Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for April 13, 2021: Best Places to Work list

Best places to work: The Washington Business Journal is out with its 15th annual “75 Best Places to Work in Greater Washington” list and we are proud to say that Fairfax County and Northern Virginia businesses dominate the list. Among the 34 businesses in Fairfax County are Splunk (Tysons), Salesforce (Reston), Acuity (Reston), Expel (Herndon), Sequoia Holdings (Reston), M2 Strategy (Tysons), AnaVation (Chantilly) and Matrix Consulting (Reston). Another 14 companies from around Northern Virginia made the list, including integrateIT (Ashburn), Kearney & Co. (Alexandria) and Lovelytics (Arlington). Doing the math, we get 48 out of 75 (64 percent) of the listed businesses hail from NOVA. Companies made the list based on survey responses from their employees on perks, leadership, office space, culture and more, according to the Business Journal. Click here to check out the full list.

Sky-high investment: HawkEye 360, a Herndon-based global commercial provider of space-based radio frequency data and analytics, secured $55 million in Series C funding, bringing its total raised to over $155 million. The company intends to use the funds to develop and launch three additional satellite clusters, expanding the scope of HawkEye 360’s planned constellation. When fully deployed by the end of 2022, the company will have nine next-generation satellite clusters in orbit. Check out this release picked up by citybizlist for more. And see the FCEDA’s interview with HawkEye 360’s CEO John Serafini by clicking here.

Keeping the pace: As the nation begins to look past the coronavirus pandemic, things are looking up in Fairfax County, Bisnow reports in a story about the Reston-Herndon commercial real estate market. Virginia’s most populous county held onto its title as home to a large concentration of government contracting jobs, IT firms and Fortune 500 companies during the pandemic. “With the deals signed by Microsoft, Volkswagen Group of America, Google and others, the Reston-Herndon office market has been one of the most active and positive during the pandemic,” Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA said. “With the proximity to Washington Dulles International Airport, Reston and Herndon have so many of the assets and amenities that businesses and talent want to have, and it really shows in the level of activity the market has had in the last year.” And find out how development is keeping on pace in Herndon and Reston, despite delays with phase two of the Silver Line construction, in this Bisnow piece.

Another captain-less ship on the high seas: Reston-based Leidos has successfully delivered an unmanned surface vehicle to the Navy designed to deliver enhanced naval capabilities. Known as Seahawk, the advanced autonomous vessel was built under a contract awarded by the Office of Naval Research in December 2017. Leidos Vice President Nevin Carr said, “As technology continues to accelerate and adversaries become more sophisticated, our customers must constantly evolve. We are honored to provide this latest technological advancement to America’s sailors who fight to keep the seas open and free.” Designed as a long-range, high-availability autonomous surface vessel, Seahawk features a trimaran (three-part) hull. Find out more in Navy Technology. And check out FCEDA’s recent interview with Leidos’ CFO Jim Reagan by clicking here.

Billion dollar deal bonanza: On the heels of an $830 million U.S. Army contract won in February, Reston-based Science Applications International Corp. has landed two more Army contracts worth a combined $4.4 billion. The Fortune 500 defense contractor says both contracts will provide systems engineering services to support the Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, Aviation & Missile Center and its S3I Directorate — Software, Simulation, Systems Engineering and Integration. “We look forward to extending our support to the Army and our warfighters for many years to come,” Gabe Camarillo, senior vice president of SAIC’s Army Business Unit, said. Virginia Business has more.

A SPAC-tacular IPO: Israeli digital forensics startup Cellebrite, an Israeli company which has an office in Tysons, is set to go public via a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) through a merger with TWC Tech Holdings II Corp. in a deal that values the company at about $2.4 billion. Cellebrite intends to use the proceeds from the transaction to accelerate plans to pursue significant near-term growth opportunities, develop new customer solutions and expand its market reach, siliconANGLE reported.

Employing our Veterans: U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh visited Vantage Point Consulting in Reston on Friday to talk about The American Jobs Plan and how it could help recent veterans and others transition back into the workforce. Vantage Point Consulting is a small business that specializes in helping people plan for their careers. The discussion focused on ways to create workforce opportunities, not just for veterans, but for others seeking to advance their careers or those reentering the job force in the aftermath of the pandemic. Walsh said that it was important to visit companies like Vantage Point that are helping veterans transition back into civilian life after service, Reston Patch reported.

