The NoVA Business podcast is a stream of interviews with NoVA's leading entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives.
Northern Virginia is America’s best-known secret. With Ranking #1 in the nation for workforce and education and #3 for business friendliness, NoVA is a hotspot for the world’s top talent and entrepreneurs. There's no question why companies like Amazon and Capital One call NoVA home for their headquarters.
On this podcast, we will share the inspiring stories of leaders who are shaping the community around us. Listen to the challenges they have overcome, the lessons learned, and the vision they have moving forward. Get ready for a series of epic conversations!
The NoVA Business Podcast is sponsored by The Business Benefits Group.
With Great Product comes Great Responsibility with Facebook's Erica Woods, State Policy Manager
In this episode, we interview https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericadwoods/ (Erica Woods), who is Manager of State Policy for https://www.facebook.com/ (Facebook). Her goal in this role is simple, which is to build trust, integrity, and community – even serving the local community in Northern Virginia.
Erica’s early professional career began as an attorney practicing in the areas of Banking and Real Estate Law - before later serving as counsel for the House of Representative Committee on Homeland Security, as well as later overseeing DHS as a political appointee under the Obama administration. Her journey led her toward an exciting path where she could apply her skills in the tech world with the exciting opportunity to join Facebook.
Today, she’s responsible for legislative tracking and policy recommendations across all 50 U.S. states, while also leading exciting initiatives to manage outreach on the state and local level for many Facebook initiatives, including those aimed to helping both individuals, but also businesses.
Facebook as certainly seen plenty of attention in the past year. Erica helps to outline the various programs, initiatives, and efforts that Facebook is leading today – including:
https://about.fb.com/news/2017/11/facebook-community-boost/ (Facebook Community Boost) – which focuses on helping to upskill individuals, but also advise entrepreneurs on how to get the most out of the internet – with the aim of helping to maximize opportunities to grow the local economy.
Initiatives to help make Facebook a resource of authoritative information – including an increased investment in Fact Checking
Facebook’s efforts to support their users with resources and information related to COVID-19, vaccinations, and more with their https://www.facebook.com/coronavirus_info/ (COVID-19 Information Center).
An ongoing commitment to data privacy, creating a safe and open platform, but also increased transparency – including comments on https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-socialmedia-congress-idUSKBN2BG29D (internet reform).
Businesses looking to get in touch, or take advantage of these resources, can visit the https://www.facebook.com/business (Facebook for Business) home page to start to connect.
Betting on the People with Bob Eisiminger, Entrepreneur, CEO, and Investor
https://www.linkedin.com/in/bob-eisiminger-002b546/ (Bob Eisiminger) founded https://www.linkedin.com/company/knight-point-systems/ (Knight Point Systems), an IT service provider to U.S. government agencies, in 2005, after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, a stint in the United States Army as an officer and a turn at a Fortune 500 company as a corporate executive. In the Army, Bob learned how to lead people. By the time he sold Knight Point 15 years later, for $250 million dollars, he had about 500 employees invested in the Knight Point culture and embedded in various U.S. Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security projects, often at the highest clearance levels.
Since the acquisition of Knight Point, Bob spends his time giving back to the entrepreneurial community. He serves on the Board of Experts for The Birthing of Giants Fellowship Program, an educational program for owners of growing companies. He also serves on the Board for Patriapps Software Venture Studio, https://diversitypop.com/ (diversitypop), EXB solutions, Inc, https://www.linkedin.com/company/reservoire/ (Reservoire Health), SignId, Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund, and serves as a co-chair for the Veterans and Military Business Council for the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce.
Highlights of this episode:
Leadership skills learned from West Point
Investing in employees through training
The importance of finding employees with ‘grit’
Lessons learned from the Knight Point Systems acquisition
Paying it forward through mentorship and sharing knowledge
Meeting the Challenges of Cybersecurity with Dr. Sarbari Gupta, CEO of Electrosoft
Dr. Sarbari Gupta is responsible for establishing corporate strategy and vision, shaping corporate culture and cultivating business relationships to enable https://www.electrosoft-inc.com/who-we-are/sarbari-gupta#:~:text=and%20private%20sectors.-,Dr.,management%2C%20privacy%20and%20cryptographic%20solutions.andtext=She%20has%20co%2Dauthored%20several,She%20received%20M.S.%20and%20Ph. (Electrosoft) to thrive. She also serves as the focal point for assuring quality and customer satisfaction. Her extensive background spans software development and professional services serving both public and private sectors. Dr. Gupta has a broad base of knowledge and experience in the areas of cybersecurity, risk management, privacy, and cryptographic solutions.
Dr. Gupta has authored over twenty technical papers/presentations in refereed conferences/journals and four chapters in two cybersecurity books. She holds four patents in areas of cryptography. She has co-authored several NIST Special Publications in the areas of Electronic Authentication, Security Configuration Management and Mobile Credentials. She received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park and a B.Tech. degree in Electronics and Electrical Communication Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. She holds CISSP and CISA certifications.
