the Power of Ideas channel

In Fairfax County, meaningful information and research fuel the Power of Ideas. That’s why we created the Power of Ideas Channel: to bring you the latest business and economic development news and information. Here, you can access articles curated and written by Fairfax County EDA, read the latest editions of our E-Bird news digest, review business news from NPR and learn about best practices from Harvard Business Review. Click below and experience the benefit of having the right information right at your fingertips.

Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 11:18am

Happy and healthy: Fairfax County ranks among Virginia's healthiest counties, according to an annual report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The study ranks Fairfax County best in "Healthy Behaviors" (including adult smoking, adult obesity, food environment and excessive alcohol consumption) and third overall among the Commonwealth's 133 counties and independent cities.

Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 11:18am

Onboard with tech: The Northern Virginia Technology Council named four new members to its board of directors. According to a release picked up by the Potomac Tech Wire, they are Thomas "Tag" Greason, executive vice president of sales at Quality Technology Services; Thomas LeBlanc, president of The George Washington University; Jean Stack, managing director at wealth-management firm Baird; and Kevin Phillips, president and CEO of Fairfax-based contractor ManTech International.

Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 11:17am

Getting with the program: Reston-based cloud provider OVH, featured recently as one of the FCEDA's Companies in the Spotlight, made a $50,000 donation to Girls Who Code to support field trips and a summer immersion program for 10th- and 11th-grade girls. Citybizlist engendered our interest on this one.

Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 11:17am

Keeping it local: Nick Wakeman of Washington Technology reports that Reston-based Carahsoft, which specializes in IT solutions for government, has enlisted ASG Technologies of Herndon as a partner to provide customers with improved information access, management and control.

Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 11:17am

Pink slips: The Washington Business Journal, in a story by Robert J. Terry for its subscribers reports that Reston-based NCI will lay off about 100 workers at its AdvanceMed health IT subsidiary and that Chantilly-based IT contractor NJVC expects to let 113 employees go.

Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 11:15am

Something to growl about: congratulated Silverline Communications of Tysons Corner for winning a bronze award as Most Innovative Agency in its Stars of PR national awards program.

FCEDA’s Gordon comments on Dr. J. Stephen Jones succeeding Knox Singleton as Inova Health System CEO

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Fairfax County, Virginia -- Fairfax County Economic Development Authority President and CEO Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D., knows that Dr. J. Stephen Jones has large shoes to fill.

Jones was today named CEO of Inova Health Services, succeeding longtime CEO Knox Singleton.

"Knox Singleton and I came to our jobs within a few months of one another, and the transformation of Inova into a top-flight hospital system and healthcare leader and has mirrored the transformation of Fairfax County into a major business community,” Gordon said.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - 10:02am

MircoStrategy surveys the landscape and determines Tysons Corner is its best bet for continued growth

On a clear day, it's easy to see that MicroStrategy's success is about both its view and its vision.

Monday morning, from the well-appointed 14th floor of its Tysons Corner headquarters, company leadership joined with Gov. Ralph Northam and a host of Virginia and Fairfax County dignitaries to announce that the worldwide provider of enterprise analytics and mobility software will invest $6 million in capital improvements and bring 300 new jobs to Fairfax County. That's on top of the 800 employees already on board at headquarters.

MicroStrategy's view offers a sweeping vista that takes in everything from the nation's capital to the Blue Ridge Mountains. The panorama features all that is exciting about doing business in the region, including its major customers and partners, new developments drawing new companies and employees, and the Silver Line connecting points east and west.

"This is a boom town, with so much opportunity," said Sharon Bulova, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, assessing the landscape.

It is also a far cry from the environment CEO Michael J. Saylor encountered when he brought his fledgling 40-employee company to Fairfax County in 1994.

"We were just a tadpole," Saylor said. "This year we'll have more like 2,400 employees. We benefitted from coming here to Virginia."

That's where the vision came into play 24 years ago and where vision for the future enters the picture for the next 23. MicroStrategy has signed a 13-year lease for its 200,000-square foot headquarters, with an option for 10 years after that, in a location poised for success and for growth.

"This (Tysons Corner) is going to be a 24-7 place and it's going to be a real epicenter for the tech community," said Congressman Gerry Connolly, one of the dignitaries to attend the event.

"It's a great decision you made," Connolly told Saylor. "I think it's visionary. I think [other executives] will look back and say, 'Why didn't we do what MicroStrategy did?'"

Saylor said Tysons Corner has been a "great place to serve our local customers" such as Hilton, George Mason University and Freddie Mac, a "great place to do business with government agencies" including NASA, the departments of Energy and Housing and Urban Development, and the perfect place to establish partnerships with corporations such as Starbucks, Coca-Cola and Chevron. Importantly, Saylor said, Fairfax County has also been the ideal location from which to recruit new talent, direct from top schools such as the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech and Mason.