Protecting schools: Senseware, a Tysons-based developer of an air quality monitoring platform for commercial and industrial buildings, has been chosen to provide its monitoring services at the District of Columbia’s 112 public schools. During the COVID pandemic, air quality at schools has taken on heightened importance. Senseware will provide real-time data on air quality at the schools, along with recommendations for making improvements. “This platform will allow us to answer the most basic question— is it working and what we can do to continue to improve the indoor air quality,” the D.C. Public Schools and the Department of General Services said a statement. Potomac Tech Wire carried the release. And check out the FCEDA’s interview with  Serene Al-Momen, Senseware’s co-founder and CEO, by clicking here.

Super staffing: In a deal that will create one of the largest IT staffing firms in the U.S., Digital Intelligence Systems (DISYS), a Tysons-based managed services and staffing firm, agreed to acquire Florida-based Signature Consultants, an IT staffing firm. The combined companies will have annual revenues of $860 million and a footprint of over 40 offices. “For DISYS, combining forces with Signature is a great strategic fit for both of our organizations. This brings expanded opportunities as we continue to diversify our account portfolio and puts us within striking distance of becoming a $1 billion firm,” said Mahfuz Ahmed, CEO of DISYS. Virginia Business has more.

Stratospheric excellence: Tysons-based LMI and the Space Force Association, located in the Pentagon, established the Space Center of Excellence that will house collaborative efforts between industry, academia and the federal government in support of U.S. Space Force missions. The Space COE will host forums that focus on sharing research and ideas for programs involving the space domain. LMI will support Space COE’s efforts to launch educational and professional development initiatives in focus areas such as science and technology, strategy and policy. Bill Woolf, president and founder of SFA, said the center’s first task will revolve around quantifying opportunities and challenges for the Space Force, according to ExecutiveBiz.

British connection: UK.-based cybersecurity company Garrison Technology launched a five-member government advisory panel based in McLean. The panel, comprised of professionals from the U.S. and U.K. governments, will provide the company with leadership and guidance as it attempts to broaden its business with the federal government. Potomac Tech Wire carried the release.

Analytical acquisition: Information Analysis, a Fairfax-based IT firm, acquired Rockville-based Tellenger, a provider of cybersecurity and data analytics services. Information Analysis trades on the over-the-counter market. Potomac Tech Wire picked up the release.

Swept up in the wind: Chantilly-based IT services provider SolutionWorx has been acquired by WingSwept, a B2B tech services company based in Garner, North Carolina. The deal will allow the managed IT service providers to grow, and provide SolutionWorx with the resources of a larger organization. SolutionWorx’s location in the D.C. metro area added to the appeal, WingSwept noted, according to Virginia Business.

Under the sea: The U.S. arm of Israel’s Elbit Systems, Elbit Systems America, which has an office in Reston, completed its $380 million purchase of Florida-headquartered Sparton, a critical supplier of sonobuoys to the U.S. Navy and allies. Sparton will operate as a subsidiary of Elbit America with an independent board so that it can focus on undersea business activities with more sensitivity for U.S. customers, reported Defense News.

TV with a twist: Tysons-based Tegna, owner of 64 television stations including WUSA9 in D.C., has launched a 24-hour, women-oriented lifestyle and reality TV network called Twist — and watching it comes with a twist as well. Twist is not carried on cable channels, but is instead an over-the-air channel that viewers will find on digital sub-channels of its local broadcast television stations. Viewing those channels requires a digital over-the-air antenna, increasingly popular with consumers, WTOP reported.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

BAE Systems won a $600 million contract from the Air Force to supply support equipment for the international F-16 fleet. Air Force Technology

Perspecta’s research and engineering arm received two contracts worth $8.1 million combined to provide prototyping support for the Department of Defense’s 5G testbed initiatives. ExecutiveBiz

Alion Science and Technology secured a $77 million five-year contract from the Air Force to provide aircraft and weapons systems research and development for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office. Air Force Technology

Northrop Grumman obtained a five-year, $42.5 million contract from the Air Force to sustain a platform to manage cyberspace tools and weapon systems. ExecutiveBiz

ICF received a five-year, $33.9 million contract from NASA to help  administer a program that works to coordinate government agencies’ studies on changes. ExecutiveBiz

Salient CRGT won a contract to support the Navy’s Naval Education and Training Security Assistance Field Activity effort with the Royal Saudi Naval Forces. Naval Technology

Featured business events

April 14 — BES: Lack of Accountability Kills Productivity & Engagement. Here’s what to do about it. The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce presents a webinar featuring Gretchen Richards, Dynamic Business Capabilities. The session is part of the chamber’s Business Education Series. Click here to register.

