March 1, 2024: Pathways to Economic Growth in Fairfax County + Weekly Business News Digest

Diversification and Innovation: Pathways to Economic Growth in Fairfax County

In the February edition of the “Connect with County Leaders” podcast, Fairfax County Executive Bryan Hill hosted Rebecca Moudry, director of the Fairfax County Department of Economic Initiatives, and Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, to discuss the county’s economic development, providing perspective and predictions for the county’s future.

The guests reflected on Fairfax County’s resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite challenges, the county’s gross domestic product remains robust at $134 billion – more than half of Northern Virginia’s total GDP.

Click here to read more.

34 Fairfax County-based companies honored as ‘Best Places to Work’

Thirty-four Fairfax County-headquartered companies landed on Virginia Business’s annual Best Places to Work list. In addition, 18 other Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance-based companies placed on the list. More than 200 companies applied for inclusion in the 2024 Best Places to Work in Virginia cohort. A hundred companies were chosen, divided into three categories: small (15-99 U.S. employees); midsize (100-249); and large (250 or more). Best Companies Group makes its selections based on surveys conducted with the companies and their employees.

Reston-based Troika Solutions ranked no. 1 in the Commonwealth in the small company category. “‘Partners, process, technology’ is the tagline of Reston-based management and technology consulting firm Troika Solutions,” according to Virginia Business. “In addition to valuing its partnerships with its military and government clients, this service – disabled veteran-owned small business has a keen focus on its partnership with its employees,” said the company’s president and CEO, Kenneth Lasure.

Here are the Fairfax County-based companies landing on the list, followed by their ranking:




13 Best Workplaces for Commuters Recognized by Fairfax County

At its Feb. 6, 2024, meeting, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recognized 13 employers who have taken steps to encourage environmentally-friendly commuter practices, reduce traffic congestion and preserve the region’s air quality by recognizing them as a “Best Workplace for Commuters.”  The honorees are:

“For the last 13 years, Fairfax County has recognized organizations working to reduce congestion and pollution in Northern Virginia – while attracting and retaining top talent – through the Best Workplaces for Commuters program,” said Marcus Moore, FCDOT Transportation Demand Management liaison. “The Fairfax County Commuter Services staff works year round with employers to help build commuter programs that fit the needs of our local workforce, while also creating a blueprint for local and national recognition.”

Weekly Business News Digest

Editor’s note — “Catching the Chantilly wave”: This issue includes several news items  from Chantilly, which includes Fairfax County’s Route 28 submarket, where the office market has been outperforming other parts of the Greater Washington region, according to Washington Business Journal’s staff reporter Dan Brendel in a recent feature article. Route 28 South enjoys an atypical confluence of government agencies and the contractors they attract, wrote Brendel. Following up on FCEDA’s recent coverage of Trident Systems, a LightRidge Solutions Company, investing $3.7 million to expand capacity at its operation in Chantilly; here you will read news from the U.S. Space Development Agency, AT&T, Redwire, and Koniag Systems — all with locations in or expanding to Chantilly. Click here to find out more about Chantilly and neighboring Centreville. Thinking about setting up a presence for your company in Chantilly-Centreville? If so, contact David Kelley, FCEDA’s Director of National Business Investment at dkelley@fceda.org to find out how we can help you with your company’s expansion.

Calling Chantilly: AT&T has executed a lease for a whole building in Chantilly’s Westfields International Center, according to Washington Business Journal in subscriber content. The global telecommunications giant will occupy 111,000 square feet in the five-story office building at 4807 Stonecroft Blvd. under a long-term lease in 2025.  The lease at Stonecroft IV is said to represent a consolidation of several facilities in Northern Virginia. The building is located in Fairfax County’s Route 28 South submarket, where the office market has been outperforming other parts of the region, probably owing to high government and contractor demand in the area, according to the article.

Collaboration is key: In an era where the final frontier is closer than ever, the U.S. Space Development Agency (SDA), which has offices in Chantilly, is embarking on an ambitious journey to redefine the boundaries of military capabilities in space, wrote Sakchi Khandelwal in a feature article in BNN. With the Systems, Technologies, and Emerging Capabilities project, the agency is calling upon the brightest minds in the industry to join forces in enhancing optical communications, navigation, and global battle management systems that could decisively shift the balance of power in space. Collaboration is key, according to the article. In a landscape where the lines between military and commercial sectors blur, the SDA’s initiative underscores the importance of collaboration. The project seeks to harness the innovation and agility of the private sector, marrying it with the strategic objectives of the U.S. military.

National security community front door: Redwire, a space infrastructure company based in Jacksonville, Florida, is expanding its focus on government work with a new facility in Chantilly, SpaceNews reported. The 7,300 square foot building will house executive offices, secure workspace, engineering labs and equipment to support Redwire’s national security programs. The new Chantilly location positions Redwire close to defense and intelligence agencies such as the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the Space Systems Command’s Commercial Space Office and the Space Development Agency (SDA), all with locations in Chantilly, as well as other aerospace contractors operating in the region. “Redwire’s new Chantilly office provides a front door for the national security community,” said Dean Bellamy, Redwire’s executive vice president of national security space.

Heart of the vibrant NoVa region: Koniag Government Services has moved its headquarters to a new location in Chantilly, as part of efforts to accommodate its increasing workforce and support the continued expansion of its operations, ExecutiveBiz reported. In addition, Chantilly’s strategic location played a pivotal role in the decision-making process, according to the company. Situated in the heart of the vibrant Northern Virginia, Chantilly offers excellent access to transportation hubs, and a rich talent pool. “We are thrilled to call Chantilly home and excited about the opportunities this move brings for our company and employees,” said KGS CEO Kevin Wideman. “This state-of-the-art headquarters reflects our commitment to growth, innovation, and employee well-being, and we look forward to the next chapter of our journey in this dynamic community.”

