Reston, VA

More than 30 companies in the D.C. metro area are looking to hire women for open positions in STEM-based fields at a Women in Technology Virtual Career Fair tomorrow (Thursday). Some of the companies include Amazon, Capital One, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

The career fair is sponsored by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and Capital One as part of an ongoing series of virtual career fairs that the FCEDA has supported in response to the COVID-19 crisis, according to a press release from the FCEDA.

The first three virtual fairs in the series attracted more than 2,100 attendees, the release says.

“More girls and women need to be exposed to the high-paying jobs in the technology sectors that are a major part of the economy of Fairfax County,” Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross said.

Gross, who serves as vice chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, added that “efforts such as this career fair open up a wider talent pipeline for the companies that have so many job openings even during the pandemic.”

According to the release, only 26% of the jobs held by women in the workforce are computing-related jobs. The career fair on Nov. 5 will help connect technology professionals with top organizations in the D.C. metro area, seeking to help increase access to opportunity “in a field where women have been historically underrepresented.”

Participants will be able to browse companies through a virtual lobby, enter their booths, view open positions, engage in video conferencing, and talk with human resources representatives at the virtual fair.

“In Northern Virginia, we have more than 15,000 tech firms constantly hiring. In fact, tech job postings are growing more in Virginia than in California and New York,” FCEDA President and CEO Victor Hoskins said. “We are a region that not just embraces, but pioneers diversity: women are twice as likely to work in tech in Northern Virginia than in Silicon Valley.”

Participation in the career fair is free of charge. Employers interested in promoting their job openings can contact Mike Batt, the FCEDA Director of Talent Initiative Programs at [email protected] or visit the Employer Resources page.

Photo via the FCEDA/Instagram

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Reston Hospital Center is now offering a new augmented reality system for spine surgeries.

The technology allows spine surgeons to see through a patient’s anatomy. Hospital staff described the tool as the “first AR guidance system to be used in surgery.” Currently, the technology is approved for minimally invasive spine implant operations.

Dr. Christopher Good said the introduction of the new technology — which he used at Reston Hospital Center — will “elevate” the hospital’s spine program to “an all-new level.”

“Bringing AR into the operating room has the possibility of leading to smaller incisions and less invasive procedures which means less pain and faster recovery for patients,” Good said.

Here’s more from the hospital on how the surgery works:

Similar to a real-time GPS, this “see-through” surgery lets surgeons know exactly where to place implants in a patient’s unique anatomy, and is bringing a new standard of personalization and care to the operating room.

The Augmedics xvision Spine System used at Reston Hospital Center is different from other image guidance systems, as it allows surgeons to maintain their focus directly on the patient, rather than on a distant screen displaying the patient’s anatomy.

Reston Hospital Center’s new surgical system consists of a transparent near-eye-display headset and all elements of a traditional navigation system. It accurately determines the position of surgical tools, in real-time, and superimposes them on the patient’s CT data. The navigation data is then projected onto the surgeon’s retina using the headset, allowing him or her to simultaneously look at both the patient and the navigation data. The xvision Spine System is designed to revolutionize how surgery is done by giving the surgeon better control and visualization, which may lead to easier, faster and safer surgeries.

Photo courtesy Reston Hospital Center

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Wednesday Morning Notes

County Expands Early Voting… Early  The Fairfax County Government Center will be open for early voting his Saturday, Oct. 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., one week earlier than planned. A total of 14 locations will open on Oct. 14. [Fairfax County Government]

Reston Cybersecurity Firm  Acquired by Baltimore’s ZeroFox — “Cyveillance, a Reston-based business unit of LookingGlass Cyber Solutions Inc., has been acquired by Baltimore cybersecurity firm ZeroFox.ZeroFox CEO James C. Foster said his company will absorb Cyveillance’s more than 130 employees and over 100 customers through the acquisition.”  [Washington Business Journal]

FCPD Visits Communities for National Night Out“National Night Out is a way for residents to connect with their local police officers and engage in fun activities with neighbors. Fairfax County Police Department had more than 40 events scheduled throughout the county tonight, including a parade in Reston to stop and visit with community members.” [Local DVM]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Tandem Product Academy is looking for 20 existing Northern Virginia technology companies to guide and help succeed in the COVID-19 economy.

Amplifier Advisors, as well as a group of university, government and community partners, helped Tandem Innovation Alliance’s Academy launch a new cohort mentoring these technology companies on Sept. 14.

The academy will help the selected businesses find a business model that will sustain them throughout the pandemic and long after, according to a statement from the Academy. The program will commence on Oct. 21, 2020.

The professionally-run program will run virtually over a four-month period, alternating between all-cohort classes and individual company mentor sessions, according to the statement.

