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November 17, 2008
Jones Lang LaSalle


For those with the courage to look at the markets these days, you may have noticed NASDAQ jumped 97 points Thursday (6.5%). Why? Because our friends at Deloitte were there (43rd and Broadway in NYC) to ring the closing bell. We hoped Deloitte’s appearance would start an economic turnaround, but the market fell on Friday, presumably because by then the Deloitte crew was back home.


Waving in the middle, our friend, Deloitte Greater Washington managing partner Gary Tabach, who was joined by winners of Deloitte’s Fast 50 Awards that annually recognize the fastest growing companies in the D.C. area. Gary, we suspect, was also smiling because Deloitte Consulting announced last week the coup of bringing on Rep. Tom Davis as a senior official to help oversee its Washington government work. Congrats to both for the great match.


It’s nice to see LIST Innovative Solutions president Katie Sleep in an office, considering she ran her government contracting biz out of her basement for five years. We met Katie in her new 13,000-SF Herndon office where, despite a SECRET facility clearance (they’re working on TOP SECRET), there is no dress code and plenty of stress ball fights. Katie tells us her company’s working with the US Office of Personnel Management on the President’s e-Clearance initiative developing applications to quicken background checks of all federal employees and contractors.


Katie’s company sponsors a grass roots women’s competitive cycling team (and other endurance athletes), which makes sense since the mother of three is training for the 2009 Lake Placid Ironman Triathlon (that’s swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 and then running a marathon – all in a row). An Indiana-native, Katie started LIST in 1996 after doing telecom consulting services (she was a software engineer at Bell Labs). Then the telecom bubble burst and Katie retooled in the government space, now featuring 70-employees and $10 million in revenue (which she expects to double this year), all as a bootstrap.


It’s hard enough to sell a company in a good economy, let alone now. With that thought in mind we headed out to Hinge Incorporated, a Reston-based brand marketing specialist that recently completed a survey on what factors contribute to premium valuation, primarily in IT services firms. A couple of key findings, courtesy of managing partner Lee Frederiksen (pictured here with Hinge mascot “Woody”), who headed the survey: project growth rate – backed by a plan – is more important than past performance; employee retention is overrated; growing is nice, but strategic growth is even better; and most importantly, great client relationships is the single most influential factor.


If you can’t guess, Hinge really likes the color red. That’s Lee with partners Jen Sterling and Aaron Taylor. “One thing the study showed is that companies should not brag about their employees, because there is no way the company can guarantee those people can be replaced if they leave,” says Lee. We know Halloween has passed, but we learned that Jen gave out full candy bars to the kids and beer to the parents. Is that even legal? “Who knows,” Jen says, “but the parents seemed to enjoy it.” We’ll give you one guess what neighborhood we’re trick-or-treating in next year.

David Stegon recently interviewed a high ranking government official. Who? Come back tomorrow. In the meantime send story ideas to David@Bisnow.com

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