Business Briefs: ICF, Blink Fitness, Metro

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Today, ICF announced the creation and launch of ICF Next, a new agency that will deliver integrated digital marketing and creative services to organizations across the public and private sectors. Officially launching in 2019, ICF Next integrates ICF’s entire set of marketing, technology, communications and digital services businesses – existing ICF brands including ICF Olson, Olson Engage, Olson1to1, ICF Mostra, PulsePoint Group, The Future Customer and recently acquired, We Are Vista.

ICF Next will support a full range of capabilities grounded in behavioral insights, creative engagement and technology. The combined team — over 1,700 creatives, communicators, strategists and technologists across a dozen offices in the U.S., Europe and India – has been recognized with some of the industry’s highest honors. They’ve done impactful work for clients like Skittles, Kraft Mac N Cheese, Jim Beam, Bauer, LensCrafters, and Paqui Chips.

They’ve also put Belize on the map and transformed customer loyalty programs for the likes of Amtrak. Recently, Avanir Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company focused on central nervous system disorders, selected ICF Next as a partner to help the brand with a variety of multi-disciplinary, but highly interdependent communications needs – and there’s more great work to come.

Blink Fitness plans NoVa openings

Blink Fitness is planning to open five new locations in Northern Virginia. Exact sites haven’t been spelled out but they’ll reportedly be  in Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax.

Blink currently has 90 locations open or about to open around the country. Operating the local locations will be Cove Fitness LLC, according to the Washington Business Journal. The gyms will employ about 70 people, according to the Journal.

Metro extends Silver Line deadline

Metro has extended the deadline for proposals to accommodate the considerable number of vendors who expressed interest in operating the extension of the Metrorail Silver Line when construction is complete.

A preproposal conference and four-day tour of Silver Line extension operations and maintenance included 70 people representing two dozen companies. The first to formally consider private service operations of a subway system extension in the U.S., Metro was encouraged that another 115 people joined the preproposal conference through a virtual meeting room. In addition to U.S. vendors, and others from Canada, France, Spain, Italy and Japan, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 officials expressed interest in the process.

To assist the vendor community in understanding the requirements of the request for proposal (RFP), Metro will host several online forums to allow further dialogue and provide additional opportunity for clarifying questions and answers from Metro subject matter experts. The new deadline for proposals is 5:00 p.m. on March 18, 2019.

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Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.