April 15 — New Directions in Federal Spending & Contracting. George Mason University’s Center for Government Contracting presents the first in a three-part webinar series. Welcome remarks and the introduction will be provided by Maury Peiperl, dean, School of Business, George Mason University; Victor Hoskins, president and CEO, FCEDA; and Jerry McGinn, executive director, Center for Government Contracting, School of Business, George Mason University. Featured speakers will be Ross Wilkers, senior staff writer, Washington Technology; Michael Sanders, chief executive officer, Interactive Government Holdings and Center Advisory board member; and Dave Zvenyach, deputy commissioner and director, Technology Transformation Services, Federal Acquisition Service. Click here to register.

April 28 — BES: Virtual Leadership – The Role of Courage Building in Conflict Resolution. The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce presents a webinar featuring Laura Sharon, Principal of Imperative Dimensions and a Relationship Manager for TrainingPros. The session is part of the chamber’s Business Education Series. Click here to register.

May 4 — Entrepreneurship 101: Starting a Business in Fairfax County. The FCEDA and small-business experts from the Fairfax County-based Community Business Partnership, Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity and the U.S. Small Business Administration present an interactive webinar on how to start a business. This session’s Entrepreneurial Spotlight will feature Kristina Bouweiri, CEO of Reston Limousine, who will share valuable business tips based on her entrepreneurial journey. Click here to register.

May 6 — 9th Annual NoVA B2G Matchmaking Conference & Expo Online. The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce presents a virtual event that will include matchmaking, educational breakout sessions, a virtual Expo Hall, and innovative keynotes Click here to register.

May 6 — Tri-County Economic Development Update. The Committee for Dulles presents a conversation with representatives from Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William Counties regarding economic development activity updates featuring presentations by David Kelley (Fairfax County EDA), Brandon Farris (Loudoun County), and Michele Weatherly (Prince William County) on economic development activities for the three jurisdictions. Click here to register.

May 18 — ExportON! Emerging Tech Trade Forum Northern Virginia, USA/ Ontario, Canada. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and the Province of Ontario, Canada presents a program for innovative tech companies on partnership opportunities between the Province of Ontario and Northern Virginia. Click here to register.

May 20 — Entry-Level Professionals Virtual Career Fair. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority presents a free virtual career fair for entry-level professionals or recent (or soon-to-be) college graduates looking to launch their career at 25 leading companies in Northern Virginia. Click here to register.

How the Fairfax County EDA can help

The FCEDA is here to connect businesses of all kinds to resources and information. Visit the FCEDA’s Covid-19 Business Resource Hub for up-to-date 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.

Virginia measures to contain COVID-19

Starting Thursday, April 1, Governor Ralph Northam announced that certain sports and entertainment venues may begin to operate with additional capacity and indoor and outdoor gathering limits will increase. He amended Executive Order Seventy-Two with the next steps of the “Forward Virginia” plan to safely and gradually ease public health restrictions while mitigating the spread of the virus.

The Commonwealth will maintain a Safer at Home strategy with continued mitigation strategies like physical distancing, teleworking, and universal mask requirements. Key changes in the Fourth Amended Executive Order Seventy-Two include:

  • Social gatherings: The maximum number of individuals permitted in a social gathering will increase to 50 people for indoor settings and 100 people for outdoor settings. Social gatherings are currently limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.
  • Entertainment venues: All indoor and outdoor entertainment and public amusement venues must continue to operate at 30 percent capacity. Indoor venues must operate at 30 percent capacity or with a maximum of 500 people, an increase from the current cap of 250 people. Outdoor venues must operate at 30 percent capacity, with no specific cap on the number of attendees. These venues were previously limited to 30 percent capacity or up to 1,000 attendees, whichever was fewer. 
  • Recreational sporting events: The number of spectators allowed at recreational sporting events will increase from 25 to 100 people per field or 30 percent capacity, whichever is less for indoor settings, and from 250 to 500 people per field or 30 percent capacity, whichever is less for outdoor settings.
  • In-person graduation and commencement events: Governor Northam has issued preliminary guidance on safe in-person graduations and commencements, which included a cap of 5,000 people or 30 percent of the venue capacity for outdoor events, whichever is less. Events held indoors may have up to 500 people, or 30 percent of the venue capacity, whichever is less. Attendees must wear masks and follow other guidelines and safety protocols to ensure proper distancing.

The full text of Fourth Amended Executive Order Seventy-Two and Order of Public Health Emergency Nine is available here. Updated guidelines for specific sectors can be found here. Visit virginia.gov/coronavirus/forwardvirginia for more information and answers to frequently asked questions.

Virginia has now administered more than 4.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine and is currently giving approximately 50,000 shots per day. Virginians are strongly encouraged to make sure they are pre-registered at vaccinate.virginia.gov, or by calling 877-VAX-IN-VA, to ensure that the Virginia Department of Health has all the relevant information to reach out when individuals are eligible to schedule vaccination appointments.