Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for Nov. 10, 2020

Eric D. Reicin, president and CEO of BBB National Programs (left), and David Kelley, director of the FCEDA National Business Investment Division, prepare to cut the ceremonial ribbon at BBB National Programs’ new headquarters in Tysons. (Photo courtesy BBB National Programs)

Choosing Fairfax County: BBB National Programs opened a new headquarters in Tysons with a larger office footprint. BBB National Programs moved into more than 15,300 renovated square feet at 1676 International Drive, allowing for an expansion of operations for its growing portfolio of more than a dozen industry self-regulation and dispute-resolution programs. Some of BBB National’s programs began in 1971, and the organization was established as an independent nonprofit entity in 2019 after the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. Its programs help companies establish standards and best practices in advertising, privacy, customer warranty issues, children’s and teen privacy and marketing and dispute resolution. “As an organization that is proud to partner with the largest corporations and major law firms, the Tysons area of Fairfax County in Northern Virginia is a great location to serve our stakeholders,” said Eric D. Reicin, president and CEO of BBB National Programs, Virginia Business reported.

Microsoft going macro in Reston: Microsoft reached a deal to expand at Reston Town Center by about 45,000 square feet, separate from the 400,000-square-foot tech hub it said in May it would bring to the development. The new space adds to what Redwood, Wash.-based Microsoft is already leasing at Two Discovery Square, which stands at 12012 Sunset Hills Road. It’s also separately establishing a tech hub at Two Freedom Square, at 11955 Freedom Drive, bringing its total footprint across those two buildings to above 600,000 square feet, the Washington Business Journal reported.

Intern initiative: The Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia are partnering in an effort to increase the number of paid and credit-earning internships within the commonwealth. The public-private partnership, dubbed the Virginia Talent and Opportunity Partnership, works to help students get on-the-job training crucial for employers, lets them use that experience toward graduation and, it’s hoped, keeps that potential talent in Virginia. A number of large companies have already signed on to the task force that will determine how some of this will unfold, including Reston-headquartered Thompson Hospitality and Falls Church area-based Northrop Grumman. The Washington Business Journal worked up the news.

Buoying the storm: Tysons-headquartered Hilton Worldwide Holdings saw some notable improvements during the third quarter after a rough second quarter because of the pandemic, and CEO Chris Nassetta predicted spring of 2021 could bring the next phase of recovery for the hotel industry. Hilton’s system-wide occupancy was down 36 percent in the third quarter, but Hilton was buoyed by its performance in the Asia-Pacific region, which only saw a 21 percent occupancy drop. In the second quarter, system-wide occupancy was down 56.1 percent compared to the same period in 2019. The company was able to welcome back most of its furloughed corporate employees in Q3, according to Nassetta, and navigated the first phase of re-opening of its corporate offices. The hotel giant also opened 133 new hotels totaling 17,100 rooms during the quarter, the Washington Business Journal reports.

Expanding its footprint: Inova Health System acquired more land near its Inova HealthPlex Franconia-Springfield, growing the footprint of a new hospital campus it intends to build there. The Merrifield-based nonprofit has now bought roughly 13 acres on Lewin Drive from Washington, D.C.’s, Monument Realty and its partner, New York-based Atlas Capital Group. It adds to land Inova already owns there, forming a combined 21-acre property where it plans to construct a new acute-care facility adjacent to the existing HealthPlex, the Washington Business Journal reported.

Wall Street wonders: Tysons-based Iridium Communications, along with three Reston-based companies — NVR, Verisign and Maximus — are among the “10 D.C.-area public companies had a great decade on Wall Street,” according data crunched by reporter Andy Medici for a Washington Business Journal article. With the calculations limited to public companies with market capitalizations of at least $500 million in 2010, a few other regional companies did not meet the size requirements, but were also noteworthy, including Tysons-based GTT Communications, which saw a market cap increase of 1,839 percent, according to the article.

