On hold: Economic turbulence shakes up plans for IPOs. » Page 3
The $100 million graduation gift Recent Georgetown grad Catherine Cook and her brother David sell their online yearbook company for big bucks to a Latin American social network. » 7
august 15 ~ august 21, 2011 11 • volume 2, issue 18 • $2.50
MONEY Local economy watchers assess the road ahead Our prospects are likely to be mixed as worries about the U.S. deﬁcit hit home. » 8
LAW & LOBBY As branding copycats multiply, D.C. ﬁrms beneﬁt Companies big and small look for K St.’s help in protecting their trademarks overseas. » 11
REAL ESTATE Feds nearing deal with Metro for offices near rail Interest from the General Services Administration could jumpstart development in Prince George’s County. » 4
CAREER COACH 15 essential rules of etiquette for life among the cubicles One rule of thumb: Avoid the temptation to ‘prairie-dog.’ » 24
CAPITAL BUZZ MicroStrategy keeps growing even if proﬁts are not
Put down the sandwich and step away from the desk SPECIAL REPORT The dining by tom sietsema page 16 guide
Check out our picks for the best spots to woo a client, celebrate a deal and more. by tom sietsema page 16
The data-mining company leases more space in Tysons Corner. » 2
INDEX APPOINTMENTS AREA STOCKS BUSINESS Rx CAP BIZ DIARY GIVING LOBBY LIST MOTLEY FOOL
» Now online at www.capbiz.biz
22 27 25 15 23 12 26
LEADING 8.15 ~ 8.21 .2011
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CAPITAL BUZZ WHAT TO WATCH
MicroStrategy not letting proďŹ t dip stop its expansion Tysons Corner-based data-mining company MicroStrategy earlier this month reported that its proďŹ ts fell sharply in the second quarter, falling to $2.9 million for the three-month period compared with $11.6 million a year earlier, despite a 28 percent jump in revenue. About the time those results were raising eyebrows on Wall Street, the company decided to increase its office space at 1850 Towers Crescent Plaza by 48,000 square THOMAS feet â€” a 33 percent inHEATH crease over its current 142,000 square feet. Maybe not the best time to announce an expansion, but chief operating officer Sanju K. Bansal said the company needs the room to capitalize cloud computing, social media and mobile applications. â€œWe started making investments last year to create products to harness the power of these trends,â€? he said. â€œWe are hiring people,â€? Bansal said. â€œIt means we need space to house them. We have ďŹ‚oors seven through 14, and we are going to be expanding to additional space on the sixth ďŹ‚oor.â€? According to the companyâ€™s ďŹ lings with Securities and Exchange Commission, as of June 2011, the company had 2,823 employees, half of which are in the United States.
TEA CAPITAL Peter Martino, founder and chief executive of Capital Teas, the Annapolis-based chainlet of ďŹ ve tea retail boutiques (four of which are in the Washington area), said he has been ďŹ elding inquiries from investment bankers ever since the national chain Teavana went public July 28 and rose 64 percent the ďŹ rst day. â€œIt sparked a tremendous external investor interest in Capital Teas,â€? said Martino. â€œWe arenâ€™t selling the company, but we are deďŹ nitely raising capital to scale the company fast in a growing national market for highquality tea.â€? Straw Meanwhile, Martino is adding a high-powered board member to Capital Teas: retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Edward M. Straw, who is a fel-
Key events this week
Session to address: Will cuts dry up demand for unmanned vehicles?
James A. Parcell for The Washington Post
SMELL TEST: Kim Callis of SpringďŹ eld samples the aroma of a tea variety kept on the â€œsniffing wallâ€? at Capital Teas at National Harbor. low alumnus of the Naval Academy and longtime mentor to Martino. Straw was president of global operations for Estee Lauder.
THE BUZZ HEARS: 3 MicroStrategy Chairman and chief executive Michael Saylor is speaking at the National Press Club on 14th Street NW on Sept. 9. The subject is â€œThe Mobile Economy, The Social Economy, The App Economy ... The New Economy: Whatâ€™s It All About?â€? 3 The weather held off until the very last minutes of the day at the Burning Tree Father-Son Golf Tournament earlier this month for sons and grandsons of members. Saylor At the dinner that followed, former Redskin Charles Mann gave a 20-minute talk on how building a successful team turns you into a winner. Mannâ€™s step-by-step approach to winning, and its roots in the Joe Gibbscoached Redskins teams of the 1980s and early 90s, inspired a lot of Redskins fans to think fondly of days gone by. Mannâ€™s advice? Always have passion for the craft/vocation that you choose, according to some of those present. The 1980s Redskins made up for all of their athletic shortcomings
by having a love for the game. A team of passionate people will always beat a team with superior talent, he said. 3 Anna Birch, president and founder of Adventure Links at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park in Clinton, recently auditioned for the cast of Bloomberg TVâ€™s â€œThe Mentorâ€?, where budding entrepreneurs get help from CEOs of some of the best-known companies in the nation. She had a 45-minute interview recently and will hear next month on whether she is ready for prime time. â€œThey were very intrigued by the fact that I found a mentor very early in my start in this industry that challenged me to be myself,â€? Birch said. â€œI was painfully shy up to that point.â€? 3 Curryâ€™s Auto Service is growing like gangbusters, with its ninth store set to open this November on South Picket Street in Alexandria. The Sterling-based high-end repair shop is building 6,100-square-feet with eight service bays. Curryâ€™s has already opened three stores in the last year, including Dulles Town Center, Fairfax City and Gaithersburg. When is the public offering? 3 Watch out, Venga. New York-based Savored, the restaurant Web site formerly known as VillageVines, launches its partnership with OpenTable in Washington, D.C. starting Wednesday.
In recent months, several Washington-area companies â€” including VT Group in Gaithersburg and McLean-based Science Applications International Corp. â€” have been beeďŹ ng up their capacity for supplying pilotless aircraft to the military. But now, in light of possible cuts in defense spending, the big question is: Will the government have the same appetite for unmanned vehicles in the long-term? Thatâ€™s one issue likely to be addressed Tuesday to Friday by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. The Arlington-based groupâ€™s Unmanned Systems North America Ĺ´Ĺ˛ĹłĹłÉ„*)! - ) É„$.É„ 3+ / É„ /*É„-2É„Ĺ¸Ć‡ĹˇĹ˛Ĺ˛É„*)/-/$)"É„ Ĺ¨-(.Ć‡É„.0++'$ -.Ć‡É„ ($.É„ )É„($'$/-4É„*ĹŽ$'.É„!-*(É„ ĹľĹˇÉ„*0)/-$ .Ć†É„-/$$+)/.É„ will get an opportunity to learn about the latest 0)()) É„/ #)*'*"4É„ /#-*0"#É„ĹˇĹ˛Ĺ˛É„ 3#$$/.É„ )É„# -É„!-*(É„.+ & -.Ć‡É„ $)'0$)"É„Wes BushĆ‡É„#$ !É„ 3 0/$1 É„)É„+- .$ )/É„*!É„ Northrop GrummanĆ† /$''Ć‡É„. 1 -'É„($'$/-4É„ *ĹŽ$'.Ć‡É„$)'0$)" Frank Kendall,É„+-$)$+'É„ +0/4É„ 0) -. - /-4É„*!É„ ! ). É„ !*-É„,0$.$/$*).Ć‡É„/ #)*'*"4É„ )É„'*"$./$.Ć‡É„- É„ 3+ / É„ /*É„$.0..É„/# É„!0/0- É„*!É„ /# É„+-*"-(É„"$1 )É„/# É„ 0" /É„*)./-$)/.Ć†É„*-É„ those ďŹ rms that already are /#$)&$)"É„*0/É„$1 -.$!4$)"É„ /# $-É„'$ )/É„. Ć‡É„*/# -É„ . ..$*).É„2$''É„!*0.É„*)É„0.$)"É„ 0)()) É„1 #$' .É„$)É„ )*)($'$/-/É„+0'$É„.! /4É„ Continued on next page Âť
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THE CAPITAL PITAL BUSIN BUSINESS
WASHINGTON POST REGIONAL INDEX VS. THE DOW
The Washington Post Bloomberg Regional Index and the S&P last week
How the areaâ€™s public companies fared against the Dow last week.
Other events of note: MONDAY, AUG. 15 TO SUNDAY, AUG. 21
The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington is sponsoring D.C. Restaurant week, an annual event in which more /#)É„Ĺ´Ĺ˛Ĺ˛É„ / -$ .É„*ĹŚ -É„ lunch and dinner discounts. THURSDAY, AUG. 18
â€” V. Dion Haynes
IPOs could be a no-go for a while IN WALL STREETâ€™S WAKE
Unstable market makes it hard for companies to set a worthwhile share price, analysts say
By STEVEN OVERLY
The stock marketâ€™s drastic ďŹ‚uctuations last week spooked many companies that had plans to go public, prompting some analysts to speculate that the number of public offerings would be down through September, if not longer. The market volatility could be enough to keep some companies from even ďŹ ling the paperwork to start the process because it would subject their ďŹ nances to public scrutiny, said Scott Gehsmann, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Gehsmann helps usher companies through the initial public offering process as part of the ďŹ rmâ€™s transaction services practice, including some companies in the Washington region. He declined to name clients. â€œThe discussion weâ€™re having with them is we may need to add a little time to the planned timeline,â€? he said. â€œItâ€™s just a postponement rather than weâ€™re going to think about a different deal.â€? Speculation has swirled that private equity shop Carlyle Group and daily deal purveyor LivingSocial could soon initiate the IPO process with the Securities and Exchange Commission, though neither District-based company would address the rumors. Analysts said the trepidation stems from concerns that it would be difficult for companies to set a worthwhile share price or project future earnings when the market is unstable. â€œA brand new companyâ€™s value is based on what other similar companies are valued for in a market, so if similar companies have dropped down in price and investors are selling those stocks, then the IPO itself has to be done at a lower valuation and perhaps canâ€™t get done,â€? said Kathleen Smith, principal at IPO advisory ďŹ rm Renaissance Capital. Analysts expect it could be several weeks before the extent to which the IPO market has closed up becomes clear. August and early September tend to be slow anyway because of summer vacations and Labor Day weekend. The economic upheaval does not bode well for investors who were just beginning to feel more optimistic about the potential for portfolio companies to go public. That exit strategy had all but dried up during the recession. For investors who needed to reap the returns on their investments, the economic recovery in recent months, albeit slow, was enough to get deals rolling. Now, things donâ€™t look so promising. â€œItâ€™s very challenging for private equity and venture investors,â€? Smith said. â€œThat means that they have to hold onto their investment longer. It will take them longer to realize the value.â€? email@example.com
CORRECTION Georgetown University student Elisa Vitaloâ€™s ďŹ rst name was spelled wrong in a caption for a photo accompanying an Aug. 14 story about teaching entrepreneurship [â€œBusiness incubators or textbooks?â€?].
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The Arlington Chamber of Commerce is hosting a ) /2*-&$)"É„ 1 )/É„/É„ĹˇÉ„+Ć†(Ć†É„ /É„Ĺ¸ĹłĹłĹłÉ„-'$)"/*)É„'1Ć†É„$)É„ Falls Church.
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efforts, such as ďŹ ghting ďŹ res. The conference is .# 0' É„/*É„ "$)É„/É„ĹşĆˆĹľĹ˛É„ a.m. Tuesday at the Walter E. Washington Convention )/ -Ć‡É„ĹşĹ˛ĹłÉ„ *0)/É„ -)*)É„ Pl. NW in the District. Donald J. Trump typically generates strong feelings â€” either admiration from people who want to emulate his success or scorn from others who consider him a self-promoter and disdain his tactics. From Thursday to Sunday, the real estate (*"0'É„)É„- '/4É„É„./-É„ will be in town hosting what he calls the â€œLive Your American Dreamâ€? conference aimed at people who are interested in +4$)"É„) -'4É„Ç‚ĹˇĹ˛Ĺ˛É„!*-É„)É„ opportunity to sell his line of products consisting of nutritional supplements and cosmetics. Trump, whose ďŹ rm recently sparked headlines with news of its possible interest in converting the underused Old Post Office Pavilion into a luxury hotel, asserts on his Web site that the marketing venture can be a â€œspringboard for a lifetime of wealth.â€? The program appears to be similar to Amway in which a person earns money based on selling the products and recruiting others to do so. The conference is slated /*É„ "$)É„/É„ĹşÉ„Ć†(Ć†É„)É„2$''É„ also take place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
FROM THE GROUND UP
DIVESTING: Washington REIT sheds industrial holdings Washington Real Estate Investment Trust is selling off its entire industrial portfolio. The Rockville-based company said it plans to sell 18 properties totaling about 3.1 million square feet to a buyer it did not name. Chief executive George F. â€œSkipâ€? McKenzie said the trust intends to use to proceeds to acquire buildings inside the Beltway, near major transportation nodes.
COMM ERCI AL REAL ESTATE
Wells Fargo regains control of town center $25.1 MILLION BID
Lender for University Town Center acquires the property at auction sale By JONATHAN Oâ€™CONNELL
Foreclosure of large portions of University Town Center in Hyattsville became a near certainty last week when the projectâ€™s construction lender, Wells Fargo, took control of the property as the highest bidder at public auction. The bank bid $25.1 million for its own distressed loan on the property Aug. 10, effectively ensuring that it will complete the foreclosure process and assume ownership. Wells Fargo became an investor in the project in October of 2006, when it issued an $83.3 million construction
loan, according to court ďŹ lings. Shortly thereafter the real estate market began to turn sour, and the developer, Prince Georgeâ€™s Metro Center Inc., began defaulting on payments shortly thereafter. As of April of this year, the developer still owed $60.5 million in principal, interest and penalties. The court named Rockville-based developer Foulger-Pratt a receiver for the property. M. Scott DeCain, of Bald Eagle Partners, a consultant to Prince Georgeâ€™s Metro Center Inc., said he had reached a settlement with the bank in which the development team was relieved of any recourse liability and would continue to manage the property until Wells Fargo decides whether to sell it. â€œI think the bank will ask us to continue to manage the assets. Thatâ€™s dayto-day, that could change at any moment, but thatâ€™s my understanding,â€?
McCain said. Not all of University Town Center, located at the intersection of East West Highway and Belcrest Road, is being foreclosed upon. The properties at stake include Metro One, a 289,000-square-foot office building occupied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a 112-unit condominium building, a 22-unit apartment building, a 14-screen movie theater and two future development sites. McCain said the development team and an unnamed capital partner still planned to submit an offer to buy the property at the right time. â€œI canâ€™t speak for what Wells will do. Sooner or later they will sell it â€” that could be tomorrow, that could be ďŹ ve years from now,â€? he said. â€œI can tell you that whenever that is, we will be there with our capital partner to do our best to acquire it.â€? A Wells Fargo representative at the
auction declined to be named or to say what the bankâ€™s plans for the property were. He was one of a dozen people who gathered in front of the Prince Georgeâ€™s County Courthouse for the auction, held by Alex Cooper Auctioneers. One other company â€” whose representative also declined to be identiďŹ ed â€” showed up to bid. A man dressed in blue jeans, brown leather shoes and a button-down shirt, submitted a ďŹ nal bid of $5.75 million, saying, â€œI got to make this interesting.â€? The Wells Fargo representative then pulled out a calculator and upped the price quickly to more than $10 million, and then topping $25 million, a number high enough to likely ensure that the court will give ďŹ nal approval to the foreclosure. â€œItâ€™s yours,â€? said the losing bidder. But it already was. firstname.lastname@example.org
Metro courts GSA over properties near Metrorail stations JOLT FOR PRINCE GEORGEâ€™S?
Transit authority and federal agency in talks to identify available property
By JONATHAN Oâ€™CONNELL
The real estate arm of the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority is negotiating a broad partnership with the General Services Administration aimed at locating federal office facilities near Metrorail stations. Steven Goldin, director of real estate at Metro, outlined a plan to match the federal governmentâ€™s future space needs with available property at many of Metroâ€™s 86 stations to members of the agencyâ€™s board of directors in a closed-door executive session July 21, according to two board members who declined to be named because the plans were intended to be kept private. Goldin, once a private sector developer from New Jersey, has reinvigorated Metroâ€™s real estate unit by renegotiating distressed deals and beginning a partnership with developers Forest City-Washington and Urban Atlantic aimed at developing nearly 40 acres of public land in New Carrollton. Neither agency provided many details about the talks. Metro responded to questions about the negotiations by issuing a statement saying: â€œWe are always looking to monetize the value of our land assets to create additional revenue through increased ridership and foster economic development in our service jurisdictions. In that regard, our real estate program continually looks for
Jeffrey MacMillan/Capital Business
REPLICATION: The Census headquarters and this Metro station in Suitland could serve as a model for future development. innovative ways to achieve these goals.â€? The GSA, which acts as a real estate broker for most federal agencies and holds 500 Washington-area leases, said it supports Metroâ€™s efforts to pursue transit-oriented development. â€œWhile each location decision is unique and has to be competed, we are tremendously encouraged by the cooperative and constructive relationships we have established with Metro and the counties in which current and future stations are located,â€? the agency said in a statement.
