24 Hour Co. earned its name with fast turnaround
- January 27, 2011
Colleen Jolly laughs when people ask her how the 24 Hour Co. got its name.
“Originally the name spoke to the dedication we have in the quick turnaround of government proposals,” says Jolly, a principal in the Falls Church-based company and managing director of its operations in the United Kingdom. “Over the years it has become everything from turning around a project in 24 hours to clients calling me on my cell phone 24 hours a day. It’s a funny name, but at least people remember it.”
24 Hour specializes in proposal graphics and desktop publishing. “We help people win new business through visual communications — everything from word documents to multimedia presentations,” says Jolly. “We work with government contractors and other large organizations.”
Dennis Fitzgerald founded the firm in 1992 in Arlington during his college years. The company moved to Falls Church in 2001 and opened a subsidiary in London in 2008. Jolly came on board in 1999.
Over the years, the company’s business has grown steadily. In 2010 revenues increased by more than 20 percent over the previous year. “In 2007 we were listed as one of the fastest growing companies on the Inc. 5000 list,” Jolly says.
Last year the company, which now has 20 employees, added a training component to its list of services. “We train people on high-end conceptualization, taking ideas and words and turning them into pictures,” Jolly says, noting that graphics are a critical element in government-contract proposals. “We want the proposal to look better, more professional.”
Jolly sees the firm’s Falls Church location as the perfect place for the business. “It’s great because 95 percent of our work is government contractors,” Jolly says. “We moved to Falls Church because it is a good middle ground where we can get to our clients easily. We also have good access to the Beltway.”
At only 2.2 square miles Falls Church, on the edge of Fairfax County, is one of the two smallest cities in Virginia, geographically speaking. 24 Hour sits outside the city limits in the Merrifield business area in the county. Falls Church became a town in 1875 and a city in 1948.
One of the area’s most historical landmarks is The Falls Church church where George Washington and George Mason were vestrymen in the 18th century. The city also is home to the Eden Center, an East Coast center for the Vietnamese-American community with 120 stores and restaurants. It’s the site of the Tet Festival, celebrating the Vietnamese Lunar New Year. Visitors also enjoy “America’s Favorite” farmers market in Falls Church, open every Saturday morning year-round.
The city’s economy
The economic mix in Falls Church includes about 1,200 businesses (200 retailers and 100 restaurants) with a daytime work population of about 6,000 in a city with a resident population of 11,500. Largest employers are Kaiser Permanente (580), Falls Church public schools and government (680), Tax Analysts (185), Giant Foods (150), Koon’s Ford (125), Don Beyer Volvo (100) and Care Options (100). Even though there are no business parks or incubators, the city also has a Technology Zone tax abatement program for qualified businesses. Major employers in the larger Merrifield business area include General Dynamics, Inova Fairfax Hospital and ICF International.
Where to stayThere are two hotels in Falls Church popular with business travelers. They are the Fairview Park Marriott, which has just completed a renovation, and TownePlace Suites Falls Church, also owned by Marriott. The property has complimentary on-site parking, a fitness center and an outdoor pool for guests.