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by ARLnow.com — September 2, 2014 at 5:15 pm 1,000 0

A Shirlington-based firm is the fastest-growing U.S. company outside of California, according to the recently-released Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America.

Reliant Asset Management has 9 employees working from its headquarters at 2900 S. Quincy Street — behind Carlyle restaurant — and last year reported $85.1 million in revenue. That’s up from $153,125 in 2010, when it was founded, for a whopping 55,460 percent three-year growth rate.

Also known by the acronym RAM, the company rents modular housing, offices and classrooms to oil companies, hospitals, schools and other entities. Housing for oil field workers in remote parts of Texas, North Dakota and Canada accounts for about two-thirds of its business, according to Barry Roman, who co-founded the company with his brother, Michael.

The only companies growing faster are a healthy snack company and a kid-friendly tech company, both coincidentally located in the same southern California city.

“We’re very excited about it… it’s thrilling to be No. 3,” Barry Roman told ARLnow.com. “Since the first two were in El Segundo, California, we can say we’re the fastest growing company east of El Segundo.”

Roman said the company is currently helping to house nearly 4,000 oil workers, in temporary facilities that include 24-hour kitchens, gyms and entertainment options, plus integrated security and transportation infrastructure.

“It’s a self-enclosed town,” Roman said. “These oil companies are looking for oil in very remote locations and they want their workers to be well taken care of. There’s not much around.”

Roman said the company has been able to manage its stratospheric growth thanks to good planning and strategic outsourcing of functions like catering, transpiration and security.

“We recognized it as a very fast-growing market so we went at it hard,” he said. The company currently has about 150 employees — most of whom are outside of Arlington — and plans to continue hiring and growing.

Roman said RAM’s headquarters is likely to remain in Shirlington, which was chosen due to its proximity to the highway, Reagan National Airport, downtown D.C., and the founders’ homes.

“We love it… it’s a great place to be,” Roman said. “It’s a Class A office building at a good rate and it’s very convenient. It’s a good place to attract employees… everyone can find it and it’s easy to get to.”

RAM has not received any sort of plaque from Inc. in recognition of the honor, but Roman said it did receive a copy of the magazine in the mail.

Other Arlington-based companies cracking the top 1,000 of the Inc. 5000 list include:

  • American Wireless (No. 232) — “Provides carrier-agnostic contract and prepaid wireless plans and devices”
  • Heartland Energy Partners (No. 256) — “Helps clients develop and manage programs and assets in the fields of energy and environment, IT, infrastructure protection, and health care”
  • Fonteva (No. 286) — “Provides enterprise resource protocol and development tools on the Salesforce.com platform”
  • R3 Government Solutions (No. 530) — “Provides large-scale program management, process improvement, and workforce management services to federal clients”
  • Opower (No. 635) — “Combines a cloud-based platform, big data, and behavioral science to help utilities around the world reduce energy consumption”
  • Kitewire (No. 901) — “Develops mobile device management software for government and private sector clients”

by ARLnow.com — September 2, 2014 at 3:30 pm 1,363 0

Police car (file photo)An Arlington County Police K-9 took a bite out of crime Monday night following a car chase on the GW Parkway.

Around 9:30 p.m., on the southbound lanes of the parkway near Route 123, U.S. Park Police began chasing two suspects driving recklessly in a stolen vehicle, according to Park Police spokeswoman Lelani Woods.

The vehicle pursuit ended on the ramp to Key Bridge when the suspects lost control of the car, wrecked and fled on foot.

Arlington County officers, a K-9 unit and the Park Police Eagle 1 helicopter assisted with the ensuing search for the suspects near Rosslyn. The police dog — K-9 “Hugo” — was able to track and apprehend one of the suspects.

The suspect was taken into custody and checked out by paramedics for a bite wound, said ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — September 2, 2014 at 2:30 pm 504 0

Ask Adam header

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Adam Gallegos of Arlington-based real estate firm Arbour Realty, voted one of Arlington Magazine’s Best Realtors of 2013 & 2014. Please submit your questions via email.