Highlights of the episode:
Dr. Gupta’s path from Kolkata, India to leading one of the fastest growing cybersecurity companies in the Northern Virginia region
Finding the balance between user experience and security
Electrosoft’s role in securing our nation against cybersecurity attacks
The use of biometric data and the potential of blockchain
Learn more about Dr. Gupta:
The Roaring Twenties with Tamika Tremaglio, Managing Principal, Deloitte
Tamika Tremaglio is the Deloitte Managing Principal for the Greater Washington area which has approximately 10,000 practitioners. She has served as the East Regional Leader for Deloitte Risk and Financial Advisory, and on the firm’s Board Counsel, Next Generation of Leaders and US Nominating committee, in which Deloitte US named its first female CEO – the first of the Big 4! Tamika has led our Chief Legal Officer program in the US for the last four years, is on the DTBA Board and was the former Dean for our Next Generation of CLOs Academy. Tamika has significant experience in global forensic accounting investigations and corporate governance matters in a number of industries. She has been involved in US SEC and US Department of Justice investigations where issues surrounding executive conduct and whistleblower allegations have been called into question.
Deal Junkies with Kevin DeSanto of KippsDeSanto & Co
Kevin DeSanto is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of https://kippsdesanto.com/ (KippsDeSanto and Co)., a premier investment banking firm headquartered in metropolitan Washington, DC.
Mr. DeSanto has a broad base of experience in providing corporate transaction advisory services. He has been personally involved in advising shareholders, boards of directors and management teams of over 100 companies in connection with strategic alternatives assessments, acquisitions, sales and divestitures, going-private transactions, raising of private debt and equity financing, fairness opinions, solvency opinions and general corporate planning.
In 2012, Mr. DeSanto was recognized as a finalist at the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Corporate Citizenship Awards (Emerging Influential of the Year) and as a “40 under 40” award winner by The MandA Advisor. He was recognized in 2011 on Washington Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” list of outstanding regional business leaders and as the Dealmaker of the Year – Investment Banker by the Association for Corporate Growth’s National Capital Chapter.
Throughout his career, Mr. DeSanto has been instrumental in transaction execution, business development, operational and recruiting efforts. Mr. DeSanto received a B.S. in business administration with a concentration in finance from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. He has remained engaged in campus activities, including participating in the Alumni Admissions Program, MSB Young Alumni Mentor program and serving as a member of the Board of Directors for Hoyas Unlimited and the Baseball program. In addition, Mr. DeSanto is a member of the Fundraising Committee for the non-profit NextStep Fitness.
Overview of episode:
DeSanto’s path to the D.C. region
The impact of 9/11 on aerospace and defense government contractors
Impact of the pandemic on mergers and acquisitions
The importance of technology vs talent when analyzing an organization
What does a ‘personality’ mean within a company?
Connect with Kevin:
What Spins The Wheel with Len Forkas, Founder of Milestone Towers
https://www.linkedin.com/in/lenforkas/ (Len Forkas) has over 20 years of experience leading businesses across Northern Virginia. His early rise in Real Estate Development led him to Wireless Communications – but he’s also an author, a passionate philanthropist, and https://www.lenforkas.com/speaking (motivational speaker).
In 2001, Len founded https://milestonetowers.com/ (Milestone Towers), a Wireless Tower Company that specializes in developing partnerships with Schools, Municipalities, and Utility Providers across the Mid-Atlantic. Milestone helps to bridge wireless gaps by helping to create value for property owners through creative solutions in order to merge wireless communications into existing spaces, thus expanding wireless coverage, boosting profitability, and more.
Len is also a published author, leadership speaker, and endurance athlete. He has climbed Vinson, Elbrus, and Kilamanjaro - but also in 2012 he competed in the http://www.raceacrossamerica.org/about.html (Race Across America), an endurance cycling event where he traveled over 3,000 miles in less than 12 days. This experience served as inspiration for his book, https://www.amazon.com/What-Spins-Wheel-Leadership-Lessons/dp/0996096906#:~:text=What%20Spins%20the%20Wheel%20is,his%20own%20life%20changed%20forever. (What Spins The Wheel). In his book, Len covers his journey in Race Across America – but also as a determined father, and entrepreneur - helping to apply the lessons to life, business, and more.
The funds that he raised for this event were then donated to https://www.hopecam.org/ (HopeCam), Len’s other passion in life. HopeCam was developed after his own nine-year-old son was diagnosed with leukemia. HopeCam helps to bring wireless technology and communication to children who are struggling with Pediatric Cancer in order to overcome social isolation and connect with their classmates. Interestingly enough, Len was ahead of his time with HopeCam as we find ourselves in an era of social isolation today.
In this episode, Len shares his story – which covers his background, the role that Milestone plays in wireless, as well as the current environment around broadband - but also his experiences and passions, and powerful stories about perseverance and endurance.
Derek and Jessica have the most fascinating guests!
Every week brings a new and incredible story and I can’t wait to listen to these rockstars interview! 🤘🤘🤘