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October 31, 2008
Jones Lang LaSalle


News Flash: The economy is still bad. OK, you knew that, but there are ways to survive and – get this – actually thrive. We joined 300 others yesterday morning at the Tysons’ Ritz (because we’ve only been there three times this week) for Pillsbury’s Survival of the Fittest M&A Conference where we can only hope a few government contractors were talked off the ledge by promises of good days ahead.


It looks like a group date on the Bachlorette: Strelmark President Hilary Fordwich, Cyveillance CEO Panos Anastassiadis, mySBX co-founder Jeff White and Greg Baroni. Now the million dollar question: What is Greg up to after stepping down as President of Unisys Federal Systems earlier this month? “For inquiring minds, I’m investigating some opportunities in private equity,” Greg tells us. Jeff’s company, which connects IT firms so they can share human capital, just had its 600th company register. And Hilary has advice for everyone in the down economy: “Be especially nice now, so when things are good, people will remember you.”


Professional Services Council CEO Stan Soloway told the audience one of the biggest government expenses is the rising cost of health care for war veterans. The total has climbed 12 percent since 2000 and now approaches a whopping $50 billion a year. “People are living longer and getting more health care, so this is obviously one of the hot markets to be in right now.” Some others include cyber security and cyber warfare, Stan says.


Veritas Capital Fund’s Ramzi Musallum and BB&T Capital Markets/Windsor Group’s John Allen took part in a panel that analyzed the value of stereotypical companies like “The One Trick Pony,” “Ho Hum Services Inc.,” and “Buried Treasure Inc.” (which Ramzi said “I’ll buy right now”). John Allen and John Hagan succeeded Rick Knop as head of Windsor’s Groups M&A practice earlier this year, which closed 92 deals with an aggregate value of $47 billion in ’07.


We met yesterday in DC with Daniel Odio, co-founder of PointAbout, whose start-up just created a shell mobile application that lets iPhone users locate the nearest polling locations using the phone’s built-in GPS. The company has created similar programs for the D.C. Metro (so you can see the nearest stations and when the next trains are coming). “We pull GPS info from your phone and plug it into sites that can send back useful info based on where you are,” Daniel says.


We caught Daniel just before a meeting with iStrategy Labs CEO (and Twin Tech promoter) Peter Corbett. Here the duo is atop Peter’s new Dupont Circle offices, which just happens to be the former home of George Stephanopoulos. Peter even showed us the two-headed shower and sauna we can only assume George installed. (See what you learn here?) Peter is busy hyping a Nov. 19 launch party for DubMeNow, a service that saves contact information (like stuff found on a business card), but updates it as people switch jobs.


Some of David Stegon’s past Halloween costumes include: Jason from Friday the 13th, a cowboy, a member of the Toronto Blue Jays and, of course, Clark Kent. Send story (or costume) ideas to David@Bisnow.com.

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