The Washington Post

Capital Buzz: Reston headset maker is now a movie star

Thomas Heath is away. But we found some news to pass along in his absence.

Rockville-based Silynx Communications got a surprise late last year when it learned its tactical communications headsets would get a role in “Act of Valor,” a new movie featuring Navy SEALs set for release in theaters later this month.

Gil Limonchik, chief executive of the nearly seven-year-old company and himself a veteran of the Special Forces, said the company has long had a close relationship with the SEALs. The elite force helped the company develop its communications equipment and provided key feedback.

But being featured in the movie was still unexpected, said Limonchik. “It’s not product placement or anything,” he told the Buzz.

Silynx Communications makes what he describes as “high-end ear buds,” that allow military bodies like Special Operations Command, the Navy SEALs and the FBI’s SWAT team, among others, to communicate via radio — and even whisper — in noisy battle environments and covert situations.

The company held a private screening of “Act of Valor” last week at the Naval Heritage Center in the District.

— Marjorie Censer

District considered Reeves Center for Living Social

LivingSocial remains a hot topic among office brokers wondering whether the daily deals company will consolidate its operations. The company, co-founded by Tim O’Shaughnessy, son-in-law of Washington Post Co. Chairman and chief executive Donald E. Graham, has been on the hunt for as much as 350,000 square feet even as it expands into multiple locations to make way for its ever expanding workforce.

The stakes are perhaps highest for the D.C. government, which is considering how best to accommodate the homegrown company and make sure that it remains a part of the city’s growing roster of tech firms for years to come. One out-of-the-box idea city officials considered was to put Living Social in a renovated Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center, the government building erected during Marion Barry’s years as mayor. But officials scuttled the idea, according to a source familiar with the discussions, because it would have required the complex relocation of city agencies.

But hey, could Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library become available?

— Jonathan O’Connell

The Buzz hears:

Raul Fernandez’s video software company Object Video has settled patent claims with Sony Corp. and Tyco Security Products’ American Dynamics business unit, both of which have signed licensing agreements for the Reston firm’s intellectual property.

Virginia Tech has named Afroze Mohammed associate director of strategic alliances in the Washington region. The former director of alliances at a smart grid company called the Current Group, she will focus on building partnerships between the university and area companies.

Former Washington Post health policy reporter Ceci Connolly has been named managing director of the PriceWaterhouseCoopers Health Research Institute , based in Washington.

Del. David Englin (D-Alexandria) has introduced a bill in the Virginia General Assembly that would allow restaurants and bars to advertise drinks specials on their Web site or Facebook page, something that is currently illegal to do in the state.

Prince George’s County recently retained Holland and Knight to lobby the federal government as the FBI considers where to relocate its headquarters building.

— Dan Beyers

What’s in a name?

The five-attorney Fairfax law firm Cook Kitts & Francuzenko (of which Fairfax County Supervisor John Cook is a name partner) has lost former partner Zachary Kitts, added new partner Chris Craig, and renamed the firm Cook Craig & Francuzenko as of Feb. 1.


Kitts has founded his own firm, K&G Law Group, with former Cook Kitts & Francuzenko associate Justin Gilbert. Kitts says the split was amicable, and that the firm’s lease expiration was a timely opportunity for him to branch out on his own.

Cook, a supervisor for the Braddock District, co-founded Cook Kitts & Francuzenko in 2007.

Cook Craig & Francuzenko, which will move to new office space in Oakton in April, continues to practice employment law and business, constitutional, civil rights and election litigation. K&G Law Group, which is now subletting space from Fairfax law firm Brault Palmer, focuses on plaintiff-side employment work and whistleblower litigation under state and federal false claims acts.

— Catherine Ho

Thomas Heath is a local business reporter and columnist, writing about entrepreneurs and various companies big and small in the Washington Metropolitan area. Previously, he wrote about the business of sports for The Post’s sports section for most of a decade.



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