Office-Park Deal Signed

Anne Arundel County government, the Navy and a private firm signed a $250 million deal last week to transform a shuttered naval research center near Annapolis into a high-tech office park.

The David Taylor Research Center, site of cutting-edge developments in naval technology before it closed in 1995, was transferred from the Navy to the county, then to a development group called Annapolis Partners LLC. It was the result of a complex agreement negotiated over seven years.

"I think this is going to provide extraordinary economic benefits to the county," said Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens (D), who had worked to complete the deal since taking office in 1998.

Work on the redevelopment project could take 12 years to complete.

-- Nelson Hernandez


Brazilians to Visit

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership's Division of International Trade this month will host a delegation from Brazil's information-technology industry.

Area companies are invited to meet with the representatives when they are in the Tysons Corner area Nov. 13 to 15. Those who want an appointment or further information may call Pam Treadwell, Loudoun County Economic Development at 703-777-0427, or Matt Duys, Virginia Economic Development Partnership, at 703-560-1030.

-- Amy Joyce


Furniture Dealer Honored

The Lord Fairfax Community College Small Business Development Center at Fauquier named James Rankin, owner of Rankin Furniture in Warrenton, the recipient of the 2002 Small Business Veteran of the Year award.

The board and members of the county Chamber of Commerce nominated Rankin for the award. Karen Henderson, executive director of the Fauquier County Chamber of Commerce, cited Rankin's success in the retail industry and his numerous civic honors as evidence of his commitment to small-business success and his community.

Rankin graduated from Bealeton High School in 1948 and enlisted in the United States Army in 1951. He served in the 187th Regimental Combat Team, part of the 11th Airborne Division.

Rankin returned to Fauquier County and started his first business, Rankin's Furniture , in 1966. He opened hardware stores in Winchester and Colonial Beach, a sporting goods store, and a furniture store in Warrenton.

-- Amy Joyce


Milestone for Security Firm

McLean-based MVM Security and Staffing Services, a homegrown security firm started in 1979 by a former Secret Service agent, last week reported revenue of $100 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30. This will be the first year the company's sales exceed $100 million.

The privately held firm, which grew rapidly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, is on pace to have revenue of $140 million for the year, compared with $74 million last year. Its clients, which include the federal government, D.C. public schools and Riggs Bank, increased security measures after the attacks.

The firm, which began with three people, now has 3,500 employees.

"We're part of the elite in the U.S. marketplace," founder and chief executive Dario O. Marquez Jr. said to employees last week. "We are a rare breed in the marketplace right now."

-- Krissah Williams