A partnership between the two agencies could have widespread ramiďŹ cations for how the region develops long term. The federal government â€” with 300,000 Washington-area employees â€” is the areaâ€™s largest single employer, while Metro controls hundreds of acres immediately adjacent to its stations. Such an agreement could also provide an economic development boost to Prince Georgeâ€™s County, which has seen sparse development atop its Metro stations. Congressional, state and county officials have been pressing the GSA to
relocate more offices to the county, but have had little luck recently, with the GSA opting to keep nearly a millionsquare-foot lease for the Department of Health and Human Services in Rockville (a decision that is being protested) and deciding to cancel a solicitation for space for the Department of Homeland Security. Developers with land near Prince Georgeâ€™s County Metro stations had submitted bids for both deals. Washington Post staff writer Dana Hedgpeth contributed to this story. email@example.com
REGIONAL REAL ESTATE OUTLOOK
Despite federal austerity, the outlook is not all bad for D.C. area The deal on deďŹ cit reduction and the debt ceiling is not expected to be all bad news for the Washington region. Federal hiring will likely slow, but it may pick up in the private sector. Even a worse-case scenario from the deal can be put into perspective. The deal calls for a special bipartisan congressional committee to reach a goal of $1.5 trillion in added budget cuts by Thanksgiving, with a minimum of $1.2 trillion in new cuts. If this committee fails, automatic cuts of $1.2 trillion will kick in â€” half in defense and half in domestic programs. The spending cuts from the Aug. 2 deal to avert a government default will begin to take effect in ďŹ scal year 2012 and will be implemented over 10 years. In fact, changes to the federal budget are not going to reduce government spending, but rather reduce the rate of increase in government spending. While the cuts should make a dent in the deďŹ cit over the next few years, they will not cause federal spending to decline. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, federal spending is still set to rise from approximately $3.5 trillion in 2010 to $5.3 trillion in 2021. As a result of the August 2011 agreement, the rate of increase in federal spending will decelerate, but spending will not actually be reduced. This is an important takeaway for those particu-
PAYROLL JOB GROWTH Thousands of jobs
A look at change in the number of jobs in the periods after recessions.
Job change in thousands
5-year projected avg.: 37,700 jobs
20-year avg.: 35,700 jobs
2009 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
2011 2012 2013 2014
-20 â€™97 â€™99 â€™01 â€™03 â€™05 â€™07 â€™09 â€™11 â€™13 â€™15
SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Delta Associates
larly concerned about the Washington areaâ€™s economic future.
AUSTERITYâ€™S IMPACT ON THE WASHINGTON METRO AREA How will federal government austerity impact the Washington metro area â€” in terms of employment, defense contractor spending and the government leasing that dominated the office market during 2010? Federal budget austerity measures, no matter how they play out for 2012 and beyond, will impact federal hiring in the Washington metro area. During the past ďŹ ve years, the federal govern-
ment added jobs at a 2.2 percent annual rate. During 2009 and 2010, federal employment increased 3.6 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively. Because of budget cuts, we project hiring will slow to a muted pace of 0.6 percent per year through 2015. We estimate that the region will experience job growth of 37,700 jobs a year from 2011-2015 â€” modest by standards of other expansionary periods. Most of this will be driven by a rebounding private sector. More to the point, this level of growth is sufficient to support a healthy commercial real estate market if production levels adjust.
Although federal hiring is projected to slow, the private sector is expected to rebound. The computer systems design/ services sector (a division of the professional/business services sector) is projected to grow jobs at a 4.0 percent pace through 2015, compared with a 3.5 percent rate during the past ďŹ ve years. The ďŹ nance and insurance sector is projected to gain jobs at a 2.4 percent annual rate through 2015, compared with a 1.3 percent decline during the past ďŹ ve years. Delta Associates is an Alexandria research company. For more information, go to www.deltaassociates.com
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REGIONAL REAL ESTATE REPORT PROVIDED BY At a glance
Office market takes a hit in D.C. The overall Washington office market posted moderate gains in the second quarter of 2011. Total net absorption was 231,543 square feet in the second quarter, double the amount of ofďŹ ce space absorbed in the ďŹ rst quarter. Thatâ€™s a good sign, but a far cry from the more than 1 million square feet of absorption in each of the third and fourth quarters the market posted last year. However, almost all the positive activity occurred in the suburbs during the second quarter. Downtown Washington took a hit. In fact, the downtown office market, which consists of the central business district, East End and West End submarkets, posted declines in nearly all market performance statistics. Its reduced occupancy demand, rental declines and increase in vacancy left some in the industry scratching their heads. The downtown D.C. office market logged more than half a million square feet of negative net absorption after six consecutive quarters of positive absorption. The vacancy rate for the downtown market increased to 10.4 percent. Rental rates held steady at $51.76 per square foot for direct space, after peaking at $51.90 in the fourth quarter of 2010. Time will tell if last quarter was a soft patch or the beginning of a trend for downtown. We are now a month into the third quarter and things appear
A look at the downtown D.C. office market metrics, quarterly from 2009 to last quarter. Category
3Q to date
Rentable square feet (millions)
Vacancy rate (Pct.)
Net absorption (thousands) CoStar Group
COOLING: Despite this new building at 2200 Pennsylvania Ave., the office market in downtown D.C. is slowing.
SF delivered (thousands)
to be looking up. Downtown D.C. has logged just over 200,000 square feet of net absorption to date. The vacancy rate has also shown modest improvement, declining to 10.1 percent. Of the more than 2.75 million square feet of new leases signed in downtown D.C., nearly 1.3 million of those commitments are still slated for move-in. Construction has remained steady. Six office buildings totaling 1.2 million square feet are under construction; 52 percent of the under-construction space is pre-leased with the bulk of the un-leased space contained in the new CityCenterDC development.
Under construction (millions)
Vanda to move HQ to Pennsylvania Avenue
k WASHINGTON â€” Rockville-based
Vanda Pharmaceuticals is to move its headquarters into 21,400 square feet at 2200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Under the 11-year lease with Square 54 Office Owner LLC, Vanda will pay $1.63 million in annual rent. Rent will be abated for the ďŹ rst 12 months. Square 54 is to provide Vanda with an allowance of $1.87 million for construction of the premises to Vandaâ€™s speciďŹ cations. The lease begins April 1, and Vanda will have the right to renew the lease for ďŹ ve years. Vanda is likely to incur a termination fee and other costs in connection with an early termination of its lease for its current headquarters at 9605 Medical Center Drive, Suite 300, in Rockville.
MANTECH TAKES SPACE IN HERNDON OFFICE PARK
k HERNDON â€” Fairfax-based Man-
Tech International Corp. has signed a 10-year lease for 109,736 square feet at Plaza Ridge I, 2251 Corporate Park Drive with Brandywine Realty Trust. ManTech is to occupy Plaza Ridge I in stages beginning in November as the existing tenant vacates. â€” From staff reports, CoStar Group and news releases
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NEW DEAL: Two software developers merge Fairfax-based mobile software developer Three Pillar Global merged with India-based software developer RedBrick last week, tucking the company under its corporate umbrella after being business partners for the past ďŹ ve years. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The combined staff will total more than 500 with offices as far as the Romania and Argentina.
T ECHN OLOGY BUS I N ESS & P OLICY
21-year-old graduates from Georgetown, sells startup for $100M Catherine Cook and her brother, David, quickly became accustomed to the long hours that entrepreneurs must log to get a startup off the ground when they launched myYearbook.com in 2005. â€œBefore we came up with the idea for our site, our bedtime was like 11 at night. ... Then as soon as we had this idea, that was basically gone,â€? Cook said. â€œWe were up to 3 or 4 a.m. every night communicating with developers.â€? She was 15 at the time. Cook, now 21, holds a STEVEN OVERLY freshly embossed bachelorâ€™s degree from Georgetown University and an agreement signed last month to sell the company she cofounded for $100 million to Quepasa, a Latin American social network. The tech crowd is known for young entrepreneurs. But even in the era of Mark Zuckerburg wunderkinds, the idea of a 15-year-old faxing Web site design plans to developers in Mumbai might turn a few heads. Cook said her age has rarely been a detriment, though it does pose unique challenges. During freshman year at Georgetown, for example, she had to ask an international business professor to reschedule a midterm so she could speak at the World Knowledge Forum in South Korea. Colin Powell anchored the annual event that year. â€œYou remember your age and you think, â€˜Wait a second, what am I doing here?â€™ â€? Cook said.
â€œBut you have to believe in yourself and make it happen.â€? MyYearbook.com took shape when Catherine and David struggled to make friends after relocating to a new high school in Skillman, N.J. The site began as a network within the high school and nabbed 400 users in its ďŹ rst week. Unlike Facebook, which connects you to existing friends, myYearbook helps users meet people they donâ€™t yet know through games, video chats and other features. The site has since shed its high school focus and counts 32.7 million users in North America. Cook attributes the entrepreneurial bug to her eldest brother, Geoff, 33,
â€œWe have a vision that thereâ€™s going to be a giant brand, a billion-dollar brand, about meeting new people.â€? â€” Catherine Cook
who created two Web sites while in college and later sold them to the Thompson Corp. Their parents work as electrical engineers. â€œWatching Geoff build his two companies made Dave and I want to be entrepreneurs,â€? Cook said. â€œWhen we would compare it to our parentsâ€™ bring your child to work day, it was just so much cooler.â€? But Geoff became more than just an older brother when he funneled $250,000 into myYearbook and took on the role of chief executive. With his slightly older image and experience, he helped raise $16.9 million from investors. The deal with Quepasa, which includes $18 million in cash and $82 million worth of stock, is expected to close in the fourth quarter. The siblings will remain part of the combined company, which will count more than 70 million users. â€œWe have a vision that thereâ€™s going to be a giant brand, a billion-dollar brand, about meeting new people,â€? Cook said. â€œWe didnâ€™t think that myYearbook could scale that quickly on its own.â€?
LUNCH 2.0 Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema offers his take on the best business dining spots in the region in this weekâ€™s Capital Business. One startup coming to the District this month wants to ďŹ ll the seat across from you. LetsLunch, a Silicon Valley creation, connects you with another diner in the same area based on a questionnaire and information from LinkedIn proďŹ les. Think blind dates but without the hug, kiss or handshake dilemma at the end of the meal. email@example.com
IN THE GENES: Entrepreneurism runs in the family with Geoff, Dave and Catherine Cook of myYearbook.com. Courtesy of the Cook family
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STAFF CUTS: Capital One ďŹ les plan to lay off IT workers McLean-based Capital One Financial Corp. is moving forward with plans to lay off 54 employees in its information technology department in Laurel, according to a ďŹ ling with the Maryland Department of Labor. The reductions are set to start in October and be wrapped up in January 2012.
BANKING, FINANCE & INSURANCE
Financial tumult not expected to spur credit freeze 2.0 COMMERCIAL LENDING UP 9%
Banks have ample cash; experts donâ€™t foresee repeat of 2008 crash By DANIELLE DOUGLAS
The last major patch of turbulence in the ďŹ nancial system three years ago crippled the credit markets, all but shutting off lending to consumers and businesses. This time around, however, economic volatility, marked by the stock market plunge and downgrading of the U.S. credit rating, may not yield the same results, say local industry experts. At least not in the near term. Banks have ample capital and sufďŹ cient reserves, so liquidity is not the concern it was in 2008, said Bruce Whitehurst, president and chief executive of the Virginia Bankers Association. Requests for loans, on the other hand, has been tepid, and would likely
grow weaker amid further economic uncertainty. â€œIf consumers and businesses become more apprehensive about our short-term economic future, it may temper their willingness to borrow,â€? Whitehurst said. Even if people are willing to take out loans, Bert Ely, principal of the banking consultancy Ely & Co., said it is possible that consumer borrowing costs could edge higher as a ripple effect of the the credit downgrade, which could force the government to pay more to borrow. At this point, he said, there is no evidence of that scenario coming to pass. While Ely entertains the likely fallout from renewed ďŹ nancial turmoil, he stressed that â€œitâ€™s important not to over extrapolate from recent events.â€? Whitehurst agreed that the incessant chatter about a double-dip recession is drowning out news about some of the positive trends in banking. Though the volume of lending has been anemic since the downturn, he pointed
out that the trend has been gradually reversing in recent months. Federal Reserve Bank data shows commercial and industrial lending, an indicator of business-loan demand, totaled $1.26 trillion at the end of the second quarter, up 9 percent from a year ago. Consumers, meanwhile, increased their borrowing by $15.5 billion in June, taking out more auto and student loans and charging more purchases. Those gains may diminish if market volatility continues to rattle consumer conďŹ dence, and banks become even more selective out of fear, said Lewis Sosnowik, vice president of Koonce Securities. â€œSmall banks are like beaten dogs,â€? he said. â€œYou no longer have to hit them, just show them a stick and they know what it feels like. This is their approach to lending now: very careful, extremely selective.â€? Sosnowik suspects banks will tighten the reins on lending in the face of further economic turmoil, especially
on the micro level, to avoid potential losses down the road. Banks may be more cautious about lending, but Arnold Danielson, chairman of Danielson Associates, a Bethesda ďŹ rm that provides strategic services to community banks, argues the pool of creditworthy applicants is small, and likely to shrink in the face of a continued ďŹ nancial crisis. â€œThis doesnâ€™t seem as bad as 2009, but it does feel like this volatility will push the recovery back,â€? he said. Ely ďŹ nds long-term trends of stubbornly high unemployment and slow economic growth more disconcerting than the events of the past couple of weeks. Those factors, he said, will likely keep consumers and businesses out of the capital markets. Ely suspects the Washington area will feel the added pressure of anticipated reductions in federal spending, further curtailing loan demand. firstname.lastname@example.org
CONSTRUCTION MAY SLOW: Fear of
another recession is having a chilling effect, Anirban Basu says.
É„ É„ĆŒÉ„ĹşĆ¤ĹłĹˇĆ¤ĹłĹł Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post
Whatâ€™s ahead for the region
issues to watchâ€Ś
On jobs, construction and a double-dip recession
The deďŹ cit reduction agreement, the Standard & Poorâ€™s downgrade of the nationâ€™s credit rating and the tumult on Wall Street have for many local economy watchers turned what seemed to be a growing recovery into a big question mark. Here is what ďŹ ve experts are saying about the regionâ€™s prospects for jobs, construction and a double-dip recession:
MORICI, professor at the
Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, said he thinks the local economy will be ďŹ ne for a few years. â€œI donâ€™t think weâ€™ll see much change in our condition for two years. Federal spending cuts start in 2013. The job market has tightened up, especially for government employment. I expect weâ€™ll [continue to] see a tight market for federal jobs. But our private sector will do well in areas such as high tech and
investment banking. And I donâ€™t see any slack off in demand for lawyers. I think things will continue as they are â€” with a pretty decent private market and a more difficult government job market.â€?
KRISTIE ARSLAN, president and chief executive of National Association for the SelfEmployed, said the credit downgrade will quash growth plans of many small businesses that were starting to dig their way out of the ďŹ rst recession. â€œThey already have had problems getting access to capital. Now they will be paying more for the money they actually get. They arenâ€™t big businesses with lots of liquidity â€” every dollar matters. ... A lot of our members were considering growth â€” theyâ€™re in a position to bring on one or more people. Now theyâ€™re taking steps backward to maintain their current level of operation in case things get worse.â€?
Moreover, she said, small businesses may see subcontracting opportunities dry up. Large corporations â€œmay freeze spending on consultants and it will have ripple effects in the small business community.â€?
RENEE WINSKY, chief executive of the Tech Council of Maryland, said the technology sector in the state is fairly diversifed and should weather the economic upheaval. â€œWe have a broad base of technology â€” weâ€™re not all into life-science or dot-com or Internet companies. We have a variety of innovation and that creates jobs and helps the economy grow. Times are tough and the markets are volatile . ... If the federal government ends up cutting back and federal workers get laid off, [there should be jobs in the tech sector to absorb them]. There will be good qualiďŹ ed people to ďŹ ll the jobs that, hopefully, the private sector will be creating.â€?
