Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for May 11, 2021: Guidehouse global HQ coming; Appian hiring spree continues

Setting up house in Tysons: Management consultant Guidehouse made Fairfax County’s biggest economic development-related announcement of the year (so far!) yesterday when it announced it will establish its global headquarters to Tysons. Gov. Ralph Northam announced that the company will invest $12.7 million in a new corporate campus at 1676 International Drive, to open later this year and create more than 900 new jobs. Tristan Navera of the Washington Business Journal reported that the office, initially 75,000 square feet, will house more than 1,550 jobs when it reaches full capacity, and the company will create more than 1,000 new jobs over the next three years. Guidehouse, a portfolio company of Veritas Management, works in management, technology and risk consulting for the public and commercial sectors. “Guidehouse is proud to announce our new corporate headquarters in Tysons, Fairfax County’s largest business district,” said Guidehouse Chief Executive Officer Scott McIntyre. “This move will allow us to best accommodate growth, serve our people and clients, and attract talent. Virginia offers a highly skilled workforce and business-friendly climate, making it an ideal location for Guidehouse’s future.” Virginia Business has more.

An apt hiring spree: Tysons low-code software firm Appian is stepping up its hiring spree as it looks to market its products differently. The company saw revenue grow to $88.8 million in the first quarter, up 13 percent from $78.8 million during the first quarter of 2020, with all of the growth coming from subscriptions, as opposed to professional services, as Appian increasingly deemphasizes that part of the business, shifting it more toward partners. “Like we said last quarter, we are aggressively hiring sales reps, marketing folks,” Appian CEO and co-founder Matt Calkins said. “We have a new CMO and software engineers, so we’re going to continue to aggressively hire.” The Washington Business Journal has more.

Thumbs up: George Mason University’s new School of Computing, the first of its kind in the commonwealth, received the all-important thumbs up from Virginia education regulators. Staff from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia approved the school administratively late last month. The new school — combining the departments of computer science, statistics and information sciences and technology — will be housed within the Volgenau School of Engineering, which falls under GMU’s newly created College of Engineering and Computing. The computing school, as well as the new Institute for Digital Innovation, will eventually have a physical home in Arlington, in a 360,500-square-foot building on Mason’s Virginia Square campus, the Washington Business Journal reported.

Give me liberty: Tysons-based Booz Allen Hamilton intends to acquire Herndon-based Liberty IT Solutions for $725 million. “This acquisition supports our long-term strategy to drive continued growth by investing in innovative technologies and talent at scale,” said Booz Allen President and CEO Horacio Rozanski. “The addition of Liberty strengthens our unique market position as a leader in digital transformation, accelerates already robust growth in our health business and beyond, and delivers value for our people, our clients, and our shareholders.” Liberty comes with a backlog of more than $2 billion in federal contracts, reported Virginia Business.

Point to point: Herndon-based Forcepoint acquired San Ramon-based Cyberinc. Cyberinc’s Smart Isolation capability technology gives administrators granular control to minimize risk without impeding user productivity.  Forcepoint will integrate Smart Isolation capabilities within its Data-first SASE architecture to strengthen its information technology portfolio. “Forcepoint is executing on our vision for the industry’s most comprehensive Data-first SASE offering that delivers risk-based data security everywhere, over every channel, to give customers consistent enforcement anywhere their people work,” commented Manny Rivelo, CEO of Forcepoint. ExecutiveGov covered the story.

Back to the future: Israel-based Elbit Systems of America, which has offices in Reston, collaborated with Providence, R.I.-based Textron Systems for the US Marine Corps’ next phase of Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicle (ARV) prototype. The new ARV will replace the USMC’s existing in-service Light Armored Vehicle. It has been operational with the service since the 1980s, reported Naval Technology.

