Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for October 14, 2021: DRCE helps vets drive again, Booz expands targets, SAIC eyes four-day workweek
On the road again: Fairfax County-based Driver Rehabilitation Center of Excellence (DRCE) was launched in 2016, becoming the nation’s first driving rehabilitation program offering a full suite of services aimed at helping people who are either injured or physically challenged, Fox News reported. DRCE was established by Josh Himan and Tammy Phipps, who first met at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., where Phipps had developed the first and only driver rehab program in the Department of Defense. One of her patients was Himan, a Marine veteran who was left paralyzed from the waist down after his vehicle drove over an IED during the last month of his deployment in 2009. Based in Chantilly, DRCE staff will evaluate drivers and help them find auto-adaptive equipment that’s best suited to their needs. DRCE installs the equipment for the driver and, through their driving rehabilitation programs, gets them comfortably back on the road. Watch the broadcast segment by clicking here. And listen to Entrepreneur.com’s recent Action & Ambition podcast interview with Phipps and Himan by clicking here.
Influential talent campaigns: Social media influencers are helping localities to attract remote workers, including to Fairfax County, AdAge reported in an article for subscribers. The FCEDA launched a campaign in August of last year and another in May of this year that highlighted its virtual career fairs. The campaigns used influencers both locally and in other cities like San Francisco and New York to remind followers that they didn’t need to work in these expensive cities to work in tech. Virginia has plenty of ties to the tech sector, including a Microsoft campus and Amazon’s second headquarters. “We wanted to highlight the Fairfax lifestyle — our wineries, rivers, mountains — while also showing potential candidates all the job opportunities here,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA.
Booz expands targets: Tysons-based consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton plans to step up its spending on acquisitions over the next few years, targeting companies to expand its capabilities in areas such as healthcare technology and cybersecurity services, the Wall Street Journal reported. Booz Allen plans to spend about $4 billion between April 2022 and March 2025, largely on acquisitions, executives said last week at the company’s investor day. That is up from the $1.3 billion it spent in total during the past four fiscal years, the most recent ending in March. The shift comes as competitors—including Leidos and Science Applications International Corp., both based in Reston, which were one company until a 2013 spinoff—are snatching up other businesses, according to the article.
Four-day flexibility: Reston-based IT services firm Science Applications International Corporation is bringing on a new policy in its workplace culture tool kit: a flexible, four-day workweek. In line with a slew of initiatives that will be fully implemented by the start of the company’s fiscal year on February 1, SAIC is giving employees the option to change their weekly schedules. As of this fall, employees of the 26,000-person company can elect to work a few extra hours each day in order to have one extra day off per week, technical.ly/DC reported.
Women who mean business: Women leaders at eight companies and organizations in Fairfax county were recognized as “Women Who Mean Business,” an annual award given out by the Washington Business Journal: Alma Angotti, partner and global legislative and regulatory risk leader, Guidehouse (Tysons); Julie Bowen, chief legal officer and senior vice president of operations at MITRE (Tysons); Monica Modi Dalwadi, managing partner, D.C. metro region, Baker Tilly (Tysons); Kathryn Falk, vice president and market leader, Cox Communications Northern Virginia (Herndon); Anne Kress, president, Northern Virginia Community College (Annandale); Susan Penfield, executive vice president and chief innovation officer, Booz Allen Hamilton (Tysons); Monica Schmude, president, Mid-Atlantic market Cigna (Tysons); and Sadhvi Subramanian, senior vice president/Mid Atlantic market manager, commercial real estate, at Capital One (Tysons). In addition, three female business leaders in Arlington, a Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance region jurisdiction, were recognized with the award: Catherine Buell, head of community development, Amazon.com; Molly Fogarty, vice president, government relations and public affairs, Nestle USA; and Tracy Sayegh Gabriel, president and executive director, National Landing Business Improvement District.
Now that’s a tasty delivery! Northern Virginia’s first commercial food drone delivery was completed Thursday morning, with a food delivery in Loudoun County, The Winchester Star reported. Through a partnership with Xelevate Solutions, a new unmanned flight training center opening this month in Leesburg, and Vayu Aerospace, a drone manufacturer based in Ann Arbor, Mich. the two organizations teamed up with owner of Roots 657 café and local market in Leesburg, for a proof of concept by delivering a freshly-made brisket sandwich using a custom-built U.S. drone made by Vayu.
Tech titans: A Fairfax County-based company and leader were among those honored with Timmy Awards for the D.C. metropolitan region by Tech in Motion: Tysons-based 10Pearls for Best Tech Work Culture (small-medium employers); and Ashish Kachru, president of Reston-based Altruista Health for Best Tech Manager, according to technical.ly/DC. The Timmy Awards is an annual event highlighting tech leaders and companies in the region.
Distinguished service: Tysons-based PenFed Credit Union President and CEO James Schenck received the Association of the United States Army’s John W. Dixon Award. Established in 1989, the award is presented annually to one individual for “distinguished service in the industrial community resulting in outstanding contributions to national defense.” Schenck also serves as the CEO of the PenFed Foundation, which has raised over $40 million to help military veterans heal their wounds, pay their bills, own their first homes, and start their own businesses. In addition to his work with PenFed, Schenck volunteers on the board of Armed Services Arts Partnership and supports dozens of other organizations contributing to our national defense, InsideNoVa reported. Check out the FCEDA’s recent interview with Schenck by clicking here.
