Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards
<@VM>Dan Bannister | Hall of fame<@VM>Stephen Rohleder | Executive of the Year, Large Contractor<@VM>Rodney Hunt | Executive of the Year, Midsize Contractor<@VM>Sudhakar Shenoy | Executive of the Year, Small Contractor<@VM>SRA International Inc. | Large Contractor of the Year<@VM>Integic Corp. | Midsize Contractor of the Year<@VM>International Resources Group Ltd. | Small Contractor of the Year<@VM>Timothy Beans | Public Sector Partner of the Year
Dan Bannister began working for California Eastern Airways Inc. in 1953 as a $1.65-per-hour electronics technician. He stayed 52 years with the company, which later changed its name to DynCorp, rising to become its chief executive officer and chairman.
He helped DynCorp grow from a few million dollars in annual revenue in the early 1950s to $2.4 billion in 2003 when it was sold to Computer Sciences Corp.
For this as well as other contributions to the government contracting community, Bannister was given the Hall of Fame Award at the Second annual Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards dinner Oct 13 in McLean, Va.
The awards event also honored leading government contractors and executives for exemplary performance during the past year. The awards are presented by a partnership of Washington Technology, the Professional Services Council, and the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce Government Contractors Council.
What's striking about this year's award winners is that so many, like Bannister, rose from inauspicious beginnings. Sudhakar Shenoy, named executive of the year for small contractors, had two young children when he left a steady job to start Information Management Consultants Inc. in 1981.
Rodney Hunt, named executive of the year for midsize contractors, had an infant son to raise when his wife died unexpectedly after he founded RS Information Systems Inc. 12 years ago. His success makes him determined to help other new business executives.
"I feel like I have an obligation ? to minority and women-owned business to keep blazing the trail and to reach back and help them," he said.
This year's finalists and award winners, selected by a panel of long-time industry and government leaders, exemplify government contracting at its best.
When Dan Bannister joined California Eastern Airways Inc. in 1953, he had a simple plan: Get an assignment in Japan, live cheaply, return to the United States and go to school full-time.
But what began as just a job turned into a lifelong career, and Bannister spent the next 52 years working for the company that later became DynCorp.
From his $1.65-per-hour job as an electronics technician, Bannister rose to become the chief executive officer and then chairman of the Reston, Va., company. He helped DynCorp grow from a few million dollars in annual revenue in the early 1950s to $2.4 billion in 2003 when it was sold to Computer Sciences Corp.
"I never got that overseas assignment," Bannister said.
But he did fight off a hostile takeover attempt in 1988, just three years after becoming CEO, and convert DynCorp from a publicly traded firm to an employee-owned company. He also led an aggressive acquisition strategy; DynCorp made about 50 acquisitions over 30 years, he said.
This record of accomplishment is what led to Bannister's induction into the Greater Washington Government Contractors Hall of Fame Oct. 13.
Bannister was an early believer in the idea that selling services to the government would become a viable market. The first contract he worked in 1953 began as an unsolicited proposal from DynCorp to the Air Force on an innovative way to modernize aircraft electronics. "We demonstrated that we could add value and be a partner, not just a vendor dispensing services," he said. Called the Field Team, the project initially was worth about $2 million a year, but today is worth about $200 million a year, he said. Three companies, including DynCorp, now hold the contract.
In the early 1990s, DynCorp began building an IT and telecommunications business to go with its technical services business. The IT business grew to be about half of DynCorp's revenue and became an important asset in helping it win contracts that were not IT-related, Bannister said.
For example, DynCorp initially pursued and lost a contract to manage the Energy Department's Strategic Petroleum Reserve. When the contract came up for a recompete in 1992, DynCorp used its IT capabilities to submit a proposal to build a monitoring system that included remote sensors, computer networks and telecommunications lines.
"We won hands down," Bannister said.
The contract was worth $640 million and was DynCorp's biggest win at the time. DynCorp, now CSC, still manages the petroleum reserve.
