News from our home office
Victor Hoskins “excited” to become new FCEDA president and CEO
The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority announced July 8 that Victor Hoskins will become its new president and chief executive officer, effective August 5.
Hoskins is currently Director of Economic Development for Arlington County, Virginia, where he helped lead the successful regional effort to bring Amazon’s HQ2 to Northern Virginia. He previously served as Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development for the District of Columbia where he was instrumental in the development of major sites in the District including City Center, the Wharf and Union Market.
“Victor has been an economic-development dynamo in our region for years. We are thrilled he is bringing his experience and expertise to Fairfax County,” said Catherine Lange, chair of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority Board. “After an extensive search, Fairfax County found the right leader in our own backyard. Victor will be a tremendous asset as we launch new initiatives to strengthen and broaden our workforce and grow our commercial enterprises. With his energy and wide-ranging contacts, Victor will step up our efforts to attract and retain top talent and increase business investment in Fairfax County.”
Hoskins said he is eager to start his new job. “I couldn’t be more excited to join the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority as its new leader,” Hoskins said. “Fairfax County is well known for its pro-growth environment and its ability to attract, train and retain talented workers. With the backing of FCEDA’s excellent staff, I hope to do more of that with increased outreach in the U.S. and abroad, especially among young people. As always, I hope to work closely with my colleagues and friends in the region. I also plan to increase our use of research and digital communications to expand the county’s dynamic workforce, attract startups and grow existing businesses.”
The FCEDA recently announced a new talent attraction and retention program to build on opportunities created by Amazon’s HQ2 in Northern Virginia. The program, which will receive $1 million in its first year and $800,000 in succeeding years, will study what organizations are doing to expand the talent pipeline and will use that knowledge to create a communications effort that will include digital advertising, social media, video/multimedia and outreach to journalists.
“Fairfax County is proud to have one of the best workforces and business environments in the U.S.,” said Sharon Bulova, Chair of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors. “Under Victor’s leadership, we will make sure Fairfax County is a place where talent and innovation want to be. We enthusiastically welcome Victor to the Fairfax team.”
Hoskins will succeed Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D., who retired in late 2018 after being with the FCEDA for 35 years and its president and CEO since 1987. Hoskins’ selection follows a national search conducted by executive search firm Korn Ferry.
FCEDA hosts seminar in conjunction with SelectUSA
In conjunction with the SelectUSA 2019 Investment Summit, the FCEDA presented an informative event for international firms to learn about the benefits of a Fairfax County location from those who know best – companies that have grown and prospered thanks in part to their presence in the county.
“Fairfax County: The Power of Place” was held on June 12 at the Tower Club in the Tysons area of the county and featured speakers from Capgemini Government Solutions, EY and Favor TechConsulting. About 60 attended the seminar, including members of the international business community who were provided bus transportation from SelectUSA activities at the Hilton in Washington, D.C.
In his job as head of location and investment advisory services for the Eastern U.S. at EY, Steve Tozier analyzes every detail, from proximity to suppliers and energy costs to workforce resources and even risks of natural disaster. When he was asked, internally, to help determine the best location for EY’s expanded office project, he quickly moved Tysons and Fairfax County to the top of EY’s list.
“The majority of our employee base either lives in Fairfax County or neighboring areas and 70 percent of that workforce would be in the ‘millennial’ category,” Tozier said. “The ecosystem here is really attractive to help us compete for, attract and retain that talented employee that we need to deliver our services. Also, the business climate is very friendly in Fairfax County and has been for a long time. As a public accounting firm, we spend a lot of time analyzing the tax landscape and Northern Virginia as a whole – and Fairfax County, specifically — have a very favorable story to tell regarding those indicators.”
Favor TechConsulting COO Benjamin Lin praised the assistance offered by the FCEDA in coordinating his company’s physical expansion within the county and aiding marketing efforts, leading a firm heavily engaged with the government in health IT and intelligence to dramatically increase its presence in Tysons.
“Fairfax County really helped us grow,” he said. “In 2016, we had $27 million in revenue. In 2018 it was $110 million. Some of the intangibles have been really beneficial – like the FCEDA helping us coordinate with the Virginia Jobs Investment Program and facilitating a ribbon-cutting at which the Virginia governor came out to essentially help us co-host. That was a great marketing tool to brand FTC as an up-and-coming government contractor and small business to watch in the area.”
