Capital Buzz: Leonsis offers luxury seating in a small-business size
By Thomas Heath,
Sports mogul Ted Leonsis has installed 56 new “loge box” seats at the Verizon Center for the NHL and NBA seasons — assuming, of course, there is an NBA season, no certainty given the current labor impasse.
Essentially the loge boxes are hardwood-floor mini-suites, with six and eight tickets per box and priced at $125,000 and $150,000 respectively. There are eight boxes in all; four boxes have six seats and four have eight. They are good for all events — including concerts, Georgetown basketball, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, family shows and concerts, along with the Capitals, Wizards and Mystics games.
The target audience is small and medium-sized businesses that don’t want to buy 18-person suites.
Parking passes, waiter/waitress service, catered food and flat-screen televisions are included.
So far the club has sold four of the eight.
Now if we could just get a basketball season.
Gaithersburg-based Vendor Centric recently launched after the merger of the consultancies Rising Point and Browser Dynamics. The five-employee consulting firm works with public and private sector companies to help them manage their vendors and control costs.
Vendor Centric’s owners are entrepreneurs Tom Rogers, 45, who is chief executive, and Mikah Sellers, 38, the chief revenue officer. Rogers graduated from Springbrook High School and the University of Maryland. Sellers was a founder of founder Hancuff Miller, a corporate communications consultancy.
Shuttling between jobs
Remember R. Carter Pate, the onetime Washington-based PricewaterhouseCoopers executive and GOP uber-fundraiser (he was John McCain’s Virginia finance chairman)?
He left Washington a year ago for New York City, where he became global and U.S. managing partner for the PwC capital projects and infrastructure practice.
During his years in Washington between 2004 and 2008, Pate grew PwC’s government services practice.
Now the Texas native, 57, is on to a new gig: he’s chief executive of MV Transportation, a Napa Valley-based private company that provides shuttle service to governments, municipalities, corporations and even our own Metro system.
You know those medical vans that shuttle people to their doctor appointments throughout the D.C. area? That’s MV Transportation, which has 14,000 employees nationwide.
The Buzz has a feeling that Pate, who has extensive experience with public companies, may have been brought in to take MV public or work a deal with a rival.
Pate was mum.
“I’m excited about the work we do in the greater Washington area,” he said. Washington “having been my home the last few years, I look forward to expanding our reach and continuing to take care of our customers.”
The well-connected Virginian, whose political fundraising mantra is “network, network, network,” said he starts his new job, which includes a seat on MV’s board of directors, Aug. 15.
The Buzz hears . . .
• Local mixologist Derek Brown (co-owner, The Passenger and Columbia Room) is coaching the bartenders at downtown D.C.’s JW Marriott in the art of making a genuine “Rickey” cocktail, named for 19th-century Democrat Col. Joseph Rickey from Missouri. Rickey invented the cocktail — made with lime soda and either bourbon or gin — at Shoomaker’s bar in 1883, where the JW is now located. (The original Washington Post was located there as well.) That stretch was known as Rum Row.
All JW Marriott Rickeys are half-price the rest of the month.
• Anna Birch, co-founder of Virginia-based AdventureLinks outdoor challenge camp, took over as president of Entrepreneurs’ Organization D.C., on July 1.
• Jon Brothers, founder and chief executive of JB Creative Services, a Bethesda company that sells clothing tags, plans to speak to the National Capital Region Entrepreneurs Club luncheon July 25 at the Tower Club in Vienna. The event starts at 11:30 a.m. and runs until 1 p.m.
Ezra’s curious case
Cleveland Park native Ezra Edelman’s documentary, “The Curious Case of Curt Flood,” about the baseball great, debuted on HBO last week. Flood’s unsuccessful Supreme Court challenge of baseball to end its “reserve clause” (he challenged it but lost his case; it was abolished in 1975 via arbitration) helped lead to opening up the sport to free agency. He spent most of his career with the Cardinals and played for the Washington Senators for a nanosecond (13 games) before retiring from the game in 1971.
This is the third film for Edelman, 36, who graduated from Sidwell Friends in 1992.
Edelman, who graduated from Yale in 1996, has worked at HBO for the last decade. His first film was “The Ghosts of Flatbush,” which won an Emmy. His second was “Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals,” which won a Peabody Award.
His parents are Peter and Marian Wright Edelman. Peter is a law professor at Georgetown University. His mother is founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund, a child advocacy organization.
“The Curious Case” is on HBO throughout July.