But Bannister's career has been about more than just growing DynCorp. He is a past chairman of the Professional Services Council and the Easter Seal Society of Greater Washington. He is on the board of the Joe Gibbs Youth for Tomorrow charity, the board of advisers for Marymount University's business school, and is a trustee of the Falcon Foundation, which provides scholarships to Air Force Academy students.
Business remains a passion, however, and the Hall of Fame award is no swan song, he said. Today, he is chairman of Social and Scientific Systems Inc. and advises several small businesses.
"It has been one heck of a ride," he said.
? Nick Wakeman
Stephen Rohleder, chief operating officer of Accenture Ltd., Hamilton, Bermuda, joined the company's government unit 24 years ago because he thought he could make a difference.
"I have an intense passion to work with our government clients to help them implement their day-to-day jobs. It's a job that has tangible results," Rohleder said after being named large contractor executive of the year at the Oct. 13 Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards.
The award is given to an executive at a government contractor that has more than $500 million in annual revenue. A panel of experts in industry and academia chose the executive award winners based on their contributions to their companies, community and industry.
As COO, Rohleder leads the company's government and commercial business around the world. Before his appointment as COO in September, Rohleder was group chief executive of Accenture's $1.6 billion global government operating group. Under his leadership, the group exponentially grew its revenue and profitability. Sales increased 56 percent between fiscal 2002 and fiscal 2003, according to Accenture.
Rohleder has high ethical standards and a commitment to bringing innovative solutions to the government, said Steve Kelman, a Harvard University professor and selection committee member.
Rohleder said that Accenture led the industry in bringing to the federal government innovations such as performance-based contracting, where the contractor shares the risks of development with the customer and gets paid more if the project is successful.
In the mid-1990s, Accenture urged the federal government to adopt commercial business practices, Rohelder said. The company installed at the Veterans Affairs Department a distribution system like one installed at Caterpillar Inc. and Walt Disney Co. Ltd.
"Back then, it was a negative. It seems like normal business now," he said.
Accenture's method of blending systems and business process change to meet customers' needs resulted in its win of the U.S. Visitor and Immigration Status Indicator System contract earlier this year, Rohleder said. The contract is worth up to $10 billion over 10 years. Accenture will build a system that confirms the identity of people visiting the United States, note when they have overstayed their visas and alert officials if visitors have been identified as security risks.
"Much of the community viewed us as an underdog," Rohleder said. "But U.S. Visit is more about transformational change than systems, and people who know Accenture know that we focus on blending systems and process change to meet our client's vision."
Rohleder frequently has testified before Congress on topics such as homeland security, government reform and IT training. He has served on several committees and boards, including the Presidential Advisory Committee on Expanding Federal Training Opportunities, the National Association of Counties' Homeland Security Task Force and the Information Technology Association of America's Systems Enterprise Solutions Board.
? Gail Repsher Emery
Rodney Hunt founded RS Information Systems Inc. 12 years ago at a time of great change in his life. His wife had died unexpectedly, leaving him to raise an infant son alone.
His son, now 12, is a straight-A student and basketball player. Hunt's company has grown from $50,000 in revenue for 1992 to $325 million this year. Nearly all of the growth has been from company activities rather than through acquisitions, said Hunt, president and chief executive officer of the McLean, Va., company.
"We're very lucky," Hunt said of RSIS. "Success is a journey, not a destination. We learn every day."
On Oct. 13, Hunt was named executive of the year among midsize contractors at the 2004 Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards. The award is given to an executive at a government contractor that has between $75 million and $500 million in annual revenue.
A panel of experts in industry and academia selected the executive award winners based on their contributions to their companies, the community and the government contractor industry.
Hunt has led RSIS to enormous growth, "and I know he is far from done," said Roger Mody, former CEO of Signal Corp. and a selection committee member.
Hunt said his company, which offers systems engineering, telecommunications, management consulting and other services to the government, maintains a 99 percent customer approval rating. Because 50 percent to 60 percent of contract award decisions are based on past performance, it's crucial that his company's rating stays high, he said.
Everyone at RSIS "has skin in the game," Hunt said. That encourages employees to learn their customers' hopes, fears and biases and do what it takes to make those customers successful. He distributes 10 percent of all company fees to his top teams, and also gives bonuses and awards.
