After Reggie Holmes was laid off from his job, he decided to take control of his career path and begin his own business, Enthuse Creative.
Since its founding in Tysons around 2013, the company has branched out to offer customers a variety of branding, strategy and design services — helping clients develop a unique sense of identity, according to Holmes.
Enthuse Creative operates as a multi-functional branding agency to help companies distinguish their talents and focus their efforts. Though the final product will vary depending on a clients’ needs, Holmes said he wants to help people target their own sense of identity and market.
Regarding the creation of Enthuse Creative in 2013, Holmes said he “wanted to be in a position where I could create my own opportunities,” adding that the ability to be creative and think outside of the box in his professional career is important for him as an art degree graduate.
When Holmes was in the process of the career transition, he said he realized that creative positions were “tenuous,” especially if someone wasn’t a high-up and wanted to solidify their career.
Coming up with the name for his company, Holmes said that “‘to enthuse’ means to build joy or happiness, so at the end of the day I want to help businesses be enthusiastic about their brand.”
Since the beginning of 2020, Enthuse has worked with roughly 20 different clients, many of whom come from different backgrounds and need various degrees of assistance, Holmes said.
One of the most inspiring projects Holmes said he worked on was a campaign for Meridian International Group, which promotes global leadership and U.S. diplomacy efforts.
For the group, Holmes said he helped to create an annual report, as well as marketing materials and a logo for a specific program.
“It’s great to know work I’m doing is being seen outside the United States,” he said, adding that he found it humbling to help improve the quality of life for people he will likely never meet.
As a one-man-show, Holmes said he often hires freelancers and partners from around the area to help him keep up with the workload.
In the summer of 2019, Holmes became the co-chair of marketing for the Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce and is now on the chamber’s board. He said he volunteers with the group, working to align upcoming businesses with the chamber, promoting economic success and helping to organize events such as Tysons 2050.
Currently, the group is trying to rebrand their image, according to Holmes, who didn’t feel at liberty to expand.
“We recognize the need to go a little bit deeper and create a compelling case as to why a business should partner with us to keep growing,” he said.
Photo courtesy Reggie Holmes
A panel of local businesswomen will lead a discussion next week in Tysons on communication and leadership as a woman.
The “Taking the Lead with No Apologies” event is hosted by the Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce Women’s Leadership Committee. The event’s description says it will offer simple, easy-to-use tips to help women communicate effectively in the workplace.
The event will be held at Embassy Suites Tysons (8517 Leesburg Pike) on Wednesday (Feb. 27) from 5-7 p.m.
The panel is scheduled to be moderated by Virginia Case, a strategist for Falls Church-based marketing agency Strategic Tactical Marketing, LLC. The panelists will be:
- Nicole Geller, senior director of Springer Lawson & Associates
- Michelle Walker, founder of Trebla Consulting
- Danielle Turcola, president of Professionalism International, Inc.
Tickets are $35 for members, $45 for non-members, or $65 for a two-ticket pack.
Photo via Facebook
‘Historic’ Tysons Apple Store May Move — “When Apple opened its first two retail spaces just hours apart at Tysons Corner Center and Glendale Galleria on May 19, 2001, nobody predicted the cultural impact and broad success Apple stores would have across the world. Now, that same success may cause Apple to leave the space that sparked a revolution in retail.” [9to5Mac]
New Tysons Chamber Chair Focusing on Growth — “‘When I look around Tysons, I can’t help but notice that we have one of the biggest darned fishing poles in the state of Virginia,’ he said. ‘There’s a lot of opportunity out there. All you have to do is look out these windows and see the construction, traffic and development.'” [InsideNova]
County Grappling with Government Shutdown — “One couple that contacted [Rep. Jennifer] Wexton had to return Christmas presents. Since they work for the same federal agency and are now both furloughed, they are now worried that they will not be able to pay their mortgage or the cost of their son’s preschool.” [Fairfax Times]
Vienna Council Squabbles Over Proclamations — “The Vienna Town Council on Jan. 7 approved, if a tad irritably, approved a pair of proclamations regarding social issues beyond its usual scope of duties… Council member Carey Sienicki, while not disputing the Council’s good intentions in signing off on the proclamations, wondered if those actions weren’t a little far afield.” [InsideNova]
Hedge Fund Gunning for Gannett — Tysons-based newspaper giant Gannett is considering a takeover offer from “a hedge-fund-backed media group known for buying up struggling local papers and cutting costs.” [Wall Street Journal]
Tysons Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in the Tysons area.
We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield and McLean. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!
Tuesday, Jan. 8
Food 4 Thought: Likely Federal Policy and Budget Priorities for 2019
Temple Rodef Shalom (2100 Westmoreland St)
Time: 10-11:30 a.m.
Tim Shaw, senior policy analyst for the Bipartisan Policy Center, will host a discussion of congressional budget priorities. The event is free and open to the public.