“The post COVID-19 economy is punishing for technology businesses that do not have the right product market fit, but as we can see from regional and national successes, when a technology business has the right fit, this is a great time to be in the technology industry,” said Jonathan Aberman, the founder of Amplifier Advisors.

“We want to help a group of promising technology businesses find their best opportunities to pivot what they have built into a market that will be rewarding for the current economy and what’s next,” said Aberman.

Amplifier Advisors is an innovation business led by Aberman, George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis and Marymount University’s Marymount Intrapreneurship Initiative, according to the statement.

The cohort’s teaching team includes Marymount University faculty and well-known technology entrepreneurs and investors, including Mark Walsh, Gene Riechers, Ben Foster, Erich Baumgarter, Tien Wong, Pat Sheridan, Elizabeth Shea and Jonathan Aberman.

Participants must be senior leaders of a business that has a technology product that has achieved some commercial adoption, according to the statement, and whose company has done any of the following over the past year:

  • Had gross revenue of $500,000;
  • Obtained at least $500,000 in capital from sources other than the founder’s immediate friends or family; or
  • Received at least $500,000 in federal research and development funding.

Those interested can view more information and apply at the Tandem Innovation Alliance website.

Photo by Alesia Kazantceva/Unsplash

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Monday Morning Notes

FCPS Investigates Ransomware Issue — The Fairfax County Public School System “continues to investigate the ransomware issue involving some of our technology systems. We are taking this matter and concerns about the personal information of students, staff and their families very seriously. The ransomware issue did not disrupt the distance learning program during the first week of school. However, we are working diligently with the FBI and our cybersecurity consultants to investigate the nature, scope and extent of any possible data compromise.” [FCPS]

Herndon Police Department Report Released — This year’s report highlights the department’s accomplishments, statical crime and use of force data. “The Herndon Police Department is staffed by highly trained officers and civilians who are committed to integrity and professionalism, meeting stringent training requirements and professional standards,” wrote Chief of Police Maggie DeBoard. [Herndon Police Department]

When Symptoms Begin for Local COVID-19 Cases — “The Virginia Department of Health reported 1,300 new coronavirus cases on Saturday and 874 on Sunday. The cumulative case total is up to 133,814, while deaths stand at 2,724 and hospitalizations are at 10,244.” [Reston Patch]

Photo by Ray Copson

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Northern Virginia’s ‘Livable’ Tech Hub — The Verge takes a look at how technology workers are considering relocating from hubs like Silicon Valley and New York City as Northern Virginia steps up to become a “welcoming, livable alternative.” [The Verge]

North Point District Listening Session Tonight — Reston Association’s Board of Directors will host a listening tonight via Zoom at 7 p.m. More listening sessions will follow in the coming weeks. [Reston Association]

How Local Police Fight for Mental Health After Officer Suicides — For the last three years, more police officers around the country have died by suicide than on the line of duty. The Fairfax County Police Department has tried to push for more support services. [NBC 4]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Several employers in Reston and Herndon ranked high in Military Times’ annual ‘Best for Vets’ list.

The ranking determines how companies nationwide have expanded efforts to recruit and retain former service members into the job market.

Of the 14 companies in Fairfax County that made it to the list, five are in Herndon and Reston.

Here’s a list of the local companies that made it to the list:

  • ManTech International Corporation (2251 Corporate Park Drive) – #15, 48 percent veterans
  • Leidos (1750 Presidents Street) – #39, 22 percent veterans
  • MAXIMUS (1891 Metro Center Drive) – #54, six percent veterans
  • Peraton (12975 Worldgate Drive) – #87, 19.6 percent veterans
  • Constellis (13530 Dulles Technology Dr) – #133, 25 percent veterans

A total of 144 employers took part in this year’s survey. Military Times conducted the survey with ScoutComms, a marketing and research firm that focuses on the military community. The firm recently ceased operations due to COVID-19, according to its company page.

Firms responded to nearly 100 questions detailing their policies and practices related to veterans.

Here’s more from Military Times on the project:

The success in recent years is evident in veterans unemployment figures, which have fallen steadily from their peak a decade ago. Even with this year’s spike in joblessness due to the coronavirus, unemployment among veterans remains lower than among their civilian counterparts.

In recent years, more companies are focused on not just hiring veterans but making sure the veterans who are hired succeed in the long term.

“It’s not about a job. It’s about a career. It’s about fit,” said Rosalinda Maury, who serves as IVMF’s director of research and analytics.

Comcast NBC Universal topped the list, followed by Southern Company.

Rendering via Boston Properties

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Fairfax County Public Schools created a technology-focused help desk to assist FCPS families starting school virtually in two weeks.