On cloud nine: Falls Church area-headquartered General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) won a $4.4 billion Defense Enterprise Office Solution (DEOS) contract by the General Services Administration (GSA) in partnership with the Defense Department (DoD) and the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). DEOS will streamline the DoD’s use of cloud email and collaborative tools while enhancing cybersecurity and information sharing across the DoD’s enterprise based on the latest commercial technology. “GDIT looks forward to our continued partnership with GSA, the DoD and DISA in achieving the goals outlined in the DoD Cloud Strategy. DEOS will provide new and powerful collaboration capabilities to users across the enterprise and all the way to the tactical edge while driving efficiencies and enhancing the DoD security posture,” said Amy Gilliland, president at GDIT, in a release picked up by citybizlist.

Remote resiliency: Reston-headquartered Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) launched its “R3 portfolio of solutions” designed to help federal government customers meet new work challenges and opportunities related to remote work, resiliency, and digital government services resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.” All agencies have to provide a safe and secure work environment, whether remote or in the building. Government simply cannot do its job without relevant solutions that are effective and can be deployed fast,” said Mark Forman, SAIC’s vice president of digital government strategy and co-chair of the company’s CARES Task Force. ExecutiveBiz has more.

Parsons gets more spacial: Centreville-based Parsons will acquire Colorado-based Braxton Science & Technology Group (BSTG) in a deal valued at $300 million. More than 370 Braxton employees — with a majority of them holding security clearances — will become part of Parsons’ space and geospatial solutions market once the deal is complete. “The addition of BSTG complements our space portfolio, increases our product offerings in high-growth markets, and adds critical intellectual property that complements and expands our capabilities for the U.S. Air Force, Space Force, and research laboratories,” said Chuck Harrington, chairman and CEO of Parsons. Space News launched a story about the deal.

An ocean view for Dewberry: Fairfax-headquartered Dewberry has partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to develop a cloud-based information technology that will open up data from the Coast Guard’s Automatic Identification System (AIS). The company said it designed a cloud-based online repository of AIS data that NOAA personnel collect, process and distribute for public access via the agency’s Marine Cadastre Project. AIS users can learn about the classification, name, course, speed and registration number of ships through the database. ExecutiveBiz anchored the story.

Street smarts: StreetShares, a Reston-based developer of a platform used by banks and credit unions to make small business loans, secured $10 million in its latest funding round. StreetShares said it has doubled the number of clients using its platform since the beginning of the year, as financial institutions looked to make Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans digitally. “We’re seeing exciting digital adoption by banks and credit unions in response to COVID-19,” said Mark Rockefeller, CEO of StreetShares. The company was founded in 2014 as a digital lender to small businesses owned by veterans. Potomac Tech Wire picked up a release.

Expanding its core market: PAE, a Tysons-based provider of technology to the government and military, reached an agreement to acquire CENTRA Technology, a provider of intelligence technology for $208 million. In addition to a workforce of 760 employees based in Arlington, Va. and Burlington, Mass., Centra also brings its presence on several Department of Defense, civilian agency, state and local government, and commercial services customers, touching everything from cyber and IT analysis to intelligence and risk management services. “Our strategy is focused on extending into adjacent business areas, adding complementary capabilities and expanding our core addressable market,” said PAE president and CEO John Heller, according to the Washington Business Journal.

Making its public debut: Reston telemedicine technology company SOC Telemed went public, beginning trading November 2 on Nasdaq. The company announced its public offering following its merger with Healthcare Merger Corp. (HCMC), a special purpose acquisition company. Merger transaction details were not disclosed. “Virtual care is a critical component of today’s health care industry and SOC Telemed is well-positioned to accelerate its penetration of the broad and fast-growing acute telemedicine market. I am confident in our ability to expand and benefit from the trends that are driving rapid adoption of telemedicine,” said SOC Telemed’s CEO John Kalix, reported Virginia Business.

Expanding to the Great White North: Tysons-based staffing company Digital Intelligence Systems  (DISYS) has opened an office in Ontario. DISYS has been doing business in Canada since 2014 but this is its first physical presence there. “Having a physical location in a prestigious area of downtown Toronto will give us a level playing field with other companies in the staffing industry who have been operating in the Canadian landscape for many years,” DISYS founder and CEO Mahfuz Ahmed said. “This expansion demonstrates our seriousness as a longevity partner, and will give our many U.S.-based clients who have Canadian operations the incentive to route staffing business to DISYS.” according to Virginia Business.

