The fastest-growing company in Fairfax County is a Tysons-based cybersecurity firm whose stated goal is to “fundamentally change” how organizations get technical expertise.
MOXFIVE claimed the 39th spot overall and the top spot for the security industry on the latest Inc. 5000, an annual ranking of the country’s most successful privately owned companies based on their revenue growth.
This is Moxfive’s first time on the prestigious list, and among the 120 Fairfax County companies that got included this year, it has the highest ranking, according to the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.
“Our overall and security industry rankings on the Inc. 5000 list are an acknowledgement of our team’s determination and success in maintaining an unwavering commitment to changing an industry by obsessing over delivering a superior customer experience,” MOXFIVE CEO and founder Mike Wager said in a press release. “Appearing on the Inc. 5000 list is also validation that our Platform…is the future of the industry.”
Founded in 2019, Moxfive describes itself as a specialized technical advisory firm that assists other businesses with responding to cyberattacks and bolstering their information technology capabilities.
Headquartered in The Plaza at Tysons Corner Center (1751 Pinnacle Drive, Suite 600), the company has seen its revenue grow 9,622% over the past three years, according to the 2023 Inc. 5000. It was also included on Inc.’s 2022 Best Workplaces list.
In a comment to the FCEDA, Wager lauded Fairfax County as “a fantastic area” to raise a family and start a business.
“We have been fortunate to achieve a great deal of success and I attribute much of that to the business environment in Fairfax County, which includes a tremendous amount of cybersecurity talent,” he said. “This has allowed us to find the people we need more easily and scale more quickly.”
Per the economic development authority, Fairfax County had 15 companies in the top 500 of this year’s Inc. 5000 and accounted for 44% of the 274 Virginia companies to make an appearance. The top 500 companies were featured in Inc. Magazine’s September issue, which hit newsstands on Aug. 23.
A Reston-based pub was voted as the best place to get a drink in the D.C. area.
A WTOP poll by readers and listeners ranked Makers Union, which is located at 1811 Library Street in Reston Town Center, as the best restaurant to get a drink. The pub beat out hundreds of other bars in the area.
Also named a runner-up for best brunch, Makers Union describes itself as a pub for the people. It has two new locations in the works at The Wharf in D.C. and at Metropolitan Park in Arlington, which are slated to open this summer.
According to its website, the pub uses local ingredients “whenever possible” and showcases destination drinks from local makers.
The poll also ranked restaurants and establishments across several other categories, including best bakery, brunch, burger, coffee shop, international cuisine, seafood and comfort food.
Other chains also ranked high on the lists. For example, Big Buns Damn Good Burger — which has locations in Reston, Herndon, Vienna and Fairfax — was voted as the best burger spot, and Ledo Pizza was named the best pizza spot.
Outside of Reston, Fairfax City’s High Side — an Asian street food restaurant and bar located at 4009 Chain Bridge Road — topped the list for best international cuisine. L’Auberge Chez Francois in Great Falls and Our Mom Eugenia, which has restaurants in Great Falls and Merrifield, also made the top 10 for that list.
Photo via kazuend on Unsplash
Fairfax County’s government is the place to beat when it comes to utilizing digital technology, according to a recent survey of the top digital counties in the U.S.
Fairfax County was ranked no. 1 among counties with populations of 1 million or more people by the Center for Digital Government for its 2023 Digital Counties Survey, knocking off King County in Washington after the original home of Amazon nabbed the top spot two years in a row.
The top ranking marks the culmination of a steady rise for Fairfax County, which came in fifth place for its category in 2021 and second last year. King County, which includes Seattle, took second place this time around.
“We are constantly coming up with new ways to make things easier for our residents and employees through technology,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Jeff McKay said in a July 25 newsletter highlighting the achievement. “We would like to thank and congratulate our Department of Information Technology and agency partners for all of the excellent work they have done, and we look forward to seeing the great work continue!”
A division of the data and media company eRepublic, the Center for Digital Government describes itself as a national research and advisory institute focused on information technology policies and how they’re used by local and state governments.
The annual digital surveys, which include separate ones for states and cities, evaluate how different jurisdictions “are applying technologies to better serve their constituents,” the organization says.