Wednesday, Jan. 9
Inca Social Soft Opening
Inca Latin Kitchen (2670 Avenir PL)
Time: 4-9 p.m.
The new Inca Latin Kitchen in Merrifield will host a soft opening this week before a grand opening planned in early February.
Thursday, Jan. 10
Chairman’s VIP Breakfast
The Tower Club (1700 Towers Crescent Drive)
Time: 7:30-10 a.m.
The Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce will host a breakfast with community and business leaders featuring a discussion about the future of Tysons. Admission is $45 for chamber members or $65 for non-chamber members.
Meet Brad Meltzer
Tysons Corner Center Barnes & Noble (7851 Tysons Corner Ctr)
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Old World vs. New World Wines
Chain Bridge Cellars (1351 Chain Bridge Rd)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.
The McLean wine store Chain Bridge Cellars will host an exploration of the difference between old and new world wines. Tickets are $30.
Friday, Jan. 11
Chesterbrook PTA Meeting
Chesterbrook PTA (1753 Kirby Rd)
Time: 9-10 a.m.
The Chesterbrook PTA will host its first meeting of 2019. The meetings are open to members of the Chesterbrook Elementary School community, including parents, guardians, teachers and staff.
Voyages Opening Reception
Torpedo Factory Artists at Mosaic (2905 District Ave)
The Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association will host an opening reception for Voyages, the latest exhibit in the group’s Mosaic District gallery. The gallery will run through Jan. 27.
(Updated at 5 p.m.) It’s fair to say that the Tysons of today might not look the same without Gerry Gordon.
To get some perspective on how much Fairfax has changed since Gordon took over the Fairfax County Economic Development Task Force (FCEDA), these black-and-white satellite pictures of Tysons were taken one year after he became President and CEO of the group in 1987. While there was development, the area was not the metropolis it has become today.
At the end of the year, Gordon will step down from that long-held position and accept a post as a fellow in the College of Charleston in South Carolina.
On Thursday, Nov. 1, the Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce will host a celebration of Gordon’s legacy in Fairfax with support from other select Fairfax Chambers of Commerce. Tickets to the event are $40 for chamber members or $50 for non-members, which includes admission, appetizers and one drink ticket. Event sponsorship tickets are also available for $75. The event will run from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Tower Club (8000 Towers Crescent Drive) in Tysons.
The event is hosted at the center of a region Gordon was instrumental in helping to transform. Some of the largest names plastered across the top of Tysons skyscrapers — Booz Allen, SAIC, Hilton, Capital One, etc — were in part brought to the area by the work of the FCEDA. Recently, Tysons was chosen over the District of Columbia as the expansion choice for KPMG LLC, an auditing firm that will occupy seven floors of The Boro.
The FCEDA, under Gordon’s leadership, works internationally to market Fairfax as a business destination. Since the early 1980s, Fairfax County has grown from 32 million square feet of office space to 117 million, the second largest suburban office market in the nation behind Orange County.
FCEDA is funded by the Fairfax County government. The group is headquartered in Tysons but has locations in Bangalore, London, Los Angeles, Berlin, Seoul and Tel Aviv.
Outside of the business expansions, Gordon has also helped the group build bridges with other regional groups. The FCEDA facilitated the creation of the Multicultural Chamber Alliance, a collaboration of the Virginia Hispanic Chamber and Asian American Chamber of Commerce in Tysons along with the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce in the Mount Vernon area. Earlier this year, Gordon led the groups in signing an even closer agreement of collaboration.
Photo via Facebook
What does the Tysons of 2050 look like?
Tysons 2050, an event hosted by the Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce yesterday at the Tysons Hilton (7920 Jones Branch Drive), brought technology experts across the region together to discuss how trends in cyber-security and AI will impact Tysons.
Rodney Lusk, director of National Marketing for Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, says the County expects 200,000 jobs in the Tysons area and 100,000 residents by 2050.
This growth will continue to spur development, which is well underway in various corners of Tysons. The View, a 3 million-square-foot mixed-use building planned for Tysons, is planned to be 600 feet tall, dwarfing the 470-foot Capital One Tower that currently claims the title of tallest in the region.
As Tysons moves forward, Lusk says there are certain elements beyond just office space and retail needed to make the area more than just a commuter hub. For instance, Lusk said, Tysons will need to have at least two performing arts centers in the area and a research university.
Paul McNeal, the co-founder of CryptoMarket360, said the future Tysons will look like something out of science-fiction.
“If you’ve seen Minority Report or Demolition Man,” said McNeal, “that’s where Tysons is headed in 2050.”
McNeal envisions technology driving Tysons towards a “frictionless society” with interactive ads based on user data and self-driving cars.
But as Tysons moves into the future, one of the main discussions centered on how new technology will also present challenges and opportunities for Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS).
“The student to teacher ratio is going to be 200 to one,” said George Strawn, former National Science Foundation CIO. “But that’s carbon-based teachers. Everyone will have their own silicon tutor.”
