Business Notes: New CEO Announced for Donohoe Cos.; Novavax Ending Lease at Gaithersburg Lab

Plus: Library system offering free access to a suite of workforce training tutorials


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Christopher Bruch

FROM DONOHOE WEBSITE

Bruch takes over at Donohoe Cos.

Bethesda-based real estate developer The Donohoe Cos. has named Christopher Bruch as its CEO and president after Bob Donohoe announced plans to step down from the leadership role.

Bruch started at the company 30 years ago and worked his way up from an initial role as a project engineer. His promotion marks just the second time in the company’s 134-year history that a Donohoe has not led the company.

Bob Donohoe’s son, Bob Donohoe Jr., was promoted to senior vice president and chief investment officer at the company. Donohoe Jr. has been with the company for 12 years and oversees nearly $1 billion in real estate assets, according to the company.

“Earlier this decade, Donohoe began its transition from the fourth to the fifth generation of leadership over the company’s 134-year history,” Bob Donohoe Sr. said. “As Donohoe evolves, this new generation of leaders is charged to continue to carry out our values of integrity and vision.”

The company is a major real estate developer in the Washington, D.C., region. In Bethesda, the company is constructing the second phase of its Gallery Bethesda apartment complex in Woodmont Triangle.

 

Biotech firm Novavax ending Gaithersburg lease

Novavax’s big Montgomery County expansion plans are dead.

The biotech firm announced in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing it is in negotiations with its landlord to terminate its lease on an approximately 150,000-square-foot facility in Gaithersburg, according to The Washington Business Journal.

In the summer of 2016, the company announced plans to add 850 jobs in the county after leasing the new laboratory space at 1201 Clopper Road, about a mile from its headquarters in a Quince Orchard Road office park.  Maryland and the county offered the company $7.5 million in conditional loans and grants to help the company expand.

However, in the fall of 2016, the company reported poor phase 3 clinical trial results for a drug it was working on to treat Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), which infects the lungs and breathing passages. The results caused the company’s stock to plummet and led to it laying off employees.

Novavax said in the SEC filing it will pay a $5.3 million lease termination fee to the landlord, according to the Business Journal.

 

Montgomery County Public Libraries offers free online workforce training videos

The county’s library system announced Tuesday it now offers free access to Lynda.com video tutorials to anyone who has a library card.

Lynda.com offers more than 6,000 video courses taught by industry experts in fields such as graphic design, 3D animation, computer programming, web design and video production. The library system hopes users will take advantage of the courses to learn new skills.

A perk of the partnership is that library card holders can access the videos anywhere they have internet access—not just at a county library. The courses are organized on the website by subject and skill level.

Users who want to try the service can access the videos through the county library system’s website.

“The addition of Lynda.com to our suite of career and education resources will allow [Montgomery County library] card holders access to a top source for online learning,” Anita Vassallo, acting director of the library system, said in a statement.

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