MECFairfax Celebrates Growth, Renovations

Posted: November 13, 2012 at 4:55 pm, Last Updated: November 27, 2012 at 4:17 pm

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By Frances Womble

After providing growth-supporting services to small businesses in Northern Virginia for 17 years, Mason Enterprise Center’s (MEC) Fairfax location at 4031 University Drive recently received a facelift.

The newly renovated 29,000-square-foot facility, which is now called MECFairfax, holds 11 conference rooms and 79 offices, making it the largest university-based business incubator in the state.

A ribbon cutting celebrated the renovated MECFairfax on Nov. 14. Joining in are (from left): Chris Todd, chair of the City of Fairfax Economic Development Authority; Roger Stough, Mason vice president for research and economic development; Ángel Cabrera, Mason president; Scott Silverthorne, City of Fairfax mayor; and Keith Segerson, executive director of the Mason Enterprise Center. Creative Services photo

All MECFairfax work areas received new carpet, paint and lighting, and LCD monitors are in all conference rooms.  The main conference room doubled in size and can now hold 50 people.  Each floor of the center houses several printing stations along with break areas that offer cappuccino machines.

MECFairfax, which is sponsored by the City of Fairfax Economic Development Authority, held an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Nov. 14 to celebrate the university-based economic development enterprise’s growth.  Approximately 400 attendees toured the offices, workstations and conference rooms in the facility. Ángel Cabrera, Mason president, and Scott Silverthorne, mayor of the City of Fairfax, presented remarks and helped cut the ribbon.

School of Management professor Mahesh Joshi accepts a “check” from MECFairfax director Judy Barral that represents the value of business incubator services such as office space and training. The gift will be given as a prize to the student team that wins the School of Management’s business plan contest. Creative Services photo

Widelity, a professional services and business consulting company, has called the Fairfax location of the MEC home for the last six and a half years and is happy to be a part of MECFairfax.  Widelity initially sought out the MEC for virtual space and then began renting office space as the business grew.

“We have always liked the flexibility, the price and the people of the MEC.  More recently, we are really thrilled with the quality of the facility,” says Dave Wiley, president of Widelity.  “It’s great interacting not only with Mason employees but with the other entrepreneurs, too.  We learn from each other.”

Companies like Widelity are the main target of MECFairfax.

“Our primary goal is to support the needs of growing companies,” says Keith Segerson, executive director of MEC.

According to Jody Keenan, managing director of MEC, Widelity is one of more than 300 companies that have received support and services from MECFairfax.

The latest renovation enhances the services provided to small businesses in the area, such as one-on-one counseling, training, networking and mentorships. At the same time, the renovation will allow MECFairfax to offer more opportunities in government contracting, international business development and telework initiatives in addition to business counseling, seminars and research programs.

Other MEC locations in Virginia are located in Leesburg, Manassas, Spotsylvania, Springfield and Woodbridge.

The MECFairfax reception area is adjacent to the entrance lobby. Photo courtesy of MECFairfax

Write to Robin Herron at rherron@gmu.edu

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