Virgin Atlantic Airways, the airline owned by gimmick master Richard Branson, is using two county business leaders in its efforts to introduce a new word into the nation's business lexicon. That word is "jetrosexual."
Jetrosexual derives, one presumes, from the word "metrosexual," which loosely describes an urban male in touch with his aesthetic side.
According to the linguists at Virgin Atlantic -- the term linguists is used loosely here -- jetrosexuals are "high fliers who move business and culture forward each and every day. This alternative culture is made up of those people who are constantly looking for different or better ways to deliver, raise the bar in their industry or simply succeed where no one else could."
To help establish the phrase, Virgin Atlantic has laid out the 11 commandments of jetrosexuals and is giving an award next week to the business leader who best meets the criteria.
Two finalists run businesses in the county: Karrye Y. Braxton, chief executive of Global Business Solutions Inc., a management consulting firm based in Silver Spring; and Michael B. O'Neil Jr., the founder of Bethesda-based GetWellNetwork, which makes hospital room televisions interactive.
"If you tell me I have to be on a plane in an hour, I'll be ready to go," Braxton said in an interview.
That's good news for Braxton. It seems to qualify her under two of the 11 commandments: No. 1, "Thou shalt have thine passport ready to go at a moment's notice," and No. 5, "Thou shalt be able to pack a week's worth of clothes into a single carry-on bag."
"When you are starting a company, you have to be prepared to go anywhere and do anything," Braxton said. "It's nice to be recognized for that effort."
However, Braxton said her father would be appalled by the term "jetrosexual."
Dumais Is Woman of the Year
Montgomery County Business and Professional Women has named its woman of the year: Kathleen M. Dumais, a lawyer with the firm of Paley Rothman in Bethesda.
The organization, which is based in Montgomery Village, noted that Dumais has contributed to women's causes for many years, particularly as one of the area's leading divorce lawyers. She also provides pro bono legal services for Catholic Charities.
Dumais will be honored at a dinner Tuesday at the Doubletree Hotel in Rockville. For information, contact Erin Rosenfeldt at 301-340-7788, Ext. 1202.
$9.9 Million Boost for GenVec
GenVec Inc., a Gaithersburg biotechnology company, has received a $9.9 million increase in federal funding for an HIV vaccine it is developing. The firm's funding for the project now totals $50 million and extends through 2008.
The vaccine, which is designed to protect against the three major subtypes of HIV, accounting for 90 percent of infections, is entering mid-stage testing in humans. GenVec is also developing treatments for cancer, heart disease and vision loss.
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