Old Town Merchants/ GovTrends – From Teletubbies to lawmakers, firm expands

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The office is just a block from the waters that lap up against the edge of Old Town, and inside its open and airy with lots of light. The loft that gives it the feel of an artists studio is apropos.

There are artists working here. These artists dont work in oils or charcoals, they make their art on computer screens. The ten staffers at GovTrends, a web developing company, create highly functional and attractive Web sites. In the process, they enable businesses to take control of their own technology and manage it themselves.

With an average age of about 26, the GovTrends staff is young, but in this case, that doesnt necessarily mean inexperienced. The staffers enthusiasm for what they do is palpable, and their professionalism and dedication to their customers is heartening to any business owner worried about tackling a new technology project.

Each employee brings a different talent to GovTrends, said Ab Emam, owner of the three-year-old company. Our employees are young, yet industry-experienced in their respective fields. From graphic design, open source coding, HTML, and content management systems, each staff member has an area of expertise that compliments and rounds out the rest of the group.

Emam expressed his satisfaction with GovTrends Old Town location. Alexandria has been a great location for us because were close enough to Capitol Hill but are able to stave off an entirely corporate environment, he said. The town has a quaint and historic feeling that is refreshing and keeps us from being overwhelmed by the citys chaos. We usually make at least two visits to our clients on Capitol Hill per week, so its important for us to be able to make quick trips and still be able to spend a good amount of the day in the office, too.

Web development might be a vague term for tech novices, and is probably too limiting in this case. What does it really mean?

Bill Amberg, the firms chief technology officer explained. Our mission is to give each client a fully customized marketing and outreach solution through media buying, e-mail and direct mail programs, web design and content management implementation and hosting, he said. Once we build a Web site for our clients, we train the businesss staff so they can update and manage the site themselves. Because we do not rely on pre-packaged templates, each site is unique and has a design to fit the needs and goals of the client.

Amberg said clients seek them out because they want their site to look different and for it to be easier to manage. Their content management system (called Okomo, which means the great festival), was developed so their clients can add, update and manage content on their site without having to rely on a vendor for support.

GovTrends clients run the gamut from congressmen on Capitol Hill to the Teletubbies. We have dedicated a large portion of our companys services to members on Capitol Hill and are currently working with more than 80 Congressional offices and committees, Emam said.

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