Hunt's other priorities include teaming with and mentoring other minority-owned businesses and improving children's lives through competitive sports.
"I feel like I have an obligation to the Small Business Administration and to minority- and women-owned businesses to keep blazing the trail and to reach back and help them," he said. "They might never become an RSIS, but they might partner together, they might double their revenue."
Hunt founded the nonprofit Virginia Pride Inc. to teach sports fundamentals to young men and women, and also to promote academics and community service. He has raised more than $800,000 from local businesses for Virginia Pride.
"A lot of people were taking money for kids and keeping it for themselves," Hunt said. "We're spending it on shoes, uniforms and trips [to competitions]. It's very rewarding."
Hunt also ensures that participants in his program give back to the community in numerous ways, including by serving Thanksgiving dinner at homeless shelters and cleaning the gym where they practice.
"We're teaching them service before self," he said.
? Gail Repsher Emery
Sudhakar Shenoy had two young children when he left a good job at American Management Systems Inc. to start systems integrator Information Management Consultants Inc. in 1981.
"He knew he was taking a risk," said Suresh Shenoy, Sudhakar's brother and executive vice president of Reston, Va.-based IMC.
But the risk paid off for Sudhakar, IMC's chairman and chief executive officer, who was named small contractor executive of the year Oct. 13 at the Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards. Suresh accepted the award on behalf of Sudhakar, who was opening company offices in India at the time.
The award is given to an executive of a government contractor that has less than $75 million in revenue. A panel of experts in industry and academia selected the executive award winners based on their contributions to their companies, the community and the government contractor industry.
"Sudhakar is fair to his employees, honest to his customers and is passionate about what he does," Suresh said. Because of those qualities, customers keep coming back to IMC, and some have stayed with IMC for as long as 18 years, Suresh said.
Sudhakar's community involvement is extensive. He led a company partnership with a McLean, Va., elementary school to encourage math and technology studies, accompanied several Commerce Department secretaries on international trade missions and participated in several Virginia state trade missions.
"You can't go anywhere in the Northern Virginia technology community without seeing the smiling face of Sudhakar Shenoy," said Paul Lombardi, president of INpower and former president and CEO of DynCorp. Lombardi was a member of the award selection committee.
IMC recently opened a center of excellence at its Reston, Va., headquarters to honor a longtime employee who died of cancer. The company also created a $50,000 endowment at George Mason University in memory of the employee, Suneeth Nayak.
"The center of excellence helps us demonstrate our solutions, and allows our employees to experiment and play with the latest technologies that we may eventually use in providing innovative and intelligent solutions to our clients," Sudhakar said via e-mail from India.
"Innovation is the only way our country can keep its lead in the economic sector. It is also important to me because ... we pride ourselves on being able to provide intelligent solutions with the best and the brightest employees," Sudhakar wrote. "Unless we offer opportunities to young people to be trained in these disciplines, companies like us will not be able to survive in a global competitive age."
? Gail Repsher Emery
For SRA International Inc., 2003 was the year the big contracts began rolling in.
Before March 2003, the company had never had a contract worth more than $100 million, said Ernst Volgenau, chairman and chief executive officer. Then SRA began winning contracts that topped $200 million, and in November 2003, the company received a $328 million contract for IT services for the U.S. Agency for International Development.
These successes helped the Fairfax, Va., defense contractor win the large contractor of the year award at the 2004 Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards banquet Oct. 13. The category included companies with more than $500 million in 2003 revenue.
"People frequently ask me, 'What is the SRA difference?' " Volgenau said. "Values and culture are what makes us different."
SRA requires a high ethical performance from its 3,500 employees and compliance with the law at all times, he said. The company's focus on service is based on three components: quality work and customer satisfaction; above-average employees fulfilled in their work; and serving the country and communities.
