Power Moves: Martha Metz is the new board chair of Halcyon - Technical.ly DC

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Power Moves: Martha Metz is the new board chair of Halcyon

Plus, Capital One alum Tommy Blanchard is the new COO at QED investment and more hiring and promotion news from around the DMV.

Martha Metz, the new chair of Halcyon accelerator.

(Courtesy photo)

Power Moves is a column where we chart the comings and goings of talent across the region. Got a new hire, new gig or promotion? Email us at dc@technical.ly.


As of October, social impact accelerator Halcyon has a brand new chair.

Sachiko Kuno, who cofounded the organization in 2017, stepped down as chair of the board of directors last month in favor of becoming chair emeritus. Metz Investments founder Martha Metz was announced as the new board chair, retroactive to October 1.

Metz, who also spent time at brand giant Kraft General Foods and serves on the Midwest regional board of UNICEF, is passionate about the world of startups. She founded Metz Investments in 2019 with the intention of funding early-stage companies focuses on hospitality and women-owned.

“It is an honor to step into this role, following the visionary Dr. Kuno in guiding this organization in its growth,” said Metz, in a statement. “When I joined Halcyon’s board last year, I quickly realized how special this place is. I look forward to being a part of Halcyon’s continuing evolution as it flourishes into a bold and powerful voice in impact-driven business.”

Based in Georgetown, Halcyon’s programming includes an incubator, intensive fellowships and angel investment network.

“Halcyon is bigger than any one of us — it’s a true community, and I applaud [Kuno’s] decision to solidify Halcyon’s future by becoming chair emeritus and look forward to a partnership with Martha Metz,” added cofounder and CEO Kate Goodall. “Over many conversations, she has shown that she will provide thoughtful counsel to this role, manage the board with grace and encourage Halcyon’s growth.”

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Following a 20-year stint at fintech giant Capital One, Tommy Blanchard is moving on to Alexandria venture capital firm QED Investors. Blanchard will be taking on the role of COO at the company.

Most recently, Blanchard was the managing vice president of business analysis for Capital One’s Commercial Bank. Throughout his career with this company, however, he has held roles in talent acquisition, people analytics, brand partnerships, operations analysis and supply chain management.

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“I’m incredibly excited to join QED as they look to scale, building on their best-in-class reputation and enhances their position as one of the premier fintech VCs,” said Blanchard in a statement. “QED has created an amazing track record of investing in the most talented entrepreneurs and their disruptive financial technology businesses across the U.S. and internationally. I’m thrilled to partner with [cofounder Nigel Morris] and work alongside QED’s wonderful team members to continue their impressive record of success. By scaling platform operations and improving how we think about process, we will continue to position QED at the vanguard of fintech VC.”

The firm also added Alexandra Piedrahita to its team to grow its presence in the United Kingdom. Piedrahita, an alum of Georgetown and London Business School, comes to the company from a role as senior associate with Los Angeles venture firm March Capital.

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Here’s who else is taking on new roles and responsibilities all around the DMV:

New Hires

  • Government consulting entity Accenture Federal Services, based in Arlington, Virginia, added Jennifer Sample as its lead of applied intelligence growth and strategy. Sample joined the team earlier this year following two decades at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory.
  • Morgan Franklin Consulting, a tech advisory firm in McLean, Virginia, added Sean Hanley, Christian Heffron and John Hozik as managing directors and Yogesh Shiralkar as executive director of the team.
  • Reston, Virginia-based IT services firm Electrosoft Services, has appointed Kevin Thomas as its senior VP of strategic growth. Thomas previously held roles at HP, Booz Allen Hamilton, OnPoint and founded cybersecurity from Achilles Shield.
  • DC data consulting firm BlueLab Analytics announced in October that Harrison Kreisberg was promoted from VP of campaigns to partner. Kreisburg joined BlueLabs back in 2013 as its very first employee.
  • SPARC Research, based in Warrenton, Virginia, added Northrop Grumman alum Matt Cornwell as its new president. Current president Patrick Hewitt will take on the position of CEO at SPARC Holding Company.
  • Jennifer Krusius is joining DC growth investor ABS Capital Partners as venture partner. Previously, Krusius held roles at Columbia Capital and as general manager for Uber Technologies’ business in Pennsylvania.
  • Germantown, Maryland-based Amentum, a government contractor in nuclear and threat solutions, promoted Jim Blankenhorn to the role of technical services business lead. Blankenhorn was formerly a senior VP at the company.
  • Alexandria IT and cyber firm SBG Technologies appointed Mike Farahbakhshian as VP of health solutions. Prior to this, Farahbakhshian held roles at SAIC, Booz Allen Hamilton and By Light Professional IT Services.
  • Al Park is the new senior managing director of FTI Consulting, a management advisory firm based in DC.
  • Mandiant, an Alexandria cybersecurity firm, has added Dee Dee Acquista as its VP of channel sales for the Americas. She was most recently a senior VP at BeyondTrust.
  • Parsons, a Centreville, Virginia, defense and infrastructure company, appointed Peter Toreellas as president of its connected communities unit.
  • Vernon Saunders is the new senior VP of national intelligence community business at SAIC, a government contractor in Reston. His previous roles include stints at Huntington Ingalls Industries, Jacobs National Security Solutions and Verizon.
  • Edgybees, a Gaithersburg, Maryland-based visual intelligence tech provider, appointed Craig Brower as its president of US government operations. Brower previously held VP roles at Orbital Insight and Vricon.
  • ORock Technologies, a cloud service firm based in Reston, appointed Stephen Charles to a strategic advisor role. He’ll be assisting the company in its expansion into the federal, state and local government sectors.
  • Sundi Myint, section chair of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in DC, was promoted to engineering manager at software development firm SmartLogic.
  • Mac Curtis is the latest venture fellow at Blue Delta Capital Partners, a government services investor in McLean. Curtis was the chairman and CEO of Perspecta before it was acquired by Peraton earlier this year.