Not everyone who spoke saw the future so starkly different as today.
Tarun Upaday, founder of Gallop.ai, said that the artificial intelligence in classrooms will be used more to complement the teachers rather than replace them. Upaday pointed to the current status of chess championships, where the top teams are not brilliant chess players or supercomputers, but fusions of the two that beat solely computers or solely human teams every time.
Upaday also said the work of Pindar Van Arman, whose machine artists were recently on display at Tysons Corner Center, represented what man and machine can accomplish working in harmony.
Falls Church-based education specialist Tosin Adetoro said artificial intelligence can also be used to support student populations that often fall through the cracks of the education system. In particular, Adetoro said personalized AIs have been found to be very helpful for students on the autism spectrum.
Jay Garant, director of Business and Community Partnerships at FCPS, emphasized that as valuable an asset as AI will be, it can’t replace teachers. As students begin to spend more and more of their lives staring at their phone screens, Garant said schools will be critical in teaching empathy.
“When kids begin to fail, they are more likely to [positively interact] with a human than anything else,” said Garant. “That won’t go away.”
The Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Tysons 2050 event tomorrow (Wednesday) will take a look at the challenges and opportunities that come with the title “America’s Next Great City.”
The second annual event, held at the at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner (7920 Jones Branch Drive), features discussions of emerging social and technological trends with a focus on how they will affect Tysons over the next 30 years.
The opening keynote speakers are Daniel Hoffman, a former station chief with the CIA, and Rodney Lusk, coordinator of the national marketing team for the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.
The event will run from 4-8 p.m. Panels are scheduled to cover issues like cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and education, with speakers from both national and local organizations. In addition to panels, an expo will be taking place throughout the event, allowing attendees to try out the futuristic technology.
Registration for Tysons 2050 is $50 for Chamber members and $75 for non-members. Pre-registration for the event closed last night, but on-site registration is available at an additional $10 fee.
Photo via Facebook
Rapid Pace of Tysons Development — The pace of development in Tysons is impressing even seasoned local business people. At a recent Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce breakfast, the gathered crowd was wowed by a slide showing buildings now under construction and approved developments in Tysons. [InsideNova]
Local Firms Place High on Fortune List — From the most recent FCEDA E-Bird: “Hilton and Mars Inc. are among the top three places to work — not just in Fairfax County but in the world according to Fortune.com. San Francisco-based Salesforce, Tysons Corner-based Hilton and McLean-based Mars ranked 1-2-3 based on employee surveys conducted by Fortune partner Great Place to Work around the world. Companies racked up points based on respect, fairness, pride, camaraderie, and trust.” [Fortune]
FCPS Digital Citizenship Week — “This week is Digital Citizenship Week in our county schools and it’s important for parents/guardians to help children become safe, ethical, responsible and respectful digital citizens.” [Fairfax County]
Cvent Makes Big Acquisition — Tysons-based event tech company Cvent has acquired D.C.-based event and venue planning startup Social Tables for, reportedly, more than $100 million. [Washington Business Journal]
Reminder: Social Media Week Fairfax Tomorrow — Social Media Week Fairfax, featuring a number of marquee speakers including Judy Smith of Scandal fame, will be taking place tomorrow (Thursday) from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at Capital One HQ in Tysons. A complete agenda is available here.
Three Chambers of Commerce representing minority-owned businesses in Fairfax met in Tysons yesterday (Wednesday) to sign an agreement of closer collaboration.
The Asian American Chamber of Commerce, Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce, and Virginia Hispanic Chamber comprise a partnership called the Multicultural Chambers Alliance (MCCA). The organization has been in existence for five years, but yesterday signed an memorandum of understanding with a recommitment to the organization with more extensive collaboration details.
The MCCA agreed that each of the chambers will collaborate with the others on organizing, presenting and hosting joint events. The three groups will also work closer to exchange information on economic, legislative and political matters.
The event was hosted by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) at its Tysons headquarters (8300 Boone Blvd).
“The coming together of the three chambers involved represents all that America and this community stand for,” said Gerald L. Gordon, president and CEO of the FCEDA, in a press release. “The collaboration and collegiality of these three cultural and racial business groups represents enormous opportunity for its members and for the business community at large as they further bring their component companies into the economic mainstream.”
Photos courtesy FCEDA
The Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce is inviting new and prospective members to a networking orientation.
The event will be held in the Tower Club (8000 Towers Crescent Dr.) on Thursday (Sept. 13). The orientation will run from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. There is no charge for the event for new and prospective members but guests must register online. Sandwiches will be provided.
The Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce acts as a voice for businesses in the Tysons region and helps member businesses build relationships. At the orientation, the Chamber will help new members learn how to take advantage of the resources provided through events, committees and other benefits.
“Whether you are looking to network to grow your business or give back to the community, join us and we will help you get engaged in what works for you,” said the Chamber in a statement.
Image via Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce