E-Bird Newsletter

June 30 E-Bird newsletter: StarKist, Feed the Children, Cornerstones team up to provide food donations + Weekly Business News Digest

Volunteers from StarKist and Carahsoft handed out food items and other essentials to 400 families and seniors. Photo courtesy of Chip McCrea Photography.

StarKist, Feed the Children, Cornerstones team up to provide food to families

Just two months after moving its headquarters from Pittsburgh to Reston, StarKist partnered with Feed the Children and Cornerstones in an event to bring hunger relief to 400 families living in Northern Virginia on Thursday, June 24. During the drive-through event in Reston, the families and seniors received a 25-pound box of shelf-stable food, including StarKist products; a 15-pound box of hygiene essentials and personal-care items; a box of Avon products; Disney storybooks and other items. Volunteers from StarKist and Reston-based IT services provider Carahsoft loaded the boxes into the cars.

“StarKist recently moved its headquarters to Reston, VA and welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the community. We are always grateful for our ongoing partnership with Feed the Children, and are equally excited to begin an alliance with Cornerstones, an extraordinary organization that has served as Northern Virginia’s leading safety-net and human services nonprofit for more than 50 years,” said Andrew Choe, StarKist President and CEO. “There will be more empty plates this summer season than ever before, and it is estimated that one in four children will be food insecure. We believe that no child should go hungry in this country, and were aware that the need is great.”

Along with Choe, speakers at the event included Victor Hoskins, President and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority; Fairfax County Supervisor Walter Alcorn (Hunter Mill); Kerrie Wilson, CEO of Cornerstones;  Bob Thomas, Chief Corporate & External Relations Officer, Feed the Children; and Tom Madden, Chairman of the Board, Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce.

Victor Hoskins, President and CEO, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority; Andrew Choe, President and CEO, StarKist. Photo courtesy of Chip McCrea Photography.

“Fairfax County is fortunate that StarKist recently moved its headquarters from Pittsburgh to Reston,” said Hoskins. “The fact that StarKist just arrived two months ago and is already partnering with Cornerstones and Feed the Children for this event to help alleviate food insecurity in the region is very significant. StarKist’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility nationwide to help community members in need is unwavering – and longstanding.”

Throughout the past 13 years, StarKist has contributed over 650,000 pounds of tuna and chicken products to help food-insecure children and families across the U.S., and more than $800,000 to support Feed the Children’s disaster and emergency response efforts. This is the latest in StarKist’s continual efforts to alleviate hunger and food shortages, dating back to 1917, when there was a nationwide protein shortage during World War I.

Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, is holding its annual Summer Hunger campaign in order to bring awareness to the important issue of childhood hunger, as well as provide hope and relief to thousands of vulnerable families across the United States throughout the summer season.

“Thanks to our generous partners at StarKist, we are able to help these families rest a little easier knowing they don’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from,” said Travis Arnold, Feed the Children President and CEO. “We know that when we combine our efforts, we have a greater impact on the lives of the families who need us most.”

“Cornerstones works purposefully with community partners and advocates who care deeply and give generously to support the well-being of everyone living and working along the Dulles Corridor,” noted Kerrie Wilson, CEO of Cornerstones. “For lower-income neighbors, the pandemic’s lingering economic impacts – including the rising cost of groceries and gas – only exacerbates their daily fears of how to feed their families. Today’s food distribution made a tangible difference to 400 households, including seniors. We are proud to partner with StarKist and Feed the Children to help stabilize people living in crisis today. Their commitment to community engagement and volunteerism plays an essential role in helping Cornerstones ensure the economic and health stability, equity, and resiliency of Northern Virginia.”

“It means everything,” said Holly, of a participating family. “I was taking care of my mom from 2018 until she passed this year. I’m filing for disability, and a friend told me about this event and it’s just lifesaving. It’s changing lives and I’m grateful.”


Groundbreaking ceremony held to restore 2 Workhouse Campus buildings in Lorton

Photo courtesy of the Fairfax County Government.

Fairfax County Government and Fairfax County Economic Development Authority joined Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton on Friday, June 24 to celebrate the groundbreaking of two buildings — designated W13 and W15 — that once housed prison inmates. Several additional buildings on the grounds already have been renovated and are hosting live entertainment, events and art exhibits.

As another exciting renovation at the Workhouse Campus, this project will enhance the visitor experience and entice restaurants and breweries to open in the two buildings. The project also includes natural landscaping and site enhancements in a shared courtyard as well as streetscape improvements along Ox Road.

“We hope that it provides food and beverage opportunities and places for people to come here and spend more time, not just to stop off, but spend the better part of the day exploring the Workhouse,” said Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, according to FFXnow. “These buildings will go a long way to doing that.”

Speakers at the groundbreaking included Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay; Fairfax County Executive Bryan Hill; Supervisor Dan Storck (Mount Vernon District); Victor Hoskins, President and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority; and Leon Scioscia, President and CEO of The Workhouse Arts Foundation.

