Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for Dec. 15, 2020

On a roll: Reston-headquartered Leidos acquired 1901 Group for $215 million. The deal will shift 1901 Group, which also is based in Reston and specializes in managed information-technology services and cloud solutions, into Leidos’ defense business segment, providing customers with enhanced cloud, cybersecurity and enterprise-scale digital modernization capabilities. 1901 Group formed in 2009, when CEO-founder Sonu Singh decided to offer government agencies cloud-backed IT services as a way to help infuse more innovation into their enterprise technology budget rather than expend it on propping up legacy technology. The acquisition is Leidos’ second purchase since February’s $1 billion buy of L3Harris Technologies units, according to the Washington Business Journal.

Standing true: The Washington Business Journal named Horacio Rozanski, president and CEO of Tysons-headquartered Booz Allen Hamilton, its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Champion in its annual “CEO of the year and C-suite awards.” Rozanski, who began his career at Booz Allen as an intern in its Buenos Aires office three decades ago, has advanced the firm’s history of making diversity and inclusion a focal point of its day-to-day operations. “As an immigrant, one of the things you do is you look to blend in,” says Rozanski, who grew up in Argentina before coming to the U.S. for college. “I think you edit yourself in some ways when you do that. And when you edit yourself, you are less than your true self.”

Combining forces: Information technology and services companies Octo, based in Reston, and Sevatec, based in Fairfax, are merging to create a larger middle-tier federal IT player. Octo’s merger with Sevatec puts to the market a competitor of at least $300 million in annual revenue with around 1,100 employees. The combination will seek to introduce analytics capabilities as part of their broader modernization offering to GSA, particularly with its contract management functions and applications. “The combination of our skillsets (is) very powerful, I think it really does make a pure-play digital modernization company in this market at a size and scale that arguably probably doesn’t exist today,” Sevatec founder and CEO Sonny Kakar said, according to Washington Technology.

Satellite view: Australian space company Electro Optic Systems Holdings (EOS) formed a wholly owned arm SpaceLink in McLean, with David Bettinger, former vice president of Tysons-headquartered OneWeb as the CEO. SpaceLink will provide a secure, continuous, high-capacity data-relay service between near-Earth space and the ground. EOS already has a presence in the US with EOS Defense Systems USA, and Spacelink will be sister company, GeoSpatial World reported.

Full speed ahead: Fairfax County is charting out a path to ensure that the Huntington area, across Cameron Run from the city of Alexandria, will see the same sort of mixed-use redevelopment coming to the rest of the Richmond Highway corridor. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors signed off on changes to the area’s planning documents to allow more density for any new construction there. The board also removed long-held plans for a grade-separated interchange at Richmond Highway and Huntington Avenue. The story notes that the Fairfax County EDA is studying how to best market the neighborhood as part of a holistic review of the Richmond Highway corridor. Find out more of the steps being taken in an article for subscribers in the Washington Business Journal.

Unforeseen threats: Security consultants say companies are looking for ways to manage increased threats targeting a workforce that is less secure while employees are working at home during COVID-19. Tysons-based Global Guardian in recent months has seen increased demand from companies seeking physical-security assessments and threat-management consultations, according to Mike McGarrity, the company’s vice president of global risk services. Companies and their executives have long been targets of protests or threats. “But you see more of it when there’s political tension or economic uncertainty,” McGarrity said, according to the the Wall Street Journal.

How sweet it is: While Elon Musk’s pursuit of traveling to the planet Mars is well known, his views on candy manufactured by McLean-based Mars has received some press. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published last week, SpaceX and Tesla’s Musk criticized candy-makers for losing touch on what customers want when they’re searching for a quick snack. In response, McLean-based Mars offered to send Musk some candy .“We would be delighted to deliver more smiles and some of our new innovations to Elon and the Tesla team,” Sarah Long, the chief marketing officer at Mars, told the Journal. Why all the opinions from Musk about candy? Turns out he likes to talk about food on occasion. And while he admits to usually skipping breakfast, Musk said when he does eat in the morning, he reaches for — wait for it — a Mars bar. The Washington Business Journal brought us this sweet story.