ANIRBAN BASU, chief economist for the Associated Builders and Contractors, a construction trade group, says recent events will hurt his industry. â€œThe debt ceiling coupled with the market downturn and ongoing fear of another
recession have had a chilling effect on the national and regional construction industry and the expectation is construction starts will slow in the months ahead. There had been evidence of an emerging recovery in privately ďŹ nanced construction activities, but the events of recent weeks have undoubtedly persuaded many developers and other investors to postpone their plans. ... The last thing someone wants to do is bring a hotel, office building or shopping center on line in the midst of uncertainty.â€?
president of SPG Trend Advisor in Baltimore, says he believes the nation will slip into a double-dip recession, and amid cuts in federal spending, will pull the region into it. Already businesses have been â€œlaid back and deferred hiring.â€? If the economy worsens, â€œthey may retrench further. The next step is not just not hiring â€” itâ€™s laying off. The economy will head back into a recession if employment and consumer spending stay weak. ... The July data were sufficiently bearish for us to raise the possibility of a double-dip recession. Weâ€™re not there yet. But [to avoid another recession], economic data has to get better fast.â€? â€” V. Dion Haynes
SETTLING IN: BRAC process under way at Mark Center
The ďŹ rst wave of 6,000 Defense Department workers began moving into the Mark Center government complex in Alexandria off Interstate 395 last week as part of the Base Realignment and Closure process. Virginia officials said they plan to adjust area traffic signals as needed, and provide increased transit service as they monitor changes in traffic patterns.
F E DER AL & DEFEN S E CONTRACTING
Booz bucks trend with 2nd-quarter results CYBER AND HEALTH GROW
ProďŹ ts, ďŹ‚at or falling at competitors, rise 81.5% at the McLean contractor By MARJORIE CENSER
Contracting giant Booz Allen Hamilton reported last week that its ďŹ rstquarter proďŹ t grew 81.5 percent, bucking the ďŹ‚attening trend among other contractors. The McLean-based company reported earnings of $51.1 million (37 cents a share) in the three-month period ended June 30, up from $28.2 million (23 cents) in the same period a year earlier. Quarterly revenue surged nearly 8 percent to $1.45 billion. The news comes as other contractors are posting more middling results. Major defense contractors, including Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, recently posted ďŹ‚at or declining earnings and sales. Ralph W. Shrader, Booz Allenâ€™s chairman, chief executive and president, said in a call with investors last week that the company saw growth in all of its federal markets â€” from defense and intelligence to civil agencies. The company increased its backlog of work â€” or orders yet to fulďŹ ll â€” to $11.2 billion, up from $9.5 billion in the same quarter a year ago. At the same time, Booz Allen said it is growing its staff rapidly, anticipating a surge of funding as the government nears the end of its ďŹ scal year on Sept.
In the markets: How three major contractors fared last week
Helped by a solid earnings report, Booz Allen Hamiltonâ€™s stock showed less volatility in a week of big market swings.
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30. Samuel R. Strickland, the companyâ€™s executive vice president, chief ďŹ nancial officer, chief administrative officer and director, said during the call that Booz Allen is further along this year in boosting its numbers. Its head count at the end of the quarter was nearly 25,000, up about 5 percent from last year. Indeed, Strickland noted that the companyâ€™s adjusted operating income was essentially ďŹ‚at because of costs that cannot be billed to the government. â€œWe are hiring staff in the growth areas of cyber and health care, for example,â€? Strickland said. â€œWith cyber, a lot of that network is classiďŹ ed so when you hire staff ... [there] is a process of either
getting them cleared or getting their clearances transferred, and while thatâ€™s going on, itâ€™s hard to get the billable.â€? Horacio D. Rozanski, Booz Allenâ€™s chief operating officer and executive vice president, said Booz Allen is seeing higher turnover and taking an aggressive approach to recruiting. The company is using internal training programs to produce cyber-focused employees. Strickland said Booz Allen expects an even higher head count by the end of next quarter. William Loomis, managing director at Stifel Nicolaus, which has a business relationship with Booz Allen, attributed the companyâ€™s success to its diver-
siďŹ cation of services and clients as well as its business model. â€œOne of the keys to the story is the fact that the organization ... still works like a much smaller company,â€? he said. â€œThat difference seems to really shine when markets get tough.â€? Still, Loomis noted that Booz Allenâ€™s growth rate is down from previous quarters. â€œI do think that theyâ€™re going to continue to show growth in a declining budget environment when most of their peers are either not growing or shrinking,â€? he said. â€œBut itâ€™s going to be slower growth.â€? email@example.com
Former partner charges gender bias was root of her ďŹ ring COMPANY DENIES ALLEGATIONS
Lawsuit alleges Booz Allen Hamilton excludes women from high-level positions By MARJORIE CENSER
told her to stop saying â€œpro-woman, feminist things,â€? she alleges. The suit says company officials, particularly Shrader, singled her out and opposed her promotion. In 2008, the suit said, she sought another review and was promoted to the fourth level. But in 2010, Finn claims in the suit she was asked to leave the company. The suit describes top company leadership as unwelcoming to women, holding events such as golf trips to Scotland that never included them. It alleges that Finn was ďŹ red because of her sex and her family responsibilities, which reďŹ‚ects a pattern of bias. The suit requests that the court order Booz Allen to reinstate her as a partner and award her back pay, beneďŹ ts, bonuses and other compensation as well as damages for the pain and emotional distress she has suffered. An initial scheduling conference is set for late October. Even though Booz Allen declined
to comment on the case, the company pointed to current and former female employees who say they have had positive experiences with the company. One such female former employee is DeAnne Aguirre, now a senior partner at Booz & Co. in San Francisco. She said she was part of Booz Allen Hamiltonâ€™s leadership team â€” as chief personnel officer â€” and board of directors. Aguirre, who worked at Booz Allen from 1991 until the split between Booz Allen and the commercial Booz & Co. business in 2008, said she rose through the ranks, from becoming partner in 1995 to senior partner in 2005. She was elected to a three-year term on the board in 2004. Aguirre also noted that she has four children and requested multiple office transfers because of her husbandâ€™s job, all of which the company accommodated. â€œI did feel very supported,â€? she said. firstname.lastname@example.org
A former Booz Allen Hamilton partner, who once was the companyâ€™s highest-ranking female employee, is suing the McLean-based contractor, alleging that the company ďŹ red her because of her sex and that it intentionally excludes women from high-level leadership positions. Molly Finn, who long worked on Booz Finn Allenâ€™s environmental business, has ďŹ led a sex discrimination suit against the company and some
of its top officials â€” including chief executive, Chairman and President Ralph W. Shrader â€” in the Superior Court of the District of Columbiaâ€™s civil division. In a statement, Booz Allen Hamilton said it does not comment publicly on personnel issues but vowed to ďŹ ght the suit. â€œWe are aware of Ms. Finnâ€™s allegations and strenuously deny them,â€? the company said. â€œBecause of our strong belief in the merits of our position, we intend to contest her claims through the litigation process.â€? Finn started with Booz Allen in 1986, at age 22, according to the suit. Focusing on work for the Environmental Protection Agency, she quickly moved up the ranks. In 1998, she became a partner and in 2003, she was promoted to the â€œlevel 3â€? lead partner position, the suit said. In 2007, when Finn was assessed for advancement to the next level, she was not promoted and her reviewers
CIOs to get more power â€” and scrutiny KUNDRA REPLACEMENT NAMED
Officials will now oversee entire IT portfolio in effort to reduce redundancy By MARJORIE CENSER
As the government tries to get a better handle on its information technology programs, it is giving agency chief information officers more power as well as more accountability. In a memo released last week, Jacob J. Lew, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said CIOsâ€™ responsibilities should now go beyond simply policymaking and infrastructure maintenance to truly oversee an agencyâ€™s total IT portfolio. Last year, OMB took a more aggressive approach to examining IT projects by hosting detailed, in-person review sessions of some of the most troubled programs. As a result, the administration canceled a handful of programs and restructured many more. Since then, OMB has called on agencies to institutionalize the review process to regularly check on their own programs. In the new memo, Lew seeks to position agency CIOs better to ensure that federal IT reform stays on track. He said CIOs should lead the review process and identify underperforming programs that should be canceled or changed. Chief information officers also must drive down costs on what Lew
calls â€œcommodity IT,â€? meaning basic equipment and services such as desktop computers, e-mail and administrative programs. He calls for pooling resources within agencies and eliminating redundancies. Additionally, CIOs are tasked with hiring, training and reviewing IT program management employees â€” and will be held accountable for their performance, according to the memo. Chief information officers are also responsible for implementing agency-wide information security programs that will be examined in Department of Homeland Security-run â€œCyberStatâ€? sessions. â€œThese additional authorities will enable CIOs to reduce the number of wasteful duplicative systems, simplify services for the American people, and deliver more effective IT to support their agencyâ€™s mission,â€? Lew wrote in the memo. The expanded role comes as OMB witnesses its own turnover in the federal CIO position. Steven L. VanRoekel, the U.S. Agency for International Developmentâ€™s executive director of citizen and organizational engagement, is taking over from Vivek Kundra, the ďŹ rst federal CIO who has held the position since early 2009. VanRoekel comes from government â€” he was managing director of the Federal Communications Commission before his USAID position â€” but he also has experience in industry. He spent 1994 to 2009 at Microsoft, ending his work there as senior director for the Windows server and tools division. email@example.com
GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS AWARDED Honeywell Technology Solutions of Columbia won a $42.6 million contract from the Army for the development of the Army Prepositioned Stocks-3 AďŹ‚oat Program. Contrack International of McLean won a $16.1 million contract from the Army for construction services. Northrop Grumman Systems of Herndon won an $11.8 million contract from the Army for the installation or reconďŹ guration of sense and warn capabilities at nine sites. Booz Allen Hamilton of McLean won a $23.7 million contract from the Navy to provide training, education, engineering, technical and management support. AT&T Government Solutions of Herndon won a $6.8 million contract from the Navy to provide technical support. IIF Data Solutions of Centreville won a $44.3 million contract from the Defense Human Resources Activity for program support technicians and administrative support technician level staff support. TCOM of Columbia won a $12.4 million contract from the Navy for hardware. G-W Management Services of Rockville won a $9.6 million contract from the Navy for construction. American Association for the Advancement of Science of the District won a $6.3 million contract from the Department of Health and Human Services. Array Information Technology of Greenbelt won a $4 million contract from the Air Force for information technology services, including telecommunications services.
Contrak International of McLean won a $47.2 million contract from the Army for construction of structures and facilities. Creative Associates International of the District won a $13.6 million contract from the Army for professional, administrative and management support services. Contrak International of McLean won a $16.1 million contract from the Army for construction of structures and facilities. Northrop Grumman Technical Services of Dulles won a $388.1 million contract from the Army for education and training services.
MAV6 of Alexandria won a $1.5 million contract from the General Services Administration for miscellaneous services. State Warehouse NOVA of Arlington won a $2.2 million contract from the General Services Administration for lease or rental facilities. ABSG Consulting of Arlington won a $3.4 million contract from the Department of Homeland Security for research and development. DCS of Alexandria won a $4.7 million contract from the Navy for research and development. Perkins + Will of the District won a $2.5 million contract from the General Services Administration for professional, administrative and management support services. ACG Systems of Annapolis won a $1.1 million contract from the Navy for communication, detection and coherent radiation equipment. CSC of Falls Church won a $39.7 million contract from the Defense Department for information technology services, including telecommunications services. Sage Computing of Reston won a $9.6 million contract from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for professional, administrative and management support services. Balfour Beatty Construction of Fairfax won a $405 million contract from the Army for construction of structures and facilities. Alex-Alternative Experts of Chantilly won a $30.5 million contract from the Department of Homeland Security of professional, administrative and management support services. SAIC of McLean won a $3.6 million contract from the Navy for research and development. Zodiac of North America of Stevensville won a $10.9 million contract from the Army for ships, small craft, pontoons and ďŹ‚oating docks. QI Tech of Vienna won a $5.2 million contract from the Army for professional, administrative and management support services. General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems of Fairfax won a $9.9 million contract from the professional, administrative and management support services.
â€” Compiled by Vanessa Small
Federal accounting litigator rejoins Winston & Strawn Robert A. Berger is rejoining Winston & Strawnâ€™s litigation practice in D.C. as of counsel after serving as an associate director of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Boardâ€™s division of enforcement and investigations. At the oversight board, Berger helped conduct informal inquiries and formal investigations into the potential violations of the boardâ€™s standards and rules.
L AW, LOB BYI NG & AS SOC IATIONS
Taking action against overseas copycats TRUE RELIGION VS. TRUE FAITH
D.C. IP lobbyists and attorneys see spike in work on trademark issues By CATHERINE HO
Akin Gump lawyers and BeachBodyâ€™s local Chinese counsel helped launch an investigation and raid of a Chinese company that packaged unauthorized BeachBody DVDs. A criminal prosecution by local authorities is pending. For True Religion, a Vernon, Calif.based company with a three-person legal team, ďŹ nding an outside ďŹ rm with a presence on Capitol Hill and a command of Chinese trademark law was key. â€œWe went with outside counsel to help us see if there were other political mechanisms we could use to communicate with the trademark office in China,â€? said True Religion general counsel Deborah Greaves. â€œWe needed international expertise. Some things get lost in translation. ... They helped us understand and interpret the decision of the [Chinese] trademark office.â€? Though IP infringement is not limited to China, it is the country that, by yearâ€™s end, is to have the largest presence of U.S. Patent and Trademark OfďŹ ce staff on the ground tasked with improving intellectual property protection and enforcement. The agency has seven offices abroad for whatâ€™s known as the Intellectual Property Rights At-
tachĂŠ program, which staffs local and U.S. attorneys to help U.S. companies facing copyright, trademark or patent infringement. Two out of the seven offices are in China. A third is to be added by yearâ€™s end. The Patent and Trademark Office is one of several agencies that jointly run the Website stopfakes.gov, which has country-speciďŹ c resources for companies facing intellectual property problems. Those resources include a feature whereby a businessowner can call a toll-free number and speak to an intellectual property attorney for free for one hour on how to protect a ďŹ rmâ€™s intellectual property rights abroad. Not all companies want to ďŹ ght
PRE-EMPTIVE ACTION ADVISED
â€œWhen you have confusingly similar marks in any overlapping channel of trade ... youâ€™re going to have people thinking one mark belongs to someone else." â€” Jonathan Hudis
a trademark previously registered in China, a notoriously slow process that can take up to four years, said Jonathan Hudis, a partner at the Districtâ€™s intellectual property boutique ďŹ rm Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt. Last year, one of Hudisâ€™ clients, a U.S. company that makes electrical components for machinery (who he declined to identify by name), decided not to take action when they discovered someone had already registered a similar trademark in China and was making similar products. While his client can still do business in China, their trademark has been weakened, he said. â€œWhen you have confusingly similar marks in any overlapping channel of trade, like the same country, youâ€™re going to have people thinking one mark belongs to someone else,â€? he said. To avoid the problem altogether, business owners should register their trademarks in countries even if they donâ€™t have immediate plans to do business there, Hudis said. It may be expensive but, â€œcompared to the cost of legal action against someone who has already applied for or registered the mark in another country or buying the mark from them outright? No.â€?
Illustration by Tim Ellis via Getty Images
When True Religion Brand Jeans applied to register its trademark in China last year, that countryâ€™s trademark authorities rejected the denimmakerâ€™s request. But two months later, they gave the green light to an unaffiliated Chinese applicant whose trademark, Zhenshi xingyang, means â€œtrue faithâ€? in Mandarin. So the fashion retailer turned up the heat in Washington, hiring K Street powerhouse Akin Gump to lobby on its behalf on China-related counterfeiting and trademark issues. The retailer has paid Akin Gump $220,000 in lobbying fees since March 2010, according to lobbying disclosure records. The ďŹ rm is also working with True Religionâ€™s in-house lawyers to appeal the decision denying the English version of the trademark, and to ďŹ ght the Chinese applicantâ€™s exclusive rights to Zhenshi xingyang â€” which could open the door for True Religion to claim the Chinese version of the trademark for itself. Legal rights to a trademark are country-speciďŹ c, and without a registered trademark in China, itâ€™s nearly impossible for True Religion to enforce against Chinese counterfeiters, said Akin Gump partner Steve Kho, who is representing the denim retailer. A growing number of small and mid-size businesses are grappling with similar dilemmas as they look to expand their brand overseas, often ďŹ nding that an unaffiliated company or individual there already owns, or is trying to register, the rights to their trademark. Those businesses are increasingly tapping the Districtâ€™s cadre of international trade attorneys with expertise in cross-border enforcement of intellectual property rights â€” and access to policymakers who could inďŹ‚uence the Chinese government to enforce intellectual property laws. â€œIn certain countries, these are less of a straight-up legal issue and more of a legal-policy issue, because youâ€™re dealing with authorities that care less about IP enforcement than other legal enforcement,â€? Kho said. â€œUsually, the stronger the messenger, the stronger the message will be.â€? Product Partners, which produces the popular home ďŹ tness program BeachBody, also retained lobbyists to help combat the production of counterfeit DVDs in China, paying Akin Gump $90,000 last year and Cozen Oâ€™Connor $60,000 this year to lobby on intellectual property rights and counterfeiting issues in China, according to lobbying registration records.