More than 400 foreign companies have chosen Fairfax County as a U.S. location, due in part to its proximity to the nation’s capital and Washington Dulles International Airport. Carolyn Eichler, COO for Capgemini Government Solutions, elaborated on some of the attributes that makes Fairfax County not only the region’s economic engine but an ideal place for employees to enjoy a quality of life.
“We rely on top talent and the ability to attract that talent in a highly-competitive market,” Eichler said. “Fairfax County offers access to many terrific colleges and universities with a diversity of talent and degrees. Also important is the access to Metro, mass transit and airports, which is vital for our employees and clients. All this, along with cultural opportunities such as theater, sports, nightlife and recreational activities, help us attract and retain the talented workforce we require.”
For the second consecutive year, the FCEDA maintained a booth at SelectUSA, the highest-profile event dedicated to promoting foreign direct investment in the United States. SelectUSA provides the opportunity for companies from all over the world to meet economic development organizations and thought leaders from across the U.S.
Virginia is the best place in the U.S. to do business
CNBC recognized Virginia as America’s Top State for Business in 2019 in a July 10 announcement.
In addition to considering 64 metrics in 10 categories, CNBC noted Virginia’s ability to attract major businesses, especially Amazon’s decision to locate its new headquarters in Northern Virginia, as reasons to place Virginia at the top of its rankings. It’s the first time since 2011 and the fourth time in 13 years that CNBC has ranked Virginia number one.
Victor Hoskins, recently named to become the new president and CEO of the FCEDA, was instrumental in Amazon’s decision process, having served as director of Arlington County Economic Development for the last four-and-a-half years.
“Over the past decade Virginia has worked toward being a great place for all businesses to thrive,” Hoskins said. “The consistent local and state investment in education, the outstanding commitment of the state to workforce training, and the consistent corporate tax environment of the last 30-plus years has really created a very strong pro-business environment that is matched at the local level. One of the things that’s very unique about the state of Virginia is that there’s an extremely strong collaboration between the state, regional and local entities and I think that makes a huge difference.”
Fairfax County is home to more than 100 Inc. 5000 companies, more than 400 foreign-owned companies and a large minority business community. The has 612,000 jobs and is the second-largest suburban office market in the U.S. with more than 118 million square feet of office space.
Fairfax County now has 10 Fortune 500 headquarters
Fairfax County is once again home to 10 Fortune 500 headquarters, one more than a year ago.
The companies, representing a wide variety of industry sectors, highlight the fact that Fairfax County is the hub for corporate brands in the mid-Atlantic region and one of the top headquarters locations in the nation. In fact, Fairfax County has more Fortune 500 headquarters than 30 states and the District of Columbia.
Included in the Fortune 500 survey are publicly traded companies incorporated in the U.S., and U.S.-based privately held companies that file financial statements with a government agency. Fortune based its 2019 rankings on 2018 revenue, with the minimum amount of revenue required to make this year’s list at $5.6 billion.
Many Fortune 500 companies deal on a global scale. The new list includes these Fairfax County-based companies:
- Freddie Mac, Tysons, financial services
- General Dynamics, Falls Church area, aerospace and defense
- Capital One Financial, Tysons, financial services
- Northrop Grumman, Falls Church area, aerospace and defense
- DXC Technology, Tysons, information technology
- Leidos Holdings, Reston, information technology
- Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Tysons, hospitality
- NVR, Reston, home construction
- Beacon Roofing, Herndon, building materials
- Booz Allen Hamilton, Tysons, management consulting
Seven additional Fairfax County companies are on the Fortune 1000 list, which includes companies ranked between No. 501 and 1,000. They are:: SAIC, Gannett, Park Hotels and Resorts, MAXIMUS, TEGNA, Delta Tucker Holdings and ManTech International.
United Airlines debuts nonstop service between Washington Dulles and Tel Aviv
United Airlines and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority celebrated the inaugural nonstop flight from Washington Dulles International Airport to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport on May 22.
“We are honored to welcome this route from Tel Aviv to Dulles International Airport as we forge a new link between our two countries,” said Jack Potter, president and chief executive officer of the MWAA.