Bit by bit: Tysons-based business software company MicroStrategy said it will increase its bitcoin holdings by as much as $550 million. In August, the company had announced that it had converted $250 million from its cash holdings into more than 21,000 bitcoins, making it one of the first public companies to use cryptocurrency for cash holdings. The company announced in August it would keep its bitcoin holdings in its corporate treasury reserve, which MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor said would be the principal holding in its treasury-reserve strategy. Virginia Business summed up the news.

Adding another pillar: Fairfax-based 3Pillar Global, a leading developer of innovative digital products, is expanding its business through the acquisition of Arizona-based software development firm Tiempo Development. With three digital delivery centers across Mexico, the acquisition of Tiempo augments 3Pillar’s global footprint and enables enhanced data science, analytics, IoT, and cloud services. Tiempo’s more than 400 software engineers, product developers and innovation strategists bring a proven track record of delivering high performance digital solutions and agile outcomes for their clients. 3Pillar’s newly expanded global workforce will now exceed 1,600 team members across five countries, according to a release picked up by citybizlist.

Gaining acumen after picking up the slack: Salesforce, based in San Francisco, is acquiring Tysons-based professional services firm Acumen Solutions. The deal was announced the same day as it announced that it was acquiring workplace communication service company Slack. Salesforce said that Acumen would become part of Salesforce Professional Services. The statement called Acumen “a leading professional services firm with deep Salesforce knowledge and extensive industry expertise across public sector, manufacturing, financial services and more,” reported Virginia Business.

Mapping the last frontier: Fairfax-based engineering consulting firm Dewberry won a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) contract to complete updated hydrography (maps of bodies of water) for the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) for almost 10,000 square miles in northern Alaska. “The collaborative efforts of USGS, local stakeholders, and private companies such as Dewberry are paramount to making a project like this succeed,” Dewberry associate vice president Mark Safran said. “The updated hydrographic features of the NHD will be a benefit to all inhabitants as well as preserving the wilderness that Alaska is known for generations to come,” according to Virginia Business.

Inspiring girls: Rappaport, based in Tysons, expanded its relationship with She Believes in Me, a Herndon non-profit providing at-risk girls the opportunity to participate in activities designed to encourage, empower and inspire, by donating space at Worldgate Centre. “We are thrilled to be able to financially support She Believes in Me and the outstanding services they are offering young girls and their families in Herndon,” explained CEO Gary Rappaport, who along with his wife Daphne, has been a strong supporter of SBIM since its founding. “Making our community strong is important to our company. SBIM is filling a vital and growing need, and we are proud to make it easier for them to do so,” according to InsideNoVa.

Safety net: Science Applications International Corp., the Reston-based government contractor,  created the SAIC Charitable Foundation to provide a safety net for its employees and families when facing difficult circumstances. “We are committed to our employees, which include a focus on their health and safety so that we can continue to effectively serve our government customers and our nation,” said Amy Rall, SVP of SAIC’s Homeland and Justice Business Unit, and the president of the SAIC Charitable Foundation, reported Homeland Security Today.

Astronomical award: Falls Church-area Northrop Grumman is being recognized for significant contributions to the global space industry in 2020. SpaceNews honored Northrop Grumman with the Award for Excellence and Innovation as the Large Company of the Year. As a leader in national security, commercial and civil space, 2020 proved to be a year of significant growth and achievement for Northrop Grumman across its newly integrated space portfolio. Find out more in SpaceNews.

GovCon leaders: Eight Fairfax County-headquartered company executives were honored as ‘Top 10 Contracting Execs to Watch in 2020’ by WashingtonExec: Linda Asher, senior vice president, Booz Allen Hamilton (Tysons); LeNaye Willis-Lloyd; vice president of contract operations, Avantus Federal (Tysons); Michael Palensky; vice president of contracts, Maximus (Reston); Heather Dallara, vice president of contracts, PAE (Falls Church area); Tina Richards, senior vice president and chief procurement officer, Science Applications International Corp. (Reston); Rich Fisne, senior vice president of contracts and procurement, Alion Science and Technology (Tysons); Kim Denver, senior vice president and chief corporate contracts executive, Leidos (Reston); and Elizabeth Malone, executive vice president of contracts, procurement and risk Management, ASRC Federal (co-headquartered in Reston).

