Opinion

Redefining the meaning of power

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Print this page by Robert C. Powell III, Editor

Power can be defined in a number of ways. The women profiled in our cover story package, Sandy Lerner and Bonnie Shelor, see it as the ability to pursue a lifelong passion and the chance to give others more balance between their work and private lives. Managing Editor Paula Squires and Loudoun County-based writer M.J. McAteer look at how these women, and other high-ranking female executives around the state, put their power to use.

 Also in this issue, Christina Couch, a Richmond-based writer, looks at the impact that social media are having on the operations of public relations firms. For example, CRT/tanaka, the state’s largest PR agency, posted a clever clip for Air New Zealand on YouTube that attracted more than a million hits in 10 days.

Technology, of course, can be a headache as well as a blessing. Richmond writer Garry Kranz explores the commonwealth’s troubled $2.3 billion IT contract with Northrop Grumman, asking what effect it might have on future public-private partnerships.

While the Virginia Information Technologies Agency tries to fix its computer problems, state and local health officials are urging businesses to make contingency plans for the effects of the H1N1 virus. Fredericksburg-based writer Robert Burke finds that large companies appear well prepared, but small business owners worry they might have to close if key employees become ill.

“Swine flu” has raised public awareness of the crucial importance of the nation’s bioscience industry. Charlottesville writer Carlos Santos reports that the industry now has a significance presence in the Shenandoah Valley with the recent opening of SRI International’s research center outside of Harrisonburg.

In another Virginia region, Hampton Roads, two high-rise projects in Norfolk serve as indicators of the continued stamina of the local commercial real estate market, says Chesapeake writer Elizabeth Cooper.

Finally, this issue includes our annual Super CPA list, which recognizes top professionals in a dozen accounting categories. This year’s list is notable for two reasons: The Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants is celebrating its centennial, and the votes determining the 2009 honorees were counted using an innovative electronic ballot.

Being named a Super CPA means your peers think you do a very good job. Unfortunately, the honor doesn’t confer any super powers.


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