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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Meet the 2014 GovCon finalists

The annual Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards gala will recognize some of the best companies and executives in the market.

It's one of my favorite events of the year because there are always surprises and heartwarming moments as executives take the stage to thank colleagues, family members and co-workers.

The annual dinner produced by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce and the Professional Services Council is one of the few awards events where the winners don’t know they are winners until they are called to the stage.

It adds a nice element of drama, and it also adds a lot of value to being a finalist, even if you don’t win the ultimate prize.

So, whether you are attending the Nov. 13 event or not, these finalists are some of the better performing and more innovative companies in the market as judged by their success in the marketplace and in the community.

Here is a list of the categories that you can use to navigate to the finalists in each category, or you can just continue to scroll down through the story.

Contractor of the Year under $25 million

Contractor of the Year between $25 million and $75 million

Contractor of the Year between $75 million and $300 million

Contractor of the Year over $300 million

Executive of the Year under $75 million

Executive of the Year between $75 million and $300 million

Executive of the Year over $300 million

Contractor of the Year under $25 million

Amyx Inc.

Leadership: Satya Akula, president and CEO

Website: www.amyx.com

Why they stand out: 90 percent of work is as a prime contractor. Lines of business include business process re-engineering, cybersecurity and information assurance, and program and acquisition management. A portal project for the Defense Department’s Common Food Management System is projected to save $1 billion over its lifetime.

Arc Aspicio

Leadership: Lynn Ann Casey, CEO

Website: www.arcaspicio.com

Why they stand out: Focus on the nexus of homeland security and intelligence. The company captured a spot on the $22 billion DHS Eagle II contract for program support services. The company culture promotes collaboration, continuous learning, innovation, and intelligence to improve homeland security. Charitable work includes support for the Girl Scouts, D.C. Central Kitchen and the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation.

Audacious Inquiry

Leadership: Christopher Brandt, managing partner

Website: www.ainq.com

Why they stand out: The company’s focus is on health IT, providing project management, software development, and health care system integration. Customers include state and local health exchanges and the U.S. Health and Human Services Department. The company is just the fifth in Maryland to be certified a B Corporation, which means its business is focused on solving social and environmental problems and to provide a public benefit.

IndraSoft Inc.

Leadership: Neeraja Lingam, president

Website: www.indrasoft.com

Why they stand out: The company offers a range of IT services including systems engineering, IT operations support, information management and consulting services but it also brings specific domain expertise. One marquee program is its work with the Air Force on its financial information systems, where it helps support nine different Defense Financial Accounting Service applications.

MindPoint Group LLC

Leadership: Patti Chanthaphone, president

Website: www.mindpointgroup.com

Why they stand out: Their focus on IT security and an ability to bring a broad perspective to security challenges and threats. The company says this allows them to compete with much larger companies. Its community involvement includes the America Diabetes Association, the Innova Health System Foundation, the Howard County, Md., Food Bank and the National Brain Tumor Society.


Contractor of the Year ($25 million to $75 million)

Attain LLC

Leadership: Greg Baroni, chairman and CEO

Website: www.attain.com

Why they stand out: The company touts the Attain Way, seven core values such as Invent the future, Be bold, Obsess externally, Be the Best and Team for speed. The result has been contract awards such as DHS Eagle II, partnerships with Amazon Web Services and consistent revenue growth.

Buchanan & Edwards

Leadership: Brian Karlisch, CEO

Website: http://buchanan-edwards.com/

Why they stand out: The company provided software development, data engineering and databases administration support for the FBI’s Data Integration and Visualization system, which has become a key investigative tool. The search tool can pull information from hundreds of datasets and databases. The system was used during the search and capture of the Boston Marathon bombers.

By Light Professional IT Services Inc.

Leadership: Bob Donahue, president and CEO

Website: www.bylight.com

Why they stand out: Itself a service-disabled, veteran-owned company, By-Light has a special focus on veteran-related opportunities and is a prime contractor on the VA Transformation Twenty-one Total Technology contract, known as T4. Services under the contract include program management, systems and software engineering, and independent validation and verification. The company also is involved in several veteran-related organizations including the Wounded Warrior Project, the Corps of Support and the Disabled American Veteran organization.

Eagle Ray Inc.

Leadership: Babs Doherty, president and CEO

Website: www.eaglerayinc.com

Why they stand out: The company has experienced strong growth over the last five years with a compound annual growth rate of 74.07 percent, enough to rank them on the Washington Technology Fast 50. The company has focused on solutions around strategic support, enterprise IT service management, information assurance, IT modernization and enterprise architecture.

NetCentrics Corp.

Leadership: Bob Dougherty, CEO

Website: http://www.netcentrics.com

Why they stand out: The company says it likes to focus on tough problems, and its customers include the Pentagon, where it defends networks and communications systems. The company has built a culture around the idea of “innovation as a business discipline.” The company offers consulting services and training around innovation. They are convinced that innovation needs to be a core competency, not a nice to have.

