Business Beat


Nats By Water After Labor Day

 Not so fast Mayor Fenty. That water taxi service by Potomac Riverboat Company to the Nationals’ games isn’t scheduled to carry its first fans until after Labor Day.

 At least that’s the word from Charlotte Hall, vice president of PRC.

 “We have not formally settled on an actual start yet,” Hall said. “But we are presently looking at September 8.”

 Fenty made a premature announcement last week that the service was ready to begin. Hall quickly corrected that error.

 “We have been very encouraged by the response to our plans to provide riverboat transportation to the Nationals’ games,” she said. “It will be a service that can be enjoyed by both Northern Virginia residents and visitors alike.”

 When initiated, the water taxi service is expected to make an estimated eight runs in September (ending September 30), according to Hall. It will transport fans for evening weekday games only. Day and weekend games are “the times when our boats are committed to our regular services,” she said.

 The 40-minute trip each way will leave Alexandria docks at 6:10 p.m. game nights and commence its return trip 20 minutes after the last pitch.

 “If that last pitch doesn’t happen until 2 a.m., that’s when we start home,” Hall said. “We are still looking at which boat to use. We are limiting each crossing to 120 passenger so that everyone can be comfortable.”

 Cost of the trip will be $20 per person, round trip. However, one-way tickets will be available for $10 at either location, Alexandria docks or in the District, according to Hall.

 “This will allow fans to come here from work and not return if they live in D.C. or vice versa if they work in D.C. and live here,” she said. “We have also made arrangements with parking garages and lots in Old Town and we are prepared to direct people to them.”

Burke&Herbert Sets Another Record

 Burke & Herbert Bank & Trust Company increased their earning for the first six months of 2009 by 37 percent over the same period in 2008. Earnings per share totaled $81.15 compared to $59.17 a year earlier due to $15.5 million in earning for the first six months of 2009.

 This was achieved despite an FDIC special assessment of $853,000 in the second quarter of 2009. The assessment was applicable to all commercial banks based on assets, according to the Burke & Herbert announcement.

 “Our strong performance so far in 2009 is especially gratifying given the current economic environment which continues to be challenging for all financial institutions,” said Board Chairman Charles K. Collum, Jr. “We have continued to prosper because Burke & Herbert has built long-term relationships while maintaining a conservative lending philosophy.”

 Chief Executive Officer E. Hunt Burke said, “Our bank’s outstanding performance is evidence that our long standing strategy of sound banking, prudent fiscal management and efficient operation has stood the test of time well,” said.

 Revenue in the period improved by 31 percent to $43.9 million. Return on average assets of 1.76 percent, an increase of 16 percent, and average equity of 19.09 percent, up 38 percent, ranked B&H among banking industry leaders. They declared a dividend of $17 per share to stockholders as of August 14, payable September 1.

 The bank’s balance sheet showed substantial growth, with assets rising 21 percent over last year to $1.9 billion and deposits increasing to $1.4 billion, an increase of 24 percent. Loans increased by more than $149 million, up 14 percent from the prior period.

MacNair Travel Celebrates 20 Years

 MacNair Travel Management recently celebrated its 20th Anniversary as an Old Town Alexandria business fixture by recognizing key contributors and staffers at its annual summer event. They now serve more than 300 organizations with a staff of 50 travel professionals.

 A privately owned American Express representative office, MacNair Travel Management provides travel services to such diverse entities as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, presidential campaigns, universities, law firms and individual business and vacation travelers. With sales over $50 million, it has become a major travel brand for clients “who want global clout, high tech and local service,” according to owners Mike and Ellen MacNair.

 “We are proud to have MacNair as part of our network,” said Ellen Bettridge, vice president of the U.S. Representative Network, American Express. “Mike is on two of our boards and he and his company are leaders in the industry and their community.”

 MacNair’s firm moved from its long established location on Duke Street to a new headquarters at 1101 King St. last year. The MacNairs started their business with the help of Alexandria residents and travel industry veterans Ed and Karen Didion.

 “Without Ed and Karen’s help we could not have gotten going,” MacNair said at the company event. “From that point on we have bootstrapped this business and built it from the success of our team and the commitment of the best customers in the world.”

 Last year MacNair Travel saved their customers an average of $89 compared to the national domestic average ticket cost and over $1,500 internationally on thousands of transactions, according to company records. It received the Small Business of the Year Award by the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce and has been recognized by the travel industry trade association as well as technology companies within that industry.

 “Our industry has changed almost completely in the last 20 years and as a team we have changed with it,” MacNair said. “We offer high-tech, high touch and high value. My team delivers this every day and that is why our future has never been brighter.”Old Town Hilton Offers Economic Stimulus

 Hilton Alexandria Old Town has an early holiday gift for some lucky meeting planners. They are giving away a two-day meeting package valued at $10,000. Just tell them “how current economic conditions are impacting travel and meeting budgets.”

 With businesses and associations cutting events and shrinking travel budgets, the local hotel’s director of sales, Stephanie Egan, is offering a solution to meeting planners working with or for clients who are cutting back or eliminating their 2010 meetings. The winning meeting will be free.

 “Our entire sales team has worked hard all year to assist our clients in these financially trying times,” Egan said. “Our team members share strong relationships with our guests, business partners and meeting planners. Reduced meeting and business travel budgets create challenges and we are finding creative ways to find solutions.”

 Applicants are asked to describe how a planned meeting is critical to their organization, how it can benefit the local Alexandria economy, or if and how the organization has deep charitable roots. Entries are to be submitted in 200 words or less to The contest is open to meeting planners nationwide.

 The deadline for submission is October 31, 2009. A winner will be selected by November 30, 2009, according to Egan. The give-away is subject to official rules listed on the same website.

MOAA To Hold Career Fair

 Military Officers Association of America, based in Old Town Alexandria, will host a free career fair for active duty, retired, former, Reserve/National Guard service members and their spouses on September 15 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Pl., NW, located at the Mount Vernon Square/Convention Center Metro Station in Washington.

 Beginning at 10 a.m. and continuing until 3 p.m., attendees will be able to personally meet with 125 employers. Commencing at 8 a.m. a series of career-development seminars will offer on-site resume critiques along with other valuable employment advice as part of a joint endeavor with Competitive Edge Services, Inc.

 Employers from regional and national companies will be looking for applicants in virtually every job skill set, according to the MOAA announcement. Businesses and organizations scheduled to attend include L-3 Communications, Secret Service, Grant Thornton Global Public Sector, Lockheed Martin, educational and financial institutions, and more.

 No pre-registration for the fair is required. For further information call 1-800-234-6622 (toll free) or 703-838-0547, email CareerFair@moaa.orgMOAA or visit