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County refocuses oldest incubator n

Some companies will be forced to move BY

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Cheesecake Factory open at Montgomery mall


Diners can add The Cheesecake Factory to the list of places to eat at the Montgomery mall in Bethesda. The restaurant chain opened its newest location at the mall Dec. 19. It replaces the company’s former location at the White Flint Mall in North Bethesda. The Montgomery mall location is 10,680 square feet and can accommodate 320 diners, according to a release from the company. The eatery is open from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday; 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday.


A key part of a refocusing program for Montgomery County’s innovation centers is taking shape, as officials plan to move tenants out of the county’s oldest center for early-stage businesses by this summer. The county plans to work with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the state of Maryland to renovate the William Hanna Center for Innovation at Shady Grove — which dates to 1999 as Montgomery’s first business “incubator” — as the home of the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. “Somewhere in the country will be the hub for civil cybersecurity,” said Steven A. Silverman, director of the county’s Department of Economic Development. “And we think it should be in Montgomery County.” NIST, a Gaithersburg-based federal agency under the U.S. Department of Commerce, is in the process of obtaining a contractor to operate the facility as a federally funded research and development center. The public-private entity formally started almost two years ago to bring together experts from industry, government and academia to work on cybersecurity needs. The agency plans to award a contract to operate the center proposed for five years with a value up to $400 million, according to a NIST news release. NIST also is working with private hightech companies such as Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard, which are providing software and other resources to the center’s work.


National 4-H Council has first female CEO


Maya Eid, a clinical lab scientist for NeoDiagnostix, analyzes cervical epithelial cells at the William E. Hanna Center for Innovation at Shady Grove in Rockville. “It’s an opportunity to leverage millions of dollars in federal money that is going into cybersecurity and bring cybersecurity companies to the county,” Silverman said. “We want to get these private partners to open offices here.” That will result in some pain to the 34 companies in the innovation center, some of which have been in the Rockville-Shady Grove area for several years. Most of those are in the life sciences. There is space at the Germantown innovation center and in the private sector, Silverman said. Johns Hopkins University also has businesses with space within the Rockville campus. “We intend to work with each one individually to find a good solution for them,” Silverman said. Once the companies are moved, the renovation process

should take a few months, he said, though he was not sure about the timeline. In October, Silverman and others spoke before a County Council committee about a plan to reorganize the five innovation centers to better focus them and provide more intensive services that can make tenants grow faster. One proposal calls for focusing the 23,000-squarefoot downtown Rockville one on data analytics, while the 32,000-square-foot Germantown center, the newest one that opened in 2008 with 45 offices and 11 wet labs, would retain its life sciences focus. The 20,000-square-foot Silver Spring center, which formed in 2004 and is in the only building owned outright by the county, would become an accelerator, which provides more intensive

programs, including access to funding, in a fixed, reduced time frame. The 12,000-square-foot Wheaton facility, the smallest one, which opened in 2006, would close once its lease is up in 2016. That plan is on hold while the county moves forward with the program for the Shady Grove center, Silverman said. The five centers now have an annual budget of about $4.5 million, with about $2.5 million recovered in rent, licensing fees and other income. The idea is to move away from the county doing real estate management to get more investment and partnership management, Silverman said. The incubator program has graduated more than 100 companies into private space since forming in 1999.


The National 4-H Council of Chevy Chase is now led by its first female CEO and president: Jennifer Sirangelo, who started Jan. 1. Previously, Sirangelo, who joined the nonprofit in 2006, was its executive vice president and chief operating officer. She succeeds Donald T. Floyd Jr., who retired as CEO in December after 22 years with the council, including 13 as CEO. “Every day, I meet or learn about young people who are tackling issues that matter most and are engaged in 4-H programs focused on science, healthy living, food security and citizenship,” Sirangelo said in a news release. “My pledge is to work to bring the 4-H story to new partners, so that we can work together to grow 4-H and invest in young people — our world’s greatest resource.” In her seven years with the council, Sirangelo more than tripled its annual fundraising and led the development of its new strategic plan, according to the release. Before joining the council, Sirangelo was Northeast regional vice president for Boys & Girls Clubs of America and also worked for William Jewell College and the National Kidney Foundation.

Liss joins Foot and Ankle Specialists Dr. Andrew L. Liss recently joined the Foot and Ankle Specialists of the Mid-Atlantic, with administrative offices in Kensington. Liss graduated from the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine. He has been practicing in Maryland for more than 25 years. He was chief of podiatry at Howard County General Hospital and director of the Montgomery County Podiatric Residency Program. He also was president of the Maryland Podiatric Medical Association for two years and continues to serve on its executive board.

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