Octo Consulting Group

Leadership: Mehul Sanghani, president

Website: www.octoconsulting.com

Why they stand out: This is the company’s third round as a finalist. In 2012, the company was a finalist and ultimate winner in the under $25 million category. Last year, the company was a contender in the between $25 million to $74 million category. The company is focused on Agile development, data visualization, cyber, program management and business process reengineering.


Contractor of the Year ($75 million to 300 million)

Agilex Technologies Inc.

Leadership: Jay Nussbaum, vice chairman; John Gall, president

Website: www.agilex.com

Why they stand out: Agilex is an employee-owned company focused on mission and technology solutions in national security, health care and public sector. The company has built a reputation for its focus on results and taking on complex projects by involving all the stakeholders and delivering solutions in blocks that build on each other for quicker results for the customer.

Millennium Engineering and Integration Co.

Leadership: Patrick Murphy, president and CEO

Website: http://www.meicompany.com/

Why they stand out: Millennium is an employee-owned company with engineering expertise. They are focused on NASA, the Army, Air Force, Missile Defense Agency and DHS. Capabilities include systems engineering, integration, test and evaluation, design and rapid prototyping, and launch systems and ranges. Its community involvement includes work with food banks, domestic violence prevention and veteran-support programs.


Leadership: Amr ElSawy, president and CEO

Website: www.noblis.org

Why they stand out: The only not-for-profit company on the slate of finalists, Noblis traces its roots back to Mitre Corp. The company focuses on high-end technology projects such as big data and high performance computing and sustainable facilities. In its science and technology group, it is working on such as problems as identity management, food safety, decision analytics and climate change.


Leadership: Tom Shoemaker, CEO

Website: https://www.phacil.com/

Why they stand out: The company supports customers in a large range of service areas, including development, integration, operations and maintenance, cybersecurity, geographic information systems, technical consulting, and business operations support. Some of its major contracts include GSA Alliant, GSA STARS II, FBI IT Triple S and DHS Eagle II. The company says one of its differentiators is an ability to deliver a complete, turnkey solution. For example, it migrated 12,000 users of the Missile Defense Agency users to a new MDA Knowledge Online portal.

Systems Made Simple Inc.

Leadership: Al Nardslico, chairman and president

Website: https://www.systemsmadesimple.com

Why they stand out: The company focuses on application development and provides services such as system design, systems engineering, applications integration, and Agile development. Most of its work is focused in the health IT arena. The company recently announced it was being acquired by Lockheed Martin.


Contractor of the Year (greater than $300 million)

Accenture Federal Services LLC

Leadership: David Moskovitz, chief executive

Website: www.accenture.com/federal

Why they stand out: The company has experienced steady growth during a period of shrinking by winning several large single award contracts. For example, it won a $250 million contract with the Transportation Security Administration for an identity management and credentialing system to verify and manage millions of identities of those working secure and sensitive areas of the U.S. transportation system. Accenture also stepped in last year to take over work on the HealthCare.gov system after it famously faltered.

American Systems

Leadership: Peter Smith, president and CEO

Website: http://www.americansystems.com

Why they stand out: American Systems is one of the largest employee-owned companies in the market. The company’s growth in recent years has been the result of building a business development infrastructure focused on prime contract work that serves national security needs.

Maximus Inc.

Leadership: Richard Montoni, CEO

Website: http://www.maximus.com

Why they stand out: Maximus has grown into a large company with a focus on health and human services programs. It operates customer contact centers, administers Medicaid Children’s Health Insurance programs, and it is the largest provider of insurance appeals for Medicare. In 2013, the company won six of the 15 state-based health insurance exchange contracts that came up for bid.


Leadership: John Heller, CEO

Website: www.pae.com

Why they stand out: In 2013, the company made a major acquisition when it acquired the old DynCorp business from Computer Sciences Corp. That acquisition paid early dividends when the company won an extension of the contract for Eastern Range Technical Services. PAE has increased that business by winning several other range and base operations contracts since then. It also continues to win aviation sustainment contracts globally.


Leadership: Pierre Bellon, chairman

Website: www.sodexousa.com

Why they stand out: The company is best known for its facility management and food service business. Capabilities include asset management, facilities management, mail room management and design and development.


Executive of the Year (less than $75 million)

Satya Akula, president and CEO, Amyx Inc.

Website: http://www.amyx.com

Why he stands out: Akula has been CEO of Amyx since 2012 and previously was the founder and CEO of AC Technologies, which was by PEC Solutions in 2004. Under his leadership, Amyx has attained CMMI Level 3. He also led the company’s shift toward information assurance work and increased the number of employees with top secret clearances. 

Babs Doherty, president and CEO, Eagle Ray Inc.