LOBBY LIST PROVIDED BY Capital Business has partnered with the nonproďŹ t Sunlight Foundation to bring you a snapshot of the new clients signed by lobbying ďŹ rms, based on federal registration data. Lobbyist Alcalde & Fay Alston & Bird Arent Fox Arent Fox Blackwell Sanders Blank Rome Blank Rome Bob Riley & Associates Bob Riley & Associates Bob Riley & Associates Bob Riley & Associates Bob Riley & Associates BrightSource Energy
Client Palm Beach County, Fla Maritz Holdings Barber National Institute Buildersâ€™ Funding Greater Kansas City Chamber Education Reform Now National Association of Home Builders Austal USA Brett Real Estate-Robinson Development Gulf Coast Asphalt Co. EADS North America VT Systems BrightSource Energy
Capcity Advocates Capitol Hill Consulting Group Capitol Hill Strategic Advocates Capitol Hill Strategic Advocates
National Association of Fixed Annuities Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians The IBCS Group Maryland Chapter, American College of Cardiology ColumbusNova Expedia Mission of Peace National Corp. West Virginia Council for Community & Technical College Education Roche Diagnostics Inergy AARP DynCorp International Solyndra DKRW Advanced Fuels City of Fremont, Calif. North Dakota Corn Growers Association Capitol Outdoor B.I.B. Consultants iRhythm Technologies General Dynamics City of Bellevue
Carmen Group Cassidy & Associates Clark Hill PLC Delta Development Group DS2 Group, Dutko Worldwide First Street Strategies Ghazal & Associates Glover Park Group Heartland Consulting Holland & Knight James Callan Associates JB Advocacy Jenkins Hill Consulting Korris Group Oâ€™Toole, Diane Patton Boggs Potomac Advocates Prime Policy Group Raben Group Rasky Baerlin Strategic Comm. Sconset Strategies Sconset Strategies Shockey ScoďŹ eld Solutions Southeast QSR Telecommunications Law Professionals Telecommunications Law Professionals The Harris Firm Van Scoyoc Associates Walter Group Woosley & Associates Woosley & Associates
SpeciďŹ c issues Federal funding for water, wastewater, beach, bus, rail and road projects, and county health care initiatives. Proposed privacy legislation. Medicaid policies, funding for programs for people with developmental disabilities. Federal rental vouchers for veteransâ€™ housing in the District of Columbia. Seek support for infrastructure projects in Kansas City metropolitan area. Issues related to education reform efforts and reauthorization of Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Housing, mortgage ďŹ nance and tax issues. Marketing products to federal and state entities. Land development and real estate. Marketing products and services to federal and state entities, infrastructure issues. Marketing products and services to federal and state entities. Marketing products and services to state and federal entities. Extending Treasury grant program, Department of Energy loan guarantee program, transmission policy reforms and enhancement of national renewable energy standard. Legislation and regulation of ďŹ xed annuities. General Indian tribe issues. Construction, bonding, transportation, infrastructure and energy. Health issues including reimbursements, sustainable growth rate, stents and medical procedures. U.S. Small Business Administrationâ€™s Small Business Investment Company program. Internet privacy and commerce issues. Funding for the nonproďŹ t housing counseling industry, setting national standards for housing counseling. Federal funding, Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant program.
TASC IBM The DoCanto Group Boston Medical Center Valtus Capital Group Aristeia Capital Cone Health Southeast QSR Clear Channel Communications
Medicare and Medicaid issues. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission certiďŹ cation process. Retooling the Health Care Workforce for an Aging America Act of 2009, H.R. 1605 to reduce federal spending, Budget Control Act FY12 defense authorization, appropriations and supplemental bills, particularly sections pertaining to overseas contingency operations. Introducing the company to energy and commerce committee members. Energy issues. Funding or federal approval for infrastructure improvements adjacent to the Warm Spring BART station. Standards for corn in the federal crop insurance program; budget-appropriations issues affecting crop insurance and farm programs. U.S. Postal Service advertising contracts. Advocate for expanded use of foreign language training. Medicare coverage and payment for cardiac rhythm monitoring. House Committee on Appropriations, Senate Appropriations Committee, House Armed Services Committee. Water Resources Development Act, transportation authorization, Community Development Block Grant, surface transportation authorization, renewable energy and sustainability. Federal Aviation Administration authorization, federally funded research and development centers funding, defense contracting policies. Patent reform, corporate tax reform, cybersecurity, trade and labor issues. FY11 and FY12 funding for education and childrenâ€™s programs, Medicaid and Childrenâ€™s Health Insurance Program. General healthcare issues. Issues regarding the debt ceiling, ďŹ nancial services, gaming, tax reform and tourism. Issues related to government-sponsored enterprises reform; mortgage reform, the debt ceiling and tax reform. Funding for health initiatives in defense appropriations bill. Health care, general tax issues, labor and employment, ethanol subsidies, restaurant depreciation and capital gains. Oversight and legislation affecting local broadcast radio stations, ownership limitations and regulation of programming.
Federal spectrum and auction policies, wireless and Internet regulation, data roaming, privacy legislation and National Broadband Plan.
Huntington Ingalls Industries Merlin International Comcast Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina Quakerdale
Issues pertaining to all aspects of Naval and Coast Guard ships and commercial nuclear policy. Department of Veterans Affairsâ€™ information and technology programs. General telecommunication issues. Farm bill, Medicaid reimbursements and education. Federal budget for Medicaid reimbursements, farm bill, education and juvenile justice.
American Bar Association wants to limit lobbyist fundraising for lawmakers
By CATHERINE HO
The American Bar Association is urging Congress to broaden the deďŹ nition of â€œlobbyist,â€? and create tougher campaign fundraising rules for lobbyists. The resolution passed last week in the associationâ€™s House of Delegates. It pushes to amend the federal Lobbying Disclosure Act â€” which currently requires lobbyists to ďŹ le quarterly reports detailing client names, fees and issues only if they spend at least 20 percent of their time for a client engaging lawmakers â€” to require reporting for anyone whose lobbying activities constitute an unspeciďŹ ed but â€œreasonableâ€? amount of time. Under the ABAâ€™s measure, anyone who engages in â€œlobbying support activitiesâ€? such as polling, coalition building and public relations would also be required to register as a lobbyist. The ABA is also calling for changes
that would ban lobbyists from fundraising for a lawmakerâ€™s campaign if they have lobbied them in the last two years, and prohibit lobbyists from lobbying a lawmaker if they have fundraised for them in the last two years. The American League of Lobbyists, the national organization representing professional lobbyists, said it agreed with most of the resolution but called the proposed changes to campaign ďŹ nance rules â€œinadequate and not workable.â€? The ABA will work on turning the resolution into draft legislation in the coming months.
PATTON BOGGS SUIT AGAINST CHEVRON DISMISSSED A federal district judge has tossed a lawsuit brought by Patton Boggs against Chevron that accused the oil giant and its lawyers at Gibson Dunn
& Crutcher of deterring Patton Boggs from representing plaintiffs in an environmental torts suit against Chevron. The decision by Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia last week is the latest in a battle between two prominent law ďŹ rms. Patton Boggs, which represents Ecuadorian nationals in a multi-billion dollar environmental damages suit against Chevron, accused Gibson Dunn lawyers of trying to disqualify them from representing the plaintiffs because a lobbying ďŹ rm Patton Boggs acquired last year â€” BreauxLott Leadership Group â€” once performed lobbying services for Chevron. Judge Kennedy found that Patton Boggs did not show â€œthe exact manner and factsâ€? by which Gibson Dunn and Chevron tried to deter the ďŹ rm from representing the plaintiffs.
Patton Boggs previously ďŹ led a similar complaint asking the court to absolve the ďŹ rm of any ethical conďŹ‚icts. That complaint was dismissed in April.
FOX AFFILIATES HIRE DOW LOHNES IN WASHINGTON Fox Affiliate Association, the trade group representing 150 independently owned local television station affiliates, has hired the Districtâ€™s Dow Lohnes to advise the association on legal, regulatory and policy issues, including navigating the affiiliatesâ€™ relationship with Fox Broadcasting. The affiliates are owned by thirdparty broadcasters that contract with Fox to air the networkâ€™s programming. Fox recently began demanding that afďŹ liate stations pay a portion of retransmission fees. firstname.lastname@example.org
SOFT SALES: Gaylord National sees a falloff in business The giant Gaylord National hotel and conference center in Prince Georgeâ€™s County saw revenue fall 10 percent in the second quarter, a drop it blamed on the federal budget woes. The centerâ€™s corporate parent said the threat of government spending cuts hurt short-term bookings and left guests buying less on site. The ďŹ rm said it expects a better second half based on advance bookings.
R ETA I L , H EA LT H CA R E & E N E R GY
New option for shopkeepers: Lease or buy? SMALL BUT GROWING SEGMENT
Loudoun development offering â€˜retail condosâ€™ to mom-and-pop outďŹ ts By DANIELLE DOUGLAS
At Lansdowne Town Center, a multiphase development in Loudoun County featuring residential and retail space, brokers are signing up momand-pop shops with a simple pitch: Why rent when you can own? Builder Lansdowne Development Group is selling the ground-ďŹ‚oor retail below its townhouses as 13 individual suites at roughly 1,000 square feet a unit. The Herndon-based developer is offering shopkeepers a chance to own their stores for a starting price of $250,000. Retail condominiums, as these properties are commonly known, are
not a new concept, but they had been making a comeback in recent months as the economy strengthened. Whether they can maintain the momentum is now a question following the latest market convulsion. Four of the Lansdowne units are currently under contract to a local ďŹ tness club, hair salon and tailor, who took two slots, according to Scott Gustavson, a broker with Windward Commercial, the ďŹ rm handling the retail sales. He is in talks with several other potential buyers for the remaining units. â€œInterest rates are low and that plays into the hands of the small owner-occupant,â€? he said. â€œAssuming you can get a loan, which is no doubt challenging in this environment, this opportunity can be an investment property down the road.â€? Gustavson and his partner, Kevin Nicholas, are only marketing the units to small, local retailers in part because of
covenant restrictions on the property. To create a shopping hub, Lansdowne Development wanted its retail component to rise up alongside that of Bethesda-based Saul Centers, which is developing adjacent land. As a part of their agreement, Lansdowne Development could only lease or sell the retail to local tenants with no more than ďŹ ve store locations, so as not to compete with Saul Centersâ€™ lineup of national players. â€œWe decided to sell the retail to entrepreneurs to give them an economic advantage,â€? said Hobie Michael, managing partner of Lansdowne Development. â€œIn the long-run owning is cheaper than leasing, thereâ€™s equity and they donâ€™t have to worry about rent increases.â€? Construction of the retail condos and overhead townhomes got under way earlier this month, with completion slated for the ďŹ rst quarter of 2012, Gustavson said. Lansdowne Development has already built more than 500
residential units within Lansdowne Town Center. According to Rick Fernandez, managing director of Calkain Urban Investment Advisors in Reston, a seller of retail condos, the niche is thriving in the Washington area. â€œTo be sure, there are only a ďŹ nite number of these units in the market, so the number of sales is paltry compared to, say, the office sector. Exact sales ďŹ gures are hard to come by,â€? he said. Fernandez said developers have relied on retail condos to â€œtake some cash out of their projects to either funnel back into the development or use for another deal.â€? Retail condos, he noted, are typically purchased by investors, rather than small retailers. In instances where mom-and-pop outďŹ ts buy, they tend to sell the unit and lease it back to use the proceeds to grow their business. email@example.com
Iâ€™ll have a caffe latte espresso, extra syrup, with that Chevy Cruze GUERILLA MARKETING
Car dealers are wooing customers with games, coffee and dinner parties By ABHA BHATTARAI
Jeffrey MacMillan/Capital Business
EVENT MARKETING: Wendy Neidermeyer talks to Jason Colvin about Chevy
vehicles displayed at the Arlington County Fair. social media sites are crucial, Nierenberg said, adding that â€œthey help us create thousands of unique interactions at once.â€? â€œSocial media is all about â€˜look at me, Iâ€™m traveling,â€™ â€˜look at me, I got engaged,â€™â€? he added. â€œNow it can be â€˜look at me, I got this new car.â€™â€? The local marketing campaigns for the Cruze began last fall. Although Harry Criswell, who owns a Chevrolet dealership in Gaithersburg, says itâ€™s too soon to tell whether the efforts have led to a rise in sales, he says â€œweâ€™re getting thousands of leads from these events.â€? Criswell would not comment on how much the local dealers are paying Red Peg, but said it was â€œabout the
sameâ€? as the $3 million in newspaper advertising he once took out. â€œSo many times, people might think â€˜oh Iâ€™ll send a thank you e-mail,â€™â€? Nierenberg said. â€œBut thatâ€™s not enough. You have to create an experience.â€? For Davis, that experience included dozens of balloons and â€œa whole table that was decked out like a kidâ€™s birthday party.â€? Red Peg also organized a car-naming game in which Davisâ€™s friends took turns suggesting monikers for his new purchase. They tossed out ideas like like Lady Mobile and The Ivory Badger. In the end, he named his new car Penelope. Penelope Cruze. firstname.lastname@example.org
The last thing Drew Davis expected when he bought a Chevrolet Cruze was a dinner party. But a few months after he bought his car, he got a phone call from a marketing ďŹ rm in Alexandria. They said they wanted to buy dinner for Davis and his friends. So he rounded up 10 of his buddies from grad school and invited them to T.G.I. Fridays in Fairfax, where Red Peg Marketing had arranged to pick up a $200 tab for the evening. Davis ordered the steak and seafood platter. He and his friends also had appetizers, desserts and â€œcocktails all night.â€? It was, the 26-year-old said, â€œthe best car purchase of my life. It made my summer.â€? The Cruze Warming Parties, as theyâ€™re called, are one part of the threepronged approach Red Peg is using to drum up advertising for a group of 28 Washington-area Chevrolet dealers. The guerilla marketing tactics the ďŹ rm is employing are a far cry from traditional print and television ads. They include â€œstreet teamsâ€? that park Chevrolet cars near establishments such as Starbucks, Dominoâ€™s Pizza and
Potbelly Sandwich Works. Customers who swing by to look at the cars are rewarded with a gift certiďŹ cate for a free coffee or meal. â€œFor somebody to experience a car in exchange for a $4 coffee â€” thatâ€™s a good investment,â€? said Brad Nierenberg, the president and chief executive of Red Peg. â€œYou have to do the little things right.â€? The Chevrolet Cruze, a compact sedan introduced in 2010, was the best-selling car in the United States in June, according to Autodata. It was the ďŹ rst time an American-made car had topped the charts in years, and a particularly sweet victory for the brand after the $50 billion government bailout of General Motors in 2009. Last week, three Red Peg staffers dressed in polo shirts and khaki shorts were camped out at the Arlington County Fair. The Chevy tent, which sat between signs advertising racing piglets and â€œsteak in a sac,â€? featured two cars â€” the Cruze and the electricpowered Volt â€” as well as a pair of 60inch touch screens that gave fair-goers a taste of â€œaugmented reality.â€? On one screen, fair-goers could pretend to test-drive cars by waving pieces of cardstock in front of the television camera. On the other, they could play Chevrolet trivia games (â€œHow many MPG does the 2011 Malibu get on the highway?â€?) and design their own cars â€” which could be immediately uploaded to a userâ€™s Facebook proďŹ le. Those efforts on Facebook and other
WEEK IN REVIEW D.C. job fair draws record attendance A record 4,121 hopeful job seekers attended D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Nortonâ€™s 14th annual job fair at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center last week. Unintentionally, the Aug. 9 fair came on the heels of some of the worst economic news in three years, including the Standard & Poorâ€™s downgrade of U.S. government debt, the stock market plunge the day before and the rancorous debt-ceiling debate, not to mention the possibility that more federal jobs may be disappearing. Attendance was up by more than 1,000 from last yearâ€™s fair, according to officials. People meandered around the more than 100 stalls, and the employers ranged from the D.C. Fire and EMS Department to H&R Block. â€” Sarah Khan
Evy Mages for Capital Business
TRUE GRIT: Director Manan Katohoraâ€™s ďŹ lms are an alternative to the typical fairytale love stories in Bollywood movies.
WAL-MART DONATION TO PAY FOR JOB TRAINING IN D.C.
Filmmaker pitches D.C. on Bollywood
Wal-Martâ€™s charitable foundation is making a $3 million donation to ďŹ nance job readiness and workforce training programs in the District, part of an effort to address above-average unemployment and improve the retailerâ€™s image as it angles to open its ďŹ rst D.C. stores. The money will pay for workforce development and job preparation for 2,000 city residents at a time when the Districtâ€™s unemployment rate is on the rise, up 0.6 percent to 10.4 percent in June.
