Inside the GovCon winners circle

We share the achievements and insights of the 2011 winners of the Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards.

Each year, the government contracting industry gathers to honor its top companies and executives and each year there are surprises and special moments.

The 9th annual Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards banquet on Nov. 1 was no exception.

A three-time finalist finally broke through as a winner. A legend of the industry was honored as a Hall of Fame inductee. And the theme of partnership and service to the nation shone through repeatedly in acceptance speeches.

The annual program is produced by the Fairfax County, Va., Chamber of Commerce, the Professional Services Council and Washington Technology.

The seven winners were picked from 35 finalists and were judged on their contributions to customers, community and coworkers.

What made these companies and executives rise above their peers was a dedication to customers and employees and the ability to deliver. As one winner said, "We want to take on hard work."

That motivation has served these companies well.

Introducing the 2011 class:

Contractors of the year

Executives of the year

Hall of fame

Public-sector partners of the year


CPS Professional Services
less than $25 million

Providing community service and a quality workplace at the top of its priority list, CPS Professional Services LLC of Fairfax, Va., was still able to turn out outstanding financials and win a number of prominent contracts in 2010.

CPS closed fiscal 2010 with more than $14.6 million in revenue, a 43 percent increase over the previous year. Contributing to its performance was a decision to consolidate offices, implement Deltek and to bring human resources in-house.

In addition, the company was able to strengthen its infrastructure by building a strong program support office, ensuring regulatory compliance, creating dashboards and metrics, building an advisory board and a strong Capture and Business Development organization.

For the past five years the company has worked on developing Lean Six Sigma and Continuous Process Improvement Services. This service helps CPS customers find inefficiencies to become more productive and cost effective.

Some of the company’s major contract wins in 2010 included the Lean Six Sigma training support services Contract for the Transportation Security Agency, an ordering agreement within the U.S. Postal Service for Lean Six Sigma consulting and training services and the Lean Six Sigma program research, assessment, modeling and refinement contract for the Army.

“We couldn't do this without our employees,” Phil Panzarella, founding principal of the company, said in accepting the award.. “This award enables us to do more in the future.”

Agilex Technologies
$25 million to $75 million

Rapid growth and significant revenue within one company are rare, but Agilex Technologies, of Chantilly, Va. was able to accomplish both in fiscal 2010 with $63 million in revenue for a 66 percent year-over-year growth rate and a 185 percent growth rare during the past four years. It is on track to make more than $85 million in revenue in 2011.

Agilex has won a number of prime contracts and is a subcontractor on a several of key projects because of the company’s customer-specific solution approach instead of focusing on staff augmentation. It offers a solution that hones in on return-on-investment, cost savings and performance. Its approach made Agilex one of the first commercial recipients of the Veterans Affairs Innovation Initiative (VAi2) contract.

A Washington Technology profile in 2010 said Agilex symbolizes a new approach to government contracting, “created to provide expertise in a government IT market moving toward a skills-based, rapid-response and more commercial model.”

“We are on a nice roll and this award validates everything we are trying to do as a corporation,”Vice Chairman Jay Nussbaum said in accepting the award.

In 2010, the company became the first Apple Authorized Systems Integrator in the federal sector promoting use of Apple iOS devices throughout government.

Systems Planning and Analysis Inc.
$75 million-$300 million

After several successive years of nominations this is the first win for Systems Planning and Analysis Inc. of Alexandria, Va.

“What a surprise,” said Phillip Lantz, president and CEO, in accepting the award. “We’ve been a bridesmaid for three years, so my expectations weren’t high.”

The company had a number of significant accomplishments in 2010, including winning its largest prime contract, a five-year, $134 million award for the Navy’s Above Water Sensors Directorate in the Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems.

Another large contract awarded in 2010 was for nuclear weapons security and securing the Transit Protection Systems for the ongoing Strategic Systems Program.

Other 2010 contracts included an $11 million award for manpower, personnel, training and education for OPNAV N1; a $2.5 million award in support of the Office of Naval Research’s Persistent Littoral Undersea Surveillance innovative Naval Prototype Program; a $2 million prime contract in support of the Navy SPAWARD CTO Office; a $2 million contract from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Office and $1.2 million award for Missile Defense Analysis to OPNAV N86.

“I founded SPA 39 years ago,” Lantz said. “I had not idea where it would go but it was an opportunity to do some important and interesting work. It has succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.”

Greater than $300 million

Winning top honors in the large company category was a fitting swan song for Vangent, which was acquired by General Dynamics Corp. in a cash deal on Sept. 30.

Setting many records for fiscal 2010, Vangent ended the year with a record $761.8 million in total revenue, a 30 percent increase over 2009. Earnings also made records, as the company grew 35 percent to $95 million in 2010.

Growth was driven by Vangent’s partnership with Lockheed Martin for the Decennial Response Integration System contract with the U.S. Census Bureau. Vangent processed almost half of the nation’s census forms. The company managed more than 2 million inbound calls from those who had questions about the forms. Many more millions of calls were made by Vangent to make sure no one was missed or counted more than once.

In addition, the acquisition of Buccaneer Computer Systems and Services contributed $34.9 million in growth. The acquisition was named by Washington Technology as the best deal by a mid-size company in 2010.

Serving more than 47 million Medicare beneficiaries through its 1-800-Medicare contact center and pioneering a clinical documentation tool for the county’s wounded warriors and armed forces were some other accomplishments performed in 2010.