Website: http://eaglerayinc.com

Why she stands out: Doherty founded Eagle Ray in 2002, and it reached a five-year compound annual growth rate of 71.04 percent through 2013. Her focus has been on building a company that helps keep the country safe. For example, Eagle Ray developed the targeting algorithms, data analytics and software engineering for passenger and cargo screening. 

Scott Goss, president and CEO, Preferred Systems Solutions

Website: www.pssfed.com

Why he stands out: With his background and expertise in financial systems, Goss has led a strategy that focuses on helping small companies navigate the demands of the federal market by helping them with the compliance and reporting requirements agencies demand.

Kim Hayes, CEO and co-founder, the Ambit Group LLC

Website: http://www.theambitgroup.com/

Why she stands out: Ambit’s strategy is finding ways to save customers money and much of its growth is tied to offering unsolicited proposals to agencies to do that. The focus is on the end result for the customer. Employees are encouraged to ‘write for the right” to work by finding problems and creating high-value solutions.

Mehul Sanghani, president, Octo Consulting Group

Website: http://octoconsulting.com/

Why he stands out: He emphasizes employees, offering a variety of creative incentives and benefits. The result is strong growth into the double digits for each year since he founded Octo in 2006.

Executive of the Year ($75 million-300 million)

Jay Challa, chairman and CEO, Ace Info Solutions

Website: www.aceinfosolutions.com

Why he stands out: He founded his company with a goal of being employee-friendly and focused on making a positive impact on its customers. He led efforts to create an Earned Value Management system as well as win certifications in various ISO areas and CMMI Level 3. His strategy is to empower clients, challenge employees and grow the business.

Amr ElSawy, president and CEO, Noblis

Website: www.noblis.org

Why he stands out: Under his leadership, Noblis built the Noblis Innovation and Collaboration Center as a place to explore and solve complex problems. He also led efforts to build the Noblis Center for Applied High Performance Computing. The centers reflect ElSawy’s strength of building teams to solve problems.

Patrick Murphy, president and CEO, Millennium Engineering and Integration Co.

Website: http://www.meicompany.com/

Why he stands out: Murphy mixes strategic and tactical qualities, surrounding himself with a strong team that he provides with objectives, resources and responsibilities. At the same time, he continues to work closely with key customers such as the Missile Defense Agency.

Julian Setian, CEO, SOS International

Website: http://www.sosiltd.com/

Why he stands out: Under his leadership, SOS has evolved from a small, niche language company to a company with capabilities in IT, intelligence, construction, engineering, base operations and training.

Sharon Virts, CEO and founder, FCi Federal

Website: http://fcifederal.com

Why she stands out: She founded the company in 1991 and since 2005 the company has grown from 35 employees to 1,400. The company culture is focused on customers, teamwork, speed and ability, empowerment and accountability.


Executive of the Year (greater than $300 million)

Anthony Smeraglinolo, president and CEO, Engility

Website: www. Engilitycorp.com

Why he stands out: He led the management team that spun Engility out from L-3 Communications and he’s quickly established the company’s growth strategy of value for the customer and expanding Engility’s capabilities. It acquired Dynamics Research Corp. in 2013 and is in the process of acquiring TASC.

Anne Altman, general manager, federal government and industries, IBM

Website: www.ibm.com

Why she stands out: An active member of the federal IT community, Altman involved with the Professional Services Council, NVTC and other contractor groups. During her 30-year career with IBM, she’s often been tasked with solving problems within the company such as launching a new mainframe computing product. She’s been a senior member of IBM’s Performance Team, Growth and Transformation Team, Global Leadership Team and Global Sales Team.

Ellen Glover, executive vice president, ICF International

Website: http://www.icfi.com/

Why she stands out: Glover runs ICF’s largest business group that provides services and solutions in technology, digital interactive, strategic communications, homeland security, and organizational research and learning. She’s led tremendous growth in this area for ICF including major contract awards such as DHS TABBS, CDC CIMS, CIO-SP3 and Oasis. She’s also very active in the contractor community such as ACT-IAC and PSC.

Kurt Bergman, president and CEO, Michael Baker International

Website: http://www.mbakerintl.com/

Why he stands out: Bergman led the merging of three small businesses to create KSI. Other acquisitions followed, including the acquisition of the much larger Michael Baker International. His leadership style is marked by honesty and integrity, collaboration, passion, and a sense of humor.

Teresa Bozzelli, senior vice president and managing director, Sapient Government Services

Website: http://www.sapient.com/en-us/government-services.html

Why she stands out: She is known for her “Be Bold” rally cry which translates into a company that doesn’t settle for good enough. Some of her team’s accomplishments include a mobile app for the National Cancer Institute, which was picked as a top 10 government app by GCN. ACT-IAC picked its MyTSA.gov app as the best government mobile app.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Nov 07, 2014 at 9:23 AM

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