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December 9, 2008
Jones Lang LaSalle

This Morning
at Google


We were at the Reston Town Center this morning as Google, a popular search engine you might have heard of, officially opened its new Library Street office. Our old friend Vint Cerf, co-founder of the Internet although increasingly identified as possible Obama CTO, is now of course Google’s Internet Evangelist and therefore was on hand to evangelize, though it might just have been nostalgia for the longtime Reston resident. He told assembled masses (well, about 50 well wishers) that next year Google will begin allowing users to do searches in non-Latin based languages like Arabic. “We’re all about diversity, because not everyone lives in America and speaks English. As the Internet grows, we grow with it.”


Vint says China just passed the US as having the most Internet users and that Asia has become Google’s biggest new market. He said he’d add Europe to the mix, but “they keep adding countries, so it’s hard to keep track.” He also said Google is investing in IPv6 technology as the US is expected to run out of IP addresses by 2010 on IPv4. Oh, and as for those Obama CTO rumors? “It’s hard to say what the job will be, because it has not been well-defined, but let’s just say I’m interested to see who the “stuck-ee” will be who gets the job,” he says. (We guess that means the person who gets “stuck” with it. These Googlers think nothing of coining new words.)


Mike Bradshaw heads up Google’s Federal sales unit that repackages existing Google products and tailors them for government use. For instance, Google creates a secure search function that lets Federal agencies search documents behind their own firewall. “This office was started to bring us closer to the Federal government, because even though it’s one of our smallest divisions, it’s also one of the fastest growing,” Mike says.


Some local luminaries: Fairfax County Economic Development CEO Gerry Gordon, Virginia Delegate Ken Plum, Reston founder Bob Simon, Reston Interfaith’s Kerri Wilson and Fairfax County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins. (Didn’t we line them up nicely?) Gerry says the county now has 600,000 employees, well 600,030 after Google’s new 30 person office launched. “We’re very happy to have them here in our community, contributing to our schools and paying taxes,” Gerry says.


We just thought this sign was charmingly understated compared to the fireworks show and swimming pool full of money we expected to see.

VA Acquisition Honcho

While Federal agencies are busy stealing each other's employees, Veterans Affairs is trying to grow its own. We recently met Jan Frye, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Acquisition and Logistics who tells us his agency opened an acquisition academy at its new Center for Acquisition Innovation in Frederick last month. “You know all those glum people driving into the city?  We want them to drive out to our facility for work,” Jan says. Jan also oversees VA’s National Acquisition Center near Chicago that acts as a mini-GSA with nine federal supply schedules. “We bring in $15 billion in revenue between our schedules and other national contracts, allowing us more flexibility than other departments” in developing innovative programs for training VA’s acquisition workforce.


As VA’s senior procurement executive and principal acquisition policy guru, Jan has pushed to implement provisions of PL 109-461, which establishes a “Veterans First Contracting Program” in VA.  This law provides VA with extraordinary and unprecedented authorities in contracting with service-disabled, veteran-owned, and small businesses, assigning these firms the highest priority source in VA’s open market acquisitions. A Nebraska native, Jan served 30 years in the Army, rising to the rank of Colonel. He worked as Chief of Contracting at the DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, before coming to VA in 2004. Being from Nebraska, he’s of course a big Cornhuskers fan. He also enjoys riding bicycles two to four hours each weekend morning at the Quantico Marine Corps Base and tries to make it to Nebraska a few times a year for pheasant hunting.

Nixon Peabody
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