The Parent Technology Help Desk launched yesterday (Monday), FCPS announced. The school system also offers an online portal adults and older students can use to request tech help.

The help desk (833-921-3277) will be staffed between 7 a.m.-11 p.m. daily, according to FCPS. Callers can ask for an interpreters to join the call.

“If help desk staff members are unable to solve the issue, they will request help from the appropriate FCPS team,” according to FCPS.

Currently, the school system is working to distribute roughly 55,000 laptops to students. Before the first day of school (Tuesday, Sept. 8), families can expect teachers to hold virtual orientations and reach out to students.

Photo by Annie Spratt/Unsplash

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A cloud-based data protection company has relocated its headquarters from Los Angeles to Reston.

Infrascale announced the move in a release today (Wednesday). Company officials said that the move allows the business to centralize its core leadership team and business operations.

Russel Reeder, the company’s CEO, says the move “represents a significant milestone in our 2020 plan” despite hiccups related to COVID-19.

“Recognized as a top-two technology destination, Northern Virginia and the greater DC Metro area contain an impressive talent pool that will only grow with the continued expansion of technology innovation in the region. We are excited to build out the team here and across the US,” Reeder wrote in a statement.

Here’s more from the company on the relocation:

Infrascale is backed by premier investment firms, Route 66 Ventures (Alexandria, Virginia) and Carrick Capital (San Francisco), which have stewarded the change in leadership and support the company’s strategic growth plans in the rapidly expanding business continuity technology sector.

“Infrascale continues to deliver flexible, secure and easy-to-use cloud data protection and recovery solutions to a growing number of top-tier customers,” said Ryan Katz, Founding Partner at Route 66 Ventures. “Their continued success is reflected in ongoing growth, and the company’s move to Reston – the home region for much of the nation’s tech talent – represents a positive and exciting development in the evolution of Infrascale as they grow into a key player in the enterprise market and continue to innovate.”

Infrascale was founded in 2011 and offers cloud-based data protection. The company is now located in the RTC West development (12110 Sunset Hills Road).

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Beware of Downed Power Lines — “The National Weather Service has indicated sustained winds of 10 to 20 mph with wind gusts up to 30 mph are likely for our area today. These winds, along with the saturated ground, may cause trees, tree limbs, and power lines to fall. Scattered power outages are possible.” [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

New Leadership at CertiPath — “CertiPath — a high-assurance identity management leader — has appointed industry veteran Jack L. Johnson as Advisor to its Board of Directors. In his new role, Jack will provide expertise and guidance on growth opportunities to the CertiPath leadership team and much more.” [CertiPath]

Reston’s EverWatch Buys Firm — “Reston’s EverWatch, a defense and national security contractor under the Enlightenment Capital umbrella, has made its largest acquisition to date, an Anne Arundel County IT and cloud services firm.” [Washington Business Journal]

Touring Artists to Take CenterStage — “Even as it faces the challenges of COVID-19, the Reston Community Center CenterStage has programmed a Professional Touring Artists Series that aims ‘to help our community reflect on how structural racism impacts us all and to celebrate diversity,’ said Paul Douglas Michnewicz, RCC’s Director of Arts and Events.” [DC Metro Theatre Arts]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Walmart Labs is expanding its presence in the Reston area.  The announcement comes as a growing number of technologies — including Microsoft — expand their footprint in the community.

The company’s technology arm has signed to lease establish a new technology center at 2245 Monroe Street, according to the Washington Business Journal.

WBJ also reports that the company will take up roughly 162,300 square-feet of a building owned by an affiliate of Barings Real Estate.

The building, which is located near the Herndon Metro Station, was recently renovated. The company already leases spaces at 10780 Parkridge in Reston.

The move would bring more than 100 jobs to Reston.

Photo courtesy Transwestern

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Volunteer Fairfax Announces 2020 AwardsVolunteer Fairfax is proud to share the Virtual 2020 Annual Volunteer Service Awards, where the 13 competitive award winners, and the Community Champions, are recognized and celebrated. Each honoree will have a uniquely crafted celebration board, called a Kudoboard. Volunteer Fairfax encourages everyone to visit these celebration boards and join them in recognizing these amazing volunteers by posting a congratulatory message, image, or video.” [Volunteer Fairfax]

Public Art Reston Launches New Online Platform — “Designed for the whole family to enjoy together, Public Art Reston’s Public Art Explorer pages are packed full of absorbing activities to do at home or while “exploring” the public artworks realized by Valerie Theberge, Mary Ann Mears, and Gonzalo Fonseca and found at various locations throughout Reston. Each activity packet introduces a key theme inspired by the artists and their artworks. Kids of all ages and their adults will learn fun facts, explore public art from different angles, and create through writing, drawing, and making the suggested art projects.” [Public Art Reston]