SEEKS INVESTORS FOR â€˜LOVE 2.0â€™
Manan Katohoraâ€™s plots include sex and drugs and center action in D.C.
couple â€œrediscovers each other and rediscovers their passion,â€? said Sandeep Ghuman, who co-wrote the ďŹ lm with Katohora. If Katohora secures the funding by the end of this month, he plans to begin ďŹ lming in the Washington area in November.
By ABHA BHATTARAI
Bollywood ďŹ lms arenâ€™t known for sex, drugs and alcohol. But Manan Katohora is hoping to change that â€” and he has his sights set on Washington. First, though, he has to persuade at least 30 investors to fork over $10,000 a piece. Last week, he hired a few local actors and hosted a script reading for prospective investors at an Indian restaurant in Tysonâ€™s Corner. Eight people attended. So far heâ€™s secured $130,000 for the ďŹ lm, titled â€œLove 2.0.â€? The movie, which he co-wrote and would direct, offers â€œa new deďŹ nition of love, sex and marriage,â€? he said, for a Bollywood audience that is accustomed to fairy tale-like love stories. â€œLove 2.0â€? would be Katohoraâ€™s fourth full-length ďŹ lm. His previous works include â€œWhen Kiran Met Karen,â€? about a Bollywood actress who spends a wild night with a lesbian journalist. â€œYoung people love it,â€? said Katohora, who is 35. â€œItâ€™s the same thing they see in American ďŹ lms, but for the ďŹ rst time, they see Indian actors playing these roles.â€? The characters in Katohoraâ€™s ďŹ lm engage in extramarital sex, smoke marijuana and drink copious amounts of red wine and Scotch whiskey â€” a stark contrast to traditional Bollywood ďŹ lms that frown upon the slightest displays of on-screen affection. â€œLove 2.0â€? follows an IndianAmerican couple in Washington that is on the verge of divorce. A mysterious stranger who claims to be a â€œGrandmaster of the Order of Reasonâ€? â€” a role Katohora says he has already ďŹ lled with â€œa legendary Bollywood actorâ€? â€” shows up to help. A bizarre sequence of events take place, and in the end, the
Katohora has invited potential investors to script readings. So far, he has secured about $130,000 in funding for the project.
â€œI think the love-hate distribution here is going to be 90 percent hate, 10 percent love. We know people will have a strong reaction, and thatâ€™s what weâ€™re going after." â€” Sandeep Ghuman Katohora, who lived in New York City for eight years before moving to Washington in 2009, said the areaâ€™s burgeoning ďŹ lm community and its network of South Asians drew him to D.C. â€œIf you go to New York, to California, every investor has hundreds of people knocking down their door â€” I know because I used to be one of them,â€? he said. â€œThis is something new for D.C, and there is an amazing amount of support here.â€? But securing funding from the large South Asian community in the area is proving to be a challenge, particularly
given the ďŹ lmâ€™s subject matter. â€œI donâ€™t know how well itâ€™s going to be accepted by Indians,â€? said Sadhna Vohra, an investor who lives in Herndon and is originally from Delhi. â€œBut,â€? she added, â€œI have faith in it.â€? After last weekâ€™s reading, audience members offered their advice: One said the script was too intense, and that it needed more comedy. Another said the dialogue didnâ€™t ring true. A third asked whether there would be singing and dancing. â€œNo songs,â€? Katohora said. â€œItâ€™s not that type of Bollywood movie. There wonâ€™t be any lip-synching.â€? He grew up in the Middle East and studied engineering in India. But, he says, â€œI did that mainly for my dad.â€? He quickly changed course, got an MBA at the University of Scranton, and began working as a production assistant on ďŹ lm sets in New York City. Now he has three movies under his belt, including the forthcoming â€œ9 Eleven,â€? which he says was â€œmore of a Bollywood ďŹ lm.â€? One investor agreed to fund the entire project. â€œBut you canâ€™t get lucky every time,â€? Katohora said. Audrey Emmett, a potential investor who attended last weekâ€™s reading, said she wished the female characters were â€œa bit more three-dimensional.â€? â€œI think putting money into a ďŹ lm is even more risky than gambling at a casino,â€? Emmett said. â€œYou have so little control over the ďŹ nished product â€“ and even if you do, you donâ€™t know what else is being released that month, or what might be happening in the news that might keep people from going to the cinema.â€? Katohora says he is scheduling oneon-one meetings with potential investors, and plans to hold at least a couple more script readings locally. But he and Ghuman know itâ€™s a tough sell. â€œI think the love-hate distribution here is going to be 90 percent hate, 10 percent love,â€? Ghuman said. â€œWe know people will have a strong reaction, and thatâ€™s what weâ€™re going after.â€? To which Katohora added: â€œIâ€™m sure my mom will hate this ďŹ lm.â€? email@example.com
â€” Jonathan Oâ€™Connell
CAPITAL ONE SNAGS HSBC CREDIT CARD BUSINESS Capital One Financial announced last week a $2.6 billion deal for the U.S. credit card portfolio of London-based HSBC Holdings, a move that would make the McLean ďŹ rm the nationâ€™s third-largest issuer of store-branded credit cards. The deal puts Capital One at the forefront of a niche market it only entered at the start of this year. The company made its foray into the space in January by picking up the credit card portfolio of Canadian retail conglomerate Hudsonâ€™s Bay Co. That deal was followed up in April when J.P. Morgan Chase sold the Kohlâ€™s credit card portfolio of Kohlâ€™s, handing over more than 20 million accounts and the right to issue cards to the department storeâ€™s customers. After the HSBC sale is ďŹ nalized, Capital One would issue cards for retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Best Buy. â€” Danielle Douglas
Oâ€™MALLEY GIVES CHARGE TO SOLAR-POWERED STATIONS Maryland Gov. Martin Oâ€™Malley (D) appeared in Bethesda at an event touting a â€œSolar Power Pole car-charging systemâ€? developed by Columbiabased Advanced Technology & Research. The devices are being manufacturing Maryland. Solar panels mounted on poles capture power from the sun, generating enough energy to charge two vehicles at a time, according to the company. â€” John Wagner
CAP BIZ DIARY Short takes on the weekâ€™s announcements and deals.
ACQUISITIONS Annapolis-based business services company High Street Partners acquired Waltham, Mass.-based Rockwood Accounting Services Group. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Separately, High Street closed on a $6.3 million round of funding led by Chicago-based Baird Venture Partners. High Street Partners said it will use the money to develop and staff its shared service centers and to add additional features to its HSP OverseasConnect software. McLean-based engineering and technology company Science Applications International Corp. has completed its previously announced acquisition of Kennett Square, Pa.-based health records company Vitalize Consulting Solutions. Terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed. McLean-based technology company Sotera Defense Solutions said it will acquire Columbia-based software company Software Process Technologies. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
CONTRACTS Vienna-based Cetrom Information Technology has been hired by the District-based Mutual Fund Directors Forum to provide cloud-based software. Lubbock, Texas-based mobile phone services company ClearTalk Wireless has agreed to resell Reston-based wireless broadband company LightSquaredâ€™s 4G network service. Annapolis-based mobile ommunication technology company TeleCommunication Systems has received
an $8.5 million contract from Iowaâ€™s Homeland Security Emergency Management Division for 9-11 systems and services.
EXPANSIONS Bethesda-based cloud company Virtustream has opened an ofďŹ ce in Atlanta: 6 Concourse Parkway, Suite 1930, Atlanta, GA 30328. 678-361-7097. District-based daily deals service LivingSocial is now operating in the markets of Montevideo in Uruguay and Bogota in Colombia.
FUNDING Herndon-based education software company ePals raised $47.2 million in new equity funding. Alexandria-based software company Previstar has raised $2.6 million of a planned $3.1 million in equity funding. Herndon-based AnyPresence has received a $2 million equity investment. The investorâ€™s identity was not disclosed.
GRANTS The College Park-based Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute has awarded $4.2 million in high-tech and biotech product development grants through its Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program: Salisbury-based AHPharma Technology, $152,114; Rockville-based Aparna Biosciences, $132,748; Baltimore-based Assay Biomarker, $147,525; Fruitland-based Biketoo, $187,000; Bethesda-based Fish Pro Grow, $138,000;
WHEN WE CREATED 300 SHADY GROVE WE HAD ONLY ONE GOAL. MAKE IT
Columbia-based Flavorx, $92,856; Rockvillebased Genovation Cars, $135,110; Cambridgebased GlycoPure, $165,420; Baltimore-based GreenSpacers, $134,700; Information Technologies Curves, $169,499; Hollywood-based Leadership Health, $514,100; Opticul Diagnostics, $425,500; Optimal Solutions Group, $257, 469; Gaithersburgbased Stress Indicators, $256,000; Columbia-based Xcision Medical Systems, $1.65 million.
NEW PRODUCTS & SERVICES Arlington-based language-learning company Rosetta Stone is offering its ReFLEX and Version 4 TOTALe programs for Korean-speaking English learners.
NONPROFITS Fairfax-based George Mason University received $2 million from alumnus James W. Hazel and his wife, Sally. Hazel is an owner of Manassas-based wetland mitigation company Angler Environmental. The money will be used for a scholarship fund.
STARTUPS Woodbridge-based specialty retail holding company BeeThrifty has opened its ďŹ rst B-Thrifty thrift store and international bazaar: 13412 Jefferson Davis Highway, Woodbridge, VA 22192. 703-4965100.
â€” Compiled by Shawn Selby
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SPECIAL REPORT The dining guide
A meal for any deal By TOM SIETSEMA for Capital Business
Business dining in Washington almost always comes with a side of subtext. While the clever host wants to make sure his guest is happy with what lands on the table, he knows food and drink are only part of what make a successful transaction. One size doesnâ€™t ďŹ t all when it comes to picking a place to break bread and do business. The setting required to woo a 20-something client from Manhattan is probably not the same place youâ€™d take a veteran chief executive from Minneapolis. Delicate negotiations shouldnâ€™t be drowned out by a rock concert in the dining room. On the other hand, if youâ€™re toasting a merger or acquisition, you might not want to clink glasses in a mortuary. And where to reserve when she likes steak, but he wonâ€™t touch the stuff? To the rescue: A world of dining choices in the nationâ€™s capital, and I mean that literally. Expense accounts are helpful, but not required. The silver lining in a sour economy
is the abundance of deals on business meals. Name a part of town where you want to talk shop, and youâ€™re likely to ďŹ nd a menu to satisfy the bean counter back at the office. In Penn Quarter, the lounge of the suave 701 Restaurant serves a $15 lunch that factors in a glass of wine. The â€œPower Hourâ€? at Ris in the West End lets bar patrons choose from, say, shrimp tempura or meatloaf for just $15, beverage included. Ristorante Tosca invites with a â€œDine at Duskâ€? deal, a three-courser with lots of options offered from 5:30 to 7 p.m. for $38. Closer to the Hill, one of the most expensive restaurants in the city, The Source, lets you play Daddy Warbucks with a three-course, pan-Asian $30 list. (Iâ€™ll take the Hong Kongstyle steamed halibut, thanks). Whether youâ€™re looking for something small or grand, meaty or non, muted or festive, here are some restaurants to get you started.
Tom Sietsemaâ€™s top picks for where to eat on business
See and be seen Bourbon Steak The Source by Wolfgang Puck The Oval Room Ristorante Tosca
Celebrate a deal CityZen at the Mandarin Hotel J&G Steakhouse Michel Richard Citronelle Rogue 24 Sushi Taro
A quiet meeting ĹłĹšĹşĹť Corduroy Plume (Jefferson Hotel)
The (smallish) office party ... birthdays, retirements, promotions Estadio Kushi Izakaya & Sushi Lincoln
The (big) office party ... holidays, corporate milestones Carmineâ€™s Hill Country BBQ & Market .*).É„ĹˇĹ´
For a business breakfast Blue Duck Tavern Poste Moderne Brasserie Souâ€™Wester at the Mandarin Oriental Tabard Inn
For a business dinner Bibiana Blue Duck Tavern Charlie Palmer Steak Marcelâ€™s Rasika Ris ĹšĹ˛Ĺł
For the LivingSocial generation Bayou $-#É„ĆŽÉ„-' 4Ć¤ Churchkey Estadio The Source by Wolfgang Puck Mandu Ripple
Traditional tables 1789 La Chaumiere Monocle Prime Rib
Away from downtown Ashby Inn and Restaurant Bezu Bistro Lâ€™Hermitage Food Wine & Co. Michel Restaurant Eveâ€™s Tasting Room
Washington Post ďŹ le photos
The Power Lunch Bombay Club J&G Steakhouse Kellari Taverna The Oval Room Ristorante Tosca
Woo a potential client CityZen at the Mandarin Oriental Marcelâ€™s Obelisk
Note: Italicized restaurants are reďŹ‚ected in photos.
One size doesnâ€™t ďŹ t all when it comes to picking a place to break bread Here are mini reviews of the area restaurants found on Tom Sietsemaâ€™s list of recommendations. For expanded reviews, go to washingtonpost.com/gog/dc-restaurants:
1789 1226 36th St. NW, 202-965-1789 www.1789restaurant.com
Tradition has always been part of a visit to 1789 in the shadow of Georgetown University, but jackets for gentlemen are no longer recommended. Each dining room has a distinct personality; each enjoys ďŹ‚ickering table lamps, nooks for intimate gatherings and classical music that doesnâ€™t interfere with conversation. Appetizers tend to be more interesting than entrees here, but thatâ€™s true of a lot of restaurants.
701 701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202-393-0701 www.701restaurant.com
Dressed for success â€” or at least for a supper club â€” in soft blues and browns, 701 bends over backward to encourage patronage. At lunch, thereâ€™s a bar deal that offers one of a choice of ďŹ ve dishes and a glass of wine. The pre-theater menu runs throughout dinner on Sunday. There arenâ€™t many upscale restaurants dishing out live music, but here, piano on Thursday night is followed by piano and bass on Friday and Saturday.
Sean McCormick for The Washington Post
Pork shoulder served with jasmine rice and crushed nuts from the Ashby Inn & Restaurant.
ASHBY INN & RESTAURANT 692 Federal St., Paris, 866-336-0099 www.ashbyinn.com
Few restaurants bridge old and new better than this inn in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The chef is imaginative with an artistic streak, partial to arranging his food in delicious rows on its plates. But he never forsakes ďŹ‚avor for gimmicks. All the intimate dining rooms are welcoming, although warm weather typically ďŹ nds me outside on the ďŹ‚agstone terrace, and the underground tap room with ďŹ replace calls to me in winter. 2519 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202-223-6941 www.bayouonpenn.com
This casual Foggy Bottom restaurant roams across two ďŹ‚oors, each equipped with its own bar and dressed with colorful beads, old light ďŹ xtures and posters collected from ďŹ‚ea markets. Yes, itâ€™s noisy upstairs on music nights, but who goes to a place cel-
ebrating New Orleans for quietude? The kitchen fusses over the details. A chalkboard on the ground ďŹ‚oor announces the weekly specials, one of which is that New Orleans tradition of red beans and rice, served on Tuesdays rather than the customary Mondays, when Bayou is dark.
expertise. When the sudsmeister comes to the table and gives his spiel about, say, Scottish ale aged in whisky barrels, his enthusiasm rubs off. Husband-and-wife chefs Kyle Bailey and Tiffany MacIsaac (he focuses on savories; she on sweets) follow suit by ďŹ nessing what it means to be a tavern.
9812 Falls Rd., Potomac, 301-299-3000 www.bezurestaurant.com
12724 Occoquan Road, Woodbridge 703-499-9550 www.bistrolhermitage.com
At Bezu, fusion has given way to a fully French menu â€” and a chance for diners to be fed as if they were dignitaries. The dining room beyond is inviting in orange fabric alternating with Jerusalem stone on the walls and tall booths that suggest that whatâ€™s said in Bezu stays in Bezu. If you can, avoid the tables that run down the middle of the room, the least cozy of the 50 or so seats (calling ahead might help). Wine drinkers are encouraged to book on Monday night, when Bezu offers its bottles for half-price.
As the owner of this French gem in Prince William County is apt to tell you himself, he not only cut and stained the mahogany tables in the dining room, he sewed the curtains for his windows and arranged the Virginia cobblestones for his walls. Youssef Eagle Essakl spent 25 years working in other peopleâ€™s restaurants before striking out on his own a couple of years ago, and the experience shows. Bistro Lâ€™Hermitage delivers a mostly polished performance, coaxed from soft jazz and a kitchen that sends out quiet pleasures.
1100 New York Ave. NW, 202-216-9550 www.bibianadc.com
BLUE DUCK TAVERN
Another place to eat Italian. Do I hear a yawn out there? Bibiana might stiďŹ‚e it. The restaurant has the considerable advantage of chef Nicholas Stefanelli. The best spot in this attractive space is behind the stainlesssteel-beaded curtains in the main dining room. Itâ€™s as noisy as anywhere else here, yet it feels discreet.
