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Nov 25th 2013

AOL Named One of the Great Places to Work in D.C.

We're honored that Washingtonian magazine has named AOL one of the 50 Great Places to Work in the D.C. Area!

AOL was selected from more than 13,000 nominations, with criteria that included worker satisfaction, flexibility, work/life balance and workplaces that employees enjoying going to each day. Once the nominations were narrowed down to the top 200, the companies were compared by size and the final 50 were selected.

To celebrate, the Dulles campus enjoyed a drop-by breakfast at three locations.

Nov 12th 2012

AOL Earns Energy Star Certification for Virginia Data Centers

AOL has just earned Energy Star certifications for its Virginia data centers, Dulles and Manassas, the only two data centers in the state with this distinction.

This accomplishment means the buildings perform in the top 25% nationwide for energy efficiency and they meet strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy under the Energy Star program.

Commercial buildings that earn EPA's Energy Star certification use an average of 35% less energy than typical buildings and release 35% less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Given the power density requirements specific to data centers, an organization-wide commitment to energy conservation and efficiency is required to successfully earn the Energy Star certification. Earlier this year, AOL also won Uptime Institute awards for data center and IT efficiency.

Here are some reasons that AOL received an Energy Star Certification:

· AOL improved its data floor monitoring and chiller efficiency to better match the required cooling of the data floor with the computer room AC units; this measurement system allowed some of the AC units to be turned off at low-load times
· At the Dulles Tech Center, AOL retrofit the HVAC system with variable frequency drive motors, which resulted in increased energy efficiency
· Across the suite of Dulles campus buildings and technology centers, these cost effective and energy efficient improvements have saved AOL more than $7 million in energy costs

To learn more about AOL's sustainability efforts click here.

Aug 7th 2012

AOLer Fletcher Jones Inspires Incubator Lab


As Senior Director of AOL's Strategic Partnerships, Fletcher "Fletch" Jones knows how to bring together powerful parties to collaborate on a greater vision. Working with a number of AOL's larger relationships that power websites like DailyFinance, AOL Jobs, and AOL Real Estate, Jones and his team focuses on deal performance. "Business Development does the deals and then someone has to work with the partners and the AOL GMs to make sure the potential of the deal is realized for both parties," said Jones. "I'm an advocate for the partner within AOL and for AOL when dealing with the partner. It's an enjoyable role because of the relationships required both inside and outside the company as well as the real, measurable business metrics involved."

Jones utilized his relationship management skills when collaborating with fellow AOLers, Bud Rosenthal and Brian McMahon, to found Fishbowl Labs, a startup incubator for the D.C. tech community that lives on AOL's Dulles campus. How did Fishbowl Labs begin? "The idea itself – to provide free space on campus to local startups – was not a new one," said Jones. "It is something we'd proven out in Palo Alto and New York. Many in Dulles had asked the question – why not here? I think the reality is that you just need someone or a small group of someones to take the initiative and see it through. Bud Rosenthal, Brian McMahon and I worked on the idea and pitched it to local VC and startup community for probably nine months before the first company moved in."

"The Fishbowl," named for its glass walls, is a perfect space to showcase the startup community. When looking for startups to join the lab, Jones and team look for a strong cultural fit within AOL and the other startups already in the portfolio. Jones explains that "they also look at the problem the startups are solving for and the technology and ideas they employ. What we don't worry too much about is whether their business is going to scale into the next LivingSocial. Since we aren't investing, we can put an emphasis on the culture fit and knowledge transfer and still win big."

When discussing the Dulles tech scene, Jones shares that "people would be surprised by the number of technical folks working in basements and garages in northern Virginia. We got our first six companies in through word of mouth alone. Recent stories by Washington Business Journal and TechCocktail have also created a real surge in interest. A 'Build it and they will come' mentality is really how it's playing out for Fishbowl Labs right now."

Jones joined AOL through the acquisition of Netscape Communications in 1999 and has worked in product management, marketing and business operations roles over the years. A former rower at the University of Michigan, Jones still enjoys exercising as well as coaching and home improvement. His favorite AOL product is AOL Mail and "like many, has had the address for a long time and it's part of my identity." Jones is also addicted to caffeine "and can't operate without coffee first thing in the morning."

Learn more about Fishbowl Labs by reading these articles by BizJournals and TechCocktail or follow them on Twitter at @FishbowlLabs.

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