July 14 E-Bird Newsletter: Northrop Grumman-built James Webb telescope releases space images + Weekly Business News Digest

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, built in partnership with Falls Church area-based Northrop Grumman, revealed the first images, providing never-before-seen glimpses into the origins of our universe, and ushering in a new era in human discovery. NASA released the images on Tuesday, July 12, during a live event held at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. With its mission of solving the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace, Northrop Grumman has 90,000 employees and an annual revenue of more than $30 billion.

Northrop Grumman leads the industry team for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, the largest, most complex and powerful space telescope ever built, which was constructed in Redondo Beach, California. NASA heads an international partnership that includes both the European Space Agency and Canadian Space Agency. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland manages the Webb Telescope project, and the Baltimore, Maryland-based Space Telescope Science Institute is responsible for science and mission operations, as well as ground system development.

As the most powerful space telescope in space, Webb is the first space deployable telescope built to fit inside a rocket fairing. Launched in December 2021, the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope is designed to see the first light from the earliest stars and galaxies. Since completing its million-mile journey to its solar orbit on Jan. 24, Webb has been executing telescope and scientific commissioning activities.

“Some of the most innovative minds in engineering and science came together to create the most powerful telescope ever launched and today, Northrop Grumman marks another historic milestone for our legacy of defining possible in space,” said Tom Wilson, corporate vice president and president, Space Systems Sector, Northrop Grumman. “Northrop Grumman is proud to lead our industry partners in the design, build, and total system integration of the observatory. We’re opening a new era of space exploration with the first image you see today, thanks to the groundbreaking engineering and partnership with NASA and the science community.”

Wondering what’s next for the James Webb Space Telescope? Follow Northrop Grumman and NASA Webb Telescope on Twitter for updates.

Reston-based Troika Solutions graduates from ‘Virginia Leaders in Export Trade’ program

Reston-based Troika Solutions is among the 11 companies across the Commonwealth that graduated from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s (VEDP) most recent Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) program,  according to an announcement by Governor Glenn Youngkin. VALET, which now has more than 350 graduated companies, assists Virginia exporters that have firmly established domestic operations and are committed to international exporting as a growth strategy.

Founded by U.S. Marine veterans, Troika Solutions is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business. Troika is an award-winning Management Consulting and IT Solutions company, winning the Virginia “Best Places to Work” Award for the seventh straight year in 2022.

“The VALET program provided guidance, opportunities, and connections to potential partners and customers that helped Troika Solutions evaluate and identify best-fit international markets,” said Ken Lasure, president and CEO, Troika Solutions. “Even during the pandemic, the VALET staff were helpful in establishing virtual connections that can now be expanded and strengthened.”

VALET is a two-year international business acceleration program that provides participating companies with international sales plan development services, assistance from a team of experienced international service providers, international business meetings with potential partners, educational events, and customized market research. There are currently 50 companies participating in the VALET program and 404 Virginia companies have been accepted to participate in the program since its inception in 2002.

“The success of Virginia businesses both at home and abroad is key to maintaining a strong and resilient economy,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “The VALET program equips companies in Virginia with the resources they need to enter today’s global marketplace and increase trade opportunities for Virginia products. I congratulate these 11 graduating Virginia companies on their impressive export sales and am confident that their international success will contribute to the economic vitality of our Commonwealth in the years to come.”

Virginia exports over $35 billion in goods and services annually. Exports of the Commonwealth’s products and services are critical to economic growth, supporting more than 257,000 jobs and generating $2 billion in annual tax revenue. VEDP offers numerous programs to assist Virginia companies with selling into the global marketplace and has a network of international market research consultants covering 85 countries around the globe.

Weekly Business News Digest

America’s collective ingenuity: Tysons-headquartered Booz Allen Hamilton launched a $100 million venture capital arm to speed up the development and deployment of commercial technologies designed to support the missions of federal agency clients, Intelligence Community News reported. Booz Allen Ventures will invest in startups that are developing technologies in the area of artificial intelligence and machine learning, defense, deep technology and cybersecurity. “Booz Allen Ventures taps into America’s collective ingenuity by investing in software, hardware, and deep-tech startups that offer differentiated applications for the federal sphere, providing our clients access to a next-generation supply chain of breakthroughs critical to America’s national security and economic vitality,” said Susan Penfield, chief technology officer at Booz Allen.

Subsidiary sold: Tysons-based management consulting and technology company LMI, a provider of technology-enabled management consulting, logistics and digital and analytics solutions to the U.S. government, has agreed to sell its for-profit subsidiary to a consortium of investment firms: Declaration Partners (backed by the family office of David M. Rubenstein), Capitol Meridian Partners, and 22C Capital. The for-profit subsidiary will retain the LMI name. The remaining entity will be re-branded as nonprofit NobleReach Foundation and be a free-standing independent entity. The transaction is expected to close in Q3 2022. “Our people are our greatest asset. This opportunity expands our ability to attract and retain the best talent while maintaining our winning LMI culture,” remarked Doug Wagoner, CEO and president of LMI. ExecutiveGov has more.