More walkable development: Tysons-based developer KETTLER broke ground on the next stage of The Mile, a project that will transform a 45-acre area of space northwest of Tysons Galleria. Brentford, the second phase of the development, will be a 411-unit mid-rise apartment community in walking distance from all the major employers, shopping, restaurants and entertainment in the area. “As a business operator in Tysons, our company has felt the positive impact that redevelopments have had on our community,” KETTLER President Cynthia Fisher said. Tysons Reporter provided the update.

More in store: Wegmans Food Markets open the doors to its roughly 80,000-square-foot Tysons store, the first urban-format outpost for the wildly popular grocer in the Washington area. The store is located on Capital One’s growing mixed-use campus just off Route 123 by the McLean Metro Station. See photos of the store in the Washington Business Journal.

Diplomatic park: A 5.45-acre plot of land in McLean that was owned since 1977 by former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski and his artist wife, Emilie Brzezinski, has been purchased by the Fairfax County Park Authority. The Park Authority intends to preserve the open space and create a community park. The lot is located near the intersection of Spring Hill Road and Old Dominion Drive, WTOP reported.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

Science Applications International Corp. won a $737 million contract from the Air Force to implement, integrate and develop modeling and simulation training and analysis standards for the Air Force, Department of Defense and other organizations. Virginia Business

Perspecta scored multiple classified programs worth a total value of more than $519 million to provide mission support to U.S. government customers, including high-end systems engineering and integration, data analytics, cybersecurity, cloud/IT services and software development. Virginia Business

Northrop Grumman received a $91 million contract to produce tech systems to be used on Army, Navy and Marine Corps aircraft. Virginia Business

ManTech booked an $85 million contract from the Navy to manage the Operational Test Program Set used by the Naval Surface Warfare Center to ensure advanced weapon systems’ reliability and maintenance. Virginia Business

Leidos obtained a $75 million contract from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to provide services and support for the cloud-based Defense Civilian Human Resource Management System. Virginia Business

Featured business events

November 10 — Tysons 2050. Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce presents a livestreamed event from 1st Stage in Tysons. This signature event is a community-building event, focused on sharing insights and visions on the future of Tysons. Click here to register.

November 10 — Entrepreneurship 101: Starting a Business in Fairfax County.  The FCEDA, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and Community Business Partnership (CBP), presents its free monthly workshop for individuals interested in starting a business in Fairfax County. Click here to register.

November 10 — Government Contracting in a Changed World. George Mason University Center for Government Contracting and Defense Acquisition University present a virtual conference, with this module focusing on acquisition and procurement. Click here to register.

November 19 — Tech4Growth: Boost with Facebook, Small Business Training. Hosted by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, in conjunction with Facebook and the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance, join us for an informative webinar on the fundamentals of establishing and building your company’s brand on Facebook and Instagram. Click here to register.

November 19 — Recruiting & Onboarding In Virtual Times. The Netherlands America Chamber of Commerce presents a webinar on recruiting strategies during COVID-19. Presenters will include Nilesh Shroff, head of systems of insights AI/Ml, Verizon; Aravind Pamula, founder and president, Futurali; Frank De Bloois, president of the Americas, Expereo US; Thomas Vilmer, senior region director, TMC; Michael Batt, director, talent initiative, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. Click here to register.

December 8 — Government Contracting in a Changed World. George Mason University Center for Government Contracting and Defense Acquisition University present a virtual conference, with this module focusing on operations. Click here to register.

How the Fairfax County EDA can help

Forward Virginia Phase 3 reopening guidelines: Fairfax County began the third phase of re-opening businesses on July 1. The Forward Virginia plan provides guidelines that all businesses must follow. Residents are still advised that they are “safer at home.” Click here to find out the updated guidelines.

Get business assistance: 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.