It is with pride that Volgenau noted that for five consecutive years, SRA has been chosen by Fortune
magazine as one of the 100 best companies to work for. He also is proud of SRA's work for government customers
The company manages the Federal Parent Locator Service, which collected more than $20 billion in delinquent child support payments in 2003. SRA also developed and manages the National Practitioner Data Bank and the Healthcare Integrity Protection Data Bank for the Health and Human Services Department. The systems report adverse actions taken against health care practitioners, providers and suppliers.
For 26 years, SRA has offered IT services and solutions to agencies dealing with national security, health care and other issues. It serves more than 300 government customers on more than 800 projects. Its customers include the Defense, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Justice, Transportation and Treasury departments, the Environmental Protection Agency, Government Accountability Office, intelligence agencies, Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration and U.S. Agency for International Development.
SRA, which has been publicly traded for two and a half years, has had consistently good financial performance, Volgenau said. The company posted revenue of $615.8 million for its fiscal year ended June 30, a 37 percent increase over its 2003 revenue of $450.4 million. Volgenau expects SRA to have annual growth of 15 percent to 20 percent over the next five years and eventually reach $2 billion in sales, assuming the company has no significant acquisitions.
"You can be idealistic, but if you don't have a good financial performance, then it becomes academic," he said.
In September, the company won its largest contract to date: a five-year, $341 million task order to provide IT services and support for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s technology infrastructure.
Volgenau declined to specify which major government contracts SRA intends to pursue during the next year, but said, "we're bidding a fair number of large jobs."
? Roseanne Gerin
Integic Corp. is a company built from scratch, said Robert LaRose, chairman, president and chief executive officer of the Chantilly, Va., company founded in 1990.
"This company started from a zero beginning with no special programs or [small business] set-asides," he said. All of its growth has been organic, he added. "The management team and the employees built Integic on outstanding work."
Integic was chosen as midsize contractor of the year at the 2004 Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards banquet. The category included companies that had between $75 million and $500 million in 2003 revenue.
The privately owned company develops software and business process management systems that connect legacy IT systems to the Internet and other networks. It has clients in federal, health care and life sciences markets.
Profitable since its inception, Integic's revenue grew by 21.5 percent to $164 million in 2003 from $135 million in 2002. LaRose expects Integic to reach more than $170 million in revenue this year and top $200 million in 2005.
About 80 percent to 85 percent of Integic's revenue comes from federal clients. The rest comes from the commercial sector and state and local clients. About 95 percent of its revenue came from contracts on which Integic was the prime.
The company has nearly 600 employees and is looking to fill 40 to 50 new positions.
The Defense and Homeland Security departments, Federal Aviation Administration and IRS are among Integic's government customers. For the Defense Department, the company is working on worldwide deployment of an electronic medical records repository for 9 million soldiers and their dependents, one of the largest IT projects ever undertaken by the department, LaRose said.
LaRose said Integic's five-year, $100 million contract to provide human resource applications to the Office of Personnel Management is one of the contracts of which he's most proud. Another significant award is a deal to modernize the airman certification program at the FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute.
With these wins in hand, Integic now is looking toward a new line of automation work to keep its revenue growing. While most automation projects have focused on back-office systems, Integic will study work to automate front-office functions, such as sales, purchasing and contract processing, LaRose said.
"We see tremendous automation taking place in the front end," he said.
The company also wants to help agencies with credentialing to pre-clear and pre-license workers in order to streamline security processes, LaRose said.
Integic will pursue procurements both as a prime and a subcontractor with federal agencies such as the Army, Navy and Homeland Security Department that deal with national priorities, LaRose said. The company plans to go after new federal health care clients, including the National Institutes of Health for work helping manage clinical trials, he said.
? Roseanne GerinWhen the U.S. Agency for International Development needed help managing its reconstruction program in Iraq, it called on International Resources Group Ltd.
IRG was the only company the agency asked to bid on its initial contract for mission support services in Iraq, and the company has been its contractor ever since. IRG has helped U.S. AID in its largest reconstruction effort to date with rebuilding Iraq's critical infrastructure, reforming its education and health systems and restructuring its economy.