A historically important county-owned property, the Workhouse Campus is the site of the former Lorton Reformatory, which was established in 1910, and was operated by the District of Columbia Department of Corrections. The Lorton Reformatory closed in 2001 and in 2002 it was part of a 2,440-acre land purchase by Fairfax County from the federal government. Fairfax County agreed to preserve the historically significant buildings and structures on the Campus in a way that favors adaptive reuse.

The Workhouse Campus, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, anchors the northern end of the NOVA Arts and Cultural District that was created in 2017 with the Occoquan Regional Park and the Town of Occoquan.

Find out more about the groundbreaking event in FFXnow and click here to find out more about the project.


Weekly Business News Digest

Reston/Herndon development boom: As the long-delayed phase two opening of Metro’s Silver Line extension is set for later this year, a development boom is following on the train’s wheels. Reston and Herndon, as well as eastern Loudoun, have already attracted big corporate tenants to millions of square feet of office space, retail and residential properties freshly built and under construction along the Dulles Toll Road corridor. Google (Reston), Amazon Web Services (Herndon), Spotify (Reston), Qualtrics (Reston), SolarWinds (Reston) and Neustar (Reston), all have presences in the area, and tenants at Reston Town Center include Fannie Mae, Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook) and Microsoft. Peraton and StarKist are newcomers to the mixed-use development. “They want a place where they can go to lunch,” explains Victor Hoskins, President and CEO of the FCEDA. “They want to be able to go to the gym. They want to be able to go for a walk. They want to be able to bike to work if they want to. I think that combination is really attractive to the companies, and then they augment that with a lot of residential. So, there are a lot more people there. There’s actually energy there. Ten years of growth has really transformed the area.” Virginia Business has more.

Jobs are here: In the past two years, despite the pandemic, the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority attracted more than 5,000 people to eight career fairs, Virginia Business reported. The website for the workforce initiative — workinnorthernvirginia.com — lists jobs, internships and training opportunities from more than 500 companies and is getting 45,000-plus views per month. “We’re really getting the reach out there,” said Mike Batt, director of the EDA’s Talent Initiative Program, which is focused on attracting new talent to the area, retaining employees and helping workers land higher-paying jobs. In addition to sponsoring its own career fairs, FCEDA also has participated in about 30 college and university events as part of the initiative during the past two years. Anna K. Nissinen, FCEDA’s vice president of marketing communications, said Fairfax County is home to about 8,700 tech companies, many of which are seeking workers. In addition to the many career opportunities, the area offers options for a good work-life balance. “You can hike in the mountains and then you can be in downtown D.C. within an hour.”

Women in Leadership awardees: Virginia Business recognized 42 women executives from throughout the Commonwealth “who set the standard for leadership” in its second annual Women in Leadership Awards, including the following business leaders in the Fairfax County area: Kathryn Falk, VP, Cox Communications Northern Virginia (Herndon); Deette Gray, President of business and information technology solutions, CACI International (Reston); Cecilia Hodges, Regional President for Virginia and Greater Washington, M&T Bank (Tysons); Jylinda Johnson, VP and GM for government operations, commerce and global citizen service, General Dynamics Information Technology (Falls Church area); Rebecca McHale, CIO, Peraton (Herndon); Kim Roy, CEO, Hitt Contracting (Falls Church area); and Jennifer Taylor, President and CEO, Northern Virginia Technology Council (Falls Church). In addition, Irma Becerra, President, Marymount University, based in Arlington, an additional Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance locality, placed on the list of honorees, which includes links to biographical articles.

Electrifying expansion plan: Volkswagen, which has its North American headquarters in Herndon, is close to selling a minority stake in its U.S. electric-vehicle charge business to an arm of Germany-based Siemens, which has its North American headquarters in Princeton, N.J., a deal that would value the network at more than $2 billion, the Wall Street Journal and WTOP reported. A sale of a stake in Volkswagen’s Reston-based Electrify America would generate additional funding as part of a plan to more than double the number of EV charging stations that Electrify America operates across the U.S. and parts of Canada to 1,800 by 2026. Electrify America also offers EV charging stations for use at home.

Strengthening commercial air travel safety: Boeing, which announced plans last month to move its headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, Va., selected Tysons-based Aireon to provide space-based automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) services, Military+Airspace Electronics reported. Boeing will use the stream to expand its advanced data analytics capabilities in its effort to further strengthen commercial air travel safety. Aireon will provide historical aircraft data and near real-time aircraft event data for select Boeing airplane programs. “The power of the Aireon data unlocks a cache of information for Boeing regarding the operations of its aircraft in the global airspace. With this integration, Boeing will have data to provide a full operational view of its fleet, and we are excited to partner with them,” said Don Thoma, Aireon CEO.