After previously lauding Fairfax County for its cybersecurity efforts, the center says it managed to rise to the top this year thanks in part to an emphasis on data management and incorporation of data-based metrics into the Countywide Strategic Plan originally adopted in October 2021.
“Fairfax provided staff with training and policies about proper data collection and use, and conducted a data asset inventorying project so employees could more easily locate answers to internal questions,” the survey said. “Use of end-to-end encryption also preserves data privacy.”
Other accomplishments include a newly centralized “data lake” to support the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, which provides treatment and other resources for individuals with mental health, substance use and developmental disability needs.
The survey also singles out the county’s new Planning and Land Use System, which consolidated zoning, permitting and other land use applications into one central database. The system fully launched last October after starting to roll out in 2020, though it encountered some initial technical challenges.
“The platform gives constituents a single spot for handling activities like submitting and tracking applications related to zoning, building, permitting and other land development areas, as well as paying fees or submitting complaints,” the survey said.
In addition, the Center for Digital Government was impressed by the county’s expanding use of geographic information systems (GIS) data. Over the past couple of years, it has used mapping technology to track everything from heat and flooding to development in Tysons and Reston.
In general, the D.C. region performed well in this year’s Digital Counties Survey, securing first place in all five population-based categories.
The leaders — including Arlington for the 150,000-249,999 people category and Prince William for 250,000-499,999 people — were united by their prioritization of collaboration and inclusion, Government Technology said when announcing the results.
“Collaboration and inclusion were critical factors to their success,” GovTech said. “Their commitment to equity ensured that the benefits of technological advancements were accessible to all residents, ensuring widespread access to resources and creating a more inclusive digital landscape.”
Photo via Adi Goldstein/Unsplash
The Madison Warhawks have a new award to add to their ever-growing collection of championship trophies.
James Madison High School’s athletic program ranked as the best among Northern Virginia public schools for the 2022-2023 academic year, The Washington Post has decreed based on a scoring system that the paper describes as “well-considered — if unscientific.”
Boasting strong performances from individual athletes and teams across sports, the Vienna school edged out rival Langley High School for the top spot, even though the Saxons actually won five state titles to Madison’s three.
“The Madison Warhawks, long a consistent Class 6 power, top our rankings for the best public program in the Northern Virginia suburbs,” the Post said. “The Warhawks were boosted by their success in several sports. They finished with three state championships (baseball, boys’ lacrosse, girls’ basketball), and six of their programs finished their respective seasons in our top 10 or top 20 rankings.”
Securing its sixth state championship ever and second in three years in June, Madison’s baseball team grabbed the national spotlight last week when star pitcher and slugger Bryce Eldridge got drafted by the San Francisco Giants.
Eldridge was named player of the year by the Washington Post, one of 26 Warhawks to make the paper’s annual All-Met teams recognizing the top student-athletes in the D.C. area — another factor considered in the new best program awards, along with title wins and end-of-season rankings.
The boys’ lacrosse team concluded 13-game winning streak on June 9 with its second consecutive state title, while the girls’ basketball team took the court in March for its ninth title game — the most in Class 6 history — and emerged with a fourth straight championship.
Ranking second on the Post’s list of Northern Virginia’s best high school athletic programs, Langley High School in McLean landed state championships in golf, both boys and girls’ tennis, boys’ swim and dive, and girls’ track and field in the 2022-2023 season.
The Saxons also had 27 All-Mets selections, including coach of the year for girls’ tennis head coach Ellie Wallace, but only one of its teams ended its season in the Post’s top 10 or 20 rankings.
Fairfax, Robinson and West Springfield high school also made the Post’s list of the best public school sports programs in Northern Virginia, landing at no. 7, 8 and 10, respectively.
To come up with its lists, which also honored the top public and private school programs in D.C. and Maryland, the Post’s high school sports staff developed a scoring system that awarded points based on state champion and runner-up status, All-Met selections, and its end-of-season rankings.
While a championship and no. 1 rank were worth 20 points, the most of any factor, a player or coach of the year award garnered more points (10) than an All-Met first-team selection (5) or honorable mention (1), for example.
The full lists and further explanation of the points system can be found in the Post’s story.
Some of the D.C. region’s hottest new restaurants can be found right in Fairfax County, according to the Washington Post’s recently released spring dining guide.
Restaurants in the county claimed four spots on longtime food critic Tom Sietsema’s round-up of his favorite newcomers to the regional dining scene — more than any locality other than the District itself.
Leading the pack is Kirby Club, the eastern Mediterranean restaurant that launched in the Mosaic District late last year. The new concept from the restauranteurs behind D.C.’s Compass Rose and Maydān ranked no. 3 on Sietsema’s list, which highlights 25 eateries where he would “be happy to go on my own dollar.”
Read what sets Kirby Club apart: https://t.co/pWuE9RQtlh
Tag a friend who needs to try their signature kebabs and dips this summer. 👇
📸 : @mariahmirandaphoto pic.twitter.com/5qzBC5UDiy
— Mosaic (@mosaicdistrict) May 19, 2023
Opened on Dec. 20, 2022, Kirby Club drew praise for its “always sunny” atmosphere and menu of kebabs and dips, which Sietsema says remain “luscious” even though original chef Omar Hegazi has returned to his home base in New York.
He also highlighted the restaurant’s offerings of both share-able platters and plates fit for one:
Non-sharers will rejoice over the plates for one, featuring a variety of kebabs — chicken, lamb, oyster (mushroom) — that feel like a feast given the fluffy yellow rice, sumac-spiked onions and bright salad that accompany them. “Picnic platters” are a throwback to Previte’s childhood memories of Labor Day spreads with the Kirby Club, a Lebanese social group her maternal grandparents helped found in 1933 in Akron, Ohio. My ongoing fascination is the whole roast chicken, massaged with garlic, turmeric and oil and presented on a raft of flatbread with the aforementioned rice and salad, but also crinkle-cut fries sprinkled with za’atar and a rainbow of sauces.
After initially opening with evening hours only, Kirby Club has expanded its operations to include lunch and to-go options. A second location is in the works in Clarendon.
“We love being a part of the vibrant Fairfax County community and welcoming in so many local friends and family to Kirby Club in the Mosaic District every day,” Kirby Club owner Rose Previte said. “It’s wonderful to have the Washington Post celebrating so many restaurants we know and love.”
Unranked after the top five, the guide also gives some love to Ingle Korean Steakhouse and Jiwa Singapura, signaling that Tysons may at last be breaking free of its reputation as purely an American-steak-and-business kind of town.
Ingle Korean Steakhouse at Pike 7 Plaza instantly won the Post’s food critic over with elegant decor, attentive servers, “distinctive cocktails” and “delicious dips” for its array of grilled meats and seafood.
For Jiwa Singapura, which opened on Feb. 15 in Tysons Galleria, Sietsema emphasizes the luxuriousness of the food and the setting, which he says suggests “a fine-dining lair.” He points to the salted egg shrimp, chicken rice and chili crab as menu highlights, though the “beef rendang isn’t worth the 30-minute wait.”
Moving outside the Tysons area — and price range — Sari Filipino Kusina rounds out the Fairfax County entries in the guide. Sietsema says the fast-casual Filipino restaurant in Annandale stands out for the “haunting” flavors of dishes like kare kare stew and smoked chicken wings glazed with adobo, which draw on co-owner and chef Paolo Dungca’s childhood in Manila.
Fairfax County fared well overall in recently released rankings of the best places to live in America, but it couldn’t quite compete with neighboring Loudoun County.
Fairfax County was named the 25th best county to live in nationally and the third best in Virginia by Niche, an online data platform that reviews localities with the goal of helping families choose schools and neighborhoods.
“Fairfax County is one of the best places to live in Virginia,” Niche said in its profile of the county. “…Most residents own their homes. In Fairfax County there are a lot of restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. Many families and young professionals live in Fairfax County and residents tend to be liberal. The public schools in Fairfax County are highly rated.”
In the 2023 rankings published on March 20, Fairfax County trailed Loudoun, which placed at No. 12 in America and at No. 1 in Virginia, and York County (No. 15 nationally, No. 2 statewide).
The primary culprit in Fairfax County’s lower ranking appears to be housing, where it scored a “B” compared to the “A” given to Loudoun and “A-” for York.