Q. We’re going to be selling our house in Arlington. Between my wife and I, we have six real estate agents in our network of friends, including the wonderful person who helped us buy our home. How should we pick who to use?

A. For most people, their home is their most valuable asset they have. That being the case, you should treat this purely as a business decision. It should go without saying that this is not a contest to be won by who you like the most, but who will produce the best results.

There are thousands of real estate agents in the D.C. area. Their level of experience, areas of expertise, organizational skills and ethics vary wildly. Not to mention their marketing, sales and negotiation skills. Commenters on my previous articles have shared many a horror story about the person they unfortunately chose to work with in the past.

I’ll provide some criteria to use in your evaluation, but I’m guessing you intuitively have a hunch who would be the best choice.

Experience — I am much less interested in how many years someone has been in the business as I am by how many transactions they been involved in like yours. You want someone who who can skillfully handle all the situations that may present themselves during the home sale process.

Time – Make sure that they have enough time to make your listing a priority. Ask how many other active and under contract listings they have right now. If they are also working with buyers, find out how many buyers they are helping. You’ll have to compare these numbers amongst the agents you are evaluating to decide what you feel comfortable with.

Niche – Do they have a niche or are they a generalist? If they do have a niche, does it fit with the home you are trying to sell? Think of it this way… if you had a serious health concern, wouldn’t you seek out the specialist who is most qualified to help you?

Marketing — ask to see examples of the marketing they do. Ask what things they are doing to market properties that are beyond the norm. This one is huge in my opinion.

Negotiation – ask about their strategies for negotiating in the current market. Bonus if they can show you examples of their results.

Violations – check the DPOR website to see if they have open or closed complaints against them. You may also want to check Yelp and Angie’s List for reviews.

Team or Individual – teams have become very popular in the real estate community and they come in all shapes and sizes. Understand up front who you are going to be working with and in what capacity.

It’s also important to pick someone you feel comfortable working with. If these are friends of yours, you probably have a good feel for this one and how similar your styles of communication are. For example, if you prefer email and texting, don’t pick the agent who is still dialing in to an AOL account.

I hope this helps. Having been in situations like this before, it is best to be up front and honest with the parties involved. They may not love your decision, but they will respect it if they are true friends.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

by Ethan Rothstein — September 2, 2014 at 1:30 pm 499 0

Arlington County’s Department of Parks and Recreation has released a video encouraging families to sign up children for activities, even if they are going through financial hardship.

“Don’t let fees be a barrier to signing up your child,” the video’s narrator says. “Arlington wants to ensure that every child has an opportunity to learn, grow and have fun all year round.”

The parks department offers families 50 percent off all parks and recreation programs if qualified for reduced-price lunches at Arlington Public Schools. If the family qualifies for free lunches in schools, it only has to pay 25 percent of the full fee to participate, according to Parks and Rec spokeswoman Susan Kalish.

“Individuals and families without children may also qualify for fee reductions or a temporary hardship fee reduction based on a variety of other documents (such as completed income taxes or proof of benefits such as WIC or SNAP),” Kalish said in an email. “Fee reduction level is based on household size and the total net income.”

Temporary hardships include a loss of a job or divorce, Kalish said, and residents hoping to apply for a reduced fee also need to provide proof. To apply, a resident can visit any community center with a photo ID and fill out the required forms. The county’s website provides a list of acceptable documents individuals and families can use to prove they qualify for reduced fees.

The program, which has been going on for “a number of years,” currently serves about 1,500 residents with reduced fees, Kalish said.

by Andrea Swalec — September 2, 2014 at 12:00 pm 1,380 0

Elementary school students got moving and learned about pedestrian safety on the first day of school in Arlington Tuesday morning.

