Capital Buzz: Revolution enters the blogosphere

Who said blogs are passé?

The Revolutionary Views blog — written by Steve Case, Ted Leonsis and the rest of the Revolution investment crew, including Ron Klain, Donn Davis and Tige Savage— begins publishing today.

The blog, located at Revolution.com, will include their takes on various Revolution investments, from Exclusive Resorts to FedBid to Zipcar, as well as their thoughts on entrepreneurs, capital formation and management.

The group is no stranger to online media. Case already has more than 400,000 followers on Twitter, and Leonsis’ blog “Ted’s Take” is widely read. 

“We want to start a dialogue on issues that are important to you as entrepreneurs and business-builders — from management philosophies to significant technology trends to the importance of great boards to the role the government needs to play to ensure America remains the world’s most entrepreneurial nation,” Case said in his opening post.

Working out a new model

Jeff Skeen, a Langley High School grad, and some fellow businessmen — backed by WestView Capital Partners of Boston — are armed with a new business model and trolling for deals in the wellness sector.

Skeen, 47, and his investors last year purchased Houston-based Fitness Connection, and they now own 17 gyms around the country. His holding company is McLean-based Titan Fitness, which manages and owns fitness centers.

Skeen said he wants to merge his fitness centers with wellness management organizations that provide programs such as diabetes management and weight loss, and help employees and employees better manage their health costs.

“People are going to have to take care of themselves,” said Skeen. “It’s the only way to reduce health care costs.”

Skeen and fellow Langley graduates Kirk and John Galiani and Bruce Ebel, are also partners in some corporate real estate. They had all been investors in Gold’s Gyms in the area, but they have since sold their respective interests.

The Buzz hears:

The Knowland Group, the fast-growing business development company serving the hospitality industry, hired former Barclaycard Vice Chairman Joseph Purzycki as its chief operating officer.

Purzycki, 65, an expert in leveraging consumer data, is a veteran of the financial services industry. But Knowland founder and chief executive Mike McKean said what really sold him on Purzycki was his previous life as a college football coach.

Purzycki turned around the program at Delaware State University, where he became the first white head coach of an historically black university in 1981.

His secret?

“You got to get great people and you got to get them to perform at their potential. I don’t care if you’re Knute Rockne, if you don’t get great people, you’re not going to win.”

LivingSocial grabbed Rob Hannigan from Kimpton Hotels to run its new live events space at 918 F Street. Hospitality veteran Hannigan will run the day-to-day operations and handle strategy and vision.

Hannigan, 45, who cut his teeth on special luxury events at the W hotel chain, was with Kimpton Hotels for five years, including managing its Hotel Monaco and its Morrison House, both in Alexandria.

 (Disclosure: LivingSocial co-founder and chief executive Tim O’Shaughnessy is son-in-law of Washington Post Co. chairman Donald E. Graham.)

Crimson Partners and Bernstein Management Corp. got the green light from Arlington County to move ahead with a major project at 3901 North Fairfax. The building is to occupy a full city block with 200,000 square feet of office and retail within nine stories. The developers are putting in a 150-seat performing arts theater and conference center as part of the deal. The $80 million project, set to open in early 2014, replaces a parking lot and funeral home that have occupied the site for more than 40 years.

Three Washington area Servpro franchises — serving Loudoun County, north Arlington County and Fairfax/Vienna/Oakton — have been sold to Kapusaba, a holding company run by Kalpesh Patel, for $2.9 million. Bethesda-based Prime Investments represented the sellers.

Factoid of the week

The Grooming Lounge, the high-end men’s salon on L Street NW and at Tysons Galleria (a third is in the offing in Bethesda), celebrates its 10th birthday. We don’t usually celebrate birthdays, but owner Michael Gilman provided us with some interesting stats on what has kept his 45 employees busy for the last decade: 220,000 haircuts; 27,100 hot lather shaves; 262,000 fingernails filed and — ewwww! — 54,890 pimples popped.

heatht@washpost.com

27,100

Hot lather shaves done at the Grooming Lounge in the past decade.

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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