When Northern Virginia's technology executives convene at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner for an event, it's usually to gab about the latest in systems integration or the next big government contract or to raise a glass at an awards dinner celebrating their vibrant industry.
But at a breakfast meeting there this morning, they turn to matters spiritual. The High Tech Prayer Breakfast, with a host committee of more than 100 top execs, has some of the biggest names in Northern Virginia's business community, such as outgoing exec Todd Stottlemyer of Apogen Technologies, Hooks Johnston of Valhalla Partners and April Young of Comerica Bank.
High Tech Prayer Breakfast -- DC Metro Inc. is a 501(c)(3) with a mission to minister to the spiritual needs of the area's technology workers. This year's headliner is Adolph Coors IV, the great-grandson of the founder of the company that makes Coors beer. After working in the family business, Coors and his wife have been involved in various ministries, including the board of Prison Fellowship, founded by Charles Colson, an aide to President Richard M. Nixon.
The prayer breakfast, which is in its fourth year, is modeled after High Tech Ministries in Atlanta, which hosts a similar annual breakfast and encourages hosts to fill seats with members of the high-tech community who "do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ," according to the organization's Web site. A table for 10 at today's event cost $600.
The Sound of Money
When Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) entered the ballroom at the McLean Hilton the evening of Nov. 21, he moved through the crowd like a movie star as many of Northern Virginia's high-tech executives hopped out of their seats to shake his hand and say hello.
The host of the event, the Northern Virginia Technology Council, bestowed its Chairman's Award on the outgoing governor that night. As a venture capitalist who co-founded Nextel before holding elected office, Warner has close ties to the Northern Virginia tech community, which was very supportive of his bid for office four years ago.
The council's political arm, however, was not as fond of Warner's chosen successor: Its political action committee decided to endorse Republican candidate Jerry W. Kilgore, citing the former attorney general's support for eliminating a tax on government contractors as well as for anti-spam legislation.
Warner decided to not even kid the organization about the slight to his lieutenant governor, Timothy M. Kaine. Instead he highlighted the accomplishments of his administration and asked the group to give their support to the Democratic governor-elect.
At the beginning of his remarks Warner told the crowd, which also heard from Gary D. Forsee, president and chief executive of newly merged Sprint Nextel, that he didn't mind hearing the occasional cell phone ring during his remarks because, to his ears, it sounds like "ka-ching!"
A Happy Feet Fundraiser
Annandale's business leaders will put on their dancing shoes Tuesday in support of Virginia Music Adventures, a nonprofit music program for local youth. The program's Annandale Jazz Ambassadors, whose members are 12 to 18 years old, will perform big-band music, and the Chapel Square Combo, an advanced ensemble of 14- to 18-year-olds, will showcase all styles of jazz. The holiday dinner-dance will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. at Ossian Hall, 7128 Columbia Pike.
Quite a Lineup
Companies based in Fairfax County dominated the Washington Business Journal's list of the 50 fastest-growing companies in the area. The No. 1 spot is occupied by Vienna condominium builder Wills Cos., which rode the real estate boom to a 316.8 percent increase in annual revenue from 2002 to 2004. The home-building industry was well represented: Reston's Comstock Homebuilding Cos., Fairfax's Equity Homes, Vienna's KSI Services and Herndon's National Corporate Housing also made the list.
No surprise to see technology-driven companies also cramming the list, including iDirect Technologies at No. 2, McLean's Apogen Technologies at No. 5 and Argon ST at No. 36.
Movers and Shakers
Ruth Bowers has joined Chantilly's Apptis as senior vice president in charge of the company's government-wide acquisition contract programs organization. Bowers has held similar positions at DynCorp International, Titan and AMS.
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