E-Bird Newsletter

October 20, 2022 E-news: Hoskins Lands on WBJ ‘Power 100’ List + Weekly Business News Digest

Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, was named for the third time to the Washington Business Journal’s “Power 100” annual roster of the most influential and impactful business leaders in Greater Washington.

“It is a tremendous honor and a blessing to be counted among these leaders of Greater Washington, said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. “Collaboration between the public and private sectors, including all of the leaders recognized here, is key to the phenomenal growth and economic development of the region.”

According to the Journal: “Since 2019, Hoskins has headed the economic development activities of one of the region’s undisputed economic powerhouses. He’s an important, connected figure regionally, serving currently as chair of the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance and having served previously in executive economic development roles in D.C., Prince George’s and Arlington. He oversees 36 employees, offices in five international business hubs and an annual budget topping $9 million.”


Weekly Business News Digest

Women-owned companies: Fairfax-based Omega World Travel leads as the number one largest woman-owned business in the Greater Washington region, ranked by total revenue for 2021, according to the Washington Business Journal in subscriber-only content. Omega World Travel was founded in 1972 but Gloria Bohan, its president and CEO. With total revenue of $485 million for 2021, the company has 495 employees. Eight additional Fairfax County-based companies ranked on the list of 30 firms: NVE (Reston); Sekon Enterprise (Reston); Quadrant (Reston); Computer Systems Center (Springfield); Communications Resources (Tysons); Gridiron IT Solutions (Reston); Nolij Consulting (Tysons); and Grimm & Parker Architects (Tysons). An additional nine companies based in other Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance jurisdictions placed on the annual list.

Milestone met: The D.C. region met its goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by the year 2020, according to a new report by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. This means the region is on track to meet ambitious climate goals for 2030 and 2050, but the hardest part still lies ahead. “We’re not talking about the low-hanging fruit anymore,” said Maia Davis, senior environmental planner at COG. “We need to push towards the zero’s: zero carbon or carbon-neutral grid, zero-energy buildings, zero-emission vehicles, and zero waste.” For 2030, the region’s jurisdictions have committed to cutting carbon emissions by 50 percent, compared to 2005 levels. The goal for 2050 is an 80 percent cut in emissions. DCist has more.

New tack: Tysons Partnership — the nonprofit charged with implementing Fairfax County’s vision for Tysons — will be phased out in favor of a newly created Tysons Community Alliance (TCA) that will advocate for local residents, businesses and nonprofits, the partnership announced Monday, FFXnow reported. County government officials joined representatives from Tysons businesses, residential neighborhoods, and nonprofits to officially create the new organization, voting to elect its first board of directors and appoint Tysons Partnership acting Executive Director Richard Bradley as the acting CEO. “The extensive coordination and commitment from the County together with the business and residential communities allowed everyone to focus on a vision and mission that would best serve Tysons as a whole. Tysons Community Alliance blends the best of public sector interests and the flexibility of the private sector working together,” said Tysons Partnership Board Chair Josh White, who will serve as the TCA’s first board chair. The Washington Business Journal has more.

Wish fulfilled: With the recent grand opening of the new Workforce Innovation Skills Hub (W.I.S.H.) at the Hybla Valley Community Center, Franconia District Supervisor Rodney Lusk is fulfilling his campaign promise to deliver in his first term a workforce center in an economically challenged part of Southeast Fairfax County, reported On the Move. When Lusk first hatched his plans a few years ago, his primary focus was on innovation — attracting companies involved with emerging technologies to the Richmond Highway corridor. Over the course of the pandemic, however, as many people in service industries lost their jobs, Lusk shifted his focus to creating employment opportunities. Specifically, his aim is to get unemployed or low-paid workers —those earning less than $20 per hour— upskilled into higher paying and in-demand fields with immediate job placement opportunities. “Innovation is still part of it, but workforce development is now the focus,” said Supervisor Lusk. While building out the new workforce center’s 8,000-square-foot space at the community center, Lusk’s team set about forming partnerships with organizations like Amazon, Dominion Energy and the Inova Health System.