“It is a real honor to step up here and represent the 7,000 employees of Vangent,” said CEO Mac Curtis.

NEXT: Executives of the year


Dolly Oberoi
CEO of C2 Technologies Inc.,
less than $75 million

An immigrant from India who travelled to the U.S. in her twenties to attend university, Dolly Oberoi, CEO and founder of C2 Technologies Inc., is known for her entrepreneurial spirit.

She arrived in the United States with $200 in her pocket and a single backpack slung over her shoulder. She started her own company without financing or collateral.

“She will be over the moon when she hears,” said Dara Nicholls, vice president of training solutions. She accepted the award on Oberoi’s behalf because she was out of the country. “She really embodies the attributes of this award – leadership, excellence and innovation. And she fosters those qualities in those around her. She’s done that for me.”

C2's long-term vision of "taking education to the learners," was born out of Oberoi’s studies at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

In 2010, Oberoi guided the company to 21 percent growth and it is on-track for 25 percent growth in 2011. As C2 navigated from a small to a large business, she was instrumental in investing in research and development and diversifying into new markets. This led C2 to become one of the first companies to pioneer mobile learning solutions, including one that allows soldiers to train from anywhere remotely.

By nurturing her employees’ personal and professional growth, the company has a high retention rate. Oberoi instituted special events such as a Friday breakfast prepared by managers, movie and video games nights and sports events. In addition, the staff has telework options..

Chris Torti
President of Jorge Scientific Corp.
$75 million to $300 million

A contributor to more than 19 charities and local nonprofits, Chris Torti, president of Jorge Scientific Corp, puts a special emphasis on community service.

Spanning Haiti to Arlington, Va., his charitable works include being the primary benefactor of a Haitian orphanage through the At-Risk Children's Foundation, tuition assistance for six local students to attend a private grade school, a supporter of a battered women's shelter and as the leader the Jorge Volunteers Program.

After Haiti's earthquake Torti had the company fill more than 100 backpacks with supplies to be transported to the orphanage. In addition, Torti's volunteer program provides employee time, grants, corporate resources to all 501(C)(3) organizations initiated, led and supported by Jorge workers. This year the program gave more than $70,000 to a shelter, orphanage, refugees, children with cancer and more.

Under Torti's leadership, Jorge has entered the ranks of Washington Technology's 2011 Top 100 largest government contractors. Last year, Jorge won more than $350 million in contracts and added 10 new clients.

“I’m a little embarrassed to accept this award as an individual and not as a company,” he said. “I want to thank our customers for the opportunity to serve and we pledge to do better tomorrow.”

Paul Cofoni
President and CEO of CACI International
Greater than $300 million

Employees who work for Paul Cofoni, president and CEO of CACI International, have probably found themselves walking a few laps around the block with him at some point.

That’s because health and wellness programs have taken a front seat under Cofoni's leadership after he suffered health problems several years ago. In addition to initiating a company wellness newsletter and a health-focused calendar, he encourages his employee to go walking by holding Walks with the CEO events. Employees can chat with him during a 20-minute walk in the community. As he’s become an advocate for healthier workforces he’s also become chairman of the American Heart Association’s 2009 Start! Heart Walk and he is working on AHA's fundraising events.

Cofoni believes the workplace should be an incubator for ideas and encouragement for all employees and as a result he has implemented programs such as the Innovation Forum, the Leadership Network and a Mentoring Program.CACI's culture of openness led its receiving the Ethisphere Institute's Best Overall Government Ethics Program award.

Under Cofoni, CACI's revenues totaled a record $3.15 billion in fiscal 2010 and $913 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2011. In addition, the company moved from 16 to 14 on Washington Technology's 2011 Top 100 Contractors list.

“This is an amazing industry,” he said in accepting the award. “I love the combat and competition we have and I think it generates better solutions for our clients who have the most important mission in the world.”

NEXT: Hall of fame


Robert Beyster
Founder, Science Applications International Corp.

Robert Beyster founded Science Applications International Corp. in 1969 and grew the company to nearly $7 billion in annual revenue by the time he retired in 2004. Each year, the company turned a profit, his daughter Mary Ann Beyster said in accepting the award for her father.

But it wasn’t just the growth that set SAIC apart, she said, “it was the unconventional way he built the company.”

Beyster built SAIC as an employee-owned company. He fostered entrepreneurship among the employees and encouraged the company to take on tough problems, she said.

NEXT: Public-sector partners


Michele Foster
Deputy associate executive director
Veterans Affairs Office of Acquisition Operations

Michele Foster, deputy associate executive director, Veterans Affairs Office of Acquisition Operations, was recognized with one of two Public Sector Partner of the Year awards.

She was honored for her work in developing partnerships with industry through advanced planning briefings. She frequently holds face-to-face meetings with companies, including large and small businesses.

Foster also is a strong advocate for sharing information as a tool for making better procurements and building better partnerships.

In accepting her award, she said she keeps her focus on what she and her office can do to better serve the troops.

Dan Gordon
Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy

In accepting his award, Dan Gordon, administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, said he has focused his work on rebalancing the contractor-government relationship. But his emphasis is not on moving contractors out. Instead he has focused on building better partnerships.

He was honored for his commitment to open dialogue and debate and his practice of reaching out to industry and government for input and ideas.

Gordon, who was OFPP administrator for about two years, recently accepted the position of associate dean at George Washington University law school.