Gaining trust: U.K.-based OneWeb, which has its North American headquarters in Tysons, is buying Texas-based managed satcoms provider TrustComm to create a new government subsidiary. The deal comes soon after the Air Force Research Laboratory contracted OneWeb to demonstrate managed satcom services in Arctic locations.“OneWeb’s acquisition of TrustComm underpins our strategy to rapidly scale satellite communications service to the U.S. Department of Defense and other government agencies as they look to integrate high throughput, low latency solutions to meet new connectivity demands,” OneWeb head of government services Dylan Browne said. SpaceNews has more.

Stealthy sky strike system: Melbourne, Fla.-based L3Harris Technologies, which has offices in Herndon, and Texas-based Air Tractor teamed up to produce Sky Warden, an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) strike system intended to function in austere environments. Sky Warden is an integrated package of an Air Tractor’s single-engine aircraft offering a large payload capacity, and the L3Harris’ sensor, communications and ISR platforms, reported ExecutiveBiz.

Point making: Bridge Commercial Real Estate, the Atlanta-based subsidiary of Bridge Investment Group, is rolling out an in-house flexible coworking operation, including a location in Reston, to try to take advantage of the shifting nature of the workplace. Named Abridge, the flex-office program is expected to grow to 1 million square foot across Bridge’s national portfolio, which spans more than 14 million square foot of office space in 15 states. The Reston location is in a building on Sunrise Valley Drive now called Makers Point, Bisnow reported.

Perspective gained: Herndon-based Peraton announced that it completed its acquisition of Chantilly-based Perspecta. The new Peraton has annual revenues of approximately $7 billion, a current backlog of approximately $24.4 billion, and a three-year qualified pipeline of $200 billion. The company employs 22,000 employees; 7,500 have a top-secret SCI clearance, according to citybizlist.

Ship docked: Reston-based Leidos completed its acquisition of Arlington-based Gibbs & Cox for $380 million. Gibbs & Cox will be combined with Leidos’ maritime systems division and act as a Leidos subsidiary. “We are delighted to welcome the Gibbs & Cox team to the Leidos family. Gibbs & Cox is widely regarded for developing the most talented and experienced naval designers in the world. We look forward to this new era of innovation while combining the best of both companies,” said Leidos chairman and CEO Roger Krone. ExecutiveGov sailed in the news.

Tech titans: Northern Virginia Technology Council president and CEO Jennifer Taylor was named a “Tech Titan” by Washingtonian magazine. The Tech Titan awards honor the top leaders with a proven track record in technology and whose influence and vision drive the region’s tech community, reported IT News Online. Given Fairfax County’s importance as a global IT hub it’s no surprise that C-level executives at 35 additional Fairfax County area-based companies and organizations made the annual list, including Mike Salvino, president and CEO, DXC Technology (Tysons); Matt Calkins, founder and CEO, Appian (Tysons); Bob Stolle, president and CEO, Center for Innovative Technology (Herndon); and Barbara Hunt, founder and CEO, NetAbstraction (Chantilly). Click here to see the entire list, which also includes executives at 25 additional companies and organizations based in other jurisdictions in Northern Virginia.


Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

Parsons received a $618 million contract from the General Services Administration to provide system engineering, research and development, prototyping, training and open-source intelligence capabilities needed for enhancing the cyber and intelligence technologies of the intelligence community. GovConWire

General Dynamics Mission Systems received a $72.8 million contract from the Navy to modify and provide engineering support services to the Knifefish unmanned undersea vehicle. GovConWire

Perspecta secured a $17.9 million task order to develop cyber tools and solutions for the Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command. Naval Technology

Northrop Grumman won a $13.3 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to provide positioning, navigation and timing  payloads for Blackjack, a DARPA project to demonstrate the military utility of small satellites in low-Earth orbit. SpaceNews

Akima subsidiary RiverTech won a 5-year $4.4 million Federal Emergency Management Agency contract to provide support to enhance its data analysis and reporting. ExecutiveBiz


Featured business events

May 10-13 — NVTC’s Impact AI Summit. Presented by the Northern Virginia Technology Council, the AI Summit will feature unique insights from distinguished keynote speakers and panelists. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority is a sponsor of the event. Click here to register.

