ENTREPRENEUR SPOTLIGHT

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ENTREPRENEUR SPOTLIGHT



Mary Ann Elliott

President/CEO

Arrowhead Space and Telecommunications Inc.
3040 Williams Drive, Suite 201 Fairfax, Va. 22031
(703) 876-4005
fax (703) 876-4006

Mary Ann Elliott has learned what it takes to succeed in the competitive information technology industry and she has carved out a place for her company, Arrowhead Space and Telecommunications Inc.

Arrowhead is an engineering services company supporting industry, government and research organizations in the development and analysis of communications and software systems. The company is divided into four areas: telecommunications and bandwidth services; space systems; information technologies and training; and systems integration. It is broken up into four business divisions that are named after these competencies.

Approximately 60 percent of its annual business comes from the telecommunications division; the rest is divided evenly among the other three units.

"Operation Desert Storm showed the Defense Department that it had a lack of [communications] coverage to wage a modern war," Elliott said.

"We are helping them work on that issue by filling a niche as brokers of satellite capacity, end-to-end communications services and helping procure initial [satellite] licensing approvals."

The 50-person company has experienced particular success in developing and providing satellite and communications support to the federal government. On Jan. 23, the company won a contract with a potential value of $3 million from the U.S. Army Intelligence Center to perform satellite communications system support and to provide commercial satellite transponder capacity to the Defense Department and other federal agencies.

More recently, Arrowhead scored a Phase I contract win under NASA's Small Business Innovative Research Program. The award focuses on development and production of wearable personal communications, such as wristband locator/communicators. The value of the contract has not yet been released.

Although Arrowhead is participating in the Small Business Administration's 8(a) program, it holds only two contracts under 8(a).

"The program can provide stability," Elliott said, "but you should never depend on it."

Elliott, a leading expert on the advantages and pitfalls of 8(a), has written essays about the program for Newsweek magazine, the Wall Street Journal and more recently, Washington Technology's 8(a) and Small Business Report on March 6.

Elliott's near-term plans are to develop the company's areas of expertise and attract more government and commercial business. If all goes as planned, she will grow revenues from today's $3 million mark to more than $10 million over the next few years.

"We will continue to work on and expand our market strengths, develop products with real market value and go after the kinds of contracts that provide long-term value," Elliott said.

-Matt Hines


©1997, Washington Technology. All rights reserved.

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