C-Suite

  • Research Innovations, Inc,  a national security firm based in Alexandria, Virginia, hired Brian Drzewiecki as its chief operating officer and chief financial officer.
  • Herndon, Virginia’s Sysorex, a cryptocurrency mining firm specializing in Ethereum, appointed Brian Raymond as CTO. He’ll be expanding the company’s blockchain work as well as its business strategy and acquisition of hardware.
  • Joget, an open-source, low-code platform company in Columbia, Maryland, added Nina Wang as its CFO. She comes to the company from a role as CFO for micro-mobility startup SharingOS.
  • The Reston-based Public Interest Registry has appointed Rick Wilhelm as its chief technology officer. Previously, Wilhelm was the VP of platform management at Verisign and held roles at Network Solutions and Neustar.
  • Gloria Blackwell is the new CEO of the American Association of University Women, headquartered in DC, the organization announced in October. Blackwell was previously the executive VP and chief program officer for the association.
  • Stephen Spengler, current CEO of McLean-based satellite network operator Intelstat will retire following the company’s financial restructuring. Spengler and Intelstat have yet to name a successor.
  • Space data analytics firm Spire Global, based in Vienna, Virginia, has named Theresa Condor as COO. She comes to the role as the company’s former executive VP and general manager of space services and Earth intelligence.
  • Jon Carpenter is the new CFO for media analysis firm Comscore, based in Reston. Carpeter will join the firm at the end of November and comes to the role from his work as CFO of Publishers Clearing House.
  • Carrie Kolasky is the new chief growth officer of the Greater Washington Partnership. The alum of the Brookings Institute and former senior VP of the Atlantic Council will focus on its corporate and foundation funding goals and partnerships.
  • Mitre, a tech research firm in McLean, has added two senior VP roles. Chief medical and tech officer Jay Schnitzer and CFO Wilson Wang will add senior VP to their current titles.
  • Cloud software developer Kaleyra has appointed Mauro Carobene as its new chief business officer. The Italian company bases its US headquarters in Vienna.

Boards

  • Chantilly cybersecurity company Siege Technologies has appointed James Brown and Dan Portiollo as the first two members of its board of advisors. Brown will serve as chair of the board.
  • Higher education software firm Higher Digital, based in Tysons, added Alison Allden, Michael Burgess, Liz Dietz and Lou Pugliese to its advisory board.
  • BlackSky Technology, based in Herndon, added Sue Gordon to its board of directors. Previously, Gorden served as the deputy director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
  • DC-based AI data firm Babel Street named three new members to its board of advisors. Jack Gumtow, Scott Howell and Patricia Stokes have joined the group of government officials.
  • Chantilly, Virginia cybersecurity firm Blue Ridge Networks added Mark Ferrer to its board of directors. Ferrer comes to the company following his career as executive VP and chief revenue officer at Citrix Corporation.
  • Defense tech firm Parry Labs, located in Columbia, has added Adam Palmer to its board of directors. Palmer cofounded DC private investment firm Capital Meridan Partners.
  • Reston’s Ellucian, a tech solutions provider for high education institutions, appointed Christopher Howard to its board of directors. Howard is the current president of Robert Morris University.
  • Gaithersburg’s ImagineBC, a digital data community, named Andrew Farrior, current managing partner of Digital Venture Partners, to its board.

Awards

  • Northern Virginia Technology Council CEO and President Jennifer Taylor was awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award from the George Mason University School of Business. The school named Taylor for her work closing the local tech skills gap and boosting the area’s workforce.
  • Micah Kemp, assistant director of economic development for the City of Manassas, Virginia, was designated a certified economic developer by the International Economic Development Council.
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