Video Production Support for ASPR During Recent Hurricanes

ASPR

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria left massive devastation in their wake, and directly impacted millions of people in Southern Texas, Southern Florida, the Florida Keys, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

When natural disasters like hurricanes occur, the access to timely, accurate, and reliable communication is paramount.  Our team at the HHS Broadcast Communications Division was responsible for the production and transmission of social media video content for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).  A Houston crew traveled for six days to the affected areas around the city, and created safety and awareness videos during Hurricane Harvey for ASPR’s Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages.  Likewise, two other crews – one based in Atlanta, another in Orlando – traveled to locations in Florida to cover Hurricane Irma, also producing videos for the ASPR’s social media sites.

Despite spotty internet and cell service, the crews were able to transmit the video content to HHS’ Washington office in order for it to be transcribed, captioned, and uploaded to the ASPR’s social media feeds.

Through our contract with the HHS Broadcast Communications Division, NCC provides day-to-day production and post-production operations including scheduling, coordinating, producing, recording, editing, and delivering professional quality services and products to support the Division’s mission to support key initiatives for the Secretary of HHS and all Staff Divisions by creating and implementing media campaigns and projects.

Those affected by Harvey, Irma, and Maria  need our help.  Please consider making a donation to the American Red Cross or other reputable relief organizations.

National Capitol Contracting is a full-service provider of technology and multimedia solutions. From audiovisual engineering and broadcast operations, to captioning, digital court reporting and document management, we provide the people and the technology to enable communication and collaboration. We focus on delivery for you – the customer – enabling you to focus on your mission.

Real-time Captioning for Presidential Address at Fort Myer

Trump - Fort Myer

On August 21, at the Fort Myer U.S. Army post in Arlington, VA, President Trump addressed the nation to lay out the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.  Given just 12 hours’ notice, NCC was up to the task to deliver real-time captioning for the webcast of the President’s speech on multiple platforms, including the Defense Media Activity (DMA).  One of our expert captioners produced timely and accurate captions for the primetime address, ensuring that hearing-impaired viewers could fully receive the content of the speech.

NCC has a long and diverse history in providing real-time captioning for significant events, including the Army Birthday Ball, the Dalai Lama’s and Bill Gates’ lectures at NIH, Nina Pham’s (the nurse who treated the first person infected with Ebola in the U.S.) press conference, multiple Medal of Honor ceremonies, and countless DoD events.

Furthermore, we are honored to continue supporting DMA – with whom we launched a contract in 2015 – with real-time captioning for town halls, news, and other events and programming for domestic and international viewers in 177 countries and 279 Navy ships at sea.   In addition, we have provided post-production support for movies on a daily basis, as well other programming upon request.

We are proud to have a team of dedicated captioners who are ready to deliver top-notch captions for major events, such as a Presidential address, on short notice.  We are privileged to be enabling communication and collaboration for DMA and all of our other customers that utilize our reliable captioning services.

NCC Exhibits at 2017 ASAE Annual Meeting & Expo

In her opening keynote address to the audience at the 2017 ASAE (American Society of Association Professionals) Annual Meeting and Expo in Toronto, Nilofer Merchant (Fellow at the Martin Prosperity Institute, and a visionary behind more than 100 products in the tech industry) talked about the power of “onlyness,” a term she coined.  She uses this term to remind executives to make their ideas powerful, and also as a way for anyone to “make a dent” in this social media-driven world where there are countless new ideas floating around at any given time.

With that, on August 13th, ASAE’s Annual Meeting & Expo was underway.  NCC was proud to exhibit for the fourth straight year, striving to showcase our onlyness among the 395 companies on hand to exhibit to key leaders of national associations.  About 4,500 executives and exhibitors walked through the doors of the convention center to participate in ASAE.  We were privileged to meet with a large number of Expo attendees to discuss the ways in which we are enabling communication and collaboration for our customers.

NCC’s representatives utilized their decades of experience as sales and business development executives to market the diverse services NCC offers,  including AudioVisual design, engineering and installation; virtual and live event supportmultimedia production; and transcription and captioning.

NCC Booth - ASAE
The NCC booth at ASAE

We continued our tradition of games, prizes, and giveaways right at our booth, as guests had the opportunity to play Jenga and Guess the Number of Marbles; one lucky visitor walked away with a Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch; and we gave away loads of NCC swag including water bottles, pens, mousepads, thumb drives, and USB plugs.

ASAE is a leading organization for association management and represents both organizations and individual association professionals.  The ASAE Annual Meeting & Expo brings in thousands of association professionals and industry partners who gather to exchange resources, strategies, and solutions.  Over the course of the event, attendees are “equipped with a year’s worth of support in their daily responsibilities as leaders in the association industry.”

NCC looks forward to our fifth appearance at the ASAE Annual Meeting and Expo in August of 2018 in Chicago!

NCC Employees Experience the Solar Eclipse

Solar eclipse

At NCC, we like to think that nothing can eclipse the experiences we have working together, enabling communication and collaboration for our customers.  Nothing except perhaps…experiencing an eclipse together!  On the afternoon of August 21st, many of our employees joined millions of Americans who stepped outside to get an optimal view of the solar sensation.

NCC Group shot (eclipse)
Several NCC employees gathered outside HQ on a beautiful Monday afternoon to view the eclipse.

While our McLean, VA headquarters was not in the path of a total eclipse, our employees were able to capture some amazing images of the glowing crescent shape as the moon shielded the sun; the eclipse reached approximately 80 percent of totality at 2:42 p.m. Eastern Time.  Some employees took in the experience from the rooftop terrace of the EastBoro, while others observed the eclipse from outside the front entrance.  All wearing protective eyewear of course!

solar eclipse (from NCC HQ)
The eclipse, as seen from NCC Headquarters in McLean, VA

Other employees who live outside the metropolitan DC area were in prime position for the eclipse.  About 650 miles southwest of NCC HQ in Nashville, TN, a Senior Editor in our Multimedia Production division was one of the lucky ones to be in the 70-mile wide path of the total eclipse (see the photo in the upper right).   She hosted a viewing party at her house, and had the privilege of a front row seat to this inimitable event.  “It is hard to describe,” she said about the scene outside as the eclipse commenced.  “It wasn’t like sunset lighting; it was like a lightbulb about to go out, dull, and then it looked like it was 8:00 at night in seconds.”  She continued, “You could see the shape of the eclipse through the leaves of the trees; they made crescent moons.”

We were thrilled to enjoy this incredible event with our colleagues, friends, and family.  For those of you eclipse chasers, hold onto your glasses and stake out your 2024 spot between Texas and New England!

Fairfax County Economic Development Authority Press Release Highlights NCC

Tysons

NCC has called Fairfax County home for just over 5 months (we moved from Arlington to McLean on March 6th), but we’re already making headlines there!  On August 10th, the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) issued a press release to announce that NCC highlights a group of 25 businesses the Authority supported that added 600 new jobs to the county in the 2nd quarter of 2017.

When we opened the doors of our new headquarters at Tysons Metro Center II in March, we added 105 jobs to the local economy in Fairfax County.  This was the second highest number of jobs among the 25 FCEDA-affiliated companies which either moved or expanded to Fairfax County last quarter.

“NCC had good reason to choose Fairfax County as our new home,” said Chris Marquez, NCC President and CEO. “The amenities offered to businesses and their employees, a prime location close to our customers and partners, the business-friendly fiscal environment, and easy access to highly skilled human resources were all key factors in our decision to move to Tysons. We look forward to working within Fairfax County to achieve our mission of enabling communication and collaboration.”

The FCEDA promotes the competitive advantages of Fairfax County, and provides services and resources to business that wish to grow in the county.  Time magazine has called Fairfax County “one of the great economic stories of our time.”  Tysons, in particular, has experienced tremendous growth in recent years, and is expected to transform into an urban center of up to 100,000 residents by 2050.  We are thrilled to be a part of this growth, and to call Tyson Metro Center II – the heart of Tysons – our home!

We are proud to partner with FCEDA, which further inspires us to continue enabling communication and collaboration for our customers every day.

NCC to Exhibit at ASAE Annual Meeting & Expo, August 12-15

ASAE Annual Meeting

On August 12th to 15th, NCC will go international!  We are thrilled to present our wide-ranging, state-of-the-art products and capabilities at this year’s ASAE Annual Meeting & Expo, in Toronto.

Two NCC associates will make their way up to the Great White North to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, to promote several of our services and technology, including AudioVisual design, engineering and installation; virtual and live event support; multimedia production; and transcription and captioning.   We will exhibit at Booth #207, just steps from the main entrance to the expo floor.  This will be our fourth exhibition at ASAE Meeting & Expo; in addition, we have appeared at ASAE Tech Expo for the past three years.

ASAE Booth
The NCC Booth at the 2016 ASAE Annual Meeting & Expo

As has become tradition when NCC exhibits at various events across the country – or the continent in this case! – we have some amazing giveaways planned.  Visitors to the NCC booth will have the chance to win a pair of Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones or a Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch.  In addition, there will be plenty of NCC merchandise to take home.

ASAE is a leading organization for association management and represents both organizations and individual association professionals.  The ASAE Annual Meeting & Expo brings in thousands of association professionals and industry partners who gather to exchange resources, strategies, and solutions.  Over the course of the event, attendees are “equipped with a year’s worth of support in their daily responsibilities as leaders in the association industry.”

We look forward to meeting with ASAE attendees at Booth #207 to discuss the ways we are enabling communication and collaboration for our customers.  We encourage you to follow us on Twitter at @NCC_Comm for updates and pictures from the event.

Aesthetics and Connectivity in Conference Room Upgrades for AAMI

AAMI

The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) was in need of a major overhaul of its conferencing facilities in Arlington, VA, including state-of-the art upgrades to its conference rooms with significant aesthetic enhancements.  NCC’s Audiovisual and Technology Solutions (AVTS) team was up to the task of performing these upgrades.

As part of the renovation, AAMI required an upgrade to its AV systems to improve the performance, functionality, and aesthetics for local meetings, presentations and audio teleconferences.  The original microphone  system utilized a wired approach to link the multiple microphone base stations together, resulting in a space that appeared untidy and unprofessional.  We replaced the old system with a new wireless discussion system which simplified communication and enabled the “chairman” to have full control of microphone usage within the room.

Our AVTS associates installed a telephone hybrid to connect AAMI’s VoiP phone system, with an input from the wireless discussion system mics, along with integrated speakers for use during audio conferences; this resulted in a significant audio upgrade from the original basic speakerphone system during AAMI’s conference calls.

Enterprise communications have taken on a more complex, yet more human dimension.  At its core is the ability to communicate seamlessly – one-to-one, one-to-many, or many-to-many – conveying audio and visual content and accompanying data regardless of location or mode.  NCC’s engineers understand the growing need for integrated audiovisual systems that are well-designed, tested, and properly installed on time and within budget. We design and implement enterprise, room, and end-user solutions, partnering with our customers to meet their unique technological and budgetary needs.

New Offices, State-of-the-Art Systems for American Beverage Association

American Beverage Association

The American Beverage Association (ABA) began a project to build out a new office space after 40 years in its original offices.  Hosting events in the space was a key requirement for ABA, as until this time, events required renting out hotel space.  NCC worked with the ABA to design systems to support a functional, flexible space with capacity to accommodate small, in-house meetings, video teleconferences, as well as large events previously held off-site.

Our team of engineers, installers, and programmers installed state-of-the-art presentation and web conferencing technology in a variety of spaces, including offices, conference rooms, and digital signage throughout including in a breakout room and cafeteria.  In the new space, ABA is now able to hold large events in-house, and the open floor plan encourages interaction between customers and members.

NCC continues to support the ABA through maintenance and repair services, providing rapid phone response and quick issue resolution to any system issues, sending technical staff on-site for hands-on repair and support.

Enterprise communications have taken on a more complex, yet more human dimension.  At its core is the ability to communicate seamlessly – one-to-one, one-to-many, or many-to-many – conveying audio and visual content and accompanying data regardless of location or mode.  NCC’s engineers understand the growing need for integrated audiovisual systems that are well-designed, tested, and properly installed on time and within budget. We design and implement enterprise, room, and end-user solutions, partnering with our customers to meet their unique technological and budgetary needs.

NCC Goes to the Movies: Video Captioning Support for Defense Media Activity

movie theater

The Karate Kid.  Saving Private Ryan.  Ghostbusters.  Godfather II.  Groundhog Day.  Friday Night Lights.  The Longest Yard.  This is an eclectic collection of successful movies spanning several genres over the last 40-plus years.  What’s more, these are just a few of the titles that NCC has had the pleasure to caption for Defense Media Activity – DoD’s direct line of communication for news and information – since launching our contract with the organization in 2015.

We strive to ensure that viewers (primarily overseas troops and their families) can experience every nuance of the movies, including captions detailing sound effects and actions, music descriptions and song details, in addition to all dialogue.  We are pleased to do our part in enhancing the entire movie-viewing experience, and our team has also appreciated the opportunity to caption numerous films that they, themselves, have enjoyed in the past.  Our skilled Multimedia Production team has produced captions for several movies per week, often with quick turnaround times.

In addition to providing captioning files for movies, our team of expert captioners is responsible for accurate real-time captioning support for DoD’s internal broadcasts, town halls, news programming, and a range of other events for domestic and international viewers covering 177 countries and 279 Navy ships as sea.

Established in 2007, the Defense Media Activity broadcasts news, information, and entertainment through a variety of media channels including radio, TV, Internet, print, and other emerging media technologies.

We are grateful to be enabling communication and collaboration for DMA, as we play our role in providing entertainment for the troops who bravely serve our nation overseas.

We will continue to aim to deliver Oscar-worthy captioning work for the movies presented by DMA!

National Capitol Contracting Scholarship Presented at CelebrAsian 2017

Chris Marquez and USPAACC Scholarship Winner

When we think of Silicon Valley, images of glossy startup firms and opulent neighborhoods probably flash first in our minds.  For at least 1 in 5 Santa Clara County residents, however, this is not the reality, as they live below the poverty line after housing costs are factored in.  Santa Clara County is the home of most of what we consider Silicon Valley, specifically the cities of San Jose and Mountain View.

One Mountain View resident, Skyler, has seen the scourge of poverty and gang violence directly affect his family.  Despite these obstacles, he dreams of one day being part of the cutting edge of information technology.

NCC had the pleasure to present the National Capitol Contracting Scholarship at the United States Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce (USPAACC) CelebrAsian Procurement Conference (May 31 to June 2 in San Diego) to this young man, who recently graduated high school.

Although Skyler grew up a stone’s throw from Silicon Valley, he was part of a family of high school drop-outs and ex-gang affiliates.  He recalls several eviction notices and trips to the local community food bank.  He had no choice but to find work at a young age and help put food on his family’s table.  Despite his mother being diagnosed with breast cancer, he maintains a positive outlook and pushes himself to do big things and continue to help provide for his family.  At summer’s end, he will attend college and pursue an IT career.

This was the fifth consecutive year in which the National Capitol Contracting scholarship was awarded at CelebrAsian, and it was one of more than 20 awarded to highly intelligent and dedicated Asian American high school students from across the country, all of whom have persevered through many hardships on their way to earning their scholarships.

In addition to awarding our scholarship, NCC was heavily involved in several other aspects of the scholarship award process. We had the privilege to host the Scholarship Committee at our beautiful new offices in McLean, VA, and our Multimedia Production team created a professional video about the scholarship program, featuring past recipients, USPAACC National President and CEO Susan Au Allen, and several Asian-American CEOs including our own President and CEO Chris Marquez.

Furthermore, Chris had the personal honor of being selected as Sergeant-at-Arms for the Business Leaders & Scholarship Awards Luncheon, and had the opportunity to talk about his personal connection to the Scholarship program and introduce the MC of the event, Sonu Ratra, CEO of Akraya, an IT staffing and consulting company in Northern California.

We wish the NCC Scholarship awardee the best of luck in college and in his career endeavors.  We are grateful to have had a prominent role in the USPAACC Scholarship progress, and we were honored to host the Scholarship Committee at our headquarters as we put our vision of enabling communication and collaboration into action with the members of the committee.  We look forward to again playing a significant role in CelebrAsian 2018!