BIRCH & BARLEY/ CHURCHKEY 1337 14th St. NW, 202-567-2576 www.birchandbarley.com
A confession: Iâ€™m not crazy about beer. Thatâ€™s one reason Iâ€™m so passionate about Birch & Barley in general and Greg Engert in particular. They make it impossible for you to stay cool to their 500-plus-bottle
1201 24th St. NW (in the Park Hyatt Hotel) 202-419-6755 www.blueducktavern.com
Fat apple pies resting on a marble counter, jars of canned fruit lining the walls and a garden of carefully arranged produce lead the way to the dining room, where spindly chairs and quilts on the wall further prepare a diner for something homespun. Not so fast. New York designer Tony Chi created the space â€” a maze of glass, steel and wood â€” and chef Brian McBride crafted the American menu, a document that pays tribute to farmers. A table in the softly lighted inner sanctum, near the vast open kitchen and the oven that burns oak and apple wood, is like an orchestra seat at a cooking show.
Juana Arias for The Washington Post
BOMBAY CLUB 815 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202-659-3727 www.bombayclubdc.com
The Bombay Club is 20 years old, but thanks to a $600,000 nip and tuck, it looks more seductive than ever. Jewel tones in the fabric on the banquettes and a splash of pink on the soft leather chairs do this grande dame proud. Some things never change, though. The service remains courtly, and the white piano continues to be out of place. You donâ€™t have to be a hothead to enjoy the menu; tender venison chops with a gravy of yogurt and cashew nuts, a winter dish, are subtle yet sublime.
BOURBON STEAK 2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202-944-2026 www.bourbonsteakdc.com
The name primes patrons for the expected, and Iâ€™m fond of the kitchenâ€™s thick, dry-aged rib-eye. But why limit yourself to meat? A meal in this luxe restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown commences on a decadent note, with bouquets of french fries crisped in duck fat, and warm truffle-butter rolls. The restaurant is serious, but it knows how to have fun. Frequenters know to bypass the sepia-tone dining room for the best place to sup: outside, on Bourbon Steakâ€™s courtyard, surrounded by ďŹ‚owers and warmed by ďŹ re pits.
CARMINEâ€™S 425 Seventh St. NW, 202-737-7770 www.carminesnyc.com
Despite its size (nearly 700 seats) and its parentage (itâ€™s part of a New York chain owned by the Alicart Group), the restaurant succeeds where I thought it would fail by serving food that really and truly smacks of an Italian grandmotherâ€™s kitchen. Âť Continued on Page 20
N.O. IN D.C.: Bayou in Foggy Bottom lists its Cajun and Creole specials on a giant chalkboard.
SPECIAL REPORT The dining guide Âť Continued from Page 19
CHARLIE PALMER STEAK 101 Constitution Ave. NW, 202-547-8100 www.charliepalmer.com
Convenient for lobbyists and the people with whom they seek face time, this sleek, gray-and-blue destination on the Hill is also a prime place to cut into a steak, be it a thick rib-eye or a pedigreed Wagyu sirloin with the texture of butter. Meanwhile, the deep American wine list means you will sip as well as you eat.
CITYZEN 1330 Maryland Ave. SW, 202-787-6006 www.mandarinoriental.com
A reservation for a top table prompts heightened expectations. This is a generous and gracious den of luxury: Request coffee, and it might come with warm cardamomorange cakes. Frequent patrons might be weary of seeing the same amuse bouches visit after visit, but I know there would be a riot if CityZen ever deleted from its drill the little wooden box of warm Parker House rolls that shows up with the entrees.
CORDUROY 1122 Ninth St. NW, 202-589-0699 www.corduroydc.com
Tom Power does light better than just about any other chef in town. The easy elegance of the cooking here extends to the rest of this sleek, two-story townhouse across from the convention center. The wood is mostly blond, the lighting is easy, and if youâ€™re in search of a place where you never have to raise your voice to be heard, even at the bar, Corduroy is the answer.
ESTADIO 1520 14th St. NW, 202-319-1404 www.estadio-dc.com
Mark Kuller and Haidar Karoum, the owner and chef, respectively, of the wine-themed Proof in Penn Quarter, built their second project around snacks and small plates; if you go with a group, you can cover a lot of ground. The plates come out as theyâ€™re ready; to avoid having a jam of dishes, order a few tapas at a time. The design of the place is as inviting as much of the food. Chief problems: too few seats (113) and too much demand; you can reserve after 6 p.m. only if youâ€™re a party of six or more.
Scott Suchman for The Washington Post
NEIGHBORLY FEEL: Food & Wine Co. in Bethesda is an American-style bistro with a menu to appeal to a mass crowd. cial, is served in succulent slices with ribbons of fat and a whisper of rosemary in its seasoning.
J&G STEAKHOUSE 515 15th St. NW, 202-661-2400 www.jgsteakhousewashingtondc.com
Itâ€™s a designer creation in the W Hotel from celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Whatever your path, if you donâ€™t squeeze in some not-toocreamed spinach, youâ€™re missing one of the best side dishes around (basil gives it a lift). A reservation in the dining room, rich with leather chairs and Palladian windows, typically lets you join the â€œskipâ€? line that cuts any wait for an elevator ride to the rooftop bar â€” and its spectacular views.
Decisions, decisions. A diner confronts a lot of them at this sprawling Japanese tavern in hip Mount Vernon Square. Would you like to sit in the dining room, at the sushi counter or at the robata grill? â€œThe whole menu is available everywhere,â€? a hostess says helpfully. Kushiâ€™s specials are just that; look for bracing live uni, served on crushed ice in its spiky shell.
Patrons leave the bustle of Georgetown for the French countryside when they step inside, which looks every bit of its nearly four decades. Thatâ€™s a bouquet, by the way. Heavy wood beams, ancient chandeliers and a crackling ďŹ re in the cold months convey old-fashioned charm in the dining room. (Two smaller private areas are perfect for parties.) The menu follows suit; patrons have let the chef know they like things as they are.
As the region has been inundated with serious-minded pizza purveyors in recent years, the bar for what makes a great pie has been raised. The pie at this relatively recent Bethesda spot, baked in a stone oven and dressed with the usual suspects, is satisfying enough but not so compelling that youâ€™re ďŹ ghting for the last slice.
This is a loud, big barn of a tribute to Texas-style barbecue. Whatever your pleasure here, it means is messy, roll-up-your-sleeves eating. Spare ribs are the size of motorcycle handles, fabulously meaty and, like every other meat here, deeply infused with smoke. Pork loin, an occasional spe-
465 K St. NW, 202-682-3123 eatkushi.tumblr.com
2813 M St. NW, 202-338-1784 www.lachaumieredc.com
7272 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda 301-652-8008 www.foodwineandco.com
410 Seventh St. NW, 202-556-2050 www.hillcountrywdc.com
KUSHI IZAKAYA & SUSHI
FOOD, WINE & CO.
HILL COUNTRY BBQ AND MARKET
same name in New York, hopes to beat the odds not just with a different accent but also with a setting that takes patrons on a holiday from the city. There are tough decisions to be made when it comes to ordering from a shaved-ice canvas of ďŹ sh. Portions are ginormous.
LINCOLN James Thresher for The Washington Post
Eggplant chips with tzatziki at Kellari Taverna.
KELLARI TAVERNA 1700 K St. NW, 202-535-5274 www.kellaridc.com
Dining rooms on legendary K street (and at this address in particular) have not fared well in recent years. This elegant Greek newcomer, which has an older sibling with the
1110 Vermont Ave. NW, 202-386-9200 www.lincolnrestaurant-dc.com
The downtown restaurant was designed and inspired by the â€œfreedom, expression and liberationâ€? that comes to mind with Abraham Lincoln, says owner Alan Popovsky. Sit next to whomever you like best, because even Ethel Merman would have a hard time being heard on a weeknight. Mason jars are used for drinks and snacks in this â€œcontemporary log cabinâ€? that happens to ďŹ nd room for 155 guests.
Plates are big, portions are petite, desserts are simple.
MANDU 1805 18th St. NW, 202-588-1540; 453 K St. NW, 202-289-6899 www.mandudc.com
There are only a handful of places in Washington to ďŹ nd bibimbap and bulgogi, the rice-and-vegetable medley and the barbecued beef that, among other dishes in the genre, make Korean food so easy to like. Mandu looks great and feels great. But the ďŹ‚avors are not as robust as they might be.
MARCELâ€™S 2401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202-296-1166 www.marcelsdc.com
Of all the upscale French contenders on the scene, this one, named for the oldest son of veteran chef Robert Wiedmaier, is the one Iâ€™m most eager to return to. The service is suave, the lighting erases whatever worry lines exist and the setting marries comfort with beauty. If youâ€™re looking for a stellar steak, youâ€™re apt to ďŹ nd it here in the form of bison entrecote. Long before the recession, Marcelâ€™s offered a three-course, pre-theater menu that included car service to and from the Kennedy Center.
MICHEL 1700 Tysons Blvd., McLean, 703-506-4300 www.ritzcarlton.com
â€œA good American restaurant with a small French accentâ€? is how Michel Richard has described this, his spot in the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner, and miles from the reďŹ ned Michel Richard Citronelle in Georgetown and the bistro-style Michel Richard Central downtown. The luscious escargot tart is one of multiple dishes that can make a dinerâ€™s heart race with excitement. The restaurantâ€™s interior radiates playfulness; the acoustics arenâ€™t great. When Richard and crew are ďŹ ring on all cylinders, thereâ€™s no more joyful food to be found.
MICHEL RICHARD CITRONELLE
from its bowl with your ďŹ ngers, are ridiculous. By eveningâ€™s end, however, you are likely to consider buying tweezers for your kitchen and booking a return trip.
3000 M St. NW, 202-625-2150 www.citronelledc.com
The underground hotel dining room is desperate for a makeover, but the buzz of a well-fed crowd and expert service help diners forgive appearances. Chef Michel Richard is among the countryâ€™s best and brightest. Few others have his gift for weaving textures and colors into every dish, or his playful wit. The Frenchmanâ€™s amuse bouche, for instance, might be a single bite of four miniatures, including a crab cake the size of a quarter and a ratatouille-ďŹ lled taco not much bigger than a postage stamp.
SEASONS 52 111414 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda, 301-984-5252; 7863 Tysons Corner Center Suite N11L, McLean, 703-288-3852 www.seasons52.com
The same company that owns Olive Garden and Red Lobster (Darden Restaurants) claims this concept, but Seasons 52 cooks with a comparatively light hand: No dish on its menu is more than 475 calories. The wine list includes plenty of reasons for going off any diet you might be on. Largeand small-scale party accommodations available.
MONACLE 107 D St. NE, 202-546-4488 www.themonocle.com
This Washington insiderâ€™s hangout offers an unpretentious setting where tourists in sneakers are as comfortable as lawyers in pinstripes. The menu is a throwback; about the closest this kitchen on the Hill gets to contemporary cooking is the chili butter gilding an order of rib-eye steak.
OBELISK 2029 P St. NW, 202-872-1180
Three things you can always count on at this intimate Italian restaurant run by the famously mellow Peter Pastan. 1) Dinner will commence with so many enticing breads and antipasti that you will be tempted to ask for the rest of the meal boxed up for home. 2) The house-made pastas and grilled meats are models of restraint but also soulfulness. 3) The room, a mere 30 seats, is about as spare and beige as when the place opened in 1987.
Dayna Smith for The Washington Post
OPEN KITCHEN: Pastry chef Chris Ford works at one of the three islands in the middle of the 52-seat Rogue 24.
PRIME RIB 2020 K St. NW, 202-466-8811 www.theprimerib.com
THE OVAL ROOM 800 Connecticut Ave. NW 202-463-8700 www.ovalroom.com
Regulars such as the White House press secretary underscore how close you are to the other oval room. If thereâ€™s one lesson Tony Conte took away from his time at the four-star Jean Georges in New York, itâ€™s this: â€œI try to keep things exciting,â€? says the chef of the Oval Room. Every dish, he notes, should have â€œa little pop and a little zing.â€?
PLUME AT THE JEFFERSON HOTEL 1200 16th St. NW, 202-448-2300 www.jeffersondc.com
Hereâ€™s a place that refuses to acknowledge economic hard times. Would the gentleman like a velvet stool for his attache case? (Oh, why not?) Shortly after youâ€™re handed a menu, something delightful appears: ďŹ rst warm cheese puffs and a spoon of scrambled egg glistening with domestic caviar; then a demitasse of soup, perhaps liquid squash capped with a whip of cinnamon, more savory than sweet. For a luxury restaurant, the menu is pretty short; the chef likes to impress in quiet ways.
Prepare yourself for seductive, original Indian food. Vikram Sunderam is a genius with spicing, but I also appreciate the way the Bombay native marries fresh ideas with traditional ones. The service is cosseting and the backdrop fetching. True, the restaurant is hard on the ears. But thatâ€™s a small price to pay for a gem of a meal.
RESTAURANT EVEâ€™S TASTING ROOM 110 S. Pitt St., Alexandria, 703-706-0450 www.restauranteve.com
Five courses, seven courses, nine courses: There are multiple ways to explore the impressive range of chef Cathal Armstrong in his 50-seat Tasting Room next to Eveâ€™s less-formal bistro. Yet another option is to hand the menu back to the waiter and let Armstrong surprise you, which could include any of the entire restaurantâ€™s repertoire of 63 dishes in this gracious, renovated dining area in Old Town Alexandria.
555 Eighth St. NW, 202-783-6060 www.postebrasserie.com
Iâ€™m dreading cold weather. It means a suspension of one of the best ideas this restaurant in the Hotel Monaco has ever hatched: an outdoor teakand-stone table next to a garden of tomatoes, raspberries and herbs that offers the chance for a group of you to
Michael Temchine for The Washington Post
Butterscotch pudding, which tastes deeply of toffee, at Ris, named for after its chef, Ris Lacost.
3417 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202-244-7995 www.rippledc.com
Iâ€™ve always admired Ripple for the warmth of its service and the wit of its dining rooms, and now I can vouch for the cooking at the year-old restaurant in Cleveland Park as well. Since chef Logan Cox came aboard in May, the modern American bistro has evolved from a shiny bauble into a certiďŹ ed gem.
2275 L St. NW, 202-730-2500 www.risdc.com
One of the liberating things about serving a modern American menu is the carte blanche it extends the chef; contemporary â€œAmericanâ€? cooking can be just about anything. Sure enough, Ris, named after its chef, Ris Lacoste, has almost as many accents in its repertoire as Meryl Streep. Food is served with a generous hand. Customers tend to either like or dis the interior, which opens with a bar, continues with a sea of closely set tables and goes off into different directions with small private dining rooms.
RISTORANTE TOSCA 1112 F St. NW, 202-367-1990 www.toscadc.com
Typically packed with fat cats, this might be the most moving-andshaking restaurant in town. But is it a place for food enthusiasts as well? If I had my doubts the past few years, two recent dinners in this lair for lobbyists have put them to rest.
ROGUE 24 922 N St. NW, 202-408-9724 www.rogue24.com
With a choice of 16 or 24 â€œNouveau Americanâ€? courses, Rogue 24 wonâ€™t be for everyone. I wouldnâ€™t recommend the place for a blind date or a meat-and-potatoes sensibility. Many of the small plates are decorated with edible dust and soil. Instructions for some dishes, including a single radish on a brush stroke of butter that is supposed to be swiped
1503 17th St. NW, 202-462-8999 www.sushitaro.com
Thereâ€™s not a ďŹ ner source for sushi in Washington nor a more alluring setting in which to admire it. Youâ€™ll want to upgrade from the narrow main dining room to the handcrafted white oak counter in the rear and order the chefâ€™s tasting menu, which starts at $100 a head. The many details explain the lofty tab: gorgeous pottery, wasabi grated before your eyes, a private cooking show starring Yamazaki and chef de cuisine Masa Kitayama.
TABARD INN 1739 N St. NW, 202-331-8528 www.tabardinn.com
Named after the lodging place in Chaucerâ€™s â€œCanterbury Tales,â€? the business dates to 1922. But the kitchen is very much of the moment. The main dining room is cramped and clattery. I prefer the cozier space upstairs or, better yet, the enclosed garden if the weather allows. The innâ€™s address, on a quiet, tree-lined street near Dupont Circle, gives it the air of a well-kept secret. The occupied couches in the ďŹ relit lounge tell you otherwise: Youâ€™d better have a reservation.