Critical capability: A Falls Church-area based Northrop Grumman built cargo spacecraft re-boosted the International Space Station (ISS) to its desired altitude on orbit in preparation for future space operations. The company said Cygnus used its main onboard engine to conduct station orbit adjustment several months after the spacecraft docked to the ISS to deliver equipment and supplies to the astronauts aboard the space lab. “This re-boost of the ISS using Cygnus adds a critical capability to help maintain and support the space station,” said Steve Krein, VP of civil and commercial space for tactical space systems unit at Northrop. ExecutiveBiz has more.

Joint venture: Tysons-based consulting firm Guidehouse initiated a strategic joint venture and mentor-protégé agreement with Herndon-based technology company TechSur Solutions, according to ExecutiveGov. This joint venture will concentrate on public sector-serving digital transformation and cloud-based applications and analytics, Guidehouse announced. “TechSur offers proven core competencies in mechanizing and automating the process of IT modernization while Guidehouse brings commensurate expertise in digital transformation and IT consulting,” explained Scott McIntyre, CEO of Guidehouse.

Credit landing: Tysons-based Spire Global, a provider of space data and analytics for weather, maritime and aviation, landed a credit facility for up to $120 million, led by Blue Torch Capital. The company said it will use a portion of the proceeds to pay off an existing $71 million credit facility, as well as to provide it greater financial flexibility. Spire said an initial $100 million tranche will be available upon closing, with the remaining funds being held in an escrow account, available for use once the company reaches certain funding conditions, which it expects to meet by the end of 2022. Potomac Tech Wire picked up the release.

Precision health research: Fairfax-based health technology startup Vibrent Health said that its core platform will serve as the technology backbone of My Healthy Maryland Precision Medicine Research, a joint initiative of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System. The project aims to enroll 250,000 Maryland residents over the next decade in a bid to help researchers better understand how lifestyle and human genomic variation can affect an individual’s health. “Through partnerships with leading institutions like the University of Maryland Medicine, we are dedicated to bringing the latest data-driven digital methods to precision health research,” said Praduman Jain, CEO and founder of Vibrent Health. Bio IT World carried the release.

Wise guy round-up: Reston-based Thompson Hospitality, the force behind such bars and restaurants as Hen Quarter, Matchbox, The Delegate, Austin Grill, and American Tap Room, just added another big name to its portfolio: Wiseguy Pizza. Thompson finalized an agreement this week to acquire all four area Wiseguy locations (Chinatown, Navy Yard, Rosslyn, and Pentagon City), Thompson Hospitality president and CEO Warren Thompson told Eater. Thompson’s portfolio now includes 15 distinct brands with 44 locations.

Topping out: Monarch, a 20-story condominium high-rise going up in central Tysons, has reached its pinnacle, according to FFXnow. Developer Renaissance Centro celebrated the building’s “topping out” on June 26, a key turning point in construction that comes when the main structure is fully in place. The milestone puts Monarch on track to open in spring 2023, according to a press release. When completed, the residential tower at 7887 Jones Branch Drive will have 86 units ranging in size from 880 to 4,100 square feet and in price from the mid-$600,000s to $4.1 million. More than half of the units have already been sold, some going for over $3.5 million, according to Renaissance Centro.

Amazon-ian greenhouse: Amazon hopes to convert Meadow Farms Nurseries and Landscapes in Great Falls into a greenhouse to provide a “permanent operation to provide for the continuous maintenance of the extensive landscaping elements” at HQ2, according to FFXnow. The company’s second headquarters is being built in two phases. The first phase — Metropolitan Park — includes two 22-story buildings, and 2.5 acres of open space. The second phase — PenPlace — includes 3.2 million square feet of office space and about 94,500 square feet of retail. Its signature building is “The Helix” — a glassy, twisting structure that is intended to be as green as possible in both color and nature. “The greenhouse will help ensure a ‘Year Five on Day One’ experience for the interior and exterior horticultural program elements at HQ2,” according to the application materials.


Contract Wins

General Dynamics’ land systems business received a $1.14 billion contract to produce and deploy up to 96 Mobile Protected Firepower vehicles for U.S. Army infantry brigades. GovConWire

Valiant Integrated Services won a 10-year, $255 million contract by the U.S. Air Force to provide F-16 international aircraft maintenance and pilot training to U.S. partner nation air forces. Virginia Business

ECS obtained a 5-year, $49 million contract from the U.S. Army to support its network transformation strategy. WashingtonExec

General Dynamics Mission Systems received a $39.4 million contract from the U.S. Navy to design and fabricate a prototype vessel mast. ExecutiveBiz

Science Applications International Corp. secured a $27.3 million contract from NASA to provide information technology and related support services for the NASA Aircraft Management Information System. GovConWire

RiverTech, an Akima subsidiary, received a three-year, $7.6 million contract to help the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center process approximately 100,000 commercial mariner credential applications annually. ExecutiveBiz

Spire Global will continue to provide NASA with access to its satellite and Earth observation data under a $6 million one-year contract extension awarded through the Commercial SmallSat Data Acquisition program. Intelligence Community News


FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events

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 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.