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Northern Virginia Project News
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October 9, 1995

We have achieved a number of major milestones since you first received Information Kits for the Northern Virginia Project - enough so that it is time to "re-launch" the Project more broadly.

Thanks to the work of many individuals, that "re-launch" will occur by the end of October, including the announcement of our new name and updates on the Project’s initial programs. This effort will run for a number of months as we make a concerted effort to brief everyone who has supported us and then systematically reach out to the many partners and sponsors we hope to serve and engage.

We want to keep you informed about the progress and plans for the Project. Here, then, is what has been going on while we prepare for this "re-launch."

  • We have made good progress toward raising the Project’s initial seed funding goal of $500,000 and plan to reach our objective by the end of October. Board members, led by April Young, are meeting with several key firms to raise the remaining amount. If you have not yet committed to be a financial sponsor, please join an already impressive list of corporations and individuals to help us meet and exceed our initial seed funding target.

  • We have completed work on a new project identity and name and will announce the new name as part of the re-launch program by the end of October. This work, led by Pamet River Partners, progressed quite well as a highly collaborative effort, involving more than 80 individuals from inside and outside the region. The response to this effort was exceptional, both in the number of those participating and in the quality of the discussion. We have agreed on the final names and are now in the final steps of completing the supporting rationale, slogan, and logos.

  • The executive search for the President, contributed by Heidrick & Struggles, has been launched. The position description and criteria are developed and approved and an initial list of potential candidates has been reviewed by the Board. We will begin to meet these candidates this month, in line with our goal to have this position filled by January, 1996.

  • The Electronic Commerce Initiative, a partnership between the Center for Innovative Technologies and the Northern Virginia Project, has been created. The Initiative, a coalition of participating firms and institutions, will increase awareness of the innovation underway in this area, advance the use and application of electronic commerce in the region and establish electronic commerce partnerships with other national and international regions. A broad range of organizations have been contacted and a number have already committed to participate. One of the first programs is a seminar, "Electronic Commerce on the Internet," sponsored by C.I.T., InterCom, the Northern Virginia Project and Darden Executive Education of the University of Virginia, at C.I.T. on Friday, December 1, 1995. Wolfgang Tolle, the Director of Information Technology at C.I.T., is leading this overall Electronic Commerce Initiative as an effort of the Northern Virginia Project.

  • An Internet World Wide Website, that will serve as the "hub" of the Project’s Regional Online Network, has been designed, development partnerships established, and a prototype implemented. This "hub," with the beta-version online in November, will provide an overview of the region, a road map to the region’s organizations, projects, and resources, a communications corner for news and discussion forums, and an important section to help new users get acclimated to "living in a networked world." George Gingerelli of GMG Enterprises and the past CEO of Delta Research Corporation is leading this effort for the Morino Institute. The project enjoys a productive development and operation partnership with Electric Press, and already has established an Advisory Group.

  • The Community Awareness and Education Program has been defined. It consists of a series of education programs, focus groups, and engagement services for prospective volunteers, partners and other interested parties. Zim Putney, a principal of Putney & Eckstein, is leading this effort.

  • We held our first Volunteer/Partner/Citizens meeting the evening of September 25 with over 25 people attending, including a diverse group typified by: Jeff Gordon, the CEO of Image Communications, a firm specializing in "new age" marketing; Bob Maslyn, the founder of ALEX, the new Alexandria community network; Bob Johnson, an executive of Landmark Systems, who leads their innovative community partnership with Edison High School; Susan Joslin, the founder of the New Media Society; and Vic Jarvis, a citizen activist working to help integrate technology into local school programs. We learned a great deal as to how people would like to contribute and what is needed from the Project. We heard first-hand of numerous exciting examples of innovation occurring in this region.

  • The opportunities for collaboration and partnership increase daily. The Northern Virginia Project will partner with and support the excellent work underway by the City of Fairfax, George Mason University’s Small Business Development Center and the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce to establish the Fairfax Technology Center. The principals organizing the Northern Virginia Roundtable Capital Availability Dinner on October 26 are developing a video that will illustrate the strengths of the region and have reached out to include the efforts of the Northern Virginia Project.
We have been busy. We are making progress. Most importantly, we are preparing to enter a significant new phase where we will be able to engage you at an individual level and involve a much broader base of organizations and individuals.

We will send additional information to you on announcements, new programs, and our plans for 1996. The first of these materials will come with the Project’s "re-launch" the end of October, followed by a steady stream of communications. With the availability of the Regional Online Network’s Website, the bulk of our communications will be electronic through the Website, e-mail, and discussion groups.

So get ready. There’s a lot more on the horizon for the Northern Virginia Project in the immediate future. Thank you for your ongoing interest, and we look forward to your continued support.


Mario Morino

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