With a police escort, families walked from Fort Barnard Park to Drew Model Elementary School in Nauck as part of a joint pedestrian and cyclist safety initiative by Arlington Public Schools and the Arlington County Police Department.

The new program encourages families to create healthy habits and discuss how to stay safe, Arlington Superintendent Dr. Pat Murphy said.

“The message is safety for students both coming from and going to school,” Murphy said before families strolled in the post-Labor Day heat.

Keeping kids safe on streets using “the 3 ‘E’s” of engineering, education and traffic law enforcement are a top priority of the county, added Larry Marcus, Arlington’s transportation, engineering and operations bureau chief.

As she walked her 3-year-old son Kanoa to his first day of Montessori school, lifelong Nauck resident Jaque Tuck, 30, said she wanted to teach her child healthy habits.

“On his very first day, we wanted to let him know everything is okay and to give him some exercise,” the child protective services employee said alongside her husband, real estate agent Karl Tuck.

Julia Stewart, a substitute teacher at the school, said she opted to walk her 11-year-old son Braden and 7-year-old son Tristan to class as a way to build community.

“I wanted to meet people who live in the neighborhood and go to school with us,” Stewart said. “You make it kind of a walking bus.”

Arlington families were notified about a month ago if they lived in a “bus zone” or a “walk zone” — and were encouraged to walk if possible, a department spokeswoman said.

Principal Darryl Evans encouraged Drew Elementary parents to walk their kids to school and supplement the two crossing guards who have posts near the school.

“We have a lot of children who walk in our community. It’s important that the adults help us out,” he said about school with 671 students enrolled this fall.

In a related pedestrian and cyclist safety campaign, some ACPD patrol cars now have rear stickers — with the words “PAL (Predictable, Alert, Lawful)” — that remind drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to share the road.

The release of the decals coincides with enforcement of the state law enacted July 1 requiring that drivers pass “at a reasonable speed” at least three feet from a cyclist they pass, according to a statement issued by the county.

ACPD stepped up high-visibility safety patrols around schools today for the beginning of the school year.

by Ethan Rothstein — September 2, 2014 at 11:05 am 1,499 0

View of Clarendon to Ballston from a commercial flight (Flickr pool photo by Ddimick)A new, county-funded study, polling young professionals who live and/or work in Arlington, found those who live in the county do so because of their job, not necessarily because of its amenities or social scene.

The study was conducted by the Southeastern Institute of Research on behalf of Arlington Economic Development, and polled 400 residents who identify as either Millennials or Generation X-ers. Of those polled, 139 live and work in Arlington, 137 live in Arlington and work elsewhere and 124 work in Arlington and commute from the surrounding area.

Of those who live and work in Arlington, 45 percent said they live in the county because of their job or because of “professional opportunities,” while 39 percent of those who live in Arlington and work elsewhere said they are in the county for professional reasons. “Location” was the second-most popular reason given to live in Arlington, followed by “friends/social scene.”

“Arlington County does not appear to be an area [young professionals] consider initially beyond a focus on a job opportunity,” the study’s authors, two AED interns, write. “It is not a place with YPs who have strong roots there or who are moving there for the people. With this being a strength, Arlington County should lead with jobs when promoting the area to YPs. During a time when it is hard for young people to find a job, this may prove a great strength for Arlington.”

Young professionals, despite moving to Arlington largely for work reasons, like living in the county, with 89 percent of people who live in the county calling it “a great place to live.” Eighty percent of respondents who live and work in the county also called it a “great place to live.”

“There is a great opportunity among those who only work in the County to showcase the reasons why Arlington is a great place to live,” the study says. “These respondents are not likely to recommend Arlington County as a place to live and when asked if they were to consider living in the County, only three in ten say they would. One of the goals moving forward should be to decrease these gaps.”

The top reason among those who work, but don’t live, in Arlington for living elsewhere was the cost of housing.

“I couldn’t even rent a spare bedroom for under $1500 in a decent neighborhood,” one respondent said. “Rent/housing is way too expensive.”

