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June 16, 2008
 
 
 

LEONSIS; OVECHKIN; CLEARSPRING; COFONI


Big welcome to great new sponsor Cox!  Bundle your business phone and Internet for $99 per month. Wow!  Check it out.

 

Man, that one-time AOLer Ted Leonsis has really transcended mere techland and even sports to become Washington's new social impresario. Friday night we were on hand as he and Capitol File hosted the NHL's new living legend. 

 

Newly minted 2008 League MVP Alex Ovechkin with Caps owner Ted Leonsis and former Caps star Peter Bondra and wife Luba.

 

Another techie on hand, ClearSpring President and former Vonage head Jay Rappaport, with real estate tycoon Bob Kettler and wife Charlotte, and FBR co-founder Russ Ramsey and daughter Bailey.


EARLE WILLIAMS RESPONDS!

 

Speaking of living legends, we are proud that Bisnow Tech is now so widely read that one of this region's great figures, Earle Williams, founder of BDM and winner of countless Hall of Fame honors, wrote in to rebut something from Friday's issue. We quoted one of our participants saying that an Obama victory will be better for the Maryland "life sciences" and a McCain victory better for the Virginia "death sciences." Earle replied: "The defense contractors in Fairfax County are not in the death sciences. They are in the freedom and national security sciences. If someone wants to revert to the "Beltway Bandit" descriptor, have them try out "Parkway Patriot," which is more appropriate and valid."

To which, hey, we all say: Amen!


BACK TO THE ROUNDTABLE—PART DEUX

 

You'll recall we are chowing with:

  • John Barrass, COO of STG, Inc.;
  • Champ Mitchell, Chairman of Network Solutions; and
  • Paul Cofoni, CEO of CACI

We brought them to McCormick & Schmick's in Reston where we promised to take care of the check if they talked. Sponsors John Chierichella of law firm Sheppard Mullin and Bob Shue of commercial real estate giant Jones Lang LaSalle joined as well.

 

Paul Cofoni (pronounced Ka-PHONE) heads CACI, which does $2.4 billion in annual revenue. Almost all their business is federal, but a small portion is with the UK.

 
Bisnow: Higher oil prices, consumer anxiety, budget deficits: How are these affecting business?
   
Paul: Look at the budget for a second. We just talked about the demands on the DoD and the intelligence community, but there are also great demands on Homeland Security, hardening the borders and immigration. At the same time, we have healthcare issues, energy and the environment. I can't remember when there were more demands on government all at the same time.
   
Bisnow: You're not old enough to remember LBJ? 
   
Paul: Yes, but I just don't see how, with all these competing demands being made by Republicans and Democrats, our budget gets balanced in the short-term. That means continued high levels of deficit spending.
   
Champ: You're looking at one side of the equation, which is expenditures. Congress can decide tomorrow to increase revenue. When you've got $130-a-barrel oil, the dollar plummeting, 40% increases in food budget and doubled fuel costs, Americans are against the wall. It's going to be very attractive for Congress to make a substantial tax increase—particularly on high-bracket taxpayers.
 

John Barrass and his 1,300 employees at STG bring in $200 million annually working exclusively for the Feds.

 
Bisnow: How does the economy affect Network Solutions and your four million customers? 
   
Champ: It's been odd, because as the economy has gone down, we've had increased growth year over year. There are a couple of explanations. The biggest is that you've got a lot of people who are insecure about jobs. How are they going to have income if they get laid off?  Well, a lot have ideas for an online business. The other big group is retiring baby boomers. They're afraid of being mentally inactive, so they're taking on new jobs they didn't do during their working days.
 

John runs Sheppard Mullin's government contract practice. That cool ice tea would taste good today (folks, it's hot outside). 

 
Bisnow: What else is affecting government contractors these days?
   
John B: There's also a pending law out there that says any award over $100 million has to be a multiple award, which means agencies are going to un-bundle them and have a bunch of $99 million awards. A change like that would have a profound impact on a mid-sized company.
   
Paul: We've lived through multiple administrations and changes in policy There's a very adaptive nature to our businesses and we're constantly looking around the corner to figure out what's going to happen next.
   
John B: Wherever you are in the spectrum the adaptive response needs to be there. Even the industry giants need to adapt to what the customer requires.
 

David Stegon is Bisnow's tech guru. Contact him with story ideas at David@Bisnow.com or 703-674-7718.


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