Launch flexibility and control: Tysons-based Spire Global, a global provider of space-based data, analytics and space services, entered into an agreement with Long Beach, Calif.-based launch provider Virgin Orbit to purchase multiple launches over several years. The first launch is expected to take place in 2023. Exemplary of the growing demand for the small satellite market, the launches will support the growth of Spire Space Services, a platform that offers customers fast and scalable access to space through a subscription model, and continual upgrades and enhancements to the company’s fully deployed satellite constellation, according to the Space Channel. “Working with Virgin Orbit gives us flexibility and control over launches, rather than waiting for the secondary rideshare market to provide the orbits we want on timelines that we have to work with,” said Robert Sproles, Vice President, Constellation Planning & Operations at Spire Global.

On a roll: Modus Create, a Reston-based digital product and development firm, acquired Philadelphia-based Promptworks, a product and application development firm forced on the retail, healthcare and life sciences markets. The company said the acquisition of Promptworks will give it a foothold in the Philadelphia area, and also strengthen its product development capabilities. “The addition of Promptworks further strengthens our reputation for building unique, human-centered applications for leading global brands,” said Sarah McCasland, chief strategy officer at Modus Create. “Creating successful products is more important than ever as organizations strive to attract and maintain successful customer relationships.” This past summer, Modus Create acquired Atlas Authority and Tweag. Potomac Tech Wire carried the release.

Done deal: Tysons-based Alarm.com completed a majority-stake acquisition of Missouri-based Noonlight, a next-generation connected safety and event management platform that enables new applications and provides enhanced emergency response capabilities, citybiz reported. Noonlight was founded in 2013 to deliver advanced technology that protects and comforts people so they can live freely. The company began as a personal safety mobile application and has grown into a connected safety platform that has organically attracted over 3.5 million Noonlight app users. Noonlight’s software platform enables context aware event management and emergency response for a range of IoT device vendors.

True leveling up: Tysons-based Booz Allen Hamilton and Washington, D.C.-based Armaments Research Company (ARC) announced a partnership to demonstrate the performance of ARC’s weapons sensing data across BAH’s fifth-generation mobile technology (5G)-powered network. This project is part of a previously awarded Booz Allen contract to maximize soldiers’ performance on and off the battlefield. “This partnership will help reveal what’s conceivable as the Army considers new approaches to gaining overmatch in future conflict. The collective creativity across the Army, BAH, and ARC teams thus far has inspired a more ambitious vision of scale for this combined solution,” said ARC CEO Michael Canty. “This project represents the forefront of a true leveling up of our nation’s military.” Intelligence Community News has more.

Cool news: Chantilly-based CoolR Group, a developer of automated ordering technology for brands using AI-based image recognition, raised $10 million in a new round of funding, led by previous backer First Analysis. Moneta Ventures and Remarkable Ventures also participated in the round, which the company plans to use to drive growth and invest in R&D. CoolR’s platform, called Playbook, directs brands to take immediate actions on retail shelves based on ROI and revenue opportunity. The company uses its proprietary cameras along with third-party apps and devices to collect images in real time from shelves, then translates those pictures into prioritized actions. Potomac Tech Wire carried the release.

Bigger connection: EdgeConneX, a Herndon-based provider of data center services, secured a $150 million loan to continue its expansion in Latin America, including Chile and Colombia. The loan, which refinances outstanding debts, comes after the company secured $1.7 billion through a series of financing transactions earlier this year. “This latest funding provides EdgeConneX with the backing necessary to continue its regional expansion in Latin America and to do so in a sustainability-minded way,” said CFO Joe Harar. Potomac Tech Wire picked up the release.

We’re almost there: Northern Virginia’s two major airports have just a little more ground to make up before they surpass pre-COVID travel figures, Sun Gazette reported. The 4,373,369 passengers moving through Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport in July compared to 4,539,322 in July 2019, according to data from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. The remaining shortfall? Only about 3.7 percent. Reagan National already has surpassed pre-COVID levels for several months. Its 2,216,200 passengers in July 2022 compared to 2,078,406 in July 2019. At Dulles, the 2,156,169 passengers of July 2022 compared to 2,460,916 of July 2019.

