June 23 E-Bird newsletter: Entrepreneurship Workshop set for July 12 + Weekly Business News Digest

Entrepreneurship workshop on July 12 will spotlight Bob Rogers, founder of 5 Northern Virginia-based companies

Tysons-based Chesapeake Digital Solutions founder Robert P. “Bob” Rogers, Jr. will be the featured guest speaker during the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority’s next Entrepreneurship 101 “E-101” virtual workshop on July 12.

Presented by the FCEDA, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, the Community Business Partnership and the U.S. Small Business Administration, this webinar will provide the business fundamentals needed to successfully start a business.

Click here to register.

Join our panel of small business experts for an interactive webinar on how to start your business. We will provide you with informative step-by-step information sessions that will cover registering your business, permitting requirements, business feasibility and business plan basics, business certifications, financing options and government resources.

In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to hear Rogers discuss his entrepreneurial journey and share his tips for business success.

Robert P. “Bob” Rogers, Jr. is currently President of Chesapeake Digital Marketing in Vienna. He started and served as President of Chesapeake Government Health Services, a government contracting business for 30 years, which he sold in 2015. The company was #250 of Inc Magazine’s Top 500 rankings of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the United States. He has won over $100 million in government contracts for WSI Digital Solutions, the 5th business he has launched and grown.

Rogers has been active in the Northern Virginia community for 40 years. He has served on the Board of the Northern Virginia Community College for 10 years, including two years as Chair. He has also served as Chairman of the Northern Virginia Workforce Investment Board; the Board of Directors of the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce; and two terms on the Board of Directors of Leadership Fairfax. He is a founding member of the Community Business Partnership (CBP) which houses a Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Women’s Business Center (WBC) and the Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC). He is currently serving as Chairman Emeritus.

He has a BS in Engineering from the United States Air Force Academy, an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis Missouri and is an OPM Graduate of Harvard Business School. He was also the Dean of Business for Stratford University and an Adjunct Professor at Northern Virginia Community College.

Click here to find out more.

Weekly Business News Digest

Combined company: Defense contractor Vectrus and government services company Vertex are moving forward with a $2.1 billion merger that will move the rebranded company’s headquarters to Northern Virginia. Expected to be based in Tysons, where Vectrus already has an office, the combined company will be aptly called V2X. Vectrus, which is currently headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, said last week that its shareholders approved the merger transaction, which was first announced in March. Under terms of the deal, shareholders in Madison, Mississippi-headquartered Vertex will own approximately 62 percent of the combined company, while Vectrus shareholders will own approximately 38 percent. The two contractors posted $3.4 billion in combined revenue last year and employ a total of 14,000 workers across their ranks. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter, according to the Washington Business Journal.

Unprecedented demand: Herndon-based data center developer EdgeConneX secured $1.7 billion in sustainability-linked debt to help finance its growth, the latest in a series of data center companies to pursue this strategy, Bisnow reported. A growing list of data center providers has issued sustainability-linked securities or taken on debt tied to ESG (environmental, social and governance) goals over the last several months to help fund the rapid expansion needed to keep up with unprecedented demand. EdgeConnex, in an announcement Tuesday, said the series of debt issuances will lower the company’s cost of capital to allow expansion in new and existing markets and will improve the company’s investment-grade credit profile.

Bridging the student digital divide: Tysons-based Kajeet announced a partnership with Google, aiming to help close the digital divide by making it easier for school districts to build and maintain their own private networks, Government Technology reported. Kajeet, which makes hardware and software for enterprise Wi-Fi networks, said in a news release that it is deploying its private 5G platform on the Google Distributed Cloud Edge. It said the ultimate goal of the partnership is to get students connected who are currently unable to access high-quality wireless Internet, thereby allowing them to use digital learning tools like Google’s Chromebook and Classroom EDU solutions.

Top Workplaces: Seventy-four Fairfax County-headquartered companies out of 200 total landed on 2022 Washington Post Top Workplaces list, including 7 in the top 10 in the “Largest Employer” category: no. 1: Great American Restaurants (Fairfax); no. 2: Long and Foster (Chantilly); no. 4: Navy Federal Credit Union (Vienna); no. 5: Capital One (Tysons); no. 8: General Dynamics Information Technology (Falls Church area); no. 9: CACI International (Reston); and no. 10: Jim Koons Automotive (Vienna). In addition, 32 more companies headquartered in other Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance jurisdictions placed on the list.

New owner: Bethesda-based Finmarc Management acquired nearly 750,000 square feet of flex/office and industrial buildings in Springfield, the Washington Business Journal reported. Finmarc bought the cluster of 11 buildings, situated along Boston Boulevard in the larger Virginia 95 Business Park, from an affiliate of Boston Properties. The assets were about three-quarters leased at the time of the deal, with tenants including the U.S. State Department, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, ADT Security Systems, Avaya, SAIC and The Vomela Cos. Finmarc said it is planning to lease the remaining space but also leaving open longer-term possibilities.

