Chamber Looks for Top Va. Firms

The Virginia Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for the 2003 Fantastic 50 Awards honoring the top 50 companies in the state.

Companies can be nominated by a local chamber of commerce, economic development organization or themselves. They are judged on average growth rate based on four-year revenue; first-year revenue must be at least $200,000, and most recent revenue must not exceed $100 million.

Companies must also demonstrate positive revenue growth and positive net income in the most recent fiscal year compared with the previous year.

The application deadline is Nov. 8. Nomination and application forms are available at or by calling 804-644-1607. Winners will be announced at a banquet in April.

-- Amy Joyce


Airport Security Hotline Due

"Airport Watch," a hotline and central reporting system, will be launched in December for pilots using Maryland's 36 public airports to report any suspicious activity that could threaten security.

Developed by the Transportation Security Administration, the program will operate in conjunction with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Also, the Maryland Airport Managers Association and Maryland Aviation Administration are working together to develop a standardized general aviation security plan.

-- Alicia Cypress


Networking Fair Convenes

The seventh annual BWI Business Networking Fair will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. today at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum. The focus will be on companies in such fields as construction, aviation services, landscaping, technical and business services and maintenance.

To register, call the Maryland Aviation Administration's Office of Fair Practices at 410-859-7949 or go to under the "Things to Do/Upcoming Events" heading.

-- Alicia Cypress


Sourcefire Picks Executive

Sourcefire Inc., a Columbia network security technology firm, has named Thomas M. McDonough president and chief operating officer. He was previously the chief executive office of Mountain Wave Inc., which was purchased by Symantec Corp. in July.

-- Sabrina Jones


Big Space Camp Turnout Predicted

Prospects for a space camp in Prince George's County were boosted last week when a county-sponsored study predicted the camp could draw more than 90,000 visitors annually.

The study is being touted by the Prince George's County Economic Development Corp. as it tries to convince investors and community groups of the potential economic benefits of a local camp, where students would take classes in space and flight simulation year-round.

While a similar camp in Huntsville, Ala., near a NASA facility there, has been successful, others in Florida and California -- which allowed students to take classes for $800 to $900 a week -- closed this year.

"We remain very optimistic about this project happening," said Joseph J. James, president and CEO of the development organization, which has been promoting the idea of a space camp in Prince George's for the past two years.

The feasibility study by D.C.-based Economic Research Associates looked at competitive and complementary attractions, the potential for partnerships, program costs and attendance projections. The state of Maryland funded most of the $60,000 study.

-- Krissah Williams


Nottingham Buys Campus

The two-building Beaumeade Technology Campus of Ashburn has been purchased by Nottingham Properties Inc. of Towson, Md.

The campus is on 12 acres in Beaumeade Corporate Park off the Loudoun County Parkway, less than a mile from Route 28 and Waxpool Road. The two one-story buildings total 132,240 square feet.

-- Amy Joyce