Early Briefing: Alma Mater of D.C.'s Business Elite

On Mondays, we turn the Business section over to local news. Here's a sampling of what you'll find in today's Washington Business:


From left to right, St. John's College High School alumni Kevin Plank, Raul Fernandez, Joe Robert and Jim Kimsey. (Vicky Pombo - For The Washington Post)

There's something in the air (or maybe it's the cafeteria food) at Washington's St. John's College High School, which has spawned a horde of rich businessmen over the years. The alumni list includes some of the D.C. area's best-known capitalists, many of whom have sprinkled their names across campus. To name a few, the ranks AOL founding chairman James V. Kimsey ('57), real estate investor Joseph E. Robert Jr. ('70), Object Video chief executive Raul Fernandez ('84) and Under Armour founder Kevin Plank ('90). See story.

* Sallie Mae, battered by a series of setbacks, is paying top dollar to its new chief financial officer, John F. "Jack" Remondi. His $1 million salary is higher than any other chief financial officer's according to a survey of comparably sized specialty lending corporations. The Reston student lender, which has seen its shares lose more than half their value since the collapse of a proposed $25.3 billion buyout, also outlined compensation for its new chairman, Anthony P. Terracciano. See story.

* Will PharmAthene get its goats? The Annapolis biotech firm is hoping to win approval to place a herd of the animals at the federal agricultural research center in Prince George's County. The animals would be used by PharmAthene to develop drugs to fight the neurological effects of chemical weapons. The company is also hard at work to come up with treatments for anthrax. See story.

* Like flags? Dulles International Airport will be aflutter tomorrow when it opens its $137 million extension to bustling Concourse B. See story.

* Maryland should force utilities to take aggressive steps to cut energy consumption, and the state should create a multimillion-dollar fund to give homeowners an array of incentives to use less power, Gov. Martin O'Malley's top energy advisers will recommend today. See story.

* Plans to build a Northern Virginia streetcar network, once considered fanciful, received a major boost last week, when officials unanimously voted to give the project its first big infusion of funding. See story.

* The Small Business Administration's new management team is working to help the agency shore up morale among rank-and-file workers, reports Federal Diary columnist Stephen Barr. The managers have their work cut out for them: Two years ago, SBA ranked dead last in the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government index. See column.

* Now that they've built it, will guests come? That's the question on the mind of managers at The National Conference Center in Lansdowne, a secluded meeting facility overlooking the Potomac River in Loudoun County that recently inaugurated a $12 million new ballroom aimed at drawing more event business. See story.

* THC Associates, a small marketing shop in Centreville, has made the big leagues with a deal to float a pair of promotional balloons for the National Football League in the skies of Phoenix during Super Bowl week. See story.

* Bill Gates will make a breakfast speech before the Northern Virginia Technology Council in March as part of his farewell tour, which he kicked off earlier this month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. See story.

* The media and advertising worlds need a new way to gauge Internet usage in this age of multi-tasking, writes the chief research officer of comScore, a Reston based media research company. See Josh Chasin's commentary.

By Mike Shepard  |  January 14, 2008; 6:18 AM ET  | Category:  Morning Brief
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