Faster and bolder: Tysons-based MITRE established two organizations that will explore approaches to protect critical infrastructure from cyber threats and address challenges in the public health care system. The Cyber Infrastructure Protection Innovation Center and Clinical Insights Innovation Cell will operate under MITRE Labs, which was created to advance applied science and technology innovation. “These new groups will help us move faster, be bolder, and act as better partners for securing our nation’s critical infrastructure and leveraging clinical and genomic data to tackle the problems of infectious disease and the promise of precision medicine,” said Charles Clancy, senior vice president and general manager of MITRE Labs.
Master work: Columbia, Md.-based cyber company MasterPeace acquired Full Suite Solutions, a Reston-based company that provides software to intelligence community agencies. It brings the combined company, which will operate as MasterPeace, to a team of about 100 employees. MasterPeace Solutions CEO Drew Cohen said it allows the company to bring its services into the other side of the DC metro area. “We can take what MasterPeace is doing in the Columbia, Md. area and expand it to similar clients in the Northern Virginia area,” Cohen told Technical.ly.
Sky-high traffic management: Tysons-based LMI will advise the National Aeronautics and Space Administration by conducting a future-focused research study to assess the market and traffic management requirements for altitudes above 60,000 feet over sea level in the National Airspace System. “Commercial industry is rapidly developing new capabilities in this airspace,” says Jeff Wehner, director of LMI’s civilian market. “LMI is honored to support NASA with this important research to ensure that the regulations stay ahead of technology advancements.” Intelligence Community News has more.
Drone detection: Reston-based CACI International introduced two new tactical platforms designed to counter threats posed by unmanned aircraft systems to its suite of counter-drone platforms. Todd Probert, president of national security and innovative solutions at CACI, said the company’s new platforms come with technologies designed to detect, track and counter emerging threats to national security, ExecutiveBiz reported.
And three satellites make nine: Herndon-based HawkEye 360’s third cluster of radio frequency (RF) data-delivering satellites, known as Cluster 3, completed functional testing and achieved initial operating capability, ExecutiveBiz reported. Cluster 3 entered orbit on June 30 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, and it has moved into formation and begun delivering RF data and insights, the company said. With the Cluster 3 commissioning, HawkEye 360 now has nine satellites in orbit.
Guiding an electric fleet: The General Services Administration partnered with Tysons-based Guidehouse to develop strategies for the federal government to grow and manage its fleet of electric vehicles. Guidehouse said Tuesday it will help the GSA Office of Fleet Management to implement the company’s software suite comprising reporting, analytics and training tools. The Veritas Capital-backed consulting firm aims to provide recommendations for government wide adoption and fielding of as many as 200,000 zero-emission vehicles, GovConWire reported.
Get your passports ready: United Airlines is adding a slew of new trans-Atlantic flights by next summer in anticipation of a surge in travel, including four direct routes from Washington Dulles International Airport. The airline is adding two new direct flights next year from Dulles — to Berlin, Germany in the spring and Amman, Jordan in the summer. The flights are still pending government approval. The Washington Business Journal flew in the news.
Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County
Serco secured a five-year $33 million Space Fence Operations and Maintenance contract from the U.S. Space Force’s Space Operations Command (SpOC) to provide management, operation, maintenance and logistical support for SpOC’s Space Fence surveillance system. Intelligence Community News
Featured business events
October 19-20 — Accelerate 2022. Sponsored by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, Accelerate 2022 is an investor conference and startup business competition that showcases Northern Virginia as a powerhouse for innovation and business opportunity. Click here to register.
October 19 — 2021 State of Economic Growth. The Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce presents its annual State of Economic Growth, hosted by Stephen Moret, president and CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, and the leaders of the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance, including Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. Click here to register.
October 22 – NVTC Capital Cybersecurity Summit & Capital Cyber Awards. The Northern Virginia Technology Council presents its 6th Annual NVTC Capital Cybersecurity Summit & Capital Cyber Awards: Bridging the Gap Between Policy and Practice. Click here to register.
October 27-29 — TiE DC’s 4th Annual Capital GovCon 2021. Sponsored by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, this event which brings together over 300 small business owners and professionals and features government and industry leaders making significant digital transformation efforts across their respective agencies. Click here to register.
October 27: Business Education Series: Cash Flow Strategies for Small Business. Sponsored by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce presents a webinar featuring Randy Jones, a Wealth Management Advisor at First Financial Group. Click here to register.
November 4 — Veteran & Military Family Career Day. Sponsored by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, Fort Belvoir, the Northern Virginia Technology Council, Fairfax County Department of Economic Initiatives and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, this event will be held at the National Museum of the U.S. Army at Fort Belvoir. Click here to register.
November 10 — Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit, PR Summit DC. Co-produced by Potomac Tech Wire and Capitol Communicator, the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit brings together over 500 CMOs, senior marketers, communicators, agency professionals and technology executives at Capital One Hall in Tysons and virtually. Sponsored the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, the summit features dozens of panels, keynotes, and presentations. 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 email@example.com, 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.