I recently attended a reception on behalf of Arlington Economic Development at the New Zealand Ambassador’s residence welcoming Louis Quijas, former Assistant Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, Office for State and Local Law Enforcement, to lead the newly established Security Technology Alliance (STA). STA is a consortium of several innovative, high growth technology companies from New Zealand interested in expanding work with the U.S. Federal, state and local government and contractors, and we've been working with them to find the perfect home in the region. The three founding members: Gallagher, Tait Communications, and Wynyard Group each have developed technology tools for law enforcement, including Wynyard Group's criminal intelligence and risk management software, Tait Communications' mission critical communications systems, and Gallagher's perimeter security access control and intrusion awareness technology. The three companies together represent more than $350M in global revenues and employ more than 2,000 people worldwide. The alliance will give New Zealand tech companies a foothold in the U.S. government market and open the door for U.S. contractors to pursue opportunities in New Zealand and access to the Asia-Pacific market. I'm pleased to announce that STA will be making Arlington its U.S. home.
We are very pleased that the Security Technology Alliance selected Rosslyn (1530 Wilson Boulevard) as its new U.S. headquarters. It is interesting to note just how long it takes for a deal to come through. I first started working with the New Zealand Trade & Enterprise more than two years ago when I heard about the concept of bringing several New Zealand companies together to the U.S. The companies wanted to establish a presence in the Washington area due to its proximity to Federal agencies and other government contractors. In the end, they selected Arlington and 1530 Wilson Boulevard because of easy access to other federal contractors including several in the building itself!
The STA has selected Louis Quijas to lead the venture. In addition to his experience at DHS, Louis was also a former Assistant Director at the FBI, and has spent 25 years with the Kansas City Police Department. At the reception, many of the guests were from the law enforcement and security industries. Some have interacted with Quijas in the past, and some have worked for him at the various agencies. He indicated that the U.S. national security industry needs the competition from the New Zealand companies, especially as police budgets are cut and more technology is needed for their missions. There is also the ever-growing collaboration and information sharing that have slowly grown since 9/11 between state and local law enforcement and federal officials. The Washington area is ideal for these New Zealand companies. As Quijas remarked, this area is “customer rich!”