E-Bird Newsletter

Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for September 2, 2021: Victor Hoskins on Virginia 500 power list, Leidos expanding, ID.me on a hiring spree

Power 500: In its second annual list, Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, was again named to Virginia Business magazine’s Virginia 500: The 2021 Power List, which highlights Virginia’s most powerful and influential leaders. Joining Hoskins on the list’s “Economic Development” category from the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance are Stephanie Landrum, president and CEO, Alexandria Economic Development Partnership; Buddy Rizer, executive director, Department Of Economic Development, Loudoun County; and Telly Tucker, director, Arlington Economic Development. Stu Solomon, president and CEO, Connected DMV, made the list, as did Stephen Moret, president and CEO, Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

But wait, there’s more: In addition, many influential Fairfax County-and NOVA EDA jurisdiction-based business, government, politics and education leaders are named on the Virginia 500 list. For example, in “Federal Contractors/Technology” category: Craig P. Abod, president, Carahsoft (Reston); and Laura K. Ipsen, president and CEO Ellucian (Reston). In the Finance/Insurance category: Ric Edelman, founder, Edelman Financial Engines (Fairfax); Jermaine Johnson, Greater Washington and Virginia regional president, PNC Financial Services, Tysons; and Mary McDuffie, president and CEO, Navy Federal Credit Union, Vienna. In the “Real Estate” category: Brendan Bechtel, chairman and CEO, Bechtel (Reston); and Julian G. Francis, president and CEO, Beacon Roofing Supply (Herndon). In the “Education” category: Gregory Washington, president, George Mason University (Fairfax);  and Anne M. Kress, president, Northern Virginia Community College (Annandale). See the full list here.

Bigger footprint: Leidos is expanding in Reston Town Center with addition of a software facility and training center at 11929 Market Street, Reston Now reported. The move is intended to serve customers’ needs, develop products and services, and act as an annex to its recently completed headquarters at 1750 Presidents Street, according to Leidos. “This continues our investments and growth in Reston/Fairfax County/Virginia and will bring added high-tech jobs to the area,” Tom Doheny, strategic communications and media relations director, said in a written statement.

This unicorn is no myth: Just six months after reaching unicorn status, growth continues for Tysons-based identity verification company ID.me. Earlier this year, the company closed a $100 million Series C round, raising its total valuation to $1.5 billion, with a number of investors betting on its verification technology. Now, the firm is continuing to march on with the digital-first era. CEO Blake Hall told Technical.ly that ID.me has 59 million users, adding about 200,000 new additions daily. It plans to have around 100 million Americans on its system by the end of the year. Additionally, 27 state workforce agencies use ID.me. Its valuation, according to Hall, is also several multiples higher than it was in February, when it became a unicorn.

Name that bloom: The Center for Innovative Technology GAP Funds, the Virginia government’s technology seed funding mechanism, invested in Centreville-based BloomCatch, a mobile plant identification app. In addition to identifying plants, the app links users with local plant stores and providers. Potomac Tech Wire picked up the release.

How to attract talent: Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA, was interviewed by College Recruiter on three ways that employers can attract and retain talent. Hoskins suggested three things: building spaces with amenities that employees want; collaborating with your local economic development organization; and highlighting the greater importance for employees’ work. Check out  College Recruiter for details.

Amazon-ian hiring spree: Amazon has hired more than 3,000 people for its Arlington-based second headquarters so far, the tech giant said Wednesday. The company said it is hiring for another 2,500 positions, including roles for software development engineers, technical sales representatives and program managers for Amazon Web Services, which has its the east coast headquarters in Herndon, the Washington Business Journal reported.

Jobs are Job #1: Northern Virginia is responsible for about half the jobs rebound across the Commonwealth over the past year, according to the Virginia Employment Commission. The local region has seen an increase of 70,800 jobs from July 2020 to July 2021, representing an uptick of 5.1 percent and totaling 49.2 percent of the 143,800 jobs gained statewide in that time frame. InsideNoVa has a few more numbers to digest about job creation statewide since the pandemic hit.

Combining corporations: Stu Shea, chairman, president and CEO of Herndon-based national security contractor Peraton, is overseeing the integration of two recently acquired businesses that marked some of Virginia’s most significant business deals in 2021. Earlier this year, Peraton completed both the $7.1 billion purchase of Chantilly federal IT contractor Perspecta and the $3.4 billion acquisition of Northrop Grumman’s federal IT and mission support services business, with the backing of Peraton parent company Veritas Capital. Shea says the integration of two longstanding companies with different cultures into Peraton, which was created in 2017 after Veritas purchased then-122-year-old Harris Corp. Government Services, has been a challenge, especially amid the worldwide pandemic. He anticipates that Peraton’s workforce of 22,000 will remain steady and ultimately grow over time. Virginia Business has more in a Q&A with Shea.

Dynamic discussion: Phebe Novakovic, chairman and CEO of Reston-based General Dynamics, spoke with Carlyle Group founder David Rubenstein for an episode of “The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations” show that aired August 17 on Bloomberg Television. During the interview, Novakovic talked about her time with the CIA, U.S. defense spending, and the need for a strong military. See the show by clicking here.

