Thomas Heath is away, so we rounded up some tidbits on our own.
Kimberly Grant, former president of Ruby Tuesday, has been named chief operating officer of José Andrés’s ThinkFoodGroup. Grant’s new role is part of the company’s rapid expansion as Andrés and his team plan to open four new dining concepts in 2014 alone. The company’s lineup currently includes more than a dozen eateries, including Minibar, Jaleo and Zaytinya.
“Kimberly has been a good friend,” said Andrés, who met Grant at a fine-dining resort in Tennessee seven years ago. “She is a very hands-on leader with amazing vision and ideas.”
At Ruby Tuesday, Grant oversaw the company’s $1.2 billion chain of restaurants, as well as its fast-casual spinoff Lime Fresh.
— Abha Bhattarai
Missing from the party
Everyone was there under the tent on Eisenhower Avenue in Alexandria. It was the groundbreaking for the new headquarters of the National Science Foundation, and retiring Rep. Jim Moran (D), Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille and nearly everyone in the real estate community who helped land the agency was there to celebrate.
Everyone, that is, except the folks who actually negotiated the deal.
Brokers from Jones Lang LaSalle remain locked in a bitter legal dispute with the Hoffman family, their clients and owners of the land, over a $6.7 million commission, so the JLL dealmakers didn’t come to the celebration. Hubert N. “Jay” Hoffman III made remarks thanking his supporters, but made no mention of the JLL team.
The parties are set to meet before a judge Feb. 19, per court documents.
— Jonathan O’Connell
United Way’s new minimum
The United Way of the National Capital Area is awarding $1.7 million to area nonprofits, the result of more than 800 workplace-giving campaigns that took place under the United Way banner last year. Some 104 member nonprofits will receive a maximum of $25,000 and a minimum of $10,000. This is the first time the United Way has put a minimum on the amount of money it provides, as the organization rethinks how it distributes funds.
“We have chosen our investment priorities carefully in order to make the greatest impact possible,” Rosie Allen-Herring, president and chief executive of United Way of the National Capital Area said in a statement. Allen-Herring, a Fannie Mae veteran, was appointed to her role last June.
— Vanessa Small
Investing in good
The Case Foundation gave a $100,000 grant to Georgetown University to fund a host of initiatives that explore opportunities to expand impact investing — a relatively new field where donors give money with the hopes of financial and social returns. The grant will go to the university’s business school where Jean Case, wife of former AOL chairman Steve Case, is serving as an executive-in-residence. She is also the head of the foundation, which has been an early adopter of impact investing.
The Great Recession left in its wake millions of people who have slipped into the ranks of the long-term unemployed. Now, the District-based Society for Human Resource Management is teaming with the White House to make some inroads in getting these people back to work. The association of human resource professionals is starting an educational campaign to show employers how to make their hiring practices more inclusive.
“It’s time for some of us to begin thinking differently,” Henry G. Jackson, SHRM’s president and chief executive, said in a statement. “In one of the toughest economies the United States has ever seen, unemployment on a candidate’s résuméis more of a white flag than a red one.”
— Sarah Halzack
Change of a Name
Elephants and donkeys were out in full force last week at the launch party for the District Policy Group, the newly rebranded lobbying group at law firm Drinker Biddle & Reath.
Red, white and blue stress balls in the shape of the Republican and Democratic parties’ mascots were among the swag handed out at the party, held at the Flying Bridge overlooking the Capitol.
Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.) made an appearance.
The lobbying group has long been a part of Drinker Biddle, but recently rebranded under a new name in order to better market its grass-roots organizing, social media training and political intelligence services.
— Catherine Ho