Niche says the housing grade is calculated based on home values, property taxes, housing costs, local schools and more. Housing is among the most heavily weighted factors in the Best Counties to Live ranking, behind the percentage of residents with a higher education degree and the cost of living.
According to Niche, Fairfax County has a median home value of $569,100 and a median rent of $2,033 — about twice as high as the national averages of $244,900 and $1,163, respectively.
The county also trailed Loudoun when it came to jobs, getting a B- where its neighbor got an A. Those scores were based on employment rates, job and economic growth, and cost of living, where both counties earned C grades.
Fairfax County received marks of A or A+ for its public schools, health and fitness, diversity, family-friendly living, and outdoor activities. It got A- for nightlife, B- for weather and C+ for commute times and methods.
With its high grades for schools and health, Fairfax County snagged the top spot on the list for Healthiest Counties in Virginia and the No. 2 spot for Counties with the Best Public Schools in Virginia, behind York County. Nationally, it landed at No. 6 for health and No. 32 for schools.
Niche has named Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania, a neighborhood of Philadelphia, as the best place to live in the country for four consecutive years.
D.C. Area Sees Rise in Teacher Resignations –“Resignations spiked enormously at the end of the 2021-2022 academic year in D.C. Public Schools and in several Northern Virginia districts, including Fairfax County…Educators say the reasons for resigning vary. But some cite the difficulty teachers faced readjusting students, many of whom had grown accustomed to pandemic-era remote education, to in-classroom learning this past year.” [The Washington Post]
Police Chief Addresses Gun-Pointing Incident — The Fairfax County Police Department released body camera footage on Friday (July 15) of officers pointing their guns at a person who was filming them outside a West Falls Church IHOP. Chief Kevin Davis said he understands “the anxiety that folks in the community have after seeing this video go viral” but defended the officers’ actions. [WTOP]
Fairfax County Among Wealthiest Counties in U.S. — “A five-year survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau looked at median household income to determine the wealthiest counties in the country…With a median household income of $127,866, Fairfax County arrives on the list at number five.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]
Staffing Challenges Affect County Trash Pickups — “Fairfax County residents have been experiencing trash pickup delays for several months, but Dave Lyons, director of the Fairfax Workers Coalition, said he wants them to know that’s not only because of the pandemic or the strained labor market.” [Fairfax County Times]
Vienna Resident Says No to Leaf Blowers — “Vienna could be more pleasant, family friendly and healthier if the town banned the use of cosmetic lawn chemicals and noisy gas-powered leaf blowers, resident Avril Garland told the Town Council July 11. Both of those policies already have been implemented in Montgomery County, Md., said Garland” [Sun Gazette]
Vienna Considers Removing Church Spire — “Church steeples add interest and variety to Vienna’s skyline, but the one at the former Faith Baptist Church likely will be coming down. The Vienna Town Council at its Aug. 29 meeting will consider a proposal to remove the spire at the former church.” [Sun Gazette]
Reston Woman Made Disguises for CIA — “A 27-year veteran of the U.S. intelligence community, [Jonna] Mendez unmasks the secrets of how she helped transform the CIA in her new memoir, titled ‘In True Face,’ available early next year. Mendez, now 77, developed shockingly realistic methods for instantly changing appearances, carrying concealed cameras, and protecting operatives in the field.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]
School Board Selects New Chair — “The Fairfax County School Board has elected Rachna Sizemore Heizer (Member-at-Large) as chair and Tamara Derenak Kaufax (Franconia District Representative) as vice chair for a one-year term. The chair and vice chair assumed office at the July 14 School Board meeting” [FCPS]
Huntington Affordable Housing Apartments Now Leasing — “The Arden — a 126-unit affordable housing community developed, owned, and operated by Wesley Housing — is nearing completion and leasing activities have just begun! Apartment homes at The Arden will be available for applicants earning between 40 and 80 percent of the Area Median Income.” [Housing and Community Development]
See Fairfax County Police Officers Rescue Man From Smoke — “Our officers do amazing work every day. Watch as two officers from our Franconia District Station save a man trapped in a smoked-filled apartment.” [FCPD/Twitter]
It’s Monday — Rain in the evening. High of 85 and low of 74. Sunrise at 5:59 am and sunset at 8:33 pm. [Weather.gov]