Phong Le, MicroStrategy's senior executive vice president and CFO, noted that the company conducted an exhaustive search to determine "the best location and office space to take MicroStrategy through its next phase of growth. Our headquarters in Tysons Corner have played a significant role in our history our growth and our culture," Le said. "We're proud to be one of Fairfax County's most prominent technology-based employers.

"As we explored options for a new home in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia -- in new and existing buildings -- we realized our best option was to stay in our current home. Tysons Corner is growing. It's a vibrant community. It reflects the spirit of entrepreneurship, and intelligence that are hallmarks to the MicroStrategy culture. It's a great place to employ hundreds more people and invest millions in our infrastructure in the next few years."

Part of Saylor's vision for the headquarters is a plan to create a conference center to accommodate 240 attendees. His ultimate goal: "I aspire to see MicroStrategy serve as a great Virginia-based global enterprise software company in the 21st century."

Northam acknowledged that the entire state will benefit from Saylor's vision, in this case approving a $1 million grant from the Commonwealth's Opportunity Fund and additional funds from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program to support employee training.

"It is a priority to continue to grow Virginia's nationally recognized, robust IT workforce and technology infrastructure that attracts major corporate headquarters," Northam said. "We are proud of the Commonwealth's continued partnership with MicroStrategy, and thank the company for choosing Fairfax County and Virginia for this important expansion."

Award winners: 

  • Two Fairfax County schools are among 11 nationwide named as recipients of the First Amendment Press Freedom Award. Chantilly High School (a winner for the fourth consecutive year) and McLean High School (a winner for the second time) are the only Virginia schools to be so honored in 2018. The award is presented by the Journalism Education Association, National Scholastic Press Association and Quill and Scroll, honoring schools that offer students the responsibility to make final decisions on student media content.
  • Six Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services projects will receive honors from the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the American Public Works Association at its annual conference and equipment show May 1-4 in Fredericksburg. Fairfax County winners: Herndon Fire Station (structures, $5 million to $25 million); Public Safety Headquarters ($75 million or more); Difficult Run Force Main Rehabilitation (environmental, $5 million to $25 million); Potomac Avenue Emergency Sewer Replacement (disaster or emergency construction/repair, less than $5 million); Accotink and Little Hunting Creek Sanitary Force Main Rehabilitation (environmental, less than $5 million); Reston Police Station and Governmental Center, honorable mention (structures, $5 million to $25 million).

Women's History Month

The FCEDA is among many local sponsors of the Uniting Women in Cyber Symposium to be held March 29 at Valo Park in Tysons Corner. The event was created to celebrate the success of women thriving in today's cybersecurity ecosystem and to identify and address issues that may be preventing more women from reaching critical roles. For information, click here

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 10:25am

Now hear this: Gov. Ralph Northam announced yesterday that mobility software and enterprise analytics provider MicroStrategy of Tysons Corner renewed the lease on its Tysons Corner headquarters, keeping 800 jobs and adding 300 new ones. The company will invest $6 million as part of the plan to stay. The Washington Business Journal, with a story by Katie Arcieri, and WTOP, with coverage by Jeff Clabaugh, were among numerous media outlets reporting on the press conference.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 10:24am

Hot off the press: Asher Kotz, the FCEDA's business development manager for Israel and cybersecurity, recently visited Tel Aviv to meet with Israeli firms. Kotz, who grew up on a kibbutz outside of Haifa, discussed similarities between Israel and Fairfax County as well as recollections of his native land in a blog by Goel Jasper, published this week by the Times of Israel. Loyal E-Bird readers will recall that the FCEDA has had an office in Tel Aviv since 2005 to work with Israeli companies interested in expanding in the U.S. market.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 10:24am

A rail-ly big deal: Words like "landmark," "milestone" and "historic" were being used to describe the Virginia legislature's decision to provide Metro with $154 million of permanent, new funding each year. Providing similar funding is approved by Maryland and the District of Columbia, the money would be used for new equipment and continuing repairs. Robert McCartney reported for the Washington Post, which opted for the word "breakthrough" in its headline.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 10:23am

Bird's-eye view: Tysons Corner continues to be a hub for development and redevelopment activity that is transforming it into a live-work-and-play destination. Reporter Adam Tuss provided NBC4 viewers a fresh perspective via helicopter, starting above The Boro, proceeding east along Route 7, then north toward McLean and the new Capital One headquarters. The segment included an interview with Drew Sunderland, director of marketing and placemaking at the Tysons Partnership.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 10:23am

