On Monday, December 8, 2014, Northrop Grumman Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Wes Bush addressed "TechCelebration" at the Northern Virginia Technology Council's Annual Banquet in McLean, Virginia, where Mr. Bush received the organization's Pinnacle Award for his outstanding leadership and contributions to the Northern Virginia technology community. Below are his remarks.

Building Partnerships

I am delighted to be here with all of you this evening. 

I want to especially congratulate Bob Templin, of Northern Virginia Community College. I can’t help but note that Earle C. Williams, namesake of the award Bob just won, was CEO and a board member of BDM, which I am proud to say, became part of 
Northrop Grumman a number of years ago. Earle, thank you for the great organization you created at BDM.

Bob and his NOVA team are doing great work to advance STEM education in our region and we at Northrop Grumman are excited to be partnering with Bob and NOVA in the area of teacher development.

This is just one example of the kind of partnerships that make Northern Virginia such a fertile region for technology.

NVTC (Northern Virginia Technology Council) is at the center of many of those partnerships, working on behalf of the various industries and businesses here in Northern Virginia to create and support the synergies that make this such an exciting technological community. 

Northrop Grumman is proud to support NVTC and we have been supporters for a long time.  In fact, Linnie Haynesworth, one of our senior executives, is a member of the Board of Directors.

I want to thank Bobbie Kilberg, CEO, and Sudhakar Kesavan, Chairman of the Board – for your wise leadership and tireless efforts on behalf of the Northern Virginia Technology Council. 

As grateful as I am that our company is being recognized, I must note that the Northern Virginia technology community has contributed as much to Northrop Grumman as we have to it.

Our decision several years ago to relocate our corporate office from our former home of almost eight decades in southern California was the result of a very simple principle – that a company like Northrop Grumman, whose employees operate on the leading edge of technological innovation, has to focus on one thing above all others; and that is performance.

It became increasingly obvious to us that in order to optimize our performance, we needed to become part of the community where our primary customer works, lives, and makes its decisions. But we had some additional criteria in selecting our new corporate office location.

We were looking for state and local governments that understood the needs of business; that had a clear and unambiguous strategy to develop and improve the economic climate through the expansion and attraction of businesses, companies and industries.

We found just that place here in Virginia.

Here we found a business-friendly infrastructure that fosters development of an educated workforce; quality K-12 schools; quality research universities; a high-tech industrial base; good roads, health care systems, airports, and mass transit.

But we also found an excellent cultural environment to attract and keep a good workforce: Again – good schools; the arts; sports teams; music; museums; entertainment, restaurants and the like. All of us in the technology business understand how important this is as we engage in what has become a global war for the best technical talent.

Here’s another great benefit we found in Virginia – programs and support for the many veterans our company, and many other companies in Northern Virginia, employ and are looking to hire. Support like the NVTC Veterans Hiring Initiative that has done so much to ease the transition of so many of our selfless veterans from their military to their civilian lives. Northrop Grumman is proud to be a part of that initiative.

And after several years here, I can say with confidence that we chose the right place. Our company has prospered and our employees have become integral parts of their communities.

Northern Virginia has met all of our expectations, and then some. A big part of “then some” has been the local technology community centered on the great work of NVTC.    

I hope everyone here and throughout the Commonwealth understands what a contribution NVTC makes to the standards of living of so many people in this region, and what contributions the high-tech companies located here make to our nation and beyond. 

NVTC is enabling a highly integrated technological community with collaborative partnerships that include many institutions and organizations – public, private, advocacy, and academia.

These partnerships will become even more crucial in the future. We are all aware of the Department of Defense’s recent calls for more spending on research and development, as we work to ensure the long-term technological superiority of our national security capabilities. 

This renewed focus is, I believe, critical to our long-term security. We need to be driving more innovation and leveraging a breadth of technologies from across U.S. industry to enhance our edge. Other nations are not sitting by while we’ve sequestered ourselves – they are using it as an opportunity to close the gap.

It is critical that we, the technology community, rise to this challenge to help ensure U.S. global leadership for the long term.

This new focus on reviving R&D in defense could mean tremendous opportunity for many Northern Virginia companies – including some that might never have considered defense work before. 

And it would certainly place an even higher premium on the kinds of partnerships NVTC enables so well.

It is in that spirit of partnership that I’m delighted to accept the Pinnacle Award on behalf of the men and women of Northrop Grumman. 

We are fortunate to be based here in Northern Virginia, and I look forward to the continuing role of NVTC in building regional partnerships, and to the amazing results those partnerships will produce in furthering our region’s economic success and our contributions to national security.