And speaking of Dulles: United Airlines will add a flight to Paris and increase service to Berlin from Washington Dulles International Airport in 2023, according to InsideNoVa. Starting May 25, United plans to add daily nonstop service between Dulles and Berlin. It will be the only nonstop option between Washington and the German capital. While service is pending government approval, tickets have been placed on sale. On June 2, the airline plans to add a second daily flight between Dulles and Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Chef-driven concept at Reagan: Tysons-based Capital One Financial Corp. is expanding its airport lounge, announcing plans Tuesday to open a new concept, Capital One Landing, at Ronald Reagan National Airport, as well as at LaGuardia Airport in New York. Capital One partnered with chef José Andrés to design the food and beverage program for what Capital One calls a “new chef-driven concept focused on bringing an elevated experience to the heart of the terminal.” The featured menu items will be tapas, an Andrés specialty, per Capital One. At Reagan National, the 5,482-square-foot lounge will be located post-security in Terminal 2 at the intersection of National Hall and Concourse D. Because of how the airport is set up after the $1 billion Project Journey, passengers using other concourses will also have access. A timeline for construction and opening was not provided, according to the Washington Business Journal.

Service Humans Needed: McLean-based Mars Petcare announced the launch of its pet shelter volunteer program —Service Humans Needed—which enlists the help of more than 60,000 Mars Associates and pet advocates across North America to support pets by volunteering acts of service to help shelters and pets in need, Pet Business reported. According to a recent survey from Adopt a Pet, nearly 9 in 10 animal shelters and rescue organizations in the U.S. reported that resource constraints and overpopulation have remained consistent or worsened since the first half of 2022. “As the shelter crisis has developed in recent months, we talked with many partners across the animal welfare community about how and where we could best help,” said Silja Schiller-Moumtzidis, global director of shelters and pet adoptions, Mars Petcare. “Shelter teams work tirelessly to help pets in need. We are thrilled that by uniting associates across Mars in a timely volunteer program, we can offer relief when it’s needed most.”

More in store: Mini-golf-themed entertainment concept Puttshack is coming to Reston, the Washington Business Journal reported. The company, with locations in Atlanta and Chicago, has leased 29,000 square feet at 1850 Reston Row Plaza. The location, slated to open in summer 2025, is part of the second phase of Reston Station, the 80-acre mixed-use project being developed by the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station by Comstock Holding Companies. Puttshack will join a growing mix of retail tenants at the development including Big Buns Burgers, Matchbox, Scissors & Scotch and Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse.


Contract Wins

BAE Systems (Falls Church) received a $143 million contract from the U.S. Navy to continue to support the integration of various mission equipment, combat systems, and computer programs for the U.S. Navy’s Surface Combat Systems Center in Wallops Island, Virginia. Navy Recognition


FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events

October 27 — Exporting 101: State and Federal Resources. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, in partnership with U.S. Commercial Service – U.S. Department of Commerce, Export-Import Bank of the United States, and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) presents a free webinar. Highlights of the workshop include an overview of state and federal government resources, researching the market, the exporting process, and export financing. Click here to register.

October 27 — Digital Transformation Community Fall Networking Mixer. Northern Virginia Technology Council presents a networking mixer. Come celebrate digital transformation and meet industry peers from our vibrant tech community. Light appetizers and drinks will be served. This event is open to both NVTC members and non-members. Click here to register.

Nov. 15 to 16, 2022 — TiE DC Capital GovCon and ELITE Awards Gala. TiE DC Capital GovCon 2022 will bring together over 300 small business owners and professionals in the D.C. Metro region for two days of content-rich programming and networking. The event will feature government & industry leaders leading significant digital transformation efforts across their respective agencies. Click here to register. Awards Info: The TiE DC Capital ELITE Awards recognize Excellence in Leadership, Innovation, Technology & Entrepreneurship. This year, at their flagship Capital GovCon event, TiE DC will honor government and industry executives that epitomize the virtues of this award. An independent jury will evaluate and rank each nomination, so TiE DC can duly recognize the achievements of executives in the government and government contracting community that have made a significant impact to the industry in the last 12-18 months. Note that the jury will remain undisclosed throughout the deliberations process. Click here to access the nomination form.

Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 — Global convening of the inaugural Quantum World Congress. This global event will bring the future into focus while establishing the Greater Washington region as a go-to destination and meeting place for quantum technology visionaries, policymakers, researchers, business and investment leaders, and students. With the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, and the Commonwealth of Virginia as major sponsors, the event is organized by Connected DMV. Click here to learn more, see the list of expert speakers, and reserve your spot.

December 6 — 2022 NVTC Tech 100 Celebration. The Northern Virginia Technology Council will host their annual event at Capital One Hall in Tysons to celebrate the top companies and leaders in the Greater Washington tech community.  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.