Flickr pool photo by Ddimick

by Ethan Rothstein — September 2, 2014 at 10:00 am 0

Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County.

If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form. Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Tuesday

Bond Film FestJames Bond Film Festival
Shirlington Branch Library (4200 Campbell Ave.)
Time: 6:00-8:30 p.m.

Shirlington’s library kicks off its six-week James Bond film festival — with a movie from every Bond — with Sean Connery and the classic “From Russia With Love.” The event is free.

Thursday

Dominion ALEC rallyRally for Climate and Democracy
ALEC Headquarters (2900 Crystal Drive)
Time: noon-1:00 p.m.

Environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, host a protest of the American Legislative Exchange Council, calling on Dominion Power to “sever its ties” with ALEC. RSVP online here.

Port City Tap Takeover flyerPort City Beer Night*
RedRocks Pizzeria (2501 Columbia Pike)
Time: 5:30-9:30 p.m.

RedRocks in Penrose Square hosts a tap takeover for Alexandria-based Port City Brewing, which is hosting a launch party for its fall seasonal, Oktoberfest. Parking is free with validation.

Friday

Ryan HamiltonLive Comedy: Ryan Hamilton
Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 7:30 p.m.

Comic Ryan Hamilton, who has appeared on Conan and Last Comic Standing, takes the Drafthouse stage with his completely clean act. Hamilton also performs at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $20.

Yum album artLive Music: Yum, A Marc Train Home
IOTA Club & Cafe (2832 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 8:30 p.m.

Northern Virginia-based indie pop/rock band Yum headlines a three-act set at IOTA, preceded by Joshua Johnson and A Marc Train Home. Tickets are $10 at the door only.

Saturday

Antique car spotted in ClarendonAntique Car Show for Charity*
Knights of Columbus (5115 Little Falls Road)
Time: 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

The Knights of Columbus host their annual car show to benefit Honor Flight Network, a charity for WWII veterans. More than 75 cars could be present. Registration is $15.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

by ARLnow.com — September 2, 2014 at 9:15 am 1,193 0

Arlington Democrats pie-eating contest 2014 (Flickr pool photo by Alan Kotok)

Today Is Terrible Traffic Tuesday — AAA Mid-Atlantic has again dubbed today Terrible Traffic Tuesday. With vacations over and kids back in school, rush hour trips are expected to increase in length by 26 percent today, on average. Washington, the auto club says, has the worst rush hour traffic in the nation. [AAA Mid-Atlantic]

Fairfax School May Be Model for Arlington – Fairfax County unveiled a new five-story urban-style elementary school, with tech-laden and light-filled classrooms. The school, in the Seven Corners area, may be a model for a future school in Arlington, which is struggling to find enough open space for new schools. [InsideNova]

Shuttleworth Wins Pie-Eating Contest — Bowen Shuttleworth, the son of former Congressional candidate Bruce Shuttleworth and an emerging track champ, emerged victorious in the pie-eating contest (photo, above) at the annual Arlington County Democratic Committee Labor Day chili cookoff on Monday. The cookoff itself was interrupted by thunderstorms.

Flickr pool photo by Alan Kotok

by Ethan Rothstein — August 29, 2014 at 5:30 pm 852 0

Rep. Jim Moran visits the Phoenix House treatment center near Ballston

This is Part Three of a three-part series on the career of Rep. Jim Moran, who will leave office in January. Click to read Part One and Part Two

Rep. Jim Moran is 69 years old and thrice-divorced, with the last split leaving him nearly broke. Moran reported no assets or liabilities in his financial disclosure report in 2010, in the middle of his divorce with businesswoman LuAnn Bennett, according to The Washington Post. He took home his congressional salary and a $10,000 teaching fee from George Mason University.

No longer as strapped for cash, the former stockbroker says he has no plans to retire from working when he leaves Congress, and will seek a high-paying job.