Reaching higher: Amazon Web Services (AWS) is expanding its space business. A year after establishing its Aerospace and Satellite business team, AWS is now supporting space services worldwide, said Clinton Crosier, director of that business unit. He said AWS has given him the personnel and resources needed to expand its work, including new capabilities he said the company will unveil “in the next number of months or so.” SpaceNews has more.

Coming into focus: Inova Health System’s plans for a new Springfield hospital campus are coming into focus, as the company takes its first steps toward a major expansion of its presence in southern Fairfax County. The Merrifield-based hospital system filed plans with the county last week outlining a proposal for roughly 831,000 square feet of new construction alongside its existing health complex located on Lewin Drive close to the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station. Find out more in an update from the Washington Business Journal.

A guiding light: Tysons-headquartered Guidehouse assumed responsibilities to administer the Small Business Administration’s 7(a) loan program intended to provide loans to small businesses. The consulting firm will provide loan and financial services and update technologies in support of SBA’s loan initiatives. Guidehouse said it entered into a joint business partnership with Fairfax-based Information Analysis and Reston-based LeapPoint among other firms to strengthen the business strategies and technology tools of the SBA 7(a) program, ExecutiveBiz reported.

Eye of the tiger: Tigercomm, a Tysons-based provider of clean energy marketing communications and public relations services, will acquire Tampa-based Chase Media Services. Tigercomm said the move will allow it to better meet an expanding contract flow from several, fast-growing clean economy sectors. Potomac Tech Wire carried the release.

Seminal acquisition: Washington, D.C.-based Government Executive Media Group acquired 1105 Media’s Public Sector 360 group based in Tysons. GovExec said it expects the acquisition to expand its government technology audience and database, further develop its engagement platform in the public sector and build up its subscription platforms, GovConWire reported. The company will also integrate into its portfolio several Public Sector 360 brands and platforms: FCW, Washington Technology, GCN, Defense Systems and The Fed 100.

Full STEM ahead: Construction plans for Virginia Tech’s graduate innovation campus in Alexandria are full speed ahead, according to the university’s team, which set a September 14 date for the  groundbreaking of the first academic building. The news comes as the university welcomes about 100 students for the graduate program’s third semester of instruction in a temporary Falls Church outpost, some of whom are learning in person for the first time. They likely will graduate before the debut of the $1 billion campus on a Potomac Yard site in the north end of Alexandria, the Washington Business Journal reported.

9/11 Remembrance Rally: The Military Women’s Memorial in Arlington and Tysons-based PenFed Credit Union partnered to support the 9/11 Remembrance Relay honoring the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the 177 servicewomen who have died in combat zones since Sept. 11, 2001. The relay will pay tribute to these heroes with a 177-mile walk from the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Penn., to the Military Women’s Memorial at the gateway to Arlington National Cemetery. PenFed CEO and president James Schenck and retired Chief Warrant Officer 5 Phyllis G. Wilson have details on this Fox 7 Austin broadcast. And click here to see the FCEDA’s recent interview with Schenck about PenFed Credit Union and its philanthropic programs for veterans by the PenFed Foundation.


Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

L3Harris Technologies received a 10-year, $947.3 million contract from the Air Force for engineering services in support of an aircraft electronic warfare system initiative. GovConWire

M.C. Dean obtained a $158.77 million contract from the Army Corps of Engineers to upgrade a controls system at Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado. Virginia Business

Noblis won a $68 million contract by the Naval Information Warfare Center, Pacific to deliver engineering and technical services. Naval Technology

Octo received a $15 million contract to provide information technology support services to a National Institutes of Health organization that conducts research on arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases. ExecutiveBiz

Spire Global secured a contract from NOAA to supply the agency with satellite-based weather data. ExecutiveBiz


Featured business events

September 14 — Entrepreneurship 101. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, the Community Business Partnership and the U.S. Small Business Administration, conducts a free workshop for those persons that are interested in starting a business in Fairfax County.  The workshop provides an overview of start-up basics (licenses and permits), workforce services and training programs, and SBA resources including financing and certification programs. This session’s guest speakers in the Entrepreneurial Spotlight will be Scott and Cyndi Hoffman, the founders/owners of Ono Brewing Company in Chantilly. Click here to register.

September 14-15 — LEADS (Leadership, Excellence, and Adaptability of business built on pillars of Diversity and Sustainability). The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority is partnering with FICCI, a prominent trade association based in India, for the second edition of a global thought-leadership initiative with an overarching theme of “Future of Partnerships.” This hybrid program brings together business leadership from 12 countries to describe their vision of the future of fundamental aspects of global economic prosperity built on pillars of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), engaging audiences from east, central and South Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania, Europe, Africa, West Asia, the Americas and the Pacific. Click here to register.

September 15 — 2021 Virginia Veterans & Military Affairs Conference. The Virginia Chamber Foundation, Virginia Veterans Services Foundation, and Virginia Department of Veterans Services’ third annual Virginia Veterans & Military Affairs Conference and presentation of the V3 Awards. Fairfax County Economic Development Authority President and CEO Victor Hoskins will  introduce two panel discussions: “Innovating the Workplace for Military Spouses” and “Virginia: The Best State for Military Families.” The FCEDA and the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance are program sponsors for the conference. 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. Save the date! Registration information to come. If your company is interested in participating please click here.


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.