Boston Media Company Buys Reston Firm — “Reston-based marketing automation company Triblio has been acquired by Boston-based tech marketing and media company IDG Communications, the companies announced Tuesday. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.[Virginia Business]

Nearby: Search Underway for Missing 12-year-old — Local police are searching for Adi Pillau, a missing juvenile who was last seen in the 5300 block of Danas Crossing Drive. He is 5’4”, 120 pounds, and has brown eyes and black hair. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Reston Regional Library to Host Virtual Trivia Happy Hour — The library is organizing an online happy hour tomorrow (Thursday) from 5:30-6:30 p.m. The event takes place online and registration is required. [Reston Regional Library]

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Metro to Reopen 15 Stations — “Metro today announced that 15 rail stations that had been closed as part of the transit agency’s Covid-19 response will reopen on Sunday, June 28. In addition, beginning Monday, June 29, buses will be added to the system’s 14 busiest bus lines to provide more capacity and more frequent service as the region reopens.” [Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority]

Election Day is Today — Polls are open until 7 p.m on the ballot for the Republican primary for U.S. Senate and Democratic primary for the U.S. House, district 11. Residents are reminded to wear a face-covering while voting. [Fairfax County Government]

Reston Startup Raises $5 Million — “Reston, Virginia-based careMESH, curator of a healthcare communications platform, has closed on a $5 million seed funding round led by Assurance Capital and Pavey Family Investments. Dr. Peter S. Tippett, founder and CEO of careMESH, launched the company four years ago with a mission to improve healthcare communications with technology by streamlining patient information and maintaining data privacy.” [Technical.ly]

Supplies Needed for Child Care Programs — “The Office for Children (OFC) is seeking donations to support child care programs countywide in providing essential services to children and families. Donated supplies will support healthy hygiene practices and help child care centers and family child care programs maintain a clean and healthy environment.” [Fairfax County Government]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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In an attempt to embrace the new normal, Herndon co-working space Office Evolution (205 Van Buren Street Suite) made serious changes around the facility that are intended to keep people safe as they return to an office environment.

Martin Gruszka, the location’s owner, said that he only lost around 5 percent of total revenue because of COVID-19. The remainder of his 120 customers is slowly preparing to return.

To maintain his customer base, while the COVID-19 pandemic shut down many non-essential businesses, Gruszka allowed people to freeze their memberships for three months so they wouldn’t have to pay for space they couldn’t use.

Gruszka said he worked through the last months to institute “’emergency operation” procedures to keep tenants safe.

Changes include:

  • thinning out seats in board rooms
  • getting rid of certain furniture items
  • spreading out desk
  • putting up whiteboards between workspaces that act as dividers
  • creating “sanitation stations” that offer cleaning products and hand sanitizer
  • putting up traffic direction signs
  • UV air sterilization systems

In addition to all the layout changes, Gruszka said that crews are coming in more frequently to dee-clean common areas in the space as well.

Though the co-working space didn’t host many virtual events because Gruszka said people didn’t really find value in them, he also said that the staff at the space work to create a welcoming “family” environment.

“We’ve had some networking groups that have been using our center,” he said.

As a national chain, Office Evolutions has locations around the United States and typically caters to mid-career adults who want a quiet, mature space to work, according to Gruszka.

To help its members, Office Evolution has used social media to promote things like small business loans, safety information, and other ways to help stay afloat during this crisis, Gruszka said.

Photos courtesy Office Evolution

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Herndon Police Department Releases ‘Where We Stand’ Guide — The police department offers a look at its use of force policy. “Trust and respect come through a solid foundation build on professionalism, strong policies, and continuous community engagement,”  HPD wrote. [Herndon Police Department]

Facial Recognition Tech Pitched at Microsoft Office — Microsoft tried to sell its facial recognition technology to the Drug Enforcement Administration, according to newly released emails. The company privately hosted DEA agents at its Reston office. [Tech Crunch]

Chicago Company Acquires Reston-based PagnatoKarp — “Reston-based wealth management firm PagnatoKarp has been acquired by Chicago-based Cresset Asset Management, the companies announced Wednesday.  A transaction amount was not disclosed. [Virginia Business]

State Not Ready for Phase Three — “Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said Tuesday that statewide Covid-19 numbers ‘continue to look favorable,’ but that he will not move the commonwealth into phase 3 of reopening this week. ‘I want to have more time to see how the numbers look before we make changes, especially as we see surges in other parts of our country,’ Northam said.” [Washington Business Journal]

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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