THE SOURCE BY WOLFGANG PUCK 575 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202-637-6100 www.wolfgangpuck.com
The best cone in the city? My vote goes not to that pricey gelateria in Logan Circle but to the Source, next to the Newseum. Thatâ€™s where chef Scott Drewno and his crew ďŹ ll fragile, faintly sweet cones of sesame and miso with minced tuna tartare and a dusting of shaved bonito. The restaurantâ€™s pan-Asian concept comes courtesy of California boss Wolfgang Puck, yet the plate manages to feel personal rather than corporate.
RIPPLE POSTE MODERNE BRASSERIE
RIS 633 D St. NW, 202-637-1222 www.rasikarestaurant.com
1330 Maryland Ave. SW, 202-787-6868 www.mandarinoriental.com
The name suggests something folksy, but the food at CityZenâ€™s simpler sibling in the plush hotel is seductive. Not far from several local theaters, Souâ€™Wester would be wise to trim its trencherman portions; some of us would rather not to fall asleep during the second half of a show. Inside advice: Tables 91 through 94 come with views of the Potomac, but the most romantic of the landings here might be No. 86, overlooking the Tidal Basin.
graze on (pick one) beef brisket, wild king salmon, baby goat or crackling suckling pig cooked by the chef on a nearby wood-ďŹ red grill. Fortunately, inside the restaurant is pretty delicious as well.
This longtime downtown steakhouse is more a ritual than a restaurant; the atmosphere is posh, the staff pampers and, yes, the prime rib is still the primary draw. Civility reigns; men are required to wear a jacket and tie, live piano and bass music creates a supper-club feel, and red meat and stiff drinks are cause for celebration rather than guilt.
SOUâ€™WESTER AT THE MANDARIN ORIENTAL
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Time to shift gears Contractors need to ďŹ gure out how to adapt to the â€˜new normalâ€™
periods of performance. In this â€œnew normalâ€? period of reduced resources, no one can be shy about bringing innovative alternatives to the table and none should be rejected simply because itâ€™s a different way of doing business. In addition, this may be a good time for companies to refresh their federal market strategies. If existing programs cannot be sustained, what are the adjacent programs that use the same or similar company capabilities â€” either within that agency or elsewhere? How can a companyâ€™s existing talent be put to use assisting new agency customers to navigate their spending reductions? Finally, are there teaming arrangements or other alliances that would allow a companyâ€™s talents to be deployed into new markets? The just-enacted, long-term spending reduction plan is probably the high watermark for federal agencies in terms of funds available for the purchase of goods and services. Old techniques and processes canâ€™t be relied on to meet the rapidly shifting funding and programmatic decisions. Those companies that demonstrate their agility in the marketplace will have the best chances of success. Alan Chvotkin is executive vice president and counsel for the Professional Services Council, the nationâ€™s largest organization of government services contractors.
Many tempted to push pause button as rerun plays out There was a huddle around the TV sets last week as folks watched to see how far the market would fall. A colleague stopped by the office to provide the play-by-play: The Dowâ€™s down 300, he said. Then, 400. The phone rang: â€œAre you seeing this?â€? a friend asked. I was. Down 500. Then past 600. DAN BEYERS You ďŹ gured it would be ugly, given Standard & Poorâ€™s decision over the weekend to downgrade the United Statesâ€™ creditworthiness. But a day like Monday was enough to give pause nonetheless, even when it was followed by a 430-point surge on Tuesday. Whatever we thought about the economic recovery during the ďŹ rst half of the year no longer seems to matter. It feels like we have collectively hit the reset button. Again. Just about everyone I ran into last week bemoaned the lack of will in political Washington. As the week went on, I sensed not panic, but resignation. Most people seem to understand we are in for a prolonged period of uncertainty, as much as we wish it were not so. All you can do is roll up your sleeves and move forward. That wonâ€™t be easy. Caution abounds. Hiring plans get put on hold. Big purchases delayed. Itâ€™ll be interesting to watch how the recent economic news affects the strategies of companies such Carlyle Group, the giant private equity ďŹ rm, and online coupon purveyor LivingSocial. Both were gearing up to go public. Timing is everything. Such moves â€” if and when they occur â€” are likely to say as much about conďŹ dence in the economy as any. For now, trying to judge the state of things from market reaction on any given day or week is a tricky endeavor. Markets donâ€™t really go up and down in a linear fashion. They often hiccup. Teasing out trends takes time. It was like that during the great dot-com bubble, when we stood around the TVs to see what new barrier the market would crash through each day. And we are seeing it again now, as stocks slide lower, recover and dip down again. email@example.com
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The austere budgetary environment spurred by Congressâ€™s recent spending reduction agreement and Standard and Poorâ€™s decision to downgrade the United Statesâ€™ bond rating will have a major impact on the Washington regionâ€™s federal contracting community, forcing hundreds of ďŹ rms doing business with the government to prepare for a â€œnew normal.â€? This new reality will prompt contracting ďŹ rms to either do a much better job of justifying their value to the government or to reinvent themselves altogether. To survive, they will have to evaluate what they do, throw out old ideas and search for fresh approaches. What we know so far about the Aug. 2 agreement is that 2012 federal spending likely will not be impacted, but contractors should start planning for uncertainty in ďŹ scal 2013 and beyond. The wildcard is the congressional â€œsuper committee,â€? which must make its recommendations by Thanksgiving. Whether anyone will be thankful depends on the committeeâ€™s ability to agree on an additional $1.5 trillion in deďŹ cit (not just spending) reductions. Unless the committee can agree
on at least $1.2 trillion in reductions, all agencies face an uglier alternative of across-the-board, evenly allocated spending cuts for any shortfall below that $1.2 trillion threshold. Thus, there is woefully little funding predictability for ďŹ scal 2013 and beyond. No matter the result of the super committeeâ€™s recommendations, or lack thereof, there will be ďŹ erce annual spending priority debates among the many important and worthwhile agency mission needs. Agencies are already conducting internal triage discussions to prioritize programs and funding requirements. To win the funding competition, contractors and their agency customers must be able to clearly demonstrate the signiďŹ cant value and measurable results of their existing programs. To the degree any new programs can launch, their promise will have to be proven from the outset to win approval. Contractors can prepare to clear these high bars by helping their customers document the results agency programs are achieving â€” what are the outcomes that have been accomplished and why the program is still essential to meeting the agencyâ€™s core mission requirements. Agencies would be well advised to discuss with their employees and key mission contractors alternative ways of delivering the same value for less, be it in dollars, units of delivery or
FROM THE EDITOR
APPOINTMENTS AND PROMOTIONS BEHIND THE CAREER
CAROL SCHECHTER Abt Associates
RUSS ALCORN Skanska USA
COMPANIES HUMAN GENOME SCIENCES of Rockville named Craig C. Parker senior vice president, strategy and corporate development. W.R. GRACE of Columbia named J. Mark Sutherland, former investor relations ofďŹ cer at the Lubrizol Corp., vice president, investor relations. ABT ASSOCIATES of Bethesda named Carol Schechter vice president of health communication for domestic health. GENERAL DYNAMICS of Falls Church named Larry R. Flynn, former senior vice president of marketing and sales, president of Gulfstream Aerospace. SKANSKA USA named Russ Alcorn, former operations manager for Hensel Phelps Construction, vice president. EARTH NETWORKS of Germantown named Joel Reiser, former chief ďŹ nancial ofďŹ cer of Smarthinking, vice president of ďŹ nance. ERNST & YOUNG of McLean named Herb Engert leader of its strategic growth markets. PACE GLOBAL ENERGY SERVICES of Fairfax named Tom Ridge, former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, to its board of advisors. XEROX of the District named Teresa PayneNunn, general manager of the health care industry for Xerox Global Services, regional vice president of federal operations. MICHAEL BAKER of Alexandria named Linda Blankenship assistant vice president and senior director in the federal business segment. HORNE ENGINEERING SERVICES of Fairfax named Mark McFadden vice president of business development.
RAYTHEON of Dulles named Kevin F. Brown, former senior vice president of cybersecurity services and solutions operation, vice president of Fort Meade operations and deputy of information security solutions. DELTEK of Herndon named Tom Mazich, former president of Mabec, executive vice president and general manager of its GovCon business unit. KROLL of the District named Douglas Frantz, former deputy staff director and chief investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, managing director.
HERB ENGERT Ernst & Young
HAL LAWRENCE III American College of Obstetricians and Gynocologists
VH STRATEGIES of the District named Stephen Ward, senior Senate aide, principal. USEC of Bethesda named Steve Penrod head of enrichment operations. NCI of Reston named Brian J. Clark president and Marco F. de Vito chief operating ofďŹ cer.
TERRY SPAHR Long & Foster
resources. GANNETT of McLean named Mitch Gelman, former vice president at Examiner.com, vice president/product at Gannett Digital. SMITHGIFFORD of Falls Church named Kyle Henning account director and Anais Eslami, assistant account manager.
ICF INTERNATIONAL of Fairfax named Michael Savonis, former senior policy adviser for the Department of Transportation, fellow.
BENDURE COMMUNICATIONS of Middleburg named Kimberly M. Barbano social media manager.
ASSOCIATIONS / NONPROFITS
THE GRIDWISE ALLIANCE of the District named James Morozzi, former director, president and chief executive of D&E Communications, chief executive.
BERENZWEIG LEONARD of Tysons named Kathryn M. Lipp associate attorney in its government contracts and business law practice.
FAUQUIER HEALTH of Warrentown named Dr. Lida Tabatabaeian, physician of endocrinology.
CHADBOURNE AND PARK of the District named Sam Kwon counsel in the project ďŹ nance practice practice.
GREATER WASHINGTON URBAN LEAGUE of the District named to its board Jackie Bradford, Kenneth B. Ellerbe, Paul E. Jaeckle, Stephanie R. Jones, Rynthia M. Rost and Bill Wegemann.
GREENBERG TRAURIG of the District named Johnine P. Barnes, former partner at Baker Hostetler, shareholder in the labor and employment practice.
THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FEDERAL CREDIT UNIONS of the District named Katherine Marisic director of political affairs. THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF OBSTETRICIANS AND GYNOCOLOGISTS of the District named Dr. Hal C. Lawrence III, former vice president for practice activities, executive vice president.
EDUCATION ANNE ARUNDEL COMMUNITY COLLEGE of Arnold named Kip Kunsman interim director of the CyberCenter.
REAL ESTATE LONG & FOSTER REAL ESTATE of Chantilly named Terry Spahr regional manager.
FINANCIAL ALLIANCE BANKSHARES of Chantilly named Jean S. Houpert senior vice president and interim chief ďŹ nancial ofďŹ cer.
COMMUNICATIONS XO COMMUNICATIONS of Herndon named Debbie Pollock-Berry, former chief people ofďŹ cer for the North American Energy Alliance, senior vice president of human
MANATT, PHELPS & PHILLIPS of the District named Jeffrey J. Davidson partner and James G. Votaw of counsel.
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and personnel moves to appointments@ washpost.com, or mail them to: Appointments, Capital Business, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071.
Position: The new chief operating officer and chief ďŹ nancial officer at The ConďŹ ance Group, a Reston-based business transformation company. When Bart Snell landed a gig at IBM, his plan was to work a few years and then go back to get a PhD. But 16 years later, Snell found himself as the CFO of the companyâ€™s Australian market. Eventually he served as CFO at a handful of companies before taking over at The ConďŹ ance Group. Youâ€™ve been CFO at a few companies. What has been one of the most challenging moments in that position? I was CFO of Orbcomm Global. I remember receiving a call at 7:30 a.m. while I was standing there with the president just before our stock opened that morning. A 50-50 owner had backed out and we werenâ€™t going to open the stock. What was the smartest move you made to get through that period? First, to realize that the initial public offering was only a means to an end â€” funding the company. For many people with different interests, the IPO seems to be the goal. I had to push aside my personal feelings and realize we needed a plan ASAP before we returned home to face our employees, customers, friends and family. I realized that if a partner chose to block our access to public market funding, it required them to either fund the projected cash ďŹ‚ow shortfall from their own money or face the very real possibility that their other 50 percent partner would elect to fund the business and therefore become the controlling partner. Essentially we had to change our thinking and substitute funding from our two 50-50 partner/owners for external funding. It felt like we were losing some desired autonomy, but in fact we actually achieved a surprising leadership position with the partners. What were some leadership lessons from that experience? You donâ€™t celebrate until the money is in the bank. What business book has had the most impact on your career? â€œPassion for Excellenceâ€? [by Tom Peters]. I read it at a time when my team needed to be costcompetitive in a hurry and we needed to make sure the products we were designing were actually needed. The [book focused on the] idea of having employees make decisions because theyâ€™re closer to whatâ€™s going on. Enable employees and ask your customers what they want and just do that.
â€” Interview with Vanessa Small
Giving HELPING OUT
Technology is focus of IBMâ€™s philanthropy Who: Sally Scott Marietta, program manager for corporate citizenship and corporate affairs in Maryland, Virginia and Washington. Company: IBM. Program: Corporate Service Corps, a program in which employees do pro bono work in emerging markets; and Smart Cities Challenge, a grant program that deploys IBM experts to 100 cities doing pro bono work to spur economic growth. Washington-area employees volunteered 50,400 hours last year. DeďŹ ne IBMâ€™s local corporate philanthropy. Our emphasis is giving our services and our technology within the greater Washington region. I like to tailor our technology and talent to a speciďŹ c organization. Which needs do you focus on more in the Washington region? Iâ€™ve found itâ€™s been primarily economic, community development, education, literacy and capacity building. Some of our grants are related to leadership, collaboration and social media to strengthen organizations.
Evy Mages for Capital Business
CREATING: Stephanie Knopp of PNC, right, encourages Miriam Gonzalez, 10, front left, as she works on a craft project.
How would you say IBMâ€™s philanthropy has changed? There was a targeted focus on real change in the early â€™90s, taking a look at what we have in our expertise and skills to give back to the communities weâ€™re located in. I think it has expanded in terms of the scope of societal issues. Education had been a focus of IBM for many years. It still is. But more and more weâ€™ve gained expertise and developed solutions in economic development or support the increasing diversity of our communities. So it hasnâ€™t changed but enhanced. You do more service than grant giving? We donâ€™t really make cash contributions to a nonproďŹ t. Itâ€™s really focused more on in-kind services, from technology and volunteerism. Since Iâ€™ve been here, thatâ€™s been our focal point. What do you look for in a nonproďŹ t partner? One that is sustainable or a leader in their area. It has that regional reach, not just focused on one jurisdiction. They welcome the use of an IBM solution, like a Webbased tool.
PNC makes hands-on connection with young explorers
By VANESSA SMALL
t didnâ€™t matter to Sandy Li, a credit officer at PNC Financial Services Group, if she got funny stares on the Metro for carrying a dozen bags of toilet paper rolls. She was doing what she loves â€” â€œconnecting to the community.â€? After collecting the supplies from co-workers, she and a dozen other PNC employees helped young kids replicate a Mars rover, telescopes and other space-oriented crafts during one of the recent family days at the National Air and Space Museum. The nearly 2,000 visitors also saw a planetarium show and learned about Mars during story time to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the ďŹ rst U.S. spacecraft to land on the planet. The volunteer effort is part of PNCâ€™s
two-year, $384,000 partnership with the education division of the museum to improve science education for prekindergarten students in the Districtâ€™s public schools. The partnership also includes pre-kindergarten science literacy programs and professional development programs to teach educators how to implement science education in the classrooms. â€œWe donâ€™t have a lot of staff in our education division so we depend on our volunteers,â€? said Lizzie Cammarata, the museumâ€™s early childhood education program assistant. â€œVolunteers allow us to have that one-on-one experience with the kids because often we just donâ€™t have enough hands, especially with smaller children.â€? Itâ€™s the smaller kids the company
targets with its philanthropic efforts. But it hasnâ€™t always been that way. After surveying employees and talking with education experts, the company eight years ago decided to shift from supporting multiple causes to focus on early childhood education. To encourage community service, the company budgets 40 hours of paid volunteer hours each year for employees. The program also awards $3,000 to the team that reaches 100 hours of volunteer work to give to their adopted learning center. When Li discovered this, she urged her co-workers â€œas much as possibleâ€? to attend the museumâ€™s family days. â€œIf you make it a priority you can you can make it happen,â€? Li said. firstname.lastname@example.org
â€” Interview with Vanness Small
Beatrice Guibord, 4, above, along with Cartelle Bellabe and her daughter HamaRha Bellabe, right, participate in Mars Day at the National Air & Space Museum. PNC has a partnership with the museumâ€™s education division.