"IRG has basically kept our entire program in Iraq going," said Timothy Beans, U.S. AID's former chief acquisition officer who now oversees the agency's programs in Southeast Asia. He said that IRG was on the ground in Iraq "even before we could get people on the ground. ... They have performed exceptional work in a very dangerous and stressful environment."
The privately held Washington firm won the 2004 Greater Washington Government Contractor Award for small contractor of the year. The category included companies with less than $75 million in 2003 revenue.
IRG's staff of 430 workers provides a range of consulting services, including personnel and procurement, in education and health reform, democracy and governance, economic restructuring and growth, infrastructure building and resource management.
"Those things are not easy," said Asif Shaikh, IRG's president and chief executive. "It's not like building a bridge. It's not even like selling software. It involves thinking and constantly monitoring what you're doing, and that means you have to have a team of people who are incredibly dedicated to what they do."
IRG posted revenue of $52 million in 2003, expects to double it this year, and could double it again in 2005, Shaikh said. IRG is mulling whether to go public, he said.
IRG has three divisions: relief and reconstruction, environmental and natural resources, and energy and environment. Since 1978, it has completed more than 650 contracts in 134 countries. Clients include the Defense and Energy departments, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration.
IRG also has a grants program, called the Cultural Preservation Fund, which helps communities in poor countries, such as the republics of Nigeria and Peru, and the Kingdom of Nepal, preserve their cultural legacies. It contributes money and staff time to local charitable events, including the AIDS Walk and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. It also contributes to Friends of the United Nations Food Programme's campaign to recognize people who have made significant accomplishments in fighting global hunger.
In the next five years, IRG will target other federal agencies, especially those working with water resources, which Shaikh sees as a large growth area for business. By that time, IRG expects to have a 50-50 mix of international and domestic work as well, although U.S. AID will remain its most important client and generate at least 50 percent of the company's business, Shaikh said.
"That field is growing so rapidly," Shaikh said. "For the first time in this country's history, defense, diplomacy and development are all the first line of foreign policy. And development is what U.S. AID does."
? Roseanne Gerin
When Timothy Beans became a finalist for public sector partner of the year in the 2004 Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards, his son told him he didn't stand a chance of winning. The chief acquisition officer of the U.S. Agency for International Development was up against finalists from the Energy Department and the Defense Department's Surface Deployment and Distribution Command.
The younger Beans said industry judges surely would pick the winner from the agency that gave them the most money. But his father won the award anyway and drew hearty laughter from the crowd as he recounted the conversation with his son.
The award also came the night before Beans started his new job as director of U.S. AID's mission in Southeast Asia. No one at U.S. AID has ever before been promoted from director of procurement to director of an overseas mission, he said.
Beans has spent 25 years in government and six years in industry. The latter work gave him "a flavor for the private sector," he said. "I don't see them as adversarial; I see them as absolutely critical to success."
Beans said he believes he was chosen for the award because of a management philosophy that calls for working closely with the private sector. He established a quarterly "partner's day" at U.S. AID where his acquisition team meets with industry to inform them about the agency's activities and to solicit criticism and ideas.
"The public sector needs to become more like the private sector. We have to do a better job of customer service, and we have to realize that we are a service industry," Beans said.
As head of acquisitions, Beans' biggest accomplishment was persuading management to recognize that procurement was a critical part of U.S. AID, which spends 70 percent of its funds on contracts, grants and cooperative agreements. He oversaw 140 employees in Washington and 50 overseas.
"I was able to convince management that we had to pay much more attention to the procurement side of the house and that we weren't going to be successful until we started realizing that if we didn't partner with the private sector and work closely with them, we were not going to be a success as a government agency," he said.
U.S. AID awarded more than $6 billion in fiscal 2004, and increased its obligations to more than $10 billion with no initial increase in procurement staff for projects in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Presidential Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
Beans will face new challenges as director of the agency's mission in Southeast Asia. He is particularly concerned with human trafficking in young women taken from villages and coerced into working as prostitutes or other forced labor.
"There are many other things that I hope to accomplish through global development alliances: working with the private sector to leverage money, trying to get things going and getting more bang for the buck for taxpayers," Beans said.
? Roseanne Gerin