BELTWAY BIZ

They don't get it: Investors in Herndon's U.S. Order, the World Corp. spin-off that recently went public, are steamed over a Washington Post article that splashed Intuit's proposed banking alliances all over the business section, while ignoring the strategic alliance of U.S. Order and Visa Interactive (also based in Herndon), which is far and away in the lead for the number of banks signed, including the latest, UK's Barclay's.

They still don't get it: Adding salt to the wounds, a later article waxed on about Fairfield, Conn.'s Managing-Your-Money MECA Software's similar prospective alliances that compete with Menlo Park-based Intuit's Quicken suite. In the meantime, little local Visa Interactive plans to exploit its 21,000 member banks and international standards to dominate the market.

Maybe the reason they don't get it, is that the Post still hasn't listed U.S. Order in bold-face type in the stock tables, as is supposedly its style for local public companies. They've failed to dress up UUNet as well, that really hot IPO from Falls Church that would have been No. 4 on last week's Post list of top gainers (U.S. Order would have been No. 12), if the Post got it. But hey, when they don't get it, they sure don't get it right.

Dickstein Shapiro's Jim Hughes hosted a surprise birthday party for Betac CEO Earl Lockwood, now immortalized in his pal Charles McCarry's new Washington political thriller Shelley's Heart. But as a Biz source pointed out, McCarry managed to pull Lockwood's leg even while paying him the compliment of casting his fictional namesake as the President of the United States: He made him a liberal.

The Northern Virginia Project, founded by Legent entrepreneur and capital capitalist Mario Morino, has hired Vin Cippola's hot strategic marketing firm, Pamet River Partners, to put its fine touch on a vision for the region. Serving with Morino on the project's board are BTG's Ed Bersoff, SAIC's Mike Daniels, former BDM CEO Earle Williams, Northern Virginia Tech Council Chairman and DynCorp CEO Dan Bannister, and other luminaries including the CIT's Bob Templin and George Mason University's April Young.

Meanwhile, the Greater Washington Initiative, a five-year marketing initiative led by Crestar President Bill Harris, has produced two breathtaking brochures to promote the local economy as an international technology center situated in the free world's capital.


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