Saturday Briefing: Balancing Act


Fruehwirth is one of several consultants in the area who work one-on-one with clients who seek a balance between the demands of career and parenting. (Photo: Sarah L. Voisin -- The Washington Post)

*What does Suzanne Cole call the "best money I ever spent"? The $500 she paid Christine Fruehwirth, a career and life coach from Potomac, to help her work out a proposal for a 3 1/2-day workweek. Her bosses approved it and asked to use it as a model for other employees.
Washington is home to at least four boutique recruiting fims that put professional women in part-time or flexible jobs. More parents, especially mothers, are trying to find balance. See story

*A new buyer was found for the Sparrows Point steel mill outside Baltimore. Russia's Severstal has agreed to pay $810 million in cash to Arcelor Mittal for it. See story

*The government's decision this week to loosen restraints on Fannie Mae of the District and Freddie Mac of McLean was a big boost to the companies, sending their shares soaring. But what's not clear is whether it'll be as big of a boost to subprime or low-income borrowers. See story

*Local contractors are involved in the news that the passport files of all three major presidential candidates were breached by employees. Two employees of Stanley of Arlington were fired for looking at the file of Barack Obama. Stanley has handled passport processing for 15 years and just this week won a five-year, $570 million contract.
An employee of Analysis Corp. of McLean who looked at the files of Obama and John McCain has been has been denied access to passport applications, and his or her employment status is still under review, according to a State Department spokesman. See story

*Virginia legislators, spurred by the embezzlement of more than $2 million from hundreds of homeowners associations in Northern Virginia, passed bills that would to increase the accountability of companies that manage association finances, create a regulatory board to oversee companies, provide a way for homeowners to lodge complaints and ensure that losses caused by employee theft are covered. See story

*Fieldstone Mortgage asked for six more months to craft its Chapter 11 plan because it is still negotiating with prospective investors who may be willing to finance its exit from bankruptcy protection. The Columbia-based subprime lender said in court papers filed this week that it was evaluating proposals from several parties who were either willing to finance its reorganization or purchase its assets.

*Choice Hotels International named Stephen P. Joyce president and chief operating officer, effective May 1. Joyce, 48, is an executive vice president at Marriott International. Choice, a hotel franchiser based in Silver Spring, expects Joyce to succeed Chuck Ledsinger as chief executive when he retires in October. Ledsinger will remain vice chairman.

By Terri Rupar  |  March 22, 2008; 5:00 AM ET  | Category:  Morning Brief
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