Large contractor of the year: Northrop Grumman Corp.

Despite Northrop Grumman Corp.'s standing as one of the largest defense contractors on the planet, the company's representative at the 2005 Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards sounded downright humble when the IT giant was named Large Contractor of the Year.

"We're just honored to be recognized as a leading corporation in this marketplace," said Dave Zolet, vice president of corporate business development, when accepting the award on his employer's behalf.

Northrop Grumman, whose Information Technology and Mission Systems sectors are in McLean and Reston, Va., respectively, employs 13,000 people in the Washington area. They had combined revenue of $10 billion in 2004, up from $8.8 billion in 2003.

Northrop Grumman IT and Mission Systems won over four other companies that had more than $500 million in revenue: Anteon International Inc., Arinc Inc., CACI International Inc. and Computer Sciences Corp.

"Those two sectors take great pride in really demonstrating leadership" in the areas on which they were judged, Zolet said. "We were fortunate to be selected over a great set of other nominees, so we're really honored by that."

In both sectors, Northrop Grumman offers employees opportunities for professional growth and development, such as participation in a leadership program at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business and interval training.

The two Northrop Grumman sectors also are involved in more than 30 local and national organizations that focus on education, human services, health care and the arts. Among these are the Fairfax Education Foundation, George Mason University Foundation, March of Dimes and WalkAmerica, the National Race for the Cure and United Service Organizations of Metropolitan Washington.

Revenue for both sectors grew during the last fiscal year. The IT sector's revenue reached $5.3 billion in 2004, a 9 percent increase over 2003 revenue. Some key contract wins included $138 million for the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency's electrical engineering program, $104 million for the Immigration and Naturalization Service's technology enterprise automation management support program, and $104 million for the IT support services program.

The Mission Systems sector's revenue rose by 7 percent in 2004 to $5.2 billion. Key awards included $1 billion for the intercontinental ballistic missile prime integration contract, and $133 million for restricted programs in command, control and intelligence systems.

Northrop Grumman also cited two major Homeland Security Department awards. One is a seven-year, $337 million task order that is the foundation for linking the department's classified networks with those of state and local governments. This work will add up to 150 new jobs in Fairfax, Va., by the end of the year. For the second contract, the company will implement and maintain a new human resources system for DHS under a three-year, $175 million contract.

Also notable, Zolet said, were two Mission Systems contracts: the recent win of a $1 billion deal for the Defense Department's Joint National Integration Center, and a five-year, $400 million win in August 2004 to develop and field Army tactical command posts from which commanders and staff direct battle operations and control forces.

Zolet added one other highlight ? and perhaps a clue to Mission Systems' success ? the promotion in September of Jerry Agee, an 18-year company veteran, to corporate vice president and sector president. It was a significant change of leadership at the top, Zolet said.

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