Serving veterans drives success and new opportunities

Sometimes, success means figuring out what a certain market needs, and then being the solution to meet that need. CEO Dan Frank talks about how his Fast 50 company, Three Wire Systems, does exactly that for the veteran community.

For Three Wire Systems CEO Dan Frank, success is realizing that your customer needs something, and then filling that need. That’s what he did in 2006 when he founded his company.

It started at a government trade show in California that Frank attended, he said. While walking around, he realized that there was a need for business programs for veterans and thought that he could meet that need. But first he needed to relocate, so Frank and his wife sold their house in California and moved to the Washington, D.C. area.

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He took the company name from his Navy background. On aircraft carriers, wires are set up to help arrest landing planes. Aircrafts’ tail hooks would then hook onto the three wire. Every landing is graded, Frank said, and a perfect landing score is “OK 3-wire.”

As for what Three Wire does, the company has two elements to its business: value-added reselling and a social services business called VetAdvisor. With value-added reselling, Three Wire supplies technology and services to a number of government agencies including Veterans Affairs, USDA, Health and Human Services, the U.S. Air Force and the Defense Department, Frank said. The company provides IT infrastructure, IT asset management, telecommunications, power consumption and cybersecurity.

The company had a little help getting off the ground with its software engineering/development department because a former partner company of theirs at one point stopped being interested in the federal market, Frank said. While he was unable to give the name of the company, he did say that Three Wire took over some of their contracts, and that gave them the ability to solidify their software development and software engineering capabilities for the military and veteran community.

Veterans are a huge focus for Three Wire. The other element of the company, VetAdvisor, was originally launched as a product in 2007 when the company got involved with a Veterans Affairs contract to provide outreach and behavioral health services to veterans via the telephone. Three Wire had licensed clinical social workers available over the phone to coach veterans.

“At first, the thought was that this coaching will be around the standard behavioral health issues as related to [post traumatic stress disorder] and traumatic brain injury, but what we found was that 80 percent of the veterans that we spoke with were more concerned with transition, jobs and mortgages,” Frank said.

Moving forward, the company is looking to grow and sees opportunity in strategic hires. The key is to “get out there and interview people and look for the talent you think you need early,” Frank said.

But the company will face challenges as it figures out where it fits in the market. “Particularly with our VetAdvisor product line, [the challenge is] figuring out how to best position ourselves. It’s not only the technology that we provide, but it’s also the social services that we provide, Frank said.

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