Facing facts: Chantilly-Based Digital Signal has been acquired by StereoVision Imaging, a California-based developer of 3D facial recognition systems. Digital Signal's facial recognition technology is expected to help SVI expand its identity- intelligence offerings for law enforcement, homeland security and military applications. The deal includes a number of U.S. and international patents related to LIDAR technology. Potomac Tech Wire carried a release.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 10:22am

Beauty of a deal, eh? GTT of Tysons Corner acquired Toronto-based Accelerated Connections, a provider of managed networking, voice-over-IP and co-location services. GTT, a provider of cloud networking services around the world, said the acquisition of ACI, with more than 1,600 clients, will bolster its market presence in Canada while adding key clients in hospitality, retail and financial service sectors. Potomac Tech Wire carried a release.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 10:22am

Brimming with optimism: Perspecta will be the name of the new company formed by the proposed merger of Tysons Corner-based DXC Technology's public sector business, Chantilly-based Vencore and Colorado-based KeyPoint Government Solutions. "In selecting the new company's name and brand, it was important to represent the optimism and excitement around the unique value that this combined entity will deliver," Vencore CEO (and future Perspecta CEO) Mac Curtis told Robert J. Terry of the Washington Business Journal.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 10:21am

How cool is this: LookingGlass Cyber Solutions of Reston and Cyren of Tysons Corner have each been named to's Security 100. LookingGlass was named as one of the 20 Coolest SIEM and Threat Detection vendors, while Cyren was cited at one of the 20 Coolest Web, Email and Application Security vendors.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 10:21am

Cache it if you can: Lepton Global of Tysons Corner, a small business provider of customized, cost-effective, end-to-end satellite communications solutions, has rolled out its BOOST service, a secure software-defined wide area networking capability that combines caching, compression and acceleration features. picked up the news.

Fairfax County-based MicroStrategy plans to add 300 jobs and invest $6 million in capital improvements

Monday, March 12, 2018

Fairfax County, Virginia -- Governor Ralph Northam today announced that MicroStrategy® Incorporated (Nasdaq: MSTR), a leading worldwide provider of enterprise analytics and mobility software, has renewed its headquarters lease at 1850 Towers Crescent Plaza in Fairfax County and plans to invest $6 million in capital improvements. Virginia successfully competed against Washington, D.C.

Thursday, March 8, 2018 - 11:12am

Now hear this: Dana Kauffman, a former Fairfax County supervisor (Lee District) and a longtime official at Northern Virginia Community College, has been appointed to the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority Commission. Kauffman replaces Esther Lee, who joined the administration of Gov. Ralph Northam as secretary of commerce and trade. The Commission is a seven-member board that oversees the work of the FCEDA.

Thursday, March 8, 2018 - 11:11am

Active office market:  Bisnow's Jon Banister interviewed FCEDA President and CEO Jerry Gordon for his feature on Boston Properties senior executive vice president Ray Ritchey and the company's recent success in marketing Fairfax County properties. Most recently it was the announcement that financial services biggie Fannie Mae will lease 850,000 square feet of trophy office space in Boston Properties' Reston Gateway project due to open in 2022.

Thursday, March 8, 2018 - 11:11am

Speaking of Fannie: Jon Banister of Bisnow also notes that Fannie Mae is seeking to sell three properties -- its offices in the Reston Technology Center and two buildings on Worldgate Drive in Herndon -- now that it intends to consolidate its workers at the new Reston Gateway project.

Thursday, March 8, 2018 - 11:11am

Talent wins out: After two years of record growth, security software company Verodin chose Tysons Corner over the San Francisco area for its new headquarters. "The reason we really wanted to focus on Tysons is quite honestly there's a lot of security talent," vice president Brian Contos told Angela Woolsey of the Fairfax County Times. Proximity to government agencies, such as the Department of Defense, was also part of the appeal for Verodin, which was previously headquartered in Reston.

Thursday, March 8, 2018 - 11:10am

Endorsed by employees: Six Fairfax County firms are on a list of the 15 Best Places to Work in the Washington, D.C., region, as compiled by and published by USA Today. Listed alphabetically, Tysons Corner firms BizMerlin, Capital One, MITRE, Mobomo and XLA ranked highest for compensation, culture and career along with NetCentrics of Herndon. compiled its lists in eight major markets based on anonymous employee ratings collected between January 1 and November 17 of last year.

Thursday, March 8, 2018 - 11:10am

Multiple suitors: When it came to acquiring CSRA, General Dynamics wasn't the only interested buyer. Robert J. Terry of the Washington Business Journal reports that CACI and SAIC were also highly interested in the Falls Church-based defense contractor. General Dynamics eventually prevailed with a $9.6 billion offer that's expected to close in the next several months.

Zuckerberg's Former Mentor Weighs In On Cambridge Analytica Statement

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 7:40pm

After days of silence over the Cambridge Analytica breach, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a statement. Zuckerberg's former mentor Roger McNamee shares his reaction with NPR's Ailsa Chang.

