The Scene for the week of April 22


Steve Chenevey of ABC 7/WJLA-TV with two furry, four-legged friends. (Travis Vaughn. )
April 21, 2013
The Economic Club of Washington: AmEx chief says recovery will be slow

American Express chief executive Kenneth I. Chenault submitted to the customary inquisition by Economic Club President and Carlyle Group co-founder David M. Rubenstein at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington on Monday.

Chenault sees the economy continuing to recover slowly: “I don’t have a great deal of confidence that there’s going to be any turnaround in the near term. What we’ve got to hope for is that it will stay stable.”

That sluggishness has not necessarily hampered enthusiasm for credit, he said. The most anyone recently charged with an American Express card, which has no preset limits? $8.8 million.

Chenault said he is often hit up for help getting an invitation-only “black” card: “I do get calls, almost every day, from people who want a Centurion cardand I often say no.”

— Dan Beyers


Rep. Peter A. DeFazio reads a text while using a driving simulator provided by AT&T. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Fashion for Paws: These dogs dressed up for dollars

Wearing tutus, tuxedos and evening gowns, more than 65 dogs (and their human owners) took to the runway at the National Building Museum in Washington on April 13 to raise money for the Washington Humane Society. More than 1,700 people attended the event, which is now in its seventh year.

In all, the event raised about $700,000 and found homes for two puppies that were adopted on the spot. Retailers from Tysons Galleria provided clothes for the models, while Wagtime outfitted the dogs.

— Abha Bhattarai

CES on the Hill: A taste of technology

Some of the biggest brands in consumer technology — Verizon, BlackBerry, Google, Pandora Internet Radio, Panasonic and others — descended on the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington for the Consumer Electronic Association’s CES on the Hill Tuesday.

LG Electronics, for example, was handing out glasses for attendees to view the company’s super-size, 3-D, ultra-high definition (that’s eight million pixels) television. The retail price will set you back only $20,000.

“Every member of Congress I show this to, they appreciate not getting the policy pitch,” said spokesman John Taylor. “They like the consumer experience.”

The 450 attendees at the show included 31 members of Congress, organizers said, with Democrats outnumbering Republicans 19 to 12.

— Steven Overly

The scene elsewhere ... At the Boston Marathon; Tech Council of Maryland gala

Among the locals who ran the Boston Marathon April 15 was Oliver Carr III, chief executive of Carr Properties, and his son. Carr knows the Boston area well after attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in nearby Cambridge, as a graduate student. “I was half a mile from the finish line and my son was a quarter mile out when they cancelled the race,” Carr said in an e-mail. “Fortunately, my wife and youngest son and friends were parking in the Prudential garage when the bombs went off. They were headed to the finish line to meet us ... we were all very lucky.”

Neil Albert, former D.C. city administrator and deputy mayor for planning and economic development, also ran Boston this year. Now a senior policy adviser at Holland & Knight, Albert sent a brief Twitter message after the race: “Safe in Boston. Terrible way to end a great run.”

— Jonathan O’Connell

James Barrett, a general partner at venture capital giant New Enterprise Associates, received the Tech Council of Maryland’s third annual lifetime achievement award April 18 for his work nurturing a host of local life science firms. Barrett was a longtime MedImmune board member before the biotechnology firm was acquired by AstraZeneca in 2006.

— D.B.

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