Business News from the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority – March 29

Fairfax County Economic Development Authority Talk of Tysons

The Aerospace Corporation Relocates Corporate Headquarters to Fairfax County

At a time of significant change in the space domain’s strategic environment, The Aerospace Corporation announced that it has relocated its corporate headquarters to Chantilly, Va., from El Segundo, Calif. The shift will bring Aerospace’s CEO and corporate functions closer to key customers and stakeholders in the Greater Washington region. The company will maintain its nationwide employee presence, including in El Segundo. SpaceNews and ExecutiveBiz have more.

According to The Aerospace Corporation, the space domain has undergone profound change in recent years, including dramatic growth in U.S. government and commercial space investment, the establishment of the U.S. Space Force, the re-creation of U.S. Space Command, and the need for greater technical support to integrate diverse capabilities. This has resulted in a shift of Aerospace’s technical support from traditional functions to emerging needs, as well as a growing nationwide presence to work alongside an increasingly diverse customer base, including the Department of Defense, the Intelligence Community, NASA, and other civil agencies.

“The space domain has transformed over the last decade, reshaped by rapidly advancing threats, cutting-edge technologies and a fast-growing commercial sector,” said Steve Isakowitz, president and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation. “Aerospace has taken a leading position navigating through this change as we accelerate our efforts to outpace the threats we face in space. By shifting our headquarters to the Washington, D.C. metro region, we will deepen our ties with key decision makers and stakeholders, and reaffirm our commitment to working side-by-side with our partners as they carry out our nation’s critical missions.”

A national nonprofit corporation, The Aerospace Corporation operates a federally funded research and development center and has more than 4,600 employees. With major locations in Chantilly, Virginia; as well as in California, New Mexico, and Colorado, Aerospace addresses complex problems across the space enterprise and other areas of national and international significance through agility, innovation, and objective technical leadership.

The Aerospace Corporation is among many space-related companies located in Fairfax County and the Greater Washington region, from small scale startups to multinational defense contractors, in addition to government agencies. Click here to learn more about Fairfax County’s thriving Defense and Aerospace sector.

To find out about Career Opportunities at The Aerospace Company in Northern Virginia, click here.

Register Now! ‘Going Global: Business Expansion through Exporting’ Event

The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority is hosting an exporting workshop: “Going Global: Business Expansion through Exporting,” on Tuesday, April 9. The event will be held at the Fairfax County Economic Development headquarters in Tysons.

Click here to see the list of presenters and to register for this free event.

Business expansion through exporting can lead to increased sales and revenue. If you are looking to enter the export market for the first time or to expand your export activities into other parts of the world, this workshop is designed with you in mind.

Aimed at helping businesses expand into overseas markets, the workshop will provide guidance on export development strategy and best practices, market identification and risk assessment, financing programs, and federal initiatives.

Highlights of the workshop will include an overview of state and federal resources, export financing, market entry strategies, and identification of partners and distributors. In addition, you will hear presentations by the directors of the FCEDA overseas offices which are located in Germany, India, Israel, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.

Click here for more information and to register. 

Fairfax County-based Black Girl Ventures Founder & CEO Omi Bell Honored among ’50 Black Women of Color’

Fairfax County-based Black Girl Ventures’ Founder and CEO Omi Bell was honored among 50 Black women of color from across the nation during the U.S. Black Chambers’ (USBC) 2024 Power50 Women’s Luncheon on March 21, at the Salamander Hotel in Washington, D.C. The annual event honored the 2024 USBC Power50 Class, bringing together luminaries and leaders in business, politics, and culture to highlight the achievements and contributions of Black women across various sectors.

The luncheon featured an array of distinguished speakers and honorees, including Kristin Allen, Special Assistant to the President, Communications Director for the Vice President, who read a letter from Vice President Kamala Harris; and First Lady of Maryland Dawn Moore, a Power50 Honoree.

In line with USBC’s commitment to supporting Black businesses, all aspects of the event were produced and supported by Black woman-owned enterprises. The venue, Salamander Hotel D.C., is owned by Sheila Johnson, co-founder of Black Entertainment Television, CEO of Salamander Hotels and Resorts, and the first billionaire African-American woman.

“Thursday’s celebration is not just about acknowledging the incredible accomplishments of these formidable women; it’s about reaffirming our dedication to creating a supportive ecosystem for Black businesses and entrepreneurs to prosper,” said Ron Busby Sr., President & CEO of the U.S. Black Chambers. “The journeys of success we spotlight today embody the resilience, creativity, and fortitude inherent within the Black community.”

AI Assurance Blueprint

MITRE opened its AI Assurance and Discovery Lab today with the mission to discover and mitigate critical risks in AI-enabled systems that need to operate in increasingly complex, uncertain, and high-stakes environments, citybiz reported. The lab, which is based at MITRE’s Tysons headquarters, features configurable space for risk discovery in simulated environments, AI red teaming, large language model evaluation, human-in-the-loop experimentation, and assurance plan development. The lab’s physical space can be tailored and instrumented for specific mission scenarios and workflows. “Government use of AI will have consequential impacts on the nation and world, in areas such as efficient transportation, effective healthcare, and strengthened national security,” said Charles Clancy, MITRE senior vice president and chief technology officer. “However, in adopting these systems, we also need to mitigate risks. Providing an independent assessment of the security, safety, and efficacy of AI systems will play a critical role toward helping government and business realize the transformational power of AI in benefits processing, intelligence analysis, autonomous vehicles, and more. This lab will demonstrate a repeatable engineering approach and infrastructure that could serve as a blueprint for a national network of AI assurance facilities.”

I’ve Been Working on the Railroad

Falls Church-area based Northrop Grumman was selected by DARPA to further develop the concept of building a moon-based railroad network as part of the broader 10-year Lunar Architecture Capability Study. The envisioned lunar railroad network could transport humans, supplies and resources for commercial ventures across the lunar surface – contributing to a space economy for the United States and international partners. “This investment in key developmental research keeps our technology at the forefront of next generation solutions. With our proven experience in the integration of complex systems and commercialized autonomous services, we will continue to create lasting change for a sustainable space ecosystem,” said Chris Adams, vice president and general manager, strategic space systems, Northrop GrummanSpace.com has more.

Win Donation

Falls Church-area headquartered Inova Health System has received a $10 million gift from a local investor that will help support its ongoing expansion, according to Washington Business JournalWin Sheridan, co-founder of Richmond consulting firm Apex Systems and a D.C.-area venture capitalist, has committed to donating that money to the health system’s Greatest Needs fund, which fuels “critical programs and urgent needs” across the organization, said Sage Bolte, chief philanthropy officer and president of the Inova Health Foundation. The project’s first phase, which includes a renovation, is on track to be completed later this year.

Diversity in Business Awardees

Leaders of four Fairfax County-based companies and organizations were honored by Washington Business Journal with “Diversity in Business Awards”: Darryl Green, president and founder of The Green Technology Group (Fairfax Station); Gautam Ijoor, president and CEO, Alpha Omega (Tysons); Pinakin Patel, CEO, IT Concepts (Tysons); and Roberta Tinch, president of Inova Mount Vernon Hospital and vice president and administrator for Inova Musculoskeletal Services (Alexandria). According to the WBJ, 25 outstanding business and nonprofit leaders of color from around Greater Washington are spotlighted each year with their Diversity in Business Awards.

Constellation Connection

Tysons-based satellite services provider Intelsat has committed to secure low-Earth orbit service for six years for $250 million from Paris-based Eutelsat Group’s OneWeb low-Earth orbit (LEO) constellation service, with an option for another $250 million, according to Virginia Business in subscriber content. “We’ve been partnering with Eutelsat for quite some time now, leveraging its OneWeb LEO constellation to offer a multi-orbit solution, primarily in commercial aviation,” Intelsat CEO Dave Wajsgras said in a statement. In 2020, Intelsat purchased in-flight broadband connectivity provider Gogo’s commercial aviation business for $400 million, serving a customer base of more than 3,000 commercial aircraft.

Ribbon Cutting

Tysons-based PenFed Credit Union hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new financial center located in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, reported citybiz. “PenFed is proud to expand our service to the Mayagüez community and all of Puerto Rico,” said President/CEO of PenFed Credit Union and CEO of the PenFed Foundation James Schenck. “The best way to serve Puerto Rico is by creating jobs and helping people achieve their financial dreams. PenFed continues to expand our investment in the people of Puerto Rico.

Alphabet Soup

Tysons-based LMI, a provider of technology-enabled management consulting services, has acquired Ohio-based JJR Solutions, a developer of cloud-based applications designed to improve the performance of government health and security organizations. LMI said the company’s design and transformation tool, known as Magnify, will complement its own Forge technology studio. Potomac Tech Wire carried the release.

Let the Sun Shine in

Developer BXP is teaming up with Ameresco, renewable energy company, to install a Ameresco 1.3 megawatt solar photovoltaic onsite renewable energy system for an unnamed client at Reston Town CenterReston Patch reported. The system, which will be installed above the Green Garage at 11900 Market St., is expected to add 1.3 megawatts of new, onsite solar generation capacity, creating an estimated 1.5million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy annually. This will eliminate approximately 450 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. The energy created will be used locally at Reston Town Center. “With great partners like our client and Ameresco we can transform a parking garage into a megawatt scale solar energy plant,” said Ben Myers, senior vice president of sustainability at BXP. “This project delivers social, economic, and environmental benefits over a long term by providing zero emissions clean power, competitive energy pricing, and covered parking for clients and visitors at the Town Center.”

Black Women on Boards

Fairfax County native Shannon Nash, CFO of Wing, a subsidiary of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is the executive producer of the film “OnBoard: Story of Black Women on Boards,” WTOP reported. It tells the story of the first African American woman to sit on a corporate board, Patricia Roberts Harris, who was also a dean at Howard University’s School of Law. It follows the journey of the women who are part of an organization called Black Women on Boards. Nash told WTOP why it’s important for Black women to have a seat at the corporate table: “Boards need to hear diverse perspectives because they are serving a customer base. A lot of times that customer base itself is diverse and so the people sitting at that table should also be diverse.” In celebration of Women’s History Month, the film has been released to the public on Vimeo. Go to onboardthefilm.com to access the link.


About the Fairfax County
Economic Development Authority

The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) promotes Fairfax County, Virginia, as a business and technology center. The FCEDA offers site location and business development assistance, and connections with county and state government agencies, to help companies locate and expand in Fairfax County.

Want to know more about the services of the FCEDA, or how economic development helps Fairfax County? Visit the FCEDA website or e-mail  info@fceda.org.