New CEO: Herndon-based federal contractor Serco, a subsidiary of United Kingdom-based Serco Group plc, on Tuesday announced that defense executive Tom Watson will be promoted to CEO, effective Sept. 1, Virginia Business reported. Watson will replace David Dacquino, who is retiring as chief executive but will remain as chairman of the company’s board of directors in North America. Dacquino joined Serco in 2015 and has been at its helm since 2017. In May 2021, Serco acquired Whitney, Bradley & Brown, a Reston-based federal tech contractor, for $295 million. Serco has about 8,000 U.S. employees in defense, citizen services and transportation.

Great educational system: The Commonwealth of Virginia ranked third place in CNBC’s 2022 America’s Top States for Business. In 2021, Virginia took the top spot in the annual rankings of business-friendly states for a second consecutive time. Virginia also won in 2019, 2011, 2009 and 2007. CNBC did not rank the states in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “A great education system is building a smart workforce,” CNBC said about the Commonwealth this year.

Standing by service members: The PenFed Foundation, a national 501(c)3 founded by PenFed Credit Union, furthered its commitment to military heroes with a $50,000 grant to support Vets4Warriors, a 24/7 military peer support program staffed by veterans. Vets4Warriors provides comprehensive support for service members and their families seeking assistance dealing with issues ranging from suicidal thoughts, stress reactions, and post-traumatic stress disorder to marital and financial matters, service members transitioning into and out of the military and more. “We stand by service members and their families and encourage those who need help to seek it,” said PenFed Credit Union EVP and President of PenFed Foundation Shashi Vohra. KCBD11 has more.

Thinking about a new look: Digital experience agency Whereoware acquired Washington D.C.-based user experience consultancy and digital services provider LookThink. The move will see Whereoware and LookThink become a digital experience agency with a ranger of digital strategy and activation tools available for clients. Michael Mathias, chief executive officer at Whereoware, said: “The addition of LookThink greatly expands our capabilities and resources to help our clients achieve their objectives, creating intuitive solutions that make a positive impact. Yahoo Finance picked up the release.

New venture: Lavrock Ventures, a Tysons-based venture capital firm focused on the technology and national security sectors, said it has led a new $7.5 million first round of funding for New York-based Veritonic, the developer of an audio analytics and research platform. Progress Ventures, Greycroft, Lerer Hippeau and Newark Venture Partners also participated in the round, which the company will use to increase hiring and further develop its audio insight and measurement capabilities. Potomac Tech Wire carried the release.

Fire-ing up another deal: Chantilly-based technology company Corbett Technology Solutions Inc. (CTSI) has acquired New York-based fire alarm company Firecom, according to Virginia Business. CTSI is a portfolio company of Chicago-based private equity firm Wind Point Partners. The Firecom deal is CTSI’s 10th acquisition since it was purchased by Wind Point in June 2020.

Gold Nugget award winner: The Mather in Tysons received an Award of Merit in the 2022 Gold Nugget Awards, which honors global architectural design and planning excellence. The Mather, in development at 7929 Westpark Drive, was honored for Best Senior Housing Community, On-the-Boards. “We’re developing The Mather with today’s consumers in mind, who want flexibility and choice; outdoor spaces to enjoy; and a focus on wellness,” said Mary Leary, President and CEO, Mather. FFXnow has more.

Contract Wins

Reston-based CACI International secured a $557.8 million contract from the U.S. Navy to assist Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane and the service branch’s Digital Integration Support Cell in their digital modernization efforts. Executive Biz

Reston-based Leidos won a $358.5 million U.S. Navy contract to build a medium-size unmanned undersea vehicle. WashingtonExec

Herndon-based i-Link Solutions obtained a five-year, $100 million contract to provide information technology services  for the  Department of Health and Human Services and the Health Resources Services and Administration. ExecutiveGov

Tysons-based Swish Data Corporation obtained a contract by the Department of Homeland Security Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigations program to provide the U.S. Coast Guard with advanced security information and event management capabilities. KULR8.com

FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events

August 23 — Fairfax State of the Market: Exploring Today’s Emerging Markets. Bisnow presents an event focused on: “From Richmond Highway to Chantilly, where to make the next best commercial real estate investment.” Featured panelists include Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA. Click here to register.

FCEDA is Here to Help Your Business Thrive

Fairfax County EDA is here to connect businesses of all kinds to resources and 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.