May 12 — How to Create Powerful Messaging That Converts Your Ideal Prospects into Clients Effortlessly. The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce presents a webinar featuring James Lawson and Angela Inzerillo, co-founders of Impact Business Solutions. This session is part of the chamber’s Business Education Series sponsored by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. Click here to register.

May 18 — ExportON! Emerging Tech Trade Forum Northern Virginia, USA/Ontario, Canada. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and the Province of Ontario present a program for innovative tech companies on partnership opportunities between Ontario and Northern Virginia. Click here to register.

May 19 — Investing in Richmond Highway: Exploring New Development and Business Opportunities in Southeast Fairfax County. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, the Fairfax County Government and Bisnow present a webinar on commercial real estate development opportunities in the Richmond Highway area. Click here to register.

May 19 — State of the Capital Region 2021: Examining the pandemic’s impact on the geography of jobs. The Brookings Institute presents a webinar featuring a presentation by Leah Brooks, director, Center for Washington Area Studies, The George Washington University. A panel discussion will feature Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. Click here to register.

May 20 — Entry-Level Professionals Virtual Career Fair. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority presents a free virtual career fair for entry-level professionals or recent (or soon-to-be) college graduates looking to launch their career at 25 leading companies in Northern Virginia. Click here to register.

May 20 — Cybersecurity to Prevent and Protect: Securing America’s IT Frontier. George Mason University’s School of Business Center for Government Contracting is presenting a webinar and virtual networking opportunity. This is the second webinar in the “New Directions in Federal Spending & Contracting” series, which is sponsored by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.  Click here to register.


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.


Expanded capacity, social gathering limits coming May 15

Governor Ralph Northam announced April 22 that sports and entertainment venues in Virginia may begin to operate with expanded capacity, and social gathering limits will increase beginning Saturday, May 15. The announcement comes as vaccinations continue to rise in the Commonwealth, and more than half of all adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. All Virginians age 16 and older are now eligible to for the vaccine.

The Governor also reminded Virginians that getting vaccinated keeps communities safer, and allows expanded personal activities—for example, people who have been fully vaccinated do not have to quarantine after an exposure, per guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Commonwealth will continue to mandate mask-wearing and social distancing, even as commercial restrictions are further eased. Key changes in the Sixth Amended Executive Order Seventy-Two will go into effect on May 15 include:

  • Social gatherings: The maximum number of individuals permitted in a social gathering will increase to 100 people for indoor settings and 250 people for outdoor settings. Social gatherings are currently limited to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.
  • Entertainment venues: Indoor entertainment and public amusement venues will be able to operate at 50 percent capacity or 1,000 people, up from 30 percent capacity or 500 people. Outdoor venues will be able to operate at 50 percent capacity—up from 30 percent—with no specific cap on the number of attendees.
  • Recreational sporting events: The number of spectators allowed at indoor recreational sporting events will increase from 100 to 250 spectators or 50 percent capacity, whichever is less. Outdoor recreational sporting events will increase from 500 to 1,000 people or 50 percent capacity, whichever is less. 
  • Alcohol sales: Restaurants may return to selling alcohol after midnight, and dining room closures will no longer be required between midnight and 5:00 a.m.

The full text of Sixth Amended Executive Order Seventy-Two and Order of Public Health Emergency Nine is available here. Updated guidelines for specific sectors can be found here.

Governor Northam also made minor changes to the existing mitigation measures, including increased accommodations for cross-country events, school-based fine arts performances, and expanded access to bar seating in restaurants with strict social distancing. These changes are reflected in the current Fifth Amended Executive Order Seventy-Two available here.

Visit virginia.gov/coronavirus/forwardvirginia for more information and answers to frequently asked questions.

Virginia has now administered more than 6.8 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and is currently giving more than 50,600 shots per day. Over 4 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine, more than half of all adults in Virginia and more than 47 percent of the total population.

Virginians over the age of 16 can schedule an appointment for vaccination by visiting vaccinate.virginia.gov or calling 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1). Click here to schedule an appointment in Fairfax County.