November 2, 2023: 19 Fairfax County-Based Companies Ranked for Fastest Growth + Weekly Business News Digest
Nineteen Fairfax County-headquartered companies landed on Washington Business Journal’s list of “Greater Washington’s 50 fastest-growing companies in 2023.” According to the Journal, the designated companies needed to be private, independently owned, locally headquartered, and have sustained revenue growth for three years in a row (no dips), with at least $2 million in 2020 and at least $10 million in 2022. Click here to read more on the criteria. Here are the Fairfax County-based front-runners:
|1||Goldschmitt and Associates|
|12||Shirley Luu and Associates|
|33||The Alliance Group|
|34||Omega World Travel|
Tysons-based Hilton Worldwide took the no. 1 spot on Fortune’s 2023 Best Workplaces for Women list, WTOP reported. At Hilton, 95 percent of employees called the company a great place to work. In addition to on-site hotel property jobs, Hilton, a Fortune 500 company, employs thousands of corporate employees, including about 800 at its headquarters in Tysons. Hilton currently has more than 5,000 job openings company wide.
Four additional Fairfax County-based companies landed on the list: Vienna-based Navy Federal Credit Union, which ranked at no. 33; Reston-based Collaborative Solutions, at no. 34; Tysons-based Capital One at no. 70; and Falls Church-area based Cognosante at No. 78.
To make the list, at least 20 percent of non-executive management must be women, and at least one C-Suite executive must be a woman. The rankings are based on employee surveys. Feedback is then coupled with industry, revenue size and employee demographics, workplace cultures and gender balance from front-line jobs to the boardroom, according to Fortune.
Weekly Business News Digest
Driving Northern Virginia’s economy: George Mason University’s Greg and Camille Baroni Center for Government Contracting was founded in 2019, wrote Virginia Business reporter Jill S. Devine in a Virginia Business feature article. Based in Fairfax County, George Mason is located amid the nation’s largest concentrated regional hub for government agencies and federal contractors, a $700 billion industry, noted Ajay Vinzé, dean of Mason’s School of Business. Five years in, the center is fast becoming a significant presence in the government contracting world, providing opportunities for research, education and collaboration. Virginia currently ranks as the top state in the nation for defense spending, with $62.7 billion spent in Virginia for fiscal 2022, according to the Department of Defense, but for years that growth went under the radar. “It was like people had been Rip Van Winkled, where they were asleep between the 1980s and 2000s when Northern Virginia just exploded,” said John Hillen III, adjunct professor at Mason’s School of Business & former assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs during President George W. Bush’s second term. “Major contractors began moving their headquarters here, bringing jobs that have been driving the Northern Virginia economy ever since. Government contracting is inextricably linked with the evolution of Northern Virginia.”
U.S. opportunities for overseas space companies: With sights set on the world’s most lucrative space and defense market, many overseas companies have set up shop in the United States, SpaceNews reported. Notable successes include European firms like BAE Systems, which is based in the U.S. in the Falls Church area; and Airbus U.S., which is based in the U.S. in Herndon and Ashburn, with its Airbus U.S. Space & Defense operations in Arlington, Va. Following in their footsteps are a new crop of overseas space and intelligence companies seeking to fill U.S. government demand for cutting-edge commercial technologies. Jerry Welsh, an industry expert who advises U.S. and foreign companies, said more space companies are U.S.-bound, not just to chase government contracts. He expects more overseas space companies to venture into the U.S. market as commercial and government programs move into the “next exciting phase of technology and innovation.” Welsh added: “The U.S. government is ultimately interested in unique capabilities from commercial providers as long as they have met relevant security and regulatory requirements.”
Robust job growth: Tysons-based Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the biggest employers in the D.C. region and the largest government IT contractor, has added thousands of jobs in the past year, reported WTOP. Booz Allen’s government contracting work remains robust. It logged nearly $2.7 billion in revenue in its most recent quarter, 16 percent more than a year earlier. The company ended its fiscal second quarter with its best first half of a year in the company’s history. It ended its most recent quarter with a total backlog of contracted work on the books of $35 billion, up more than 10 percent from a year earlier. Booz Allen increased its head count by 500 employees last quarter, and by 3,100 in the last year, a 10.3 percent annual workforce growth. Booz Allen now has more than 33,000 employees worldwide, including roughly 14,000 in the D.C. region.
Cybersecurity partnership: Reston-based Science Applications International Corp. and Palo Alto, California-based Xage Security and will provide zero trust, distributed security and other cybersecurity platforms and services for the Department of Defense and federal agency customers under a strategic partnership, according to GovConWire. Under the partnership, SAIC and Xage’s wholly owned affiliate Xage Security Gov will work together to enable DOD to easily procure platforms for zero trust, privileged access management and edge authentication use cases and provide cybersecurity offerings for the U.S. Air Force’s Cloud Based Command and Control initiative and other programs of record of the U.S. government.
Solar Eqlipse: Herndon-based Eqlipse Technologies unveiled plans to purchase Sunrise, Florida-based signals intelligence and electronic warfare technology provider SR Technologies for an undisclosed amount, according to GovConWire. The deal was announced Wednesday by private equity firm Arlington Capital Partners, which owns equity in Eqlipse. “Eqlipse is focused on bringing innovation to our customers’ missions through research and development, novel technologies, and market leading capabilities for complex problems,” said David Wodlinger, a managing partner at Arlington Capital Partners. “SRT’s culture of innovation, cutting-edge products, and a dedicated team are natural fit with Eqlipse and we are excited about the technology that we can build together.”