High-flying success: Washington Dulles International and Reagan National airports combined in 2023 to set a new travel record with 50.6 million total passengers, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority announced Wednesday, reported Washington Business Journal. Both airports set individual records. National saw 25.5 million passengers last year, while Dulles welcomed 9.3 million international passengers, exceeding the previous year’s international activity by 26.9 percent, reported MWAA. “Setting a new record is a remarkable accomplishment that can be credited to continuing recovery from the COVID pandemic and the hard work of our airport team and their partners,” said Jack Potter, Airports Authority president and CEO. “We are not slowing down as upgrades continue for our customers at Reagan National, as well as a new concourse at Dulles International. Our team thrives on recruiting new airline service and finding new ways to provide an outstanding travel experience while planning to meet the region’s long-term transportation needs.”

Rosie the robot is here: After almost two years of construction, The Mather Tysons will start opening the first of its two high-rise apartment buildings at 7929 Westpark Drive during the first week of March, according to Mather Senior Vice President of Connections and Sales Gale Morgan, FFXnow reported. First, though, The Mather has to train its robots, which will be tasked with vacuuming, bringing food and other deliveries to residents’ homes and assisting servers in the community’s restaurants by bussing plates between the kitchen and tables. The inclusion of robots exemplifies the combination of technology, “luxury and…hospitality services” that Morgan said will distinguish The Mather from other senior living communities.

Global defense communication services: Tysons-based Iridium Communications announced that the Republic of Korea (ROK) Ministry of Defense (MOD) has adopted Iridium connectivity for strategic use within its military operations. The ROK Army will leverage a full suite of Iridium products and services to enhance operations, including real-time position tracking capabilities for soldiers. “This is another great example of Iridium facilitating cutting-edge, ubiquitous, and reliable communication solutions for defense forces globally, said Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium. spacewatch.global has more. Click here to access a recent FCEDA interview with Matt Desch.

Changing of the guard: Vienna-based Navy Federal Credit Union announced that President and CEO Mary McDuffie will retire and be replaced by Chief Operating Officer Dietrich Kuhlmann, Washington Business Journal reported. Kuhlmann will take the reins of the credit union on March 1 after spending the last two years as Navy Federal’s COO and joining the firm in 2019 to lead branch positions. Before that, he had a career in the U.S. Navy and retired as a rear admiral, ultimately serving as programming division director on staff of the Chief of Naval Operations where he oversaw a $800 billion Navy capital allocation process. McDuffie is set to retire after 24 years at Navy Federal, including five as CEO.

Going the distance: Reston-based Zoomph is among the 10 sports technology startups that Comcast has admitted into the fourth iteration of the Comcast NBCUniversal SportsTech accelerator, hoping to catalyze the development of digital innovations that can aid both its own businesses and its sporting partners, SportsPro reported. Since the accelerator launched in 2021, participants have been involved in more than 103 pilots, partnerships and commercial deals with consortium partners. This year, more than 1,500 sports technology firms from across the world applied for a place on the program. Zoomph provides partnership insights and analytics that help sports and entertainment brands, media, leagues, teams, and athletes analyze social and broadcast content and track trends and competition in real-time. Yahoo Finance has more. 

Apples to apples: Fairfax County-based Apple Federal Credit Union was recognized by USA Today as a “Best credit unions of February 2024” and a “Best business bank account of February 2024.” With 21 branches across Northern Virginia, Apple is been a not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperative that was founded in 1956.

Hungry yet? Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern, which has been in business in the Town of Herndon for 26 years, won the title of “Best Cheesesteak” in Northern Virginia magazine’s NoVA Wars: Cheesesteak Edition reader poll. Readers chose Jimmy’s as the winner through four rounds of bracket-style voting. The neighborhood pub beat 15 others in the battle for the best cheesesteak in Northern Virginia. (Tip: Jimmy’s is also a top spot during football season if you like the Buffalo Bills!)

Contract Wins

Guidehouse (Tysons) won a $12 billion follow-on contract from the U.S. Air Force to provide systems engineering and integration support services for intercontinental ballistic missiles. GovConWire

Amentum (Chantilly) obtained a $591.6 million contract by the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) International Fleet Support Program Office (to deliver life-cycle support and other follow-on technical solutions and services to eligible allied international naval forces. Yahoo Finance

CACI (Reston) received a five-year, $38.5 million contract from the Defense Information Systems Agency for the provision of systems engineering and technical assistance services. ExecutiveBiz

FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events

March 6, 2024 — Bridges to Success: Career Pathways for Military Connected Families. Hosted by FCEDA and held at the National Museum of the U.S. Army, attend this event to connect with Virginia schools and employers offering SkillBridge internships, apprenticeship opportunities, mentorships and resume writing. Click here for more information.

March 6, 2024 — Housing Symposium: Housing professionals, developers, advocates, and others interested in Fairfax County’s affordable housing industry are invited to join the free Fairfax County Housing Symposium, taking place at George Mason University in Fairfax. Click here for details about 2024 presenters and registration information.

March 14, 2024 — George Mason University Donald G. Costello College of Business Alumni Chapter Gala. Held at the George Mason University Fairfax campus, this annual gala celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit, distinguished successes, and generous engagement of Mason’s Costello College of Business community. The networking gala features interactive alumni-owned food and beverage businesses and student entrepreneurship innovations. Click here for more information and 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.