CAREERS AND OFFICE CULTURE
Prairie-dogging and other faux pas in cubicleland By JOYCE E.A. RUSSELL
Cartoon by Mike Shapiro for Capital Business
Recently, a reader wrote in asking for guidance on the rules of etiquette for life in the cubicles. It can be easy to irritate others in those close open spaces, and co-workers who disregard office protocol and commit cubicle faux pas can affect productivity and stress levels. The cubicle evolved from the Action Office furniture system, invented by Robert Propst of Herman Miller in the 1960s, with the intention of giving employees ďŹ‚exible space and saving companies money. A 2010 study by the International Facility Management Association found that the typical cubicle size for office employees has shrunk by almost 20 percent over the past 17 years â€” from an average of 90 square feet in 1994 to about 75 square feet now. Some say todayâ€™s younger, techsavvy employees arenâ€™t as concerned with having their own office and instead prefer an open environment of creativity and collaboration â€” as long as they have reliable wireless infrastructure and lighter laptops (or iPads). This may be true for some, but in other places, workers may need more privacy or quiet time for thinking and reďŹ‚ection. I conducted an informal survey asking people what most annoys them regarding their workspace. What I found may sound familiar. With an eye toward your organizationâ€™s corporate culture, here are some rules of thumb for coexisting in a cubicle culture. 3 Be respectful. Knock (on their cubicle wall) and ask ďŹ rst if your neighbor has time before you start talking. I know they may not â€œlook busy,â€? but sometimes they could just be thinking. Your interruption could set them back in their work. 3Donâ€™t â€œtakeâ€? or â€œborrowâ€? things from a co-workerâ€™s desk just because the area is open (unless they have already told you it is OK). Staff who have desks in a common area often run into the problem of people taking their staplers, tape dispensers, scissors or riďŹ‚ing through their desks in search of paper and pens, etc. 3 Avoid trying to talk to someone who is on the phone or sending an email. By waving your hands, using sign language, or talking louder, you are interrupting them. 3 If someone is out, donâ€™t hang out at their cubicle reading whatâ€™s on their desk (e.g., memos, faxes, letters). 3 Donâ€™t yell across the room. Walk over to someone to have a conversation. 3 Donâ€™t peer over the top of your cubicle wall (called prairie-dogging) to see what the next person is doing. Respect their privacy. 3 Avoid speakerphone and donâ€™t discuss personal or conďŹ dential issues at your desk, even on the phone. Remember, your conversations travel. 3 Make sure your cell phone is set on â€œsilent,â€? or at least set to a low volume ring tone that wonâ€™t disturb others. 3 Watch out for strong smells. Donâ€™t leave â€œold foodâ€? in your space or bring in food with really strong odors. Avoid wearing strong perfume or cologne, which impacts the breathing of
those near them, especially those with allergies. 3 Speaking of food, eat in the lunchroom. Eating at the desk is one area that seems to highly upset co-workers â€” all the sounds people make when chewing ice or gum or eating seeds, carrots, nuts and other loud and crunchy foods. 3 Your cubicle is a place of work. Donâ€™t use it as a dressing room or a place to put on makeup, ďŹ‚oss your teeth, cut your nails, etc. The restroom canâ€™t be that far away. 3 Avoid loud music. Use headphones and make sure you are not singing or humming out loud. 3 Keep your cubicle clean, neat and organized â€” it sends a message about your professional brand. You can personalize it, but be careful not to decorate with so much stuff that no one can ďŹ nd any of your work. 3 Watch out for offensive pictures, posters, slogans, etc. Check out your companyâ€™s code and use common sense so that your workspace is not a place that others might ďŹ nd offensive. 3 When in doubt about what to have in your cubicle, think about whether you would be comfortable having the president of the company see in your cubicle.
Have a question for the Career Coach? Send an e-mail to email@example.com. Joyce E.A. Russell is the director of the Executive Coaching and Leadership Development Program at the University of Marylandâ€™s Robert H. Smith School of Business. She is a licensed industrial and organizational psychologist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Forgotten name leads to online yearbook startup THE ENTREPRENEUR Three years ago, Michael Riordan was at a sports bar hanging out with some friends when a girl he knew from high school walked in. They recognized each other right away â€” she walked over and give him a big hug â€” but for the life of him, he couldnâ€™t remember her name. He was too embarrassed to ask, and after chatting for 20 minutes, he left without ever learning it. Back at home, he spent hours trying to dig up his old yearbook, without success. He never did ďŹ gure out who she was that night â€” but it did spark a business idea: Wouldnâ€™t it be convenient if his yearbook was onRiordan line? Though heâ€™d never even been on the yearbook staff in high school, Riordan took a gamble on his idea and left his job in the commercial insurance industry to pursue Lifepages, a Web platform for creating and sharing memories across private groups online.
â€œWeâ€™re starting to explore partnerships with some of the big yearbook publishers, and weâ€™re looking into additional markets. The alumni association idea is a great one to help us grow â€” thatâ€™s next on the horizon. Right now, weâ€™re in road mode â€” now itâ€™s time to grow it. The great thing about our service is it isnâ€™t geographically limited, so weâ€™re targeting universities nationwide. And there are a lot of submarkets we can target as well. Weâ€™re really excited.â€?
Looking for some advice on a new business, or need help ďŹ xing an existing one? Capital Business and the experts at the University of Marylandâ€™s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the Robert H. Smith School of Business are ready to assist. Contact us at email@example.com.
THE FEEDBACK Elana Fine, director of venture investments, Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship â€œThe value of your platform to universities goes beyond putting the yearbook online. LifePages may solve a larger alumni relations problem by providing a low-cost tool to re-engage alumni. University development offices are constantly searching for creative methods to connect with graduates. Your product could replace traditional venues such as sporting events and local happy hours, which require time commitment and are limited by geography, with interactive tools that reconnect alumni with current campus activities. By simultaneous engaging the yearbook offices and alumni development offices you can increase the number of potential users on each campus. Your 12 live campuses should be viewed as an opportunity for signiďŹ cant user growth with lower acquisition costs since you are already established. Use the current yearbook offices as your advocates to other areas of the university that typically arenâ€™t engaged with each other on technology purchases. Test different strategies of selling/pricing on a few campuses and then reďŹ ne the strategy to approach the remaining clients. Campuses may be more willing to purchase your technology if they see multiple applications and beneďŹ ts.â€?
THE REACTION Riordan
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Riordan â€œWeâ€™ve created the essence of a yearbook online. Lifepages is in the business of sharing and storing memories in private social networks. Lifepages starts as a digital yearbook utility for our high school and college clients where demand, engagement and viral reach is the highest. These clients pay for their students to have access to official school content. â€œAt many schools, our platform complements the printed yearbook â€” it takes the physical yearbook online and expands it with user-generated content inside private networks. We also offer a stand-alone great alternative for high schools and university that canâ€™t afford pricey printed yearbooks. â€œStudents create a password-protected account â€” similar to a Facebook account â€” and can interact with their friends through the system, leaving messages and posting photos and memories. Unlike Facebook and other social networks, Lifepages offers privacy settings and sharing controls that restrict access to content to users only in the group. â€œWe market directly to schools and contract with these institutions on a
subscription basis. Then they market to their students through campus ads, ďŹ‚yers, e-mails, etc. to drive traffic to our Web site. We also have free contract arrangements with some schools that donâ€™t pay an annual fee, but provide Lifepages with university e-mail rights to allow us to do our own student marketing to get individual users to sign up and pay for the service. Lifepages users market virally through shared content. â€œWe went live with the ďŹ rst yearbook in May 2010 and this past spring launched at 12 universities and high schools, including Syracuse and Louisiana State universities and Langley and Chantilly high schools in Northern Virginia. Weâ€™re expanding to more universities this fall. Right now, our biggest challenge is getting the sales and marketing in place to expand rapidly while continuously improving our technology for users.
Reading between the lines on WRIT Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE: WRE), also known as WRIT,
Motley Fool rates Washingtonâ€™s public companies The Motley Fool's stock-rating service, called CAPS, provides insights into what tens of thousands of investors and more than 100 professional Wall Street ďŹ rms think about the stocks investors own. More than 5,000 stocks carry a rating from one to ďŹ ve, making CAPS of interest to investors seeking new ideas or a second opinion on their investments. Donâ€™t buy or sell stocks based solely on what you read here. Do your homework and make your own decisions. Even the strongest disclosure policy in the world does not excuse individuals from taking responsibility for their own decisions. Due diligence, critical thought and use of the most extraordinary device in the world, the human brain, are crucial to your ďŹ nancial success. Âť For more information on CAPS, go to caps.fool.com
is a name writ large across the D.C. landscape. However, the Rockville-based entity is vacating the premises in one area. Itâ€™s selling its 16 industrial properties for $350 million; two office building assets are part of the deal, too. CEO George McKenzie says the sale allows WRIT to better pursue its long-term strategy â€œof acquiring properties inside the beltway, near major transportation nodes and in areas with strong employment drivers and superior growth demographics.â€? Hereâ€™s some context, though: WRIT previously had to scramble to pay some debt due this year, and its recent second-quarter net income dropped 57 percent on rising costs and lower occupancy rates. Asset sales may have more to do with ďŹ nancials than strategy, especially given economic indicators that imply a continued difficult real estate market. Investors should seek out greener pastures. â€” Alyce Lomax (no stake in Washington Real Estate Investment Trust).
Most popular stocks Ticker ACAS CSE LMT TREX GD
Company name American Capital CapitalSource Lockheed Martin USEC General Dynamics
Rating (out of 5)
30-day return (%) -17.62 -9.22 -11.96 -23.24 -16.39
1-year return (%) 50.45 0.88 -2.53 -55.89 -0.48
30-day return (%) -46.59 -39.50 -37.44 -37.15 -36.18
1-year return (%) -27.85 91.11 -43.43 -44.53 -38.26
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Company name ComScore Sunrise Senior Living Entremed Human Genome Sciences NCI
Rating (out of 5)
WALL STREET Loves â€™em Ticker USMO DHR HGSI AES CHSI
Company name United Therapeutics Danaher Human Genome Sciences AES Catalyst Health Solutions
% Wall Street bullish 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
30-day return (%) -7.99 -21.2 -37.15 -24.2 -15.52
Company name Rating Computer Sciences Choice Hotels International Osiris Therapeutics AvalonBay Communities NII Holdings
% Wall Street bearish 40% 27% 50% 19% 19%
30-day return (%) -15.47 -17.78 -27.57 -8.56 -13.08
Computer Sciences Corp. fails to compute in Q1 First banks, now contractors. In the A CLOSER LOOK AT...
CSC The companyâ€™s primary service
MOST FOLLOWED Ticker USMO GD COF HGSI DHR
Company United Therapeutics General Dynamics Capital One Financial Human Genome Sciences Danaher
30-day return (%) -7.99 -16.39 -24 -37.15 -21.2
No. of analysts 26 26 24 20 20
% Bullish 100 92 92 100 100
Wall Street sentiment is based on public statements by analysts and investment personalities, as tracked by CAPS and identiďŹ ed by the "Track" name and "Wall Street" icon. CAPS ratings are a product of aggregated community sentiment and should not be construed as recommendations about any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool LLC is not a registered investment adviser and the articles do not constitute the rendering of ďŹ nancial advice. The Motley Fool and Capital Business shall have no liability for any errors or omissions therein, and make no warranty, express or implied, as to the results to be obtained from the use of this information.
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brazen account theft have been welcome news for Intersections (Nasdaq: INTX). The Chantilly-based provider of identity theft and risk management solutions now has 4.7 million subscribers for its premium Identity Guard credit-monitoring service, well ahead of the 4.2 million users it was being paid to protect a year ago. The rise in cyberspace paranoia has yet to materialize on the income statement. Revenue climbed a mere 2 percent to $94.1 million during last weekâ€™s quarterly report. Consolidated net income clocked in ďŹ‚at at $5.2 million. This doesnâ€™t mean that investors arenâ€™t being rewarded. Intersections recently bumped its quarterly dividend to $0.20 a share, translating into a tantalizing yield of 4.9 percent. If investors are worried about exposing their identities in depositing the distributions, take comfort in knowing that Intersections has a premium solution for that. â€” Rick Aristotle Munarriz (no stake in Intersections).
Hates â€™em Ticker CSC CHH ORCC AVB NGBF.PK
It pays to cross Intersections Headlines for Web site hacking and
offerings are outsourcing and IT and professional services. Its outsourcing activities include operating all or a portion of a customerâ€™s technology infrastructure and applications and business process outsourcing. NYSE: CSC CAPS rating: 4 stars CAPS rating within industry: Top 25% CEO: Michael W. Laphen P/E ratio: 6.8 Gross margin: 21% 5-year revenue growth: 3.5% YOY revenue growth: -3.7% Total debt-to-equity: 0.5 Revenue per employee: $171,574
wake of a U.S. budget crisis that fueled a debt downgrade and spooked markets, Computer Sciences Corp. (NYSE: CSC), a Falls Church government technology contractor, reported that income from continuing operations fell by more than 50 percent during its ďŹ scal ďŹ rst quarter. The stock sold off more than 15 percent on the news. To its credit, management didnâ€™t downplay the quarterâ€™s doldrums. Instead, the press release rattled off a litany of mostly disappointing numbers, including lower operating margins and a $1 billion year-over-year decline in new business awards. Weakness within the companyâ€™s managed services sector was mostly to blame, chief executive Michael Laphen said in a statement. Expect more of the same in the quarters to come as Congress weighs additional federal spending cuts. â€” Tim Beyers (no stake in CSC).
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The newly public real estate investment trust, focused on the hotel industry, started $32 million in upgrades to ďŹ ve hotels during the quarter. The company plans upgrades to another 41 hotels in the second half of the year.
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The stock markets took a wild ride last week, following Standard & Poorâ€™s decision to downgrade its credit rating for the United States. Mixed economic signals led to record-setting swings all week. On Friday, the Dow rose more than 150 points in the morning after the government reported consumers spent more on autos, furniture and gasoline in July, pushing up retail sales by the largest amount in four months. The Dow brieďŹ‚y turned negative after the release of a dismal survey on consumersâ€™ feelings about their personal ďŹ nances and the economy. The Dow ďŹ nished the day up 125.71 points, closing at 11,269.02. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes also ended on an up note, wrapping up at 1,178.81 and 2,507.98 respectively. The Washington Post-Bloomberg Regional Stock Index closed at 196.09, down 2.6 percent from a week earler. The week was especially bumpy for AOL. The New York-based online giant, which has substantial operations in Dulles, saw its shares tumble by more than a third after reducing its annual earnings forecast on Aug. 9. The stock rebounded some two days later, after AOL said it could spend up to $250 million buying back shares. â€”Staff and wire reports
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28 ADVERTISEMENT GARY H. TABACH
JAMES C. DINEGAR, CAE
2011 Chairman Greater Washington Board of Trade Vice Chairman and Southeast Regional Managing Partner, Deloitte LLP
President & CEO Greater Washington Board of Trade
LATEST NEWS Board of Trade Convenes Regional Leaders to Address Implications of Debt Crisis
From left: Michelle Cowen, Chief Financial Officer, Arlington County; Dr. Natwar Gandhi, Chief Financial Officer, Government of the District of Columbia ; Dr. Fitzroy Lee, Chief Economist and Deputy Chief Financial Officer, D.C. Office of Revenue Analysis
As the debt ceiling debate continued between the White House and Congress, uncertainty loomed for business operations in Greater Washington. On July 28, the Board of Trade presented a special program, Debt Debate: Implications for Greater Washington Business, to help business leaders in Greater Washington prepare for the potential impact. The program convened regional thought leaders who provided insight on possible effects facing area firms as well as State/District and local governments. Panelists also addressed risks to major projects â€“ such as funding for Rail to Dulles, HOT Lanes and the ICC.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR Come Hear Journalist and Best Selling Author Tom Brokaw - November 3 Comcast Business Class and Comcast Spotlight present Tom Brokaw, one of the most trusted and respected figures in broadcast journalism, at the Newseum on Thursday, November 3. Brokaw, author of five best-selling books including The Greatest Generation, will share his unique perspective on current issues -- one year out from the election. He will also share insights from his forthcoming book, The Time of Our Lives: A Conversation About America. [Details: Thursday, November 3; 8:00 - 10:00 a.m.; Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC. Members $75; Non-Members $115. Registration includes a continental breakfast and a copy of The Time of Our Lives.] Title Sponsors:
Green Trends and Innovations in a Post-Recession Economy On Thursday, October 27 the Board of Trade will present, â€œGreen Trends and Innovations in a Post-Recession Economy,â€? a half-day intensive conference that will feature Greater Washingtonâ€™s leading sustainability thought-leaders as they examine green trends and innovations in both the private and public sectors. Our program will begin with an insightful discussion on those countries whose profound commitment to sustainability has generated an exceptional array of innovation and green technologies. Additional panels will bring the conversation closer to home, discussing critical infrastructure and transportation needs in our region, best corporate practices in real estate and contracting, education opportunities within our universities, and trends in the workplace for hiring and retention. [Details: Thursday, October 27, Half-Day Program begins at 8:00 a.m. Location to be Announced.]
For more information and to register, visit www.boardoftrade.org