Countless local and regional officials filled the brightly-colored Amazon offices - located at 12900 Worldgate Drive, just across from the Worldgate shopping center - to commemorate the occasion with remarks and a reception.
Teresa Carlson, vice-president of Amazon's worldwide public sector, and Steve Schmidt, AWS' chief information security officer, welcomed officials, employees and the press Monday afternoon, and spoke about how happy the company is to be located in the Town of Herndon and Fairfax County at large.
Carlson and Schmidt then turned the podium over to officials such as Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-11th District); Jim Cheng, Virginia's Secretary of Commerce and Trade; Delegate Tom Rust (R-Herndon); Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust; Town of Herndon Mayor Lisa Merkel; Fairfax County Economic Development Authority President and CEO Jerry Gordon; and members of the offices of Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, along with many others.
Rep. Connolly took the podium and emphasized what a great coup it was for Herndon and Fairfax County to have a company like AWS choose to make their headquarters here.
"It is very important for those of us who live and work here to remember that what created the modern economy of Northern Virginia is partnerships between the public and private sector, especially in the field of IT," he said, touching upon some of AWS' government contracts as well as private sector business with companies such as Netflix.
He touted some of the company's impressive features.
"It is estimated that AWS boasts five times the computing capacity compared to the combined total capacity of 14 of its nearest competitors," Connolly said, touching upon how beneficial he thinks it will be with AWS located so close to the federal government, which he said could benefit from some of AWS' help with IT needs.
Connolly said Fairfax County at large is home to some 580,000 jobs, and now AWS is bringing 500 more to the area with its new Herndon headquarters - which, by the way, they still need bodies to fill.
Secretary Cheng agreed that having such important services as AWS' cloud computing expertise located here will undoubtedly have positive effects on a lot of businesses and governments around them.
"We all know that cloud computing is involved in every single stage of life today, so it's so great to be on the leading edge of technology, and it's so great to have Amazon Web Services here," Cheng said.
Delegate Rust said he also appreciates how AWS is already making huge efforts to bolster and benefit the local community - such as the fact that the company immediately reached out to local arts groups like ArtSpace Herndon, the Council for the Arts of Herndon and the Herndon Foundation for the Cultural Arts, to invite them to do an art installation at the offices. AWS will soon be purchasing a number of pieces to decorate the interior offices with, Carlson said.
"That shows their commitment to the local community," Rust said. "I am so happy that Amazon is here."
Mayor Merkel also took the podium to welcome AWS to the town, and said, "We are just so thrilled that, of all the places in Northern Virginia you could have chosen to have your offices, you chose our little four square miles."
"We see ourselves as a next-generation small town. Our diversity is one of our biggest strengths, and I like to say that we're a small town with a world view," Merkel continued. "The type of business that Amazon Web Services is, is exactly that type of business that we hope to continue to attract here."
Following the remarks from local officials, the crowd adjourned to a large open space on the building's first floor for a reception with catered food, cocktails, and a perfect view of all of the Herndon artists' pieces on display.
What do you think of Amazon Web Services coming to the Town of Herndon? Tell us in the comments below.
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