Morning Brief: Broker Raffles His Annapolis House


It is Monday morning and time to take a look at the local business scene. Some people in the housing market are getting increasingly creative when it comes to selling. Tom Walters, a mortgage broker, is raffling off his home, selling tickets for $50 for his $1 million six-bedroom, 4 1/2 -bath, 6,000-square-foot home on a two-acre parcel just outside of Annapolis.

Retailers, meanwhile, are feeling the pinch and many have cut back on their hiring for the holiday season, just as the applicant pool is swelling with those who have been laid off from other industries.

For Rick and Nina Ivey, owners of 15 Virginia Barbeque restaurants, the contracting economy means a halt in hiring even though a flurry of people in their 30s and 40s have asked about entry-level jobs. For 18-year-old Megan Waters of Annapolis, it means applying at 14 stores before landing a job at California Tortilla. And for a national retailer like Best Buy, it means nearly 1 million applicants for no more than 20,000 seasonal jobs, a 20 percent increase in applicants over previous years.

In the contracting world, Falls Church-based CSC announced last week that heavy-hitter Michael J. Mancuso will come out of retirement to join the information technology contractor as a vice president and chief financial officer. At 66, Mancuso has served in top positions at some of the country's biggest contractors over the past four decades.


Michael J. Mancuso will be a vice president and chief financial officer at CSC. (CSC)

In lobbying news, the pending change in administration has created a "bare-knuckle battle for talent" among lobbying firms seeking to bolster their Democratic capabilities, said Pete Metzger, director of the Washington office of Christian & Timbers, an executive search firm that helps place senior lobbyists and trade association heads.

Compensation packages for lobbyists have doubled in the past six months, Metzger said. Firms are hiring twice as many people as they think they'll need. Competition for Democrats is fierce. Read the story here.

And in Fairfax business, the McLean Hilton became home to a science fair for grown-ups Friday with George Mason University's Mid-Atlantic Innovation Showcase.

The forum brought out bow-tied professors, venture capitalists and the young executives of fledgling companies from Virginia, the District and Maryland. The goal: For entrepreneurs to learn what research ideas universities have and for professors to learn how to make an idea into a commercial product, despite the economic downturn.

By Alejandro Lazo  |  November 17, 2008; 8:05 AM ET  | Category:  Economy Watch , Morning Brief
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