Data mesh platform: Reston-based Octo unveiled a new platform designed to assist federal government agencies in collecting, managing, safeguarding and accessing analytical data, according to ExecutiveBiz. Sujey Edwards, chief technology officer for Octo, said the data mesh platform is a decentralized data management offering that works to change the way government agencies handle data. “We are excited to be at the forefront of this solution for our federal customers, providing more control over data. In this model, the data becomes a useable product and reduces dependency on others,” Edwards said.

Mars leadership change: McLean-based Mars, Greater Washington’s largest private company, will soon see a change in leadership soon, the Wall Street Journal reported. Grant Reid, who has been with the family-owned candy and pet care giant for 34 years, and as the CEO role since 2014, announced his retirement. He will be succeeded by Poul Weihrauch, current global president at Mars Petcare, Mars announced.

Hilton & Mars Pet Partnership: Tysons-based Hilton and McLean-based Mars division Mars Petcare are expanding their partnership across Hilton’s seven pet-friendly brands—Canopy by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton. Building on their strategic partnership established in September 2021, Hilton and Mars Petcare will now offer guests access to virtual support from the Mars Pet Expert Team (PET) during their stays via Mars PET On-Demand, an online service to answer questions related to traveling with your cat or dog, at more than 4,600 hotels in Hilton’s portfolio across the U.S. and Canada, Hotel Business reported.

Platform update: Fairfax-based CGI Federal launched an updated version of its acquisition management and contract writing platform designed for defense and civilian contracting personnel. The company said it upgraded the user experience design and added new features and capabilities to Momentum Acquisitions, a module of its financial management software. About 10,000 users from across the federal government including the departments of State, Veterans Affairs and Justice are using the Momentum Acquisition module as a procurement tool, ExecutiveBiz reported.

Placemaking in Reston Town Center: Sixty Vines, a Dallas-based, wine-centric restaurant, inked a deal with Boston Properties for nearly 10,000 square feet at Reston Town Center, replacing Clyde’s of Reston, which closed at 11905 Market St. in May after more than three decades as one of the mixed-use development’s first retail tenants, reported the Washington Business Journal. It’s part of a larger wave of new tenants coming to the project, with others including Pisco y Nazca Ceviche Gastrobar, Fogo de Chao, Open Road Distillery and The St. James sports complex. “Sixty Vines is kind of integral to that placemaking effort,” said Jake Stroman, executive vice president and co-head of the D.C. region for Boston Properties. “We view that space as the best restaurant space in all of Northern Virginia, so we wanted to come up with a really great concept that was new to market and just brought a lot of energy to the area.”

Supporting under-resourced communities: Falls Church area-based Inova Health System awarded $1 million in Health Equity Grants to 23 Northern Virginia nonprofit organizations, the largest level of funding to date for this grants program, according to Inova. The grants were awarded to organizations whose initiatives aim to improve health equity and support under-resourced communities with unmet healthcare needs. Inova issues requests for Health Equity Grant proposals annually, according to InsideNoVa.

For whom the maps toll: Great Falls-based Tollsmart, a provider of detailed toll information across several continents, said it has struck a deal to provide its toll price data to Google Maps for drivers in the U.S. Under the agreement, people using Google Maps will be able to view the cost of tolls in advance of a trip. Potomac Tech Wire carried the release.

Contract Wins

Peraton received a seven-year $916 million contract to provide integrated, enterprise-wide management services to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Virginia Business

BlackSky Technologies landed a five-year $241 million contract from the DoD’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center to create and optimize data sets for use in DoD AI models and applications. Intelligence Community News

Leidos won a 10-year, $84.9 million contract from the Defense Intelligence Agency to provide automation and other services in support of its operations. GovConWire

CACI International landed an 18-month, $24.4 million contract from the U.S. Navy to perform global logistics support services. ExecutiveBiz

Network Designs secured a five-year contract to provide information technology modernization support services to the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. ExecutiveBiz

FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events

June 28 — Operating Your Business Safely in Today’s Threat Landscape. The Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) presents an in-person panel discussion focused on how to safely operate your global business in today’s threat landscape. The panels will be Dale Buckner, CEO, Global Guardian; John Giacalone, VP of global safety and security, Hilton; and John Czupak, president and CEO, ThreatQuotient. Click here to register.

July 12 — Entrepreneurship 101: Starting A Business With Fairfax County. Join FCEDA for a free virtual webinar on how to start a business in Fairfax County. We will provide you with informative step-by-step information sessions that will cover registering your business, permitting requirements, business feasibility and business plan basics, business certifications, financing options and government resources. In addition, the Entrepreneur Spotlight will feature a guest speaker who will discuss their entrepreneurial journey and share valuable tips for business success. This session will feature Bob Rogers, CEO, Chesapeake Digital Solutions. Click here to register.

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, 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.