NPR Survey: Still On Facebook, But Worried

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 5:38pm
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg walks at the company

NPR asked Americans what steps they take to protect their Facebook data. Most say they still use the site, but they're concerned about who can see their information — and how it can be used.

(Image credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Responds To Cambridge Analytica Scandal

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 4:55pm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has broken his silence addressing the controversy over how a voter targeting firm harvested the personal data of some 50 million users. He acknowledged the company made mistakes.

Tax Change Delivers A Blow To Professional Sports

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 4:53pm
Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander was traded from the Detroit Tigers in a move that that experts estimate netted the Astros about $10 million, though no money changed hands between the two teams.

The change of a single word in the 2017 tax overhaul means professional sports franchises could take a big tax hit each time they trade a player.

(Image credit: Jeff Roberson/AP)

Zuckerberg Breaks Silence, Promises To Protect Facebook Community

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 4:34pm
Mark Zuckerberg, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Facebook.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted his first responses, followed by a CNN appearance, after the controversy surrounding reports that Cambridge Analytica exploited users' data without their knowledge,

(Image credit: Stuart Ramson/AP)

Sen. Richard Blumenthal Weighs In On How Congress Could Regulate Facebook

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 4:30pm

Congressional staffers are slated to meet with Facebook officials this week. NPR's Ailsa Chang talks to Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and a member of the Commerce and Judiciary committees, about what action Congress could take to regulate how Facebook uses user data.

Will Facebook's Cambridge Analytica Scandal Actually Cause Users To Delete The App?

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 4:30pm

News about how Cambridge Analytica used Facebook data has sparked the hashtag #DeleteFacebook. But past research has shown users are often apathetic about privacy settings. NPR's Michel Martin talks with University of Virginia media studies professor Siva Vaidhyanathan about whether this is a watershed moment for Facebook users.

American Business Leaders In China Concerned About Trump's Trade Actions

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 4:30pm

U.S. businesses in China have had intellectual property stolen, technology 'transferred' and some have had data taken from them by China's government. But many still oppose tariffs as a response.

As Steel And Aluminum Tariffs Take Effect, WH Considers Trade Sanctions On China

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 4:30pm

It's a big week for trade policy as new steel and aluminum tariffs take effect and the White House mulls tariffs on a wide range of exports from China.

Congress Passes Legislation To Curb Online Sex Trafficking Of Children

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 4:30pm

It's the first major change in years to a key legal shield used by Internet companies to avoid liability for what people say and online.

Trump vs. Trudeau: Both Right, Both Wrong

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 3:51pm
2.8 billion

Trump says we have a trade deficit with Canada. He's right... and he's also wrong.

(Image credit: NPR)

In Oaxaca, Mexico, A Locally Made Soda Takes Aim At Coca-Cola's Supremacy

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 3:07pm
Carpenter Antonio Ambrosio Salvador makes Zega-Cola in Santa Ana Zegache, a small village near Oaxaca, Mexico. Zega-Cola was conceived as a locally made alternative to Coca-Cola, which is ubiquitous in Mexico.

Oaxacan restaurants are offering diners an alternative to the ubiquitous Coke by selling Zega-Cola, an artisanal soda made in small batches nearby. Its maker hopes that will translate into local jobs.

(Image credit: Nate Guerin)

Facebook Suspends Cambridge Analytica But Privacy Feature Questions Mount

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 7:33am

David Greene talks to Dipayan Ghosh, who was as an adviser to President Obama on technology and economics and went on to join Facebook, where he worked on the company's privacy and public policy team.

Fed Raises Interest Rates Again As New Chairman Steps Into Spotlight

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 7:02am
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell testifies during a Senate banking committee hearing in Washington, D.C., on March 1. This week, Powell presided over a Fed policy meeting for the first time since becoming chairman.

The central bank raised its key interest rate for the first time under Jerome Powell, announcing a quarter-percentage-point hike. Economists wonder if faster growth will mean more aggressive hikes.

(Image credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Section 230: A Key Legal Shield For Facebook, Google Is About To Change

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 5:11am
A 1996 law sits at the heart of a major question about the modern Internet: How much responsibility should fall to online platforms for how their users act and get treated?

The 1996 law is praised by the tech industry as the core pillar of Internet freedom. But its path also runs through some of the darkest corners of the Web, such as online sex trafficking of children.

(Image credit: Oivind Hovland/Getty Images/Ikon Images)

Opening Arguments Begin In AT&T And Time Warner Merger Case

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 5:11am

Attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice and AT&T square off in opening arguments this week over whether AT&T's proposed takeover of media conglomerate Time Warner hurts consumers.