Special Report | Channel leaders: No excuses but give your best

Bhaskaran Jayaraman, IT director, Avineon Inc.

The leaders

» Mark Blevins

Perot Government Systems

Vice president of civilian services

» Jerold Clark Jr.

Anteon International Corp.

Senior group manager of operational intelligence

» Douglas Gilbert

Verizon Federal Network Systems

Director, Energy Dept. operations

» Bhaskaran Jayaraman

Avineon Inc.

IT director

» Kevin Lee

Health Management Systems Inc.

Vice president and senior program director

» Eric Olson

InfoReliance Corp.

Director of Marine programs

» Greg Pellegrino

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu

Public sector global managing director

» Tim Schilbach

Apogen Technologies Inc.

Project manager

» William Smithson

SI International Inc

Vice president of financial systems applications development

» Heinz Wimmer

Analex Corp.

Vice president of central operations

How we found our leaders

The Washington Technology Channel Leaders were picked from nominations submitted by our readers. The editorial staff read the nominations and judged them on the following:

» How the person helped a federal, state or local government agency fulfill its mission

» How the person helped his or her company meet growth, positioning and profitability goals

» How the person showed creativity, leadership and good partnership in the delivery of products or services to a government customer.

Nominations of chief executive officers, division presidents and executive vice presidents were not accepted. Instead, we wanted to recognize the people in the trenches: program and project managers and sales and business development executives. These are the people who touch and interact with government customers daily.

Bhaskaran Jayaraman, IT director, Avineon Inc.

Rick Steele

Like an arrow stripped of everything superfluous to its purpose, Bhaskaran Jayaraman is first and foremost IT director of Avineon Inc.

"You can't be unhappy at work and happy at home, but you can be unhappy at home and happy at work," he said.

And being happy at work means getting the job done well and on time, and woe betide the man or woman who fails and doesn't take responsibility for that failure.

"If there are problems, we can talk about them," Jayaraman said. "But I have looked at this, and I think it can be done. There should be no excuses, because if you were not going to be able to do it, you should have come to me when we could have done something about it."

When asked whether this means he doesn't take excuses well, he responded, "I guess not."

Jayaraman came to Avineon Inc. three years ago as the Alexandria, Va., company's only employee on a Drug Enforcement Administration contract.

Eighteen months later, he was promoted to IT director and now oversees seven full-time employees on multiple DEA contracts, maintaining and developing about 20 systems.

He also oversees contracts for the Housing and Urban Development Department's Public and Indian Housing Real Estate Assessment Center. The company is creating a system that lets multiple HUD entities use a single central database for the up-to-date data they need. The effort last year won Capability Maturity Model Integration Level 2 rating and is on track to hit Level 5 this year.

"Clients love him," said Avineon President and CEO Karlu Rambhala. "They trust him, and he works very hard to build that trust."

The company last year voted Jayaraman employee of the year. He holds a fistful of advanced degrees in mathematics, technology, business and law, a resume enough for two men.

So what accomplishment is he most proud of? He doesn't hesitate a nanosecond: "I have a 100 percent retention rate for my staff over the past three years."

"What sets Bhaskar apart as a leader is he not only really wants to help you realize the client's expectations, he also wants to help you realize your personal goals," said Keith Bennett, Avineon project leader at HUD. "I should have gotten my project manager certification years ago, but Bhaskar is challenging me to do it now."

Bennett listed what his boss is like: "He's always coming up with solutions to problems you hadn't even yet figured out existed. ? He's very hands-on when he needs to be, but he also knows how to lead from the rear.

"He coaches me to not just think about the technology, but also to wear my business hat, so I'll recognize new business opportunities, or to think ahead so [when the client review comes up,] I'll be able show clear examples of how the government was wise to invest in my company.

"I listen," Bennett said, "because I hope to be in his position someday, and I hope to be as good a leader as he is."

About the Author

Sami Lais is a special contributor to Washington Technology.

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