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

Leidos won a 10-year, $1.76 billion contract to continue implementing National Airspace System modernization programs for the Federal Aviation Administration. Virginia Business

General Dynamics’ information technology business secured a four-year, $241 million task order to help the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services implement a multi-cloud computing environment. GovConWire

Perspecta received a five-year, $112 million contract from the Space Development Agency to perform systems engineering and integration work. Virginia Business

PAE won a five-year, $98 million contract from the Air Force to provide electronic warfare operations training and infrastructure maintenance support in Europe and Africa. ExecutiveBiz

AT&T scored a $92 million contract from the FBI to provide additional FirstNet capabilities that support the agency’s operations. ExecutiveBiz

Northrop Grumman received a $73.2 million contract from the Air Force to incorporate new capabilities into a remote visual assessment tool in support of the Minuteman III missile’s production and deployment. ExecutiveBiz

Altamira Technologies received an $8.5 million contract from the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center for the Future Operationally Resilient Ground Evolution, or FORGE, which leads modernization for the nation’s missile warning ground systems for both next-generation and legacy programs. WashingtonExec

Geospark Analytics won a 3-year contract from NATO for use of the company’s Hyperion global threat and risk assessment platform and API. WashingtonExec

Featured business events

December 16 — NVTC Tech 100 Celebration. Join NVTC and hundreds of leaders from the technology community for the region’s largest (virtual) networking event of the year. Click here to register.

December 18 — Leadership Fairfax Awards. Leadership Fairfax presents the 24th annual Northern Virginia Leadership Awards that celebrate community leaders who are making a difference in Northern Virginia. Fairfax County Economic Development Authority President and CEO Victor Hoskins will receive the Regional Leadership Award. Click here to register.

January 12 — Entrepreneurship 101: Starting a Business in Fairfax County. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), the Community Business Partnership (CBP) and the Small Business Administration (SBA), conducts a free webinar for those persons that are interested in starting a business in Fairfax County. Click here for information.

January 28 — Cyber+Cloud Virtual Career Fair. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority presents this virtual hiring event with 20+ companies for professionals in the IT, cyber and cloud industries. It is open to all experience levels. Job-seekers with security clearances are encouraged to attend. Click here for more information and 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 sets up new statewide measures to contain COVID-19

The following measures took effect on December 14 in Virginia to contain the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19:

  • Modified Stay at Home Order: All individuals in Virginia must remain at their place of residence between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. Exceptions include obtaining food and goods, traveling to and from work, and seeking medical attention.
  • Universal mask requirement: All Virginians aged five and over are required to wear face coverings in indoor settings shared with others and when outdoors within six feet of another person. This order expands the current statewide mask mandate, which has been in place since May 29, and requires all individuals aged five and over to wear face coverings in indoor and outdoor public settings outside of their own household. These changes are consistent with new CDC guidelines, released December 4, which recommend universal wearing of face coverings.
  • Reduction in social gatherings: All social gatherings must be limited to 10 individuals, down from the current cap of 25 people. Social gatherings include, but are not limited to, parties, celebrations, or other social events, regardless of whether they occur indoors or outdoors. This does not apply to religious services, employment settings, or educational settings. Restaurants and retail stores are already governed by strict social distancing requirements, and are not included in this limit.
  • Continued limits on dining establishments: Virginia restaurants are currently governed by strict social distancing and sanitization requirements, which remain in place. The on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol remains prohibited after 10:00 p.m. in any restaurant, dining establishment, food court, brewery, microbrewery, distillery, winery, or tasting room. All restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms must close by midnight.
  • Teleworking: Employees that can telework are strongly encouraged to do so.

Find out more by clicking here.