“It’s a little embarrassing that I don’t own my own home or even my own car,” Moran says. “I need to make a little money because I’ve got four grandkids and my daughter is getting married. I’d like to have something to leave to them.”

Moran can’t conduct job negotiations while he’s still in Congress and said he can’t speculate much on what his next move will be. But he has two criteria, in addition to being paid a comfortable salary: doing something “meaningful” and “purposeful,” and working with people “I like, respect and [who] share my values.”

Though he’ll be a septuagenarian just a handful of months after he leaves office, Moran doesn’t act or look the part of a doddering senior.

“I still have the physical and mental capacity to take on a new career,” he says, “so I think it’s time to do that.”

*******

The two men seeking to replace Moran in the Nov. 4 general election, Democrat Don Beyer and Republican Micah Edmond, couldn’t be more different.

Beyer, 64, is the heavy favorite in the race and has Moran’s endorsement. He’s a former lieutenant governor, a former U.S. ambassador to Switzerland and the owner of four Volvo dealerships that bear his name. During the heated Democratic primary, during which as many as 12 candidates competed, Beyer’s opponents criticized him for running ads for his car dealerships on local news stations, including Del. Patrick Hope (D-47). “Nobody should be allowed to buy an election,” he said.

Micah EdmondEdmond, 40, is a Jewish and African-American Marine Corps veteran and former congressional staffer. He was chosen as the Republican candidate in a nominating convention. Described by Patrick Murray, the Republican challenger to Moran in the past two elections, as a candidate with “a lot of energy,” Edmond says Moran hasn’t tried nearly as hard in recent years.

“There seems to be no focus. It’s like he’s just there,” Edmond said in a phone interview with ARLnow.com. “That happens when people serve a long time… People just got really sick and tired of not having a real choice and a real race. Every two years, the Republican party was just throwing someone up there and it hasn’t been competitive.”

Edmond said he wants to focus on advocating for minorities and immigrants who he feels have been under-represented under Moran’s leadership.

“This district is now about 43 percent minority, and he doesn’t represent that diversity,” Edmond says. “Since I came [to Alexandria] in ’98, the minority community has just been shocked at how the level of influence and access to things has shrunk, and I don’t think Jim Moran has been a voice for that.”

Beyer’s lone criticism of Moran’s tenure was the remark Moran made in 2003 about the “Jewish community’s” push for the Iraq War. Outside of that gaffe, Beyer said he can only hope to fill Moran’s shoes.

Don Beyer“People talk a lot about what we’re going to miss,” Beyer told ARLnow.com from his home in Old Town Alexandria. “The defense contractor market is really going to miss his appropriations chairmanship. Animal rights advocates are going to miss him and federal employees are going to miss him.

“I don’t have any unrealistic expectations that I’m going to step into his shoes,” Beyer said. He said he’s trying to avoid “measuring the drapes” before the election, but if elected, “we have to be authentic, we have to be who we are. Forty years in business, as an ambassador and lieutenant governor have positioned me to hit the ground running better. We’re thinking about how do I be more than just another freshman? How can I have a greater influence?”

Although Beyer isn’t measuring the drapes — and Republicans certainly aren’t counting themselves out, considering it’s the first time they’re not facing an incumbent for more than two decades — most in the area consider the seat Beyer’s to lose.

That group includes Moran. In all of his campaigns, Moran never once called Beyer and asked for a campaign donation. Beyer was puzzled and bemused by that – he would have happily donated, and did anyway — while Moran said he didn’t call because “Don’s just such a nice guy.”

Moran said he thinks that quality will serve Beyer well if elected.

“I know he’s going to listen to all of the district, not just the first in line,” Moran said. “Don’s going to be terrific. I’m hoping he can raise enough money that he can move into the leadership.” (more…)

by Nick Anderson — August 29, 2014 at 2:30 pm 383 0

Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway). I spent last week on vacation visiting my best friend in Los Angeles. When we were planning…

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