, an accelerator launched a few months earlier by AFWERX, the innovation arm of the Air Force Research Laboratory. The aim: to help members of the Air Force and Space Force develop new products and technology and prepare for post-military careers. The Washington Business Journal has more about VentureScope in an article for subscribers.

A big deal: Reston-based Leidos, Herndon-based Peraton, and Herndon-based Serco are among the eight vendors selected by the U.S. Navy to share as much as $4.1 billion over the next decade for computers and networking equipment for cyber warfare aboard Navy surface warships and submarines, Military + Space Electronics reported.

New leadership: Los Angeles and McLean-based Epirus has named Aerospace & Defense industry veteran Ken Bedingfield as CEO. Bedingfield most recently served as President, CFO and COO at Epirus and will succeed former CEO Leigh Madden. “I would like to thank the Epirus Board of Directors for the support and confidence that it has placed in me to lead the company as we continue to identify and develop solutions that protect our warfighters and critical infrastructure, as well as improve power efficiency in electronic systems,” said Ken Bedingfield, CEO, Epirus. GovConWire has more.

Green light: Fairfax County  approved a move by PREIT to sell two Springfield Town Center parcels for hotel and multifamily uses. The sale is expected to net the shopping center-focused REIT $20 million according to a press release. The parcels are expected to deliver 460 apartments and a 165-room hotel, Bisnow reported. “We are thrilled to receive a green light on the multi-use development that was conceived prior to the 2014 mall redevelopment,” said Joseph F. Coradino, Chairman & CEO of PREIT. “The addition of apartments and hotel rooms will result in growing our customer base and delivers value to our existing tenants, while allowing us to harvest capital from our highly desirable real estate.”

Stronger voice for the needs of the business community: Members of the local business community and Fairfax County officials came together Dec. 9 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Springfield to celebrate the official launch of the newly branded Mount Vernon Springfield Chamber of Commerce and to recognize several individuals and businesses that received awards, reported On the Move. The chamber — formed by the merger of the former Mount Vernon-Lee and Greater Springfield Chambers of Commerce — serves businesses in eastern Fairfax County, including Burke, Franconia, Kingstowne, Lorton, Mount Vernon, Springfield and South Alexandria. Bringing together the two legacy chambers was a gradual process that began this past summer with the aim of creating a regional business organization with “a stronger voice for the needs of the business community,” according to Alex Thalacker, newly appointed chairman of the Mount Vernon Springfield Chamber. Thalacker is also a national business investment manager at the FCEDA.

Contract Wins

Aeyon (Tysons) obtained a $516.9 million contract from NASA for financial management consulting services in support of financial operation consolidation efforts at seven of its 10 centers during a contracting period of up to eight years. GovConWire

Leidos (Reston) won a $334 million contract from the Air Force to support the development of a larger class air-breathing hypersonic system that will employ a standardized payload interface to carry out multiple missions. GovConWire

Science Applications International Corp. (Reston) obtained a $150 million contract from the Transportation Security Administration to continue executing operational testing and assessing TSA airport screening equipment and non-screening systems. ExecutiveBiz

Northrop Grumman (Falls Church area) will conduct phase E operations and maintenance work on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope under a $31.2 million contract. ExecutiveBiz

Metron (Reston) received a $7.8 million contract from the Office of Naval Research for “advanced algorithm development for autonomous marine systems” that will support improved data autonomy capabilities across U.S. Navy un-crewed underwater vehicles. Military Embedded Systems

FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events

January 10 — Entrepreneurship 101: Starting A Business in Fairfax County. Join our panel of small business experts for an in-person event at our Tysons HQ on how to start your business. We will provide you with informative step-by-step information sessions that will cover registering your business, permitting requirements, business feasibility and business plan basics, business certifications, financing options and government resources. Presented by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA), in partnership with the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), the Community Business Partnership (CBP), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Fairfax County Department of Economic Initiatives (DEI). Our featured guest speaker will be Ashley Chen, Founder/CEO of ActioNet. Click here to register.

January 31 (in-person) & February 1, (virtual) — Tech & Cyber Hybrid Networking & Hiring Event. Build a meaningful career in Northern Virginia’s tech & cyber industry – where employers are building tech that matters. From satellites that fuel space exploration to code that keeps our government’s data safe, you can make a difference in your local and global community through a tech career here. Network with hiring companies in the IT sector ranging from defense and aerospace to healthcare and renewable energy at this free in-person and virtual event. Click here to register.

FCEDA is Here to Help Your Business Thrive

Fairfax County EDA is here to connect businesses of all kinds to resources and information. For direct assistance, email the FCEDA at info@fceda.org, or call 703-790-0600 to leave a voice message for our staff. And click here for resources available in the other nine jurisdictions that make up the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance.