Friday Morning Notes

Reston Association to Hold Public Hearing on Budget — RA’s Board of Directors will hold a public hearing on the 2020-2021 biennial budget on Oct. 24 at 6:30 p.m. at RA headquarters. The budget is set to be approved by the board in November. [Reston Association]

Mentoring Program at South Lakes High School Kicks Off — “DIAMONDS (Determined, Intelligent, Ambitious, Motivated, Original, Nifty, Dazzling, Strength) is a mentoring program for young minority women-led by Angel Scott and Lisa Girdy. The program’s mission is to inspire, transform, and educate young ladies on how to be successful in every area of life. DIAMONDS kicked off its second year with many returning students, some new students, volunteers from the community, and dedicated South Lakes staff members who serve as mentors.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Reston-based Company partners with Leading Cloud Security Company — “FireEye, a publicly traded cybersecurity company with an office in Reston, Virginia, is partnering with cloud security company iboss to provide a joint tech solution for cloud-based cyber threat protection.” [Technical.ly]

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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Gourmet Dive Bar Expects to Open at Lake Anne Plaza Next Month

A gourmet dive bar that originally planned to open over the summer will likely open at Lake Anne Plaza next month.

Owner Dylan Clark told Reston now that Local VA, plans to open by late November. The bar will be located at 1633 Washington Plaza-N.

Other details about the business have been under wraps. The business replaces Sing Thai, which closed in March.

Photos by Jay Westcott

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Exclusive: Rolls-Royce Considers Relocating Regional Headquarters in Reston Town Center

Rolls-Royce North America is considering a lease agreement to relocate its regional headquarters from Reston Town Center to Reston Station.

A company representative told Reston Now the company plans to move from RTC to Comstock’s new development in the first quarter of 2020. The company is not releasing any other information because the lease agreement is still being finalized, the representative said.

The company’s regional headquarters opened in Reston Town Center in 2008.

County permits indicate Rolls-Royce will be located at 1900 Reston Metro Plaza. An application for an interior alteration permit was processed in early October.

A spokesperson for Comstock declined to comment on the deal.

Photo by Jay Westcott

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Global Marketing Agency Signs Lease with Comstock’s Reston Station

A new global performance marketing agency is expanding its US-based operations by opening its fourth global site in Reston.

Sandstorm Digital LLC plans to take up office space at Comstock’s Reston Station. 

The company, which has offices in the Middle East and Europe, is expanding its global footprint to cater to the North American market, company officials wrote in a statement. The location is the company’s first in the United States.

Sandstorm Digital’s clients include Ferrari, Pizza Hut, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Al-Jalila Foundation, FedEx and Sky News.

 “The strategic expansion into the US market marks a new milestone in our growth story. The area has a thriving and innovative tech community and a workforce that is second to none,” wrote Omar Kattan, the company’s global chief strategy officer.

Reston is uniquely positioned to help the country grow in the Dulles Technology Corridor, said Tala Kattan, managing partner of U.S. operations. 

Sandstorm offers digital marketing services, including Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, paid advertising, and content development.

The company will be located at 1900 Reston Metro Plaza, suite 600. 

Photo via Sandstorm/Facebook

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Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce Names New President and CEO

Charles Kapur, a lifelong long resident of Northern Virginia and a professional in the banking industry, will lead the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce as President and Chief Executive Officer.

“It is an honor to serve the business community as the President and CEO of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce,” stated Kapur. “Reston is a community unlike any other in Northern Virginia – it has a profound appreciation of its history, a diversity of cultural and economic opportunities for businesses and residents alike, and an enthusiasm for the growth of this region.

Kapur succeeds Mark Ingrao, who left the chamber shortly before his 10-year anniversary with the organization to lead the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association.

After joining the chamber’s Board of Directors in 2011, Kapur co-chaired the membership committee, served as treasurer and chair-elect, and completed two terms as chair.

Maggie Parker, co-chair of the chamber’s board, described Kapur as a “consummate professional.”

“He has devoted himself to Reston and Northern Virginia both as a businessman and volunteer for the past decade. We are indeed fortunate that he will be leading our business community’s biggest advocate, the GRCC,” Parker wrote in a statement.

Kapur kickstarted his career in community banking in 2001. He currently serves on the board of the Greater Reston Reston Arts Center and the Ashburn Rotary Club as a founding member and fundraising director.

In the past, Kapur has served on the boards of the Ashburn Society of Virginia, ArtsFairfax, and ACTS of Prince William County. He has been honored with the chamber’s annual President’s Award in 2016 and the Pinnacle Award last year.

Kapur’s position begins on Oct. 2. His first work will include preparing the chamber’s policy positions for the upcoming legislative session n Richmond and launching a new information series for members.

He has a bachelor’s degree in management from George Mason University and graduated from the Virginia Bankers Association of Bank Management in 2013. He lives in Bristow with his wife and two daughters.

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Baby Rhino Adopted by Rhino-Inspired, Reston-Based Cybersecurity Company

ThreatQuotient, a Reston-based cybersecurity firm, has a new creature under its wing: baby rhino Mtetho.

In honor of World Rhino Day on Sunday (Sept. 22), The company recently adopted the rhino in order to bring awareness to conversation efforts and raise money for initiatives that will protect endangered species.

The baby rhino’s name means justice in the isiXhosa language, which is one of the official languages of South Africa.

John Czupak, ThreatQuotient’s CEO, told Reston Now that rhino culture its a central part of the company’s identity and culture.

“Our goal is to contribute positive change for the fortunes of the species, which mirrors our goals for our customers and mission within the cybersecurity industry,” Czupak said.

Nearly seven years ago, ThreatQuotient selected the rhino as its official mascot in order to evoke the values of strength and steadiness. Rhino decor is common in the Reston-based office and employees receive a stuffed toy rhino on their first day of work.

The company also whips up an internal newsletter called “The Rhino Reader” to update employees about important news related to the company

Mtetho was adopted through Helping Rhinos, a charity based in the United Kingdom and the United States that helps develop new habitats for rhinos and protects them from poaching and illegal wildlife trade.

The company plans to donate $1 to Helping Rhinos for every event attendee at 11 national and international conferences who scans their badges at its booth.

Photo via ThreatQuotient

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CertiPath Moves Headquarters from Reston Town Center to Reston Station

CertiPath, a company that offers assurance credentialling in the federal government and commercial industry, is moving its headquarters from Reston Town Center to Reston Station.

The company announced that it has signed a 7,000-square-foot lease at Comstock’s 1900 Reston Metro Plaza. Company officials said the move brings employees and customers immediate access to the Silver Line and creates an office environment “equipped for the company’s continued growth.”

“CertiPath serves a broad range of clientele requiring the highest assurance digital identity solutions,” said Jeff Nigriny, CertiPath’s President.  “Our services and products are collaborations with our customers.  It is essential that our headquarters environment enable and enhance this collaboration while serving to instill confidence for first-time customers.”

CertiPath is the latest company to join a growing number of tenants at the first of three office towers at Reston Station. Google is setting up offices in the office tower, which was designed by internationally renowned architect Helmut Jahn.

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Reston-based Comscore Pays $5 Million to Settle Securities Fraud Charges

Comscore, a media measurement and analytics firm headquartered in Reston Town Center, and its former CEO Serge Matta have been charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for defrauding investors and making false and misleading statements about the company’s performance.

In a Tuesday release, the SEC stated that Comscore and Mata agreed to pay $5.7 million in penalties. Matta will also reimburse Comscore $2.1 million.

“As the SEC orders find, Comscore and its former CEO manipulated the accounting for non-monetary and other transactions in an effort to chase revenue targets and deceive investors about the performance of Comscore’s business,” said Melissa R. Hodgman, Associate Director in the SEC’s Enforcement Division. “We will continue to hold issuers and executives accountable for such serious breaches of their fundamental duty to make accurate disclosures to the investing public while giving appropriate credit for a company’s prompt remedial acts and cooperation.”

The investigation revealed that the company — which measures audience engagement across different platforms — overstated revenue by roughly $50 million. Between February 2014 and February 2016, the company attempted to increase its reported revenue by exchanging data sets with another party by inflating revenue, according to the release.

The SEC also said Comscore and Matta create an “illusion of smooth and steady growth in Comscore’s business” by making false and misleading public disclosures about the company’s customer base and products. Specifically, the SEC found that Matta lied to the company’s internal accountant and external audit firm, allowing the company to artificially exceeds its analysis’ revenue target in seven consecutive quarters.

The last few months have been rocky for the media measurement firm. In April, the Wall Street Journal reported the company’s chief executive, Bryan Wiener, left the company after less than a year due to disagreements over the board’s execution of the company’s strategy.

Comscore is located in the heart of Reston Town Center at 11950 Democracy Drive.

Image via Google Maps

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Paddywax Candle Bar to Open in Reston Town Center in the Winter This Year

Nashville-based candle company Paddywax is bring its do-it-yourself candle-making workshops to a new location in Reston Town Center.

Paddywax Candle Bar is expected to open in the winter this year, according to the storefront’s signage (1816 Library Street). Patrons can create their own candles during workshops while enjoying food and drinks.

It fills space formerly occupied by The Tasting Room Wine Bar, which left RTC in March this year.

The business has been rapidly expanding in the last year, with new locations coming to Madison, Wisc., Philadelphia, and the District. Paddywax currently has location in Texas, Tennessee and North Carolina.

Photo via The Candle Bar/Facebook

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New Lakeside Pharmacy Icons Exhibit Installed at Lake Anne Plaza

After more than a year of restoration and fundraising, the Reston Historic Trust & Museum has installed new historic icons to honor Lakeside Pharmacy, one of the first businesses to open at Lake Anne Plaza.

The pharmacy, which operated in the plaza for nearly 50 years, closed after owner and pharmacist Larry Cohn retired in 2014. The icons, which were previously used to advertise for the pharmacy, were removed last year to make way for new businesses.

The new icons were installed a few steps away from their original location, despite a cease and desist request from the owner of Kiln and Co., a pottery business that also serves up frozen yogurt and is located next to the exhibit.

Sarah Selvaraj, the owner, said the installation of the icons on the wall — which is showing signs of disrepair — could cause further damage to area businesses. The museum did not formally respond to a Sept. 12 letter from Selvaraj’s attorney and a declined to offer public comment on the issue.

Hirad Najafbagy offered a significant donation in honor of his parents, Hooshang and Farah Najafbagy, who operated Calvert Gourmet Shop at the plaza for many years after immigrating to the United States. The exhibit was installed earlier this week with the help of Krohn Design and Capitol Museum Services.

A ribbon-cutting to celebrate the museum’s 22nd anniversary and the dedication for the new exhibit was held yesterday (Wednesday). More than 80 donors helped make the new exhibit possible.

Photos by Charlotte Geary Photography

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Now Open: Mathnasium in North Point Village Center

Mathnasium, a learning center that offers customized math tutoring, officially opened its doors in North Point Village Center today (Monday).

Assessments for placement begin this week at the Reston location (1424 North Point Village Center). The business will be open for instructional hours on October 15.

For now, the business is open for assessments from Monday through Thursday from 3-8 p.m and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. No testing is offered on Sunday or Friday.

To celebrate its opening, Mathnasium has launched a grand opening sweepstakes — which offers up a free six-month membership to the Reston location.

Mathnasium also has a location in Herndon (2485 Centreville Road).

Photo courtesy Mathnasium/Facebook

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Now Open: UFC Gym in Plaza America

UFC Gym officially opened its doors in Plaza America on August 28, nearly a week after the original opening date.

The gym, which is located 11710 Plaza America Drive, is above the Panera and offers classes for all fitness levels. Programs include boxing, kickboxing, functional training, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and personal training. More information about classes and schedules is available online.

The fitness franchise has more than 70 locations spanning the country, along with a handful in Canada. The gyms offer a range of mixed martial arts, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and boxing classes for individuals and groups, along with standard gym equipment like ellipticals, bikes and treadmills.

Photo via UFC Gym

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After Storm Damage, Onelife Fitness Reopens

Onelife Fitness has reopened after a large tree fell on the gym and health club last week.

Although most of the business is fully operational, the mind and body studio will require repairs over the next several weeks.

The fallen tree damaged Onelife’s HVAC unit. Punctures in the roof also led to major flooding.

Onelife is offering additional yoga classes in the main group exercise studio beginning today (Monday):

  • Monday 7:30 p.m., Sunset Yoga
  • Tuesday: Noon, Vinyasa Flow Yoga; 7:30 p.m., Slow Flow Yoga
  • Wednesday 7:30 p.m. Vinyasa Flow Yoga
  • Saturday 11:30 a.m.Power Yoga
  • Sunday: 8:00 a.m. Vinyasa Flow Yoga

“Even though most of the damage was in the Mind/Body studio, the team has worked non-stop since Tuesday night and we will be able to host classes on Monday morning,” Nancy Terry, senior vice president of marketing at US Fitness Holdings, told Reston Now.

The kids club opened last Wednesday and all amenities in the women’s locker room opened later in the week.

Onelife Fitness is located at 11445 Isaac Newton Square.

Photo via @codesurfer_/Twitter

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Thursday Morning Notes

Light Shines on ‘Humble Reston Artist’ — “John Charles Koebert of Reston said that when he came home from college in the 1970s, and announced to his parents that he had decided to change his life direction and become an art major, he recalled that they said, “You are making a hard 90 degree turn to nowhere. …You’ll be living with us for the next fifty years.” After college, Koebert embraced his new career teaching art during the day and honing his artistic skills at night.” [The Connection]

ThreatQuotient Banks Millions in Funding — “Reston threat intelligence and security software company ThreatQuotient Inc. has raised $7.86 million in fresh funding — and it aims to double in size in the next year, according to CEO John Czupak.” [Washington Business Journal]

County Companies Top Fastest-Growing Businesses List — “Fairfax County is home to 116 companies on this year’s Inc. 5000 list, which is 37 percent of the 315 companies on the list from the Washington region and more than double the number from any other Washington-area county or city. Fairfax County’s businesses also account for 40 percent of Virginia’s 288 businesses appearing on this year’s list.  [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Reston Company Named One of the Fastest Growing Companies in the Country

Verity Commercial, a Reston-based company, was recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest growing private companies in the country for the third time in four years.

The company, which is a real estate advisory and investment firm, was listed in the magazine’s Inc. 5000 list.

“Making our 3rd appearance on the most prestigious ranking for the nation’s fastest-growing businesses is incredible,” says Herm Diebler co-Founder of Verity. “Repeated success means we’re doing something right and our clients are experiencing long-term success using Verity’s approach. We wouldn’t be here without them.”

Verity was also given the 2019 ACE Business of the Year award by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. It was established in 2010.

The Inc. 500 list ranks businesses based on percentage revenue growth when comparing 2015 and 2018. Only companies that are U.S.-based, privately held, for profit and independent are considered for the list.

Photo via Google Maps

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