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September 15, 2008


Big shout-out to great new sponsor Johns Hopkins University.  Don't miss their upcoming information session for the Master of Arts in Government Program.  Wed., Sept 24, 6:30-7:30pm at the JHU Washington center, 1717 Mass AveRSVP today!


Last night we were on hand for a fancy dinner at the Newseum (yep, Sunday night, what we won't do for our fine readers), at which Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, announced plans for a World Wide Web Foundation geared to "extending the capabilities and robustness of the Web to the whole planet," including an estimated 80% of the planet that doesn't get it now.


Berners-Lee, center, says he used to think the Web's mission was to connect hypertext and Web pages, but eventually realized it was actually linking humanity, and that it's that unfulfilled mission that has driven the creation of the foundation. With him, Web Science Research Initiative executive director Rosemary Leith, and the Knight Foundation's Gary Kebbel, who in the past helped create AOL News, Newsweek.com, and USA Today.com. The Knight Foundation announced an initial $5M grant (www.webfoundation.org).


84-year young USA Today founder and legend Al Neuharth, center, with Knight Foundation chair Gerald Austen and Newseum head of development Mary Kay Blake. Berners-Lee also walked down memory lane for the audience, talking about how he considered the name "Information Mine" instead of World Wide Web when he started the project at CERN in 1989; and how the University of Minnesota's Gopher system might well have prevailed as today's web arrangement had it not suggested at one point possibly charging for access. He concluded that "there are now as many web pages as neurons in your brain," then added (with a smile, we believe): "The bad news is the number of Web pages is increasing."


We made a beeline to see Arlington-base Ideal Innovations CEO Bob Kocher when we noticed its No. 164 ranking on Inc. Magazine's list of the 500 fastest growing companies, the second consecutive year it's made the list. Bob tells us his company has made six prototypes for the MRAP, a heavily-armored vehicle designed to withstand IED attacks and used primarily by the Marines. Bob started the company in 1998 after forming the Army's Quick Response Office that provided the Army with mission-specific equipment during operations such as in Bosnia. Today it does $54 million in revenue.


Bob, a West Point grad who grew up near the school, made that type of agility the calling card of his company. "I'd say what we are doing in the future, but it all depends on what the market needs," he says. Robert is an avid runner with 47 marathons under his belt, along with creating NipGuards (they've sold more than two million units), one of his nine patents (he has another seven pending) that protect runners from chafing.


Deltek CEO Kevin Parker, who was the keynote speaker at Jewell & Associates' inaugural executive circle get together last week at the Tower Club. Kevin's company is a leader in software development for project-based businesses and recently acquired Plainview's MPM solution, which helps companies meet federal compliance requirements. The Executive Circle is a new group bringing together C-level execs for networking, best practice discussions and presentations from industry experts.

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