Representatives from the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, Israeli Embassy in Washington, United Airlines, the District of Columbia’s mayor’s office, the FCEDA, and Virginia Israel Advisory Board attended ceremonies at Dulles Gate C1.
Asher Kotz, the FCEDA’s manager of business development for Israel and cybersecurity, was among the passengers on the inaugural flight. Kotz was on his way to Israel to join the FCEDA’s Israel team for the Israel-US Business Summit and other events involving prospect companies the week of May 26-30.
Also, on June 3, EGYPTAIR began services between Cairo and Dulles with three weekly non-stop flights.
A game-changer for health care and research in Fairfax County: Inova dedicates Schar Cancer Institute
Medical research and the battle against cancer received major boosts in Fairfax County when the Inova Health System opened its $150 million Inova Schar Cancer Institute to patients on May 13.
Located in the Merrifield area of Fairfax County on the site of a former Exxon Mobil headquarters, the cancer facility was made possible in part by a major contribution from Dwight and Martha Schar, principles of Reston-based homebuilder NVR. Joining members of the Schar family at the dedication ceremonies were dignitaries including U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (Vermont) and his wife (both cancer survivors), U.S. Congressman Gerry Connelly, broadcast news personality Cokie Roberts and Sharon Bulova, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
Inova is Fairfax County’s largest private employer and has more than 18,000 employees across Northern Virginia. The state-of-the-art Schar Institute was designed as a one-stop center for cancer patients, putting teams of physicians, surgeons, researchers, counselors and other caregivers under one roof.
“It’s going to be game-changing to have world-class care centered in one place,” said Dr. John Deeken, who was named president of Inova Schar during the dedication ceremonies. “We specifically designed the building to allow our teams to practice medicine effectively together … “Nobody in Northern Virginia should think they need to go to Houston, New York or Baltimore to get world-class cancer care. We have it right here.”
“The Schar Cancer Center raises the already-high level of health-care facilities in Fairfax County, and as part of the Inova Center for Personalized Health it can make Fairfax County and Northern Virginia a destination for world-class research and clinical work,” said Catherine W. Riley, interim president and CEO of the FCEDA.
Financial planner, author Ric Edelman focuses on opportunity for all at FCEDA small business workshop
Fairfax County is truly a melting pot of cultures (41 percent of all business in the county are minority-owned) and businesses of all sizes (97 percent of all Fairfax County businesses are considered “small” businesses, with fewer than 100 employees).
In recognition of National Small Business Week, the FCEDA hosted a half-day workshop that featured award-winning financial planner and media host Ric Edelman as the keynote speaker. Speaking to a crowd of about 70, Edelman offered tips for those thinking about starting a business in Fairfax County
“This is a pretty exciting place to live and to build and to grow a business,” said Edelman, who launched Edelman Financial Services (now Edelman Financial Engines) in Fairfax County and has grown it to 180 locations and about 1,400 employees across the U.S. “If you could pick pretty much anywhere in the country where you wanted to start a business, I would have to argue that Northern Virginia and, in particular Fairfax County, is probably the place to be.
“Opportunity has never been greater,” “he said. “We have lower barriers to entry than at any time in my professional career, which now spans over three decades. The economic opportunities, the technological opportunities that exist that make it cheaper and easier to start a business and run a business have never been greater. As a result of all this, I would strongly encourage folks to look closely at the entrepreneurial opportunities that exist.”
FCEDA unveils a bolder, easier-to-use website
The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority unveiled a newly redesigned and streamlined website in mid-May. The brighter, bolder site marks the culmination of an effort between the FCEDA and Atlas Integrated, an economic development consultancy based in Denver.
Some of the features of the new site include:
- Improved visual elements featuring infographics and photography;
- Improved navigation;
- More ways to contact the FCEDA and access FCEDA information;
- Improved organization of pages and documents;
- Up-to-date news and social media content; and,
- Optimized performance for mobile devices and tablets.
Technology connected with the new site will help the FCEDA better respond to businesses that are interested in learning more about the county. “Our goal was to make our new site more engaging and authentic for users,” said Catherine W. Riley, interim president and CEO of the FCEDA. “Visitors to the site will like how easy it is to navigate and access the extensive, updated information on Fairfax County.”