West Potomac Soccer Coaches Fired After Hazing — “In a message to West Potomac High School soccer families, Principal Tanganyika Millard said that after an April 21 practice, a ‘parent reported a student was injured after being singled out to run through a ‘gauntlet/tunnel.” Head coach Ahmad Sasso and two other coaches were fired after the incident.” [WTOP]
Dead Firefighter Escorted to Funeral Home — “#FCFRD members gathered to salute Captain Kimberly Schoppa during her dignified transfer. Units from her last assignment, Fire Station 27, West Springfield, carried her to the funeral home. Thank you to Fairfax County Police Department for the escort.” [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department/Facebook]
FCPS Alum Goes to Space — NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, a graduate of Robinson Secondary School, is part of a four-person crew that was scheduled to blast off to the International Space Station this morning (Wednesday) for SpaceX’s next mission. Lindgren was one of 18 astronauts selected by NASA in 2020 for its Artemis Team, an initiative to get humans back to the moon. [Florida Today]
Alpacas Make Fairfax County Courthouse Appearance — “By the time the alpacas arrive outside the Fairfax County Courthouse, it’s not really that surprising…The scene outside the Depp-Heard trial, entering its third week on Monday, has transformed the Fairfax County court complex from a place where Northern Virginia residents contest parking tickets to the stage for one of the biggest celebrity court cases in recent memory.” [The Washington Post]
TJ Tops National School Rankings — “Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County was ranked No. 1 in the nation, according to a new national ranking by U.S. News and World Report. This year’s list of best high schools evaluated more than 17,800 schools nationwide, including 322 in Virginia.” [Patch]
Vienna Students Write Cards for Ukrainian Refugees — “Students at Freedom Hill Elementary School in Vienna wrote stacks of cards to Ukrainian refugees for their principal to deliver on his spring break trip to Germany. Principal Nicholas Zapadka…decided to travel to Cologne in early April to help Ukrainian refugees who had arrived at a Red Cross refugee camp in Germany.” [Patch]
Mantua Home with Squatter Sold — “The home went off the market on April 15 for $805,000. It was built in 1964 and was last sold in 1997 for $319,000. The owner’s name was withheld by request on the Fairfax County auditor’s site. The new buyer’s name also was not listed.” [WUSA9]
It’s Wednesday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 55 and low of 41. Sunrise at 6:17 am and sunset at 7:59 pm. [Weather.gov]
The hospitality giant Hilton and financial corporation Capital One both made the top 10 of Fortune’s 2022 list of the “100 Best Companies to Work for” in the U.S., released on April 11.
The rankings were determined by a nationwide survey that garnered responses from over 870,000 workers and data from companies that collectively have more than 6.1 million employees, according to Fortune and the workplace culture data platform Great Place to Work, which have compiled the list annually for the past 25 years.
Hilton, which moved its global headquarters to 7930 Jones Branch Drive in 2009, was named the second-best company to work for in the country — its seventh consecutive year on the list and up from its #3 ranking the previous year.
“I’m so proud of our team members and everything they’ve done to share the light and warmth of hospitality with our guests, especially over the last two years,” Chris Nassetta, Hilton’s president and CEO, said in a press release. “This recognition is a testament to what we’ve built together at Hilton.”
In its news release, the hotel company highlighted recent efforts to expand employee benefits, including parental leave, bereavement leave, adoption assistance, mental health resources, and continuing education.
The company also said it remains committed to improving the diversity of its workforce, aiming to achieve global gender parity and make 25% of its U.S. corporate leadership people of color by 2027.
After coming in at #9 in 2021, Capital One (1680 Capital One Drive) dropped a spot to #10 in the 2022 list, with 93% of employees calling it a “great place to work for.” Workers also reported that the company made them feel welcome when they joined and lets them take time off when necessary.
According to Fortune and Great Place to Work, the ability to create an environment where employees felt supported and valued — even with the uncertainty and challenges brought by the pandemic — separated the “Best Companies” from average ones, where just 52% of workers said they thought management sincerely cared about them.
“Most importantly, they took action,” Great Place to Work CEO Michael Bush said of the companies on this year’s list. “They focused less on broad policies and more on what each person needed — in real, tangible ways. This transformed mental health assistance, elder care support, childcare and isolation support resources.”