Happy Anniversary! Tysons-based Iridium Communications is celebrating its 25th anniversary this week, AZCentral reported. Iridium provides voice and data transmissions from anywhere on Earth, courtesy of a constellation or network of 66 active, interconnected low-altitude satellites. Those satellites spin around the Earth at nearly 16,700 miles an hour, 483 miles above sea level. “Cellphones cover less than 15 percent of the Earth’s surface,” said Matthew Desch, Iridium’s CEO, during an interview with The Arizona Republic. “Even in the U.S., there are a lot of dead zones.” The linkages among satellites allow Iridium to cover the entire planet, whether communications are needed with a freighter in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, a scientist based at the South Pole, a hiker at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro or an electronically tagged elephant on an African savannah. The global coverage allows Iridium to provide services in nations where it has no physical presence. Company revenue is derived roughly 50-50 between U.S. and foreign customers.
Space sensor start-up: Space entrepreneur Eric Ingram, CEO of Fairfax County-based Scout Space, co-founded the fast-growing start-up in 2019. Virginia Business reporter Courtney Mabeus-Brown interviewed Ingram in a feature article about Scout Space’s founding and growth. Scout Space manufactures and develops sensor-based systems to enable satellites to safely navigate space while collecting data about what’s going on in orbit. “If you get a fender bender on the highway, you do not ruin the highway for the next 25 years,” said Ingram, a 2013 graduate of Old Dominion University. “If you get into a fender bender in space going 17,000 miles an hour, that debris cloud could potentially disrupt that entire orbital slot for 25 years.” Scout Space has three missions planned in the next nine months and a large product announcement set within the year, according to Ingram.
Chairing for regional economic growth: Washington, D.C.-based Greater Washington Partnership, a nonprofit alliance of some of the region’s largest employers aimed at bolstering economic growth, has named Kathy Warden as its board chair. Warden is the president and CEO of Falls Church-area based Northrop Grumman. She will be the first woman, non-founder and CEO of a global company to lead the board, reported Potomac Tech Wire.
North Star Strategy: Reston-based Leidos announced key leadership changes and realigned its operating groups into five sectors, effective Jan. 1, as part of efforts to execute its long-term strategy and drive innovation, according to GovConWire. Leidos CEO Thomas Bell told analysts during an earnings call that the realignment is part of the company’s “north star” strategy, called Leidos Next, that seeks to “promote operational excellence, allow faster decision-making and more tightly align our business around key technology discriminators.”
Win-win: Tysons-based Capital One provided $100,000 for CodeVA, a Richmond-based computer science resource organization, to develop a data science curriculum for Virginia high schoolers. Developed with the help of Capital One technologists, the program’s creators hope it will help students pursue several careers. The curriculum was developed in accordance with the Virginia Department of Education’s decision to include data science in K-12 studies, technical.ly reported. Kurt Engleman, managing VP and finance chief risk officer at Capital One, said that this initiative was a win-win for the company. In addition to being a development opportunity for Capital One employees, who can learn how to teach their craft, it’s also building better future candidates for companies across Virginia. Data science jobs are going to be in high demand, he said, and data science has applications in all kinds of tech jobs.
Educational spaces: Fairfax County Public Schools has transformed 40K square feet of a Herndon office park into educational spaces primarily focused on adult learning programs, Bisnow reported. The buildings were converted to classroom, office and testing space to house programs geared toward teaching English to speakers of other languages, adult high school credentials programs and the school system’s short-term intervention program.
Done deal: Herndon-based Beacon has completed the acquisition of H&H Roofing Supply of Bakersfield, California. Year to date in 2023, Beacon has expanded its branch footprint through the completion of nine acquisitions and the opening of 19 new locations. Founded in 1928, Beacon is a Fortune 500, publicly traded distributor of building products, including roofing materials and complementary products, such as siding and waterproofing. The company operates over 500 branches throughout all 50 states in the U.S. and 6 provinces in Canada. Yahoo Finance has more.
Bunny tales: Bunnyman Brewing, located in Burke, is featured in an episode of horror legend John Carpenter’s new “Suburban Screams” series, Burke Patch reported. Carpenter explores real horror stories from America’s suburbs in the new “Suburban Screams” series streaming on Peacock. The series explores the most popular renditions of the Fairfax County Bunnyman myth, from an escaped insane asylum inmate who reportedly killed another inmate and hung him from the Colchester Overpass bridge in Clifton, to the 1970s sightings of the Bunnyman with a hatchet. The fourth episode dives into the origins of the Bunnyman with dramatized re-creations of encounters with the Bunnyman. The episode featured an appearance from Eric Barrett, a Fairfax native who co-owns Bunnyman Brewing in the area of the 1970s Bunnyman sightings. Read more about regional urban legends, including Bunnyman tales, in InsideNoVa; Washingtonian; and Washington Post. Click here to see FCEDA’s interview with the Bunnyman Brewing owners.
Northrop Grumman (Falls Church) scored a $732 million contract from The Space Development Agency for 38 communications satellites that will be part of the U.S. military’s low Earth orbit space architecture. SpaceNews
HawkEye 360 (Herndon) won a $12.2 million contract from the U.S. Navy’s Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific to share satellite radio frequency data, provide analytics and training services to partner nations in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. SpaceNews
FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events
November 14 — Entrepreneurship 101. Join our panel of small business experts for an interactive in-person workshop 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, the Entrepreneur Spotlight will feature Founder of Veterans Growing America, Donnell E Johns, Sr. Click here to register.
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Fairfax County EDA is here to connect businesses of all kinds to